Wonkette: Jesus people pray that false idol will save God’s economy

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(Photo by Wonkette operative “Dan the Man”.)

Wonkette posted this interesting photo of people worshipping the golden calf Wall Street bull in order to save the stock market. Here's what PZ Myers had to say about it:

Did you know that some Christian dingbat has dubbed today the “Day of Prayer for the World’s Economies?” Well here they are, at the Wall Street bull statue thing, praying to Jesus for money. The dingbat has explained, “We are going to intercede at the site of the statue of the bull on Wall Street to ask God to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the ‘Lion’s Market,’ or God’s control over the economic systems.”
Exodus 32:
8They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

9And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:

10Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

Jesus people pray that false idol will save God’s economy

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  1. Maybe they thought it was a giant foil-wrapped chocolate bull and were trying to get a piece.

    Mmmmm, bull chocolate.

  2. A day of prayer for world economies, loosely interpreted, isn’t too surprising, as the Bible really does have a lot to say about such things. Most of which the Republicans would denounce as socialism or worse. However, this image is just too much. I guess bronze bull is far enough from golden calf for the literalists.

  3. Idiots and blasphemers (if you go for that sort of thing).

    When god says, “Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation,” I hope he means it this time, and we can become a great nation, instead of a nation of people who yawn when the President condones torture.

  4. So…. I’m going to guess that they see the Merrill Lynch bull as sacrilegious and pagan. That they are not in fact worshiping it. They think if they pray, march around it and blow the shofar, you know, like when Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, that god will intercede on their behalf. That would be sort of biblical, but still crazy as hell.

  5. It definitely wasn’t the smartest move to pray over the bull like that, but they are not praying to the bull, or worshiping it. Big difference. There’s nothing wrong with praying for the world’s economies- it’s sad how the evangelical right has hijacked politics and tarnished the reputations of Christians in this country.

  6. The word that is translated as stiffnecked can also be understood as describing those who can’t foresee the consequences of their own actions.
    I like these verses from Ecclesiates:
    That which hath been is that which shall be, and that which hath been done is that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.

    Is there a thing whereof it is said: ‘See, this is new’?–it hath been already, in the ages which were before us.

    There is no remembrance of them of former times; neither shall there be any remembrance of them of latter times that are to come, among those that shall come after.

    Dudes, that’s Wall Street.

  7. Maybe it’s performance art? I would have dumped 50 gallons of pig’s blood and offal over the statue. Maybe it’s not too late to apply for a grant?

  8. “Come on– everyone else is doing it! We’re not worshipping this Golden Idol. We’re just focusing on it while we’re actually praying to Jesus– HAW HAW HAW!

  9. MRILES (#12), thanks; i was just about to say that. This is so typical of the media (particularly Boing Boing as of late) to see an opportunity to ridicule people who think differently than they do based on ignorant assumptions. Who says they’re worshipping the bull? They’re praying to Jesus and they chose the bull as a meeting place. They’re praying for the economy, and the bull represents the economy. So if they were worshipping the bull, they’d have to be praying *to* the economy, not for it.

    What ever happened to that secular golden virtue called tolerance?

  10. Um, if they were praying over it in the sense of ‘casting out a demon,’ shouldn’t they be focused on the *bear?*

  11. HEY! Why are you calling my Golden Bull God a /false/ idol?

    I worship at its holy horned altar and have sacrificed my creative soul to it in return for money and power. And, thou it is sometimes a spiteful deity, it has delivered unto me a glorious bounty of earthly delights.

    These are individuals who have finally seen the REVEALED TRUTH of the Economic gods. Repent fiscal sinners, the end is nigh!

  12. in related news, the government has issued a brand new form of currency: golden bullshit, and the future smells brighter already !

  13. After the Stock Market Collapse in ’29, the GOP spent 40 years wandering about the political wilderness. I think they just managed to guarantee a repeat journey.

    Anyways, I salute our new Democratic overlords… no really… I do.

  14. And here I thought having an omnipresent God meant Christians wouldn’t need places or churches to worship… This is why the whole idea of ‘Organized Religion’ is seen as corrupt. You really DONT need to provide pittance every weekend for that super-OMG-megachurch, you could… just a thought… simply pray.

    Im not Christian or religious myself, but if they were truly to Jesus why would they even need to meet at the bull statue? The act of congregating around it, touching it, praying to it – if not direct worship, that’s pretty much worshipping the ideal that the statue represents.

    Please Jesus! Let us keep driving our giant SUVs and for God’s sake don’t let Obama let our wealth get ‘spread around’ to those less fortunate than ourselves! Pffft.

  15. “What ever happened to that secular golden virtue called tolerance?”

    Ask the religious groups pouring millions of dollars towards Prop. 8.

  16. NOW I SEE!

    God did it!

    And there was me, thinking it might have to do with massive government overspending fighting the (laughably named) war on terror, secret government bailout of financial institutions at the tax payers’ expense, just printing more paper money when the stocks ran a bit low and stuff like that when ALL THE TIME IT WAS GOD!

  17. We in the “West” used to laugh at people in India, S.E. Asia etc for lunatic, childish, crazy religious displays like this. Now America is joining in. I hope that this kind of shit never happens in Europe.

  18. Gruppler
    What ever happened to that secular golden virtue called tolerance?

    How dare you not tolerate my intolerance!

    Anyway, they are kind of worshiping the bull, in a way. By chanting and circling it and praying to god in front of it they sort of imbue it with a significance it shouldn’t have. After all, they could have easily done their prayers in any church or synagogue. Why the need to march around it? Because it has religious significance for them. Hence, it’s their idol.

  19. gruppler @ 21 Who says they’re worshipping the bull?

    I do.

    Clearly the bull is a physical manifestation, a token, of a celebrated and sought after shared public mood. If that does not make an idol, what does?

    Also, since there are no longer any investment banks (as defined by the SEC) on Wall Street as of early October, that bull has the added bonus of being a false idol.

    And that is funny.

    Sorry to hear you’re so easily off ended. BB should really install fainting couches.

  20. perhaps Ami could do a diorama for us with plastic barnyard figures and Lego idol worshipers. It could become a regular posting feature with wonderful recursivity.

  21. Hey, falcon_seven, how about a little headsup next time you’re about to post a link to anyone’s genitalia, lovely as they may be? ;-)

  22. This is hilarious….

    Isn’t the image of a bull, a symbol of Satan?..

    If so, then aren’t they asking for help from Satan?

    Hilarious, and scary..

    1. The bull was one of the principal symbols of divinity in the ancient Mediterranean/middle east. He represents fertility and can be seen everywhere from horned altars to aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Why do you think that YHWH was so pissed off at the golden calf? That was his main rival.

  23. #35: “We in the “West” used to laugh at people in India, S.E. Asia etc for lunatic, childish, crazy religious displays like this. Now America is joining in. I hope that this kind of shit never happens in Europe.”

    Wait, what continent are Lourdes, Fatima and Rome in, again?

  24. “There were no cherubim in Herodian reconstruction of the Temple, but according to some authorities, its walls were painted with figures of cherubim[25]; paintings of cherubim continued into Christian art. In Christianity, they are often represented in iconography as faces of a lion, ox, eagle, and man peering out from the center of an array of four wings (Ezekiel 1:5-11, 10:12,21 Revelation 4:8”

    Satan prefers goats. Ever notice how goats are smarter than oxen?

  25. @ 40 Hey, it’s Wikipedia. It’s all in the name of knowledge and we’re all adults here. But it is stunningly beautiful; is it not?
    Really, I don’t wish to take amusement at the expense of others…I’m sorry…I just can’t stop laughing…Takuan; “Don’t do that”…I see that the post was marked NSFW…I promise, in the future, the I’ll mark things like that the same way…I’m just going to sit in the corner now and try to calm down…

  26. It’s good to have a reminder that it isn’t just the Right that is so skilled at sloppy thinking and gross equivocation in the name of confirming their own biases. It seems such a universal property of humanity that I’m thinking I might even be guilty of it myself sometimes.

    But not this time: these people are indeed imbuing this artifact with significance, just as they are imbuing world markets with significance. And they are indeed engaging in religious behaviour.

    But simply having two things close together–religion and significance–does not make for “religious significance” unless you want to open the doors to the sort of epistemologically greasy behaviour that Rovian nutjobs usually take a well-justified beating for in these parts.

    These people are sad and funny and clearly have an irony deficiency in their diet, but they aren’t worshipping the bull, they are worshipping God near the bull. But that is much harder to make fun of (not that I’m not tempted to do so.)

  27. I direct your attention to the LTCM collapse in the 1990’s and exactly who were the players.

    Note that after the LTCM collapse the same methods were used in the wider markets after the Nasdaq crash.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LTCM

    Now, instead of a ‘trillion dollar bet’, we have a ‘quadrillion dollar bet’

    ‘The Trillion Dollar Bet’

  28. ‘Worshiping a golden calf’ is one of, if not the, principal biblical expression for wandering from the path of righteousness and abandoning the one true God. The Bible, which is vague on many points, leaves no wriggling room on this issue. We’ve all seen Debra Paget polishing the golden calf with her hair while Edward G. Robinson plays pocket pool. It’s purest irreligion for Christians, Jews or Muslims to participate in this. If you don’t want to savor the delicious scent of irony, stop pestering those of us who do.

  29. Wow. Seriously? You would seriously take that out of context and intentionally mis-understand what these people are doing? Sure some of them are whack-jobs, but for the most part, these are pretty decent people who (I should hope) would give you the shirt off their backs, without even knowing you.

    There are most definitely exceptions to this rule, but the basic tenets of Christianity are based in grace – undeserved goodness. I would wager that a bunch of those people in that photo will subsequently go to their offices and be otherwise normal people? Why does it bother you that a bunch of people do something like that which if you are correct does nothing, and if you are incorrect does something positive?

    Surely there are bigger things to make a fuss about?

    1. for the most part, these are pretty decent people who (I should hope) would give you the shirt off their backs, without even knowing you.

      When I think of Wall Street, the first thing that pops into my head is a picture of Mother Teresa.

  30. Wht s t wth chrstns? Why r thy *s* *ff-ng* *stpd*? Do people actually believe that by simply wishing for a better economy it will come true?

  31. #21

    This is so typical of the media (particularly Boing Boing as of late) to see an opportunity to ridicule people who think differently than they do based on ignorant assumptions.

    Sorry, man. Mental illness is mental illness, even if it’s not politically correct to call it that.

  32. Synapse, it isn’t out of context at all. The fact is that these people are worshiping and dancing around a Golden Calf. That not a single one of them stopped before hand and said “hey guys? Maybe this isn’t such a great idea. I mean there was this other story about a Golden Calf… I remember it from somewhere… maybe that book… what was its name again?”

    Moreover, these people are Protestants and one of the things Protestants accuse Catholic and Orthodox of is engaging in borderline idol worship due to the use of icons, iconography which they are amount to graven idols.

    The lack of understanding of their own theology and their own scripture’s texts is just simply breathtaking. One doesn’t need to remove it from context to find this laughable.

  33. I am the bullgod…I am free…and I feed on all that is forsaken
    I’m gonna get you….I see through you…I’m gonna get you
    I’m like a train I roll hard lettin off much steam
    In the Carhartt flannel and dusty jeans baby
    I never was cool with James Dean
    But I be hangin tough with my man Jim Beam
    I swing low…like a chimp
    Back in ’86 man I was seein a shrink
    But now I’m humble and I can only think
    About New Orleans and those jumbo shrimp
    So ask no questions and I’ll tell no lies
    I got big ol pupils and blood shot eyes
    I’m on the brink…if you know what I mean
    And a 12 step program couldn’t keep me clean
    Cause I’m the bullgod…you understand
    The illegitimate son of man
    The T-O-P to the D-O-G
    Or the P-O-T to the G-O-D
    And I’m trippin
    Said I’m trippin
    I am the bullgod…I am free…and I feed on all that is forsaken
    I’m gonna get you…I see through you…I’m gonna get you
    A lot of people poke fun and that’s alright
    But when I start pokin back they get all uptight
    You can’t cap with the master son
    So sit your ass down before I blast ya one
    Cause I’m so greasy you can call me mud
    And I feel a little Hank runnin through my blood
    I wanna flood the world with my twisted thoughts
    You can bet all day but I can’t be bought
    Break it up let’s tie one on
    I gotta get set to go and cut the lawn
    So I grab my walkman but before I cut
    I got behind the garage and fire it up
    Cause I’m the bullgod…you understand
    The illegitimate son of man
    The T-O-P to the D-O-G
    Or the P-O-T to the G-O-D
    And I’m trippin
    Said I’m trippin
    I am the bullgod…I am free…and I feed on all that is forsaken
    I’m forsaken…yeah
    I ain’t nothin
    Yeah yeah yeah yeah
    Come on get em up
    Come on get em up
    Come on get em up
    I am the bullgod…I am free…and I feed on all that is forsaken
    I am the bullgod…I am free…and I feed on all that is
    I get a feeling of peace, from a low so high
    As I sit in my chair and watch life go by
    These thoughts I have can’t mold to sense
    Through the forest of my mind, they’re all past tense
    Born and raised in the outer lands
    And at times you can say I’m outta hand
    I’m in a band of gypsies, we’re on the run
    Everytime that paper hits my tongue
    And sometimes it seems so odd
    When my veins are poppin and I’m on the nod
    I am the bullgod…you understand
    And here in my head is my master plan, Uh
    I’m gonna get you
    I see through you
    I’m gonna get you
    I see through you

  34. @Tom and Synapse:

    Ok, ok, you’re right. They aren’t worshiping the golden bull, they’re worshiping *near* the golden bull. An important distinction no doubt. The point is yours.

    I suppose that crucial difference makes these people’s behavior completely sane and reasonable, and not at all utterly hilarious.

  35. Synapse – There are most definitely exceptions to this rule, but the basic tenets of Christianity are based in grace – undeserved goodness.

    And the basic tenet of Wall Street is based in Moneylending – unearned profit.

  36. Synapse
    Seriously? You would seriously take that out of context and intentionally mis-understand what these people are doing?

    It’s the hypocrisy. I could care less if they all got naked and had an orgy right there. It’s the hypocrisy of it all.

  37. Just remember kids, these people want to bring about the end of the world so they can experience the ‘Rapture’ and meet Jesus in the ‘afterlife’. These same people also contribute to Christian organizations that want to rebuild the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem to fulfill Biblical prophecy that will result in the ‘Second Coming’. In other words, they have deathwish -for all of us.
    They are so scared of living in a world filled with so much uncertainty, that they want to die just to go to Heaven and escape the reality of this world. They also want to force their religious beliefs on everyone because they fear for our souls. This evangelism extends even to their political beliefs, so much so, that they threaten the Constitutional foundations of the United States.
    Unfortunately for those of us with a more rational outlook on existence, we have to endure Presidential candidates who openly pander to these deluded fools to get themselves voted into office. The ‘Founding Fathers’ were men of more rational thinking and specifically included wording in the Constitution to prevent the usurpation of the government by religious fanaticism. Unfortunately, as we move farther away from those ideals in a temporal sense, we as a nation have lost sight of just why the premise of the separation of ‘Church and State’ was included so prominently in that seminal document.

  38. This is a prime opportunity for any god at all to smite that bull with some wrathful lightning and make His presence felt.

  39. ‘m nt Blvr myslf, bt bngbng hs gttn vry sntty twrds ppl f fth. S mch fr tlrnc nd kndnss. f crs, thr’s nthng n th st tht hv sn tht pldgs ntllctl ntgrty, frnss r tlrnc, s shld nt b srprsd t fnd t lckng. Th nt-McCn nd nt-Chrstn gnd s jst prt f th scnry. Mkng yrslvs fl sprr by bshng n ppl f fth; hw rgnl.

  40. anyone screeching to string up christians? If you want to level such a charge then do the work to cite the offenses.

  41. Dear Christians: I own a copy of the Charlton Heston movie The Ten Commandments and would be happy to have you all over to show it to you sometime.

    Since it’s on DVD, we could even jump straight to the part that flat-out says YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DOING THIS, NO WAY NO HOW NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!!!

  42. They’re not just praying ~near~ the bull, they’re reaching out to ~touch~ the bull. And as I said a minute ago on another thread – Jesus did NOT like money lenders!

    “The Cleansing of the Temple
    Matthew 21

    12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

    13 and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a DEN OF THEIVES.”

    They’re all F$£$£d!

  43. I agree Sparky005. The fools and boingboing and yourself should be worshiping me — your Lord and Savior the Great Kuhunga.

  44. Sparky, this ain’t about faith. It is what they have faith in and what they do because of their particular brand of faith. We are all people of faith of some sort; for instance, I have faith religion will eventually fade from memory like a bad dream.

  45. OK, I’ll go against the tide on this one. I’m not going to defend them, because by and large, I think the organized community represents false pretenses. I am, however, going to point out that your interpretation of what’s going on is flawed.

    They’re not praying to the bull – they’re not worshiping it. Anyone with even a casual familiarity with Evangelical Christianity knows that the laying of hands on someone for whom you’re praying is traditional. The prayers are for God’s intercession – and they’re laying hands on the symbol of the thing being prayed for.

    That being said, as a Christian (though not an evangelical one) I do wish they’d go home.

  46. Everyone’s talking about how they’re worshipping and dancing around the statue…what video are you guys watching? I looked and couldn’t find it. Are you certain that you know what the word ‘worship’ means?

    I never claimed to be tolerant. I just find it funny that the people who say tolerance is the most important virtue are also often the ones to ridicule people who believe in something they do not.

    Christians are human. They know better than many people that they’re not perfect, and they don’t claim to be. This article is the rough equivalent of a vegetarian caught red-handed eating a veggie burger that looks a little bit like a hamburger.

    I also find it funny (in a sad way) that so many people who treasure their superior intellect have to point and laugh as hard as they possibly can in order to reassure themselves that they’re right and there is nothing out there that science can’t explain.

    Sorry if i’m ruining some people’s jolly laughs. You’re right; talking about how bad things are is much better and will probably yield much better results than believing that things will improve.

  47. Wow, such boldness! Willing to state your beliefs as fact, on a public forum…if i didn’t know better, i’d think you were trying to force your beliefs on all the rest of us…

  48. To all who are saying these folks are not worshipping the giant bull on Broadway, you’re delusional.

    If these folks were to have walked from financial institution to financial institution and lay their hands on the building, I’d accept that argument. It would be like the blessing of an object which happens in most all major religions.

    But this gathering around the bull is clearly worship.

    Also folks claiming this is the Merrill-Lynch bull are a tad off. A simple search of Wikipedia lays out the facts:

    Di Modica spent some US$ 360,000 to create, cast, and install the sculpture following the 1987 stock market crash as a symbol of the “strength and power of the American people.”[1] The sculpture was the artist’s idea, not the city’s. In an act of “guerrilla art”, he trucked it to Lower Manhattan and on December 15, 1989, installed it in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a Christmas gift to the people of New York.

    Say what you will about the world of brokers and investors, but the true history of this bull is pretty cool and an awesome piece of guerilla art.

    PS: Also anyone saying Americans don’t worship the mighty dollar are delusional. Open a can of tuna and you can control a cat. Flash a wad of twenties and you can control a person.

  49. in our boundless love and tolerance we show the way to these poor lost soul christians and by gently mocking their comical inconsistencies, open their eyes to the Greater Light. It is our moral duty.

  50. Open a can of tuna and you can control a cat.

    Oh, just TRY controlling the cat once you’ve opened the tuna! ;-)

  51. This sacred cow is more proof that organized religion is the real Satan.

    Stained glass windows keep the cold outside
    While the hypocrites hide inside
    With the lies of statues in their minds
    Where the Christian religion made them blind
    Where they hide
    And prey to the God of a bitch spelled backwards is dog
    Not for one race, one creed, one world
    But for money
    Effective
    Absurd

    Do you pray to the Holy Ghost when you suck your host?
    Do you read who’s dead in the Irish Post?
    Do you give away the cash you cant afford
    On bended knees and pray to lord?

    Fat pig priest
    Sanctimonious smiles
    He takes the money
    You take the lies
    This is religion and Jesus Christ
    This is religion cheaply priced
    This is bibles full of libel
    This is sin in eternal hymn
    This is what they’ve done
    This is your religion
    The apostles were eleven
    Now there’s a sod in Heaven

    This is religion
    There’s a liar on the altar
    The sermon never falter
    This is religion
    Your religion

  52. Oh, the irony! Where’s Moses to grind this bull into dust and make them swallow it, now?

    (There are such nice sadistic punishments in the Bible, y’know…)

  53. “What ever happened to that secular golden virtue called tolerance?”

    Ask the religious groups pouring millions of dollars towards Prop. 8.

    No, no, Mark, you’ve got it all wrong. Only secular people have to be tolerant. Christians can hate whomever they want.

    In actuality, though, they’re not directly worshiping the bull, and that makes it better and all, but come ON. A golden calf is the classic, archetypical symbol of idolatry. It’s not that they’re hypocritical so much as that they’re hilariously ignorant. Back when I was a Christian, there is no way I would have felt comfortable using that statue in any function in any prayer ceremony.

    I mean, really. You can pray anywhere you want; God can purportedly still hear you. And you choose the one place with a stereotypical idol-looking statue? No, that’s cool, man, that’s cool. You just keep doing what you’re doing.

  54. Oh, for goodness sake, they’re not praying to it. They’re just praying that God would help stop the economy’s downward spiral. Laying hands on the bull is only a symbolic gesture. There is no worship of the bull involved.

    It just feels like this post, and a lot of the comments, are being unnecessarily immature about it. This falls under freedom of religion.

  55. This is a symbolic act of “spiritual warfare”, of the sort popular in “Third Wave” charismatic churches – for instance, in 1997 a group climbed Mout Everest to battle “The Queen of Heaven”. Incidentally, Sarah Palin’s churches have links to this kind of thing – see article here.

  56. could it not be argued that a public display of religion such as this “praying in the marketplace” is calculated to intimidate those not of this sect and therefore constitute a form of hate speech thereby trespassing on the right of Freedom From Religion of others?

  57. If we’re tossing about Biblical references Matthew Ch. 6 would seem more appropriate:

    ” 5″And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

  58. further, if a parade of all religious practitioners were to make various ceremonies and blood sacrifices a daily event at this bull (I am sure 365 different ones could be found), would it not create a nuisance? If one is permitted than all must be. The only functional and fair way is none.

  59. Quite ironic. In the end, Bin Laden wanted to see the US economy and our lifestyle crumble. You rarely hear of him now, except when it served W’s or GOP’s call for more money for the war, then the terrorist card is pulled. But back to wanting US economy/lifestyle destroyed. Well it has for the most part happened, because W marched with glee into the trap. Even now, Iraq has told us to get out- by 2011, Well, we need to go now, then we will have some money for this country. If those people want to pray, they can- but not all countries want the same thing for global economy. If they get what many other countries would wish, they will indeed be surprised! Not at all what they think they are praying to occur.

  60. This is genuinely marvellous.

    People who espouse the Abrahamic desert death cults but don’t take the time to read or understand a single word of their own spooky books.

    Depending on which flavour of cray you adhere to this is Commandment 1 or 2.

    I looked it up to get the commandment number right and found that even when the word of god comes to people literally hot off the presses they can’t agree on what it says.

    Wiki the 10 commandemts, it’s pretty funny that it needs an explanatory chart.

    Anyhow, these financial knuckle heads seem to be doomed to 40 years in the desert, they will be hoping for Vegas while I will be rooting for the Sahara.

  61. @94:

    It’s not that they’re praying *to* the bull. That they’re somehow identified as a Christian group strongly suggests that they’re most likely praying to God using Jesus as an intermediary, like they usually do.

    It’s the fact that they’re doing so while gathered around and touching a giant gold bull statue that makes me wonder if anyone in the group had any sense of irony.

    -the guy who feels like the token Orthodox Jew here…

  62. I personally enjoy all the comments from people who look up a Bible verse or the Ten Commandments on Wikipedia and think they are experts on the subject. Maybe when people stop assuming they know everything (what the Bible’s all about, what these people’s thoughts and motives are, what God’s reaction to their actions are, etc.) they’ll learn something useful. Doesn’t take divine revelation to figure that one out.

    How about this one…
    1 Cor. 2:14… “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

  63. I don’t necessarily think that people who pray for the economy to get better, are dingbats….

    But the image is quite disturbing!

    NJT

  64. Awesome!

    Of course, they’ve been idol-worshiping the American Flag for generations now, but this is much more deliciously blatant.

  65. Thou shalt not worship false idols…? They’re praying for divine intervention in the economy to a “all-powerful” god who still needs you to donate a portion of your income to a religious institution in his name. LULZ!

  66. Agreed. As a Christian myself I’m always upset when people of my own faith speak out against “liberal” or “worldly” things that they’re clearly uneducated about. Here we see the exact opposite. People who have no or little knowledge of the Christian faith trying to belittle people who are doing what they think is best to bring change to our world.

    The laying on of hands (even on a symbol) is a major part of Christian belief. They are not worshiping the Bull they are praying over our economy using the bull as a symbol of something that cannot be literally touched. Jesus often touched those he healed.

    If these people were any other religion other than Christian would you be treating them like this?

  67. @107-

    Now I get it. We heathens can’t criticize what’s in your book, because it’s written in a secret code that only people who have the special secret ghost in their head can read.

  68. @111 mraf

    The whole idea of praying to fix the economy is ridiculous. Of course they don’t think they’re praying to the bull, it just really looks bad in a humorous way.

    Protestants have been saying that Catholics are idol worshipers for centuries for doing the same thing, though.

    “If these people were any other religion other than Christian would you be treating them like this?”

    Oh poor largest religion in the U.S.! Christians are /so/ oppressed! All they* want to so is freely practice their religion by imposing it on the rest of us! It’s not fair! It’s discrimination!

    *(ok, I’m talking about 700 club-style Christians here, I understand you’re not all like that)

  69. Ok, this definitely made me giggle. The picture should have just been posted without the added quotations though, because they clearly describe that the people are worshiping their “god,” not the bull. If you’re gonna take something out of context it’s best to do it in such a way that the lost context isn’t readily available.

  70. @111:
    People who have no or little knowledge of the Christian faith
    Good debate skills, instead of countering your opponent’s points, you just attack their knowledge of the subject. Did you learn that from McCain?

    …doing what they think is best to bring change to our world.
    Great. Fantastic. Let me know how it works out. I’d rather have a person in charge of my finance than a fly pillar of smoke and flame who turns people into salt, and hasn’t been seen in 2000+ years, but that’s just me.

    …a symbol of something that cannot be literally touched.
    From Merriam-Webster:
    “Idol: 1: a representation or symbol of an object of worship ; broadly : a false god” Emphasis mine.

    The laying on of hands (even on a symbol) is a major part of Christian belief.
    My mistake. I thought the major parts of Christian belief were things like humility, piety, the Golden Rule, charity, and forgiveness.

    If these people were any other religion other than Christian would you be treating them like this?
    Yes. The hypocritical and superstitious are worthy of criticism, regardless of what ancient cult their parents adhered to.

  71. Ironically enough, the bull is a red herring here. Screaming hypocrisy at the top of its voice is the fact that there is no way that it is possible to reconcile the fundamental operating procedures of this religion with the machinations of global capitalism (as identified by Wall Street). Praying for the success of the banks is like fcking for chastity. Thems funny people.

    And…

    “People who espouse the Abrahamic desert death cults but don’t take the time to read or understand a single word of their own spooky books”

    Is as fine a piece of prose as as I’ve read for some time – and a succint summary of the situation. Props to you Error404.

  72. @ #107 POSTED BY GRUPPLER:

    Yes, but I like this verse better…

    1 Cor. 6:66… “The man without critical thinking skills accepts the things that come from the depths of bullshit, for they are not foolish to him, and he cannot intelligently dissect them, because he is overwhelmed with dogma.”

  73. This is not at all like worshiping the golden calf. Its more like 1 Kings 22:11, And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.'”

  74. The evangelical right has not taken over politics. Corrupt politicians have taken over the evangelical right. And yes, they are a stiff-necked people and were all too easily swayed.

    This economy at least seems to have reached the full measure of its corruption. And the extremes the rich will go to, to preserve their wealth, seems to have hit a high point as well.

    Now if the collapse would continue and kill more of the badness, we might get somewhere. As has been suggested right here, more local trade, less transportation of most types of goods (using less oil in the process), local currencies… And if the FCC will let there be more unlicensed spectrum, we could set up a more locally controlled and hopefully more robust alternative to this series of tubes. There will be a time of renewal.

  75. I’m a Christian.

    Praying for money (ie the economy) proves these people are hypocrites. Praying for guidance in tough times and helping those who need it is what these nitwits need to be doing.

  76. Do not be foolish, for you will be laughed at from the farthest reaches of the Internet.

    I can imagine some set of burners pulling a stunt like this to call attention to the situation. The amusement factor gets raised a certain value when people do something like this in all seriousness. People would really try to kill me if I attempted to do the same thing, even if I tried to be serious, and I am a registered ULC reverend minister.

    Also, isn’t praying to a god for money supposed to be a bad thing?

    Happy Halloween everyone!

  77. A public display of religion, bowing on a prayer rug or saying a blessing before a Grand Slam at Denny’s, should neither intimidate non-believers nor be considered a form of hate speech. In fact, were such events like this gathering on Wall Street not photographed and sent around the web, it would constitute nothing more than people minding their own weird business, neh? It’s NY; it’s street theatre.

  78. The appearance of impropriety and hypocrisy is brushed aside without any hint reflection by the righteous, again, with a wave of a hand and an accusation of intolerance toward those who would DARE point out where their very own rules don’t even apply to the righteous.

    Christians – are specifiacally not supposed to worship golden calves – or engage in usury.

    And here is a group of Christians who make their money in usury, congregating around a bronze cow.

    Do righteous people ever catch on that they’ve only convinced themselves? That we can see through their bullshit – and that all we want is for the righteous to ponder the terrible power of their own cognitive dissonance.

  79. The laying on of hands (even on a symbol) is a major part of Christian belief. They are not worshiping the Bull they are praying over our economy using the bull as a symbol of something that cannot be literally touched. Jesus often touched those he healed.

    In a tasteful way, they need to touch themselves – not an idol that symbolizes their movement.

    If these people were any other religion other than Christian would you be treating them like this?

    Yes. This is also why we pick on Muslim suicide bombers, Jews who want Palestine to be eliminated, Unitarians who don’t drink coffee, and Jains with flyswatters.

  80. D rghts ppl vr ctch n tht thy’v nly cnvncd thmslvs? Tht w cn s thrgh thr bllsht – nd tht ll w wnt s fr th rghts t pndr th trrbl pwr f thr wn cgntv dssnnc.

    Myb thy’r nt tryng t cnvnc nyn f nythng. Myb t’s nt ll jst fr shw. Myb ll thy wnt s fr y t pn yr mnd nd cnsdr th pssbl xstnc f smthng tsd r fv snss nd lmtd ndrstndng.

    Cllng thm “th rghts” ds nt mk thm slf-prclmd rghts. Y’r cllng thm tht. D y hnstly thnk ths ppl wr thr bcs thy wntd t shw th wrld hw rghts thy r?

    f y’r frd f th pwr f cgntv dssnnc, r-xmn yr wn hrmns cgntn. t lst Chrstns shr fw blfs (Jss s th sn f Gd nd pd th prc fr ppl’s sns, nd thrgh hm w cn tlk t Gd wh lvs ll mn qlly, t stt fw f th mst fndmntl). Yh, Chrstns, lk nyn ls, hv thr dsgrmnts n blfs. Dsn’t tht hnt tht ths blfs r nt bsd n dgm bt rthr crtcl thnkng?

    Y tlk bt hw qck “th rghts” r t wv sd th ccstns f hypcrsy wtht hnt f rflctn. r y nt jst s glty by clmng t knw fr wht nd t whm ths ppl r pryng, nd thn rdclng thm bsd n ths ndctd ssmptns?

  81. You Merkins are a strange bunch – praying around a statue that was put up illegally and only retained because it was sponsored by a powerful financial organisation and hoping for a future that will not include the unwelcome results of insufficiently regulated greed.

    Praying for a little moral discipline would be more useful.

  82. Weird, I didn’t think there were that many Christians in NYC. And correct me if I’m wrong, it wasn’t Jesus’s followers who built and worshiped ol’ bessie.

  83. We could argue over whether or not they are literally “worshipping a golden calf”, but if they are praying to Yahweh/G_d/Jehovah, then they don’t really need to be in front of a statue of a cow, do they? They could just as easily be AT HOME praying for the economy, as their one true god is everywhere-and-in-all-things.

    The other problem is that they are essentially praying for material wealth. You can dissect it and spin it in a lot of ways, but the bottom line is they aren’t praying for happiness or wisdom, they are praying for money (albeit in a very removed fashion– “praying for the market”).

    It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:24)

  84. Das Gruppler
    Christians, like anyone else, have their disagreements in beliefs. Doesn’t that hint that these beliefs are not based on dogma but rather critical thinking?

    No it doesn’t. Critical thinking requires more than that. Dogma: “A religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof.” Internecine disputes over dogma is not critical thinking, it’s hermeneutics.

    BTW Das Gruppler – to see the video click on the link, that bit of text with the blue underline, that will take you to Wonkette. Scroll down to find the link to a follow up article. You know, the part that says: “We have more terrifying photos of this idolatry, plus frightening video!” The video clearly shows some of these worshipers parading around the bull.

  85. And don’t forget that they did this to the tune of “Gawd Bless America”, IMO possibly the worst song ever written.

  86. A word for those here who think of themselves as Christians: think twice before you speak in defence of these people. If you feel strongly about your values and beliefs, you should be infuriated by them and their betrayal of all things Christian, not us here poking a little fun at them.

  87. Jesus was nice.

    He asked people to love each other.

    Most people can’t stick to simple ideas like that, no matter who comes up with them.

    The ideas are still good.

    It’s okay to believe in God, or not.

  88. Ill Lich:

    …but if they are praying to Yahweh/G_d/Jehovah, then they don’t really need to be in front of a statue of a cow, do they?

    Exactly. They don’t need to be in front of the statue of a cow because they’re not worshipping it. It’s simply a place that’s probably well-known and close to people’s offices, therefore an ideal meeting place. It’s like that “See You At the Pole” event, where people meet at the flag pole not to worship the American flag or what it represents, but to pray for their friends and fellow students because it’s easy to find, and because praying in school is apparently wrong. Why do they have to meet? They don’t have to, but fellowship is a big part of Christianity.

    The other problem is that they are essentially praying for material wealth…

    First, how do you know what they’re praying for? There probably are some confused people praying for material wealth, and there are probably people who are praying for the economy for selfish reasons. But i’d be willing to bet most of them are praying for something that is neither selfish nor materialistic. Of course, we can never settle this bet because we can never know all their prayers nor intentions.

    Neon:
    First, i’m not German. Second, we could argue all day on what critical thinking “requires” and which definition of dogma is the most accurate. According to your definition, your actions are also dogmatic. You can’t prove something beyond our senses does not exist any more than you can prove that it does. By definition, science has nothing to say about things we can’t study with our senses, so scientific proof one way or another does not exist.

    BTW Das Gruppler – to see the video click on the link, that bit of text with the blue underline, that will take you to Wonkette.

    I appreciate the time you took to teach me how smart people use the Web. I watched that video before and didn’t see the chanting and dancing some people mentioned. Maybe i should watch it again. However, whether they are or are not parading around the statue does not affect anything i’ve said so far; we don’t know their thoughts, prayers, or intentions, and even if some of them are mislead, so what? I’m sorry you’re so offended by all this and feel that it’s your job to make sure Christians worship properly.

    Foetusnail:
    Why what?

    Frank W:

    If you feel strongly about your values and beliefs, you should be infuriated by them and their betrayal of all things Christian…

    Again, you’re claiming to know both what exactly they’re doing and why they’re doing it, and what “all things Christian” are. Praying for the economy is not against Christian beliefs. Praying for selfish gain is. But praying for the general welfare of a nation or whatever is not necessarily selfish. Like Ill Lich said, you can spin it any way you want, and we’ll never know who’s more accurate, so it really is useless to point fingers and say, “you’re doing it wrong” especially if you have no interest in what it is they’re doing.

    My posts are getting absurdly long and i’ve already posted way too much on this article, so i’m going to try to wean myself from this potentially endless debate. If you want to keep talking, you know how to find me. Or at least how to find out how to find me. If not, ask Neon; i reckon he’s purty experienced with the Interwebs.

  89. #128:

    For the same reason, I suspect, that it doesn’t mention Bob Geldof saying surprisingly nice things about the Bush administration’s African aid policies: it doesn’t fit in with the narrative.

    Which is fine, really. Who actually comes here seeking the mythical unicorn that is “objective” reporting? I certainly don’t. This is a community, and it is demonstrably engaged in creating a comfort zone for the like-minded folks who tend to gather here. There will be the token disemvowelling of the occasional hater who’s too overzealous with the party line, but if you’re somewhat coherent in your tng of it you’ll be fine. E.g., it’s not cool to call Christians “fucking stupid” (#58) but it’s fine to call them “mentally ill.” (#59.)

    There’s not much point in arguing about it or trying to change it…It’s simply what happens when people decide that what they believe is common sense. Sort of like attempting a logical proof of God’s existence by positing a quality that he possesses in your first premise: arguing about the conclusion accomplishes nothing if you’re not going to discuss your first principles.

  90. Gruppler, Re: “Righteous People”

    Maybe they’re not trying to convince anyone of anything. Maybe it’s not all just for show. Maybe all they want is for you to open your mind and consider the possible existence of something outside our five senses and limited understanding.

    No. When a group (or many different groups, under the umbrella of Christianity) tell us how to live our lives by pushing for legislation to restrict our personal and civil rights, they are making it very clear that they are ‘the righteous’ and ‘we’ are not.

    When those same groups preach the hatred we have seen countless times against Muslims and homosexuals (amongst others) they are clearly saying “we are the righteous”.

    When they bandy about words like ‘tolerance’ instead of ‘acceptance’, when they vote for a candidate on religious grounds instead of job-worthiness, they are saying “we are the rightous”.

    Yes, there are everyday Christians who don’t espouse these extreme views, but it is their responsibility to distance Christianity from extremism, just like Muslim councils in Britain and America have been quick to distance themselves from the people blowing shit up.

    If you don’t like the way Christians are represented, make a stand against the people sullying Christianity’s name.

  91. The laying on of hands (even on a symbol) is a major part of Christian belief.

    I was a Christian for 18 years. I went to church twice a week, I sang in the choir, I taught Sunday School for four years. I never saw anyone lay hands on anything that was not a human being. I’m definitely willing to accept that there are Christians out there who do lay hands on objects to pray, but it is not “a major part of Christian belief.”

  92. Arkizzle,
    There are churches seeking that distance, but I’m not very informed about them. My wife is a good, liberal, intelligent person who goes to a church that accepts gay members and female leadership. It took her a long time to find a church she could get behind.
    Perhaps the church is about to fade away, or perhaps it will realize how it must change in order to avoid death.

  93. Anthony, I think that speaks far more highly of your wife’s strength of character than that branch of Christianity’s pursuit of higher ideals.
    I don’t think the chuch will fade away, either way. The options, in my opinion, are split between: the church getting more liberal and having a major split-and-disowning from the more extreme wings, or: the church getting progressively more extreme, creating a bigger rift between the christians and the secular.

  94. To clarify, “The Jesus People” is a name in use by a radical Christian commune located in Chicago-probably not associated with these wall street types.

  95. Gruppler,

    The meeting was organized by Ron Parsley who is an extremely (and imho – offensively) righteous Christian. He’s also “McCain’s Pastor”. That “McCain’s Pastor” would promote an end-times scene by gathering people together who are desperate for hope is dirty pool.

    Let me put it another way. God said no golden calves, but there they are, appearing to worship for it. If these people can’t manage to follow their God’s spiritual rule about golden calves for themselves, how am I supposed to believe Bernanke’s new commandments are going to be honored by this lot?

  96. Maybe all they want is for you to open your mind and consider the possible existence of something outside our five senses and limited understanding.

    Maybe all I want is for them to take a good long look at themselves, and consider the possible existance of the fallibility and limited understanding and actual motivations of their leaders who claim to know God’s will and whom they follow righteously.

    I’m not worried about the protestants so much, nor the catholics (Bill Donahue aside)… it’s the Focus on the Family branch that is corrosive to our discourse.

  97. a useful article about Ron Parsley

    I’m all about freedom of religion, but i’m also all about calling out those who abuse it.

    Every freedom comes with a responsibility.

  98. Jesus! You just missed ’em. The Apocalypse Bitches opened for the Jesus People last Saturday night here in Austin. They said you were there in spirit. Now I understand you just left Chicago, headed down to New Orleans. Good. They could use you down there, though you’re a little late for that walking on water trick to have come in handy.

  99. Teresa @ #148:

    I’m actually a bit stunned, particularly because I’ve defended BB’s sociopolitical leanings and whatever moderation policies are derived from them. I don’t necessarily agree with some of it, but neither am I incensed by any of it.

    Communities have overarching standards. That’s a huge part of what makes them communities. More often than not those standards become conventional wisdom, at which point challenging them becomes difficult and subject to censure (which is not censorship). Online, that can be as explicit as post deletion or disemvowelling, or something more subtle but no less effective, such as a pile-on of mockery.

    That’s all I was pointing out, and when I wrote “Which is fine, really,” I wasn’t being sarcastic in the slightest. I meant it.

    However…if it is “condescending” to point out that part of those overarching standards consists of a generally negative slant towards a a somewhat poorly-defined group, and is thus apparently worthy of censure, then…I honestly don’t know what else to think other than “I’m right.”

    And, “I’m disappointed.”

  100. They’re just as dumb as the other religions and atheists that didn’t see this crash coming 5 years ago.

    I haven’t read any major financial advice or common sense coming from PZ Meyers so what makes him somehow smarter than these numbnuts who are parying over a golden bull?

    It’s pretty stupid. God didn’t bless us with the boom and he’s had nothing to do with the bust. If Christians had really been listening to God they’d have been decrying greed, the prosperity gospel and property speculation years ago.. instead they listened to Mammon and deserve every loss they make – just like everyone else who worshipped Mammon.

    Of course, God could bail out individuals, but on a case by case basis, and it requires self-analysis and self-realisation – sadly those laying hands on the golden bull lack this.

  101. I pray for patience, which may be a good argument against the efficacy of prayer. But I’ll keep doing it anyway.

  102. @157
    I am disappointed with the level of christian argument presented here. Is there not one champion, even a jesuit, that would honour us with worthy and redoubtable debate? It shows disrespect.

  103. I mean that by the way. Even I could put on a christian hat and do a better job of it than what I see here. The gauntlet is down, send out your knight!

  104. Should you not rather be pleased with the lack of Christian argument in this thread? Unless you are looking for someone to defend Christianity in general, and not these folks praying for power here, it’s a good thing that few are weighing in.

  105. Some things in life are bad,
    They can really make you mad,
    Other things just make you swear and curse,
    When you’re chewing life’s gristle,
    Don’t grumble,
    Give a whistle
    And this’ll help things turn out for the best.
    And…

    Always look on the bright side of life.
    [whistle]
    Always look on the light side of life.
    [whistle]

    If life seems jolly rotten,
    There’s something you’ve forgotten,
    And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
    When you’re feeling in the dumps,
    Don’t be silly chumps.
    Just purse your lips and whistle.
    That’s the thing.
    And…

    Always look on the bright side of life.
    [whistle]
    Always look on the right side of life,
    [whistle]

    For life is quite absurd
    And death’s the final word.
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.
    Forget about your sin.
    Give the audience a grin.
    Enjoy it. It’s your last chance, anyhow.
    So,…

    Always look on the bright side of death,
    [whistle]
    Just before you draw your terminal breath.
    [whistle]

    Life’s a piece of shit,
    When you look at it.
    Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke it’s true.
    You’ll see it’s all a show.
    Keep ’em laughing as you go.
    Just remember that the last laugh is on you.
    And…

    Always look on the bright side of life.
    Always look on the right side of life.
    [whistle]

  106. Well here’s a notion, a single idea
    Swing by the ocean, because
    I can’t swim, I can swim, I can’t swim, I can swim
    I can’t swim, I can swim, I can swim, I can swim
    Hang by a maritime, marine at nighttime, waiting waterlogged down by the high sea
    Waiting (wading) waterlogged, for that guy to arrive
    Oh he don’t know that
    I can swim, I can’t swim, I can’t swim, I can swim
    If there was even one chance, that he would come along
    If there was even one chance, that he would come alone
    If there was even one chance, that he would come along
    If there was even one chance, and take a drink by the drink
    Fucked up in the flood, stoned
    And get soused by the sea
    And take a dip, in the briny deep
    Hang by the maritime, marine at nighttime
    Waiting waterlogged, down by the high sea
    Wading waterlogged, for that guy to arrive
    Well he don’t know that
    I can swim, I can’t swim, I can’t swim, I can swim
    I can’t swim, I can swim, I can’t swim, I can swim

  107. BRIAN: Are you the Judean People’s Front?
    REG: Fuck off!
    BRIAN: What?
    REG: Judean People’s Front? We’re the People’s
    Front of Judea! Judean People’s Front. Kaww!
    FRANCIS: Wankers.
    BRIAN: Can I…join your group?
    REG: No. Piss off.

  108. This isn’t worshipping the statue, and thus does not equate in any way with idol worship. The caption states quite clearly that the tools have congregated at the site of the statue to ask for intercession from their god, assumedly the old god of the Jews.

    You guys seem to miss the mark on most religious posts, which I find delicious as I watch the Christians slowly forget the supposed strength of their god.

    You’ve reduced your worldview so far that you can’t critically analyze a situation that even smells of religion, and they’re reduced to begging for money.

  109. Iwood @161, I was surprised too, because you’re usually a good commenter. Did I completely misread your tone? Let’s discuss this.

  110. Teresa @180, it is entirely possible that you may have misread. I welcome discussion, and at the same time I don’t want to derail this particular public thread. If you follow my profile, you will find means to continue discussion “offline,” i.e. in a more private space, which I will keep private. This is not to say that I shy away from public discussion…just that this particular exchange may benefit from a more sheltered venue.

  111. hey don’t mind me, I’m just a fly on the wall. Any discussion you have would be more interesting than teasing a bunch of misled people over hanging around a cow statue.

  112. You’ve reduced your worldview so far that you can’t critically analyze a situation that even smells of religion

    Quite a sweeping statement to make about people who don’t even pretend to critically analyze religion.

  113. MDH @ #183> No real need to be private, is there? Let everyone learn both sides.

    Yeah, there is. Haven’t you ever been at a gathering and said to someone, “Hey, can I talk with you a minute?”

    Same thing. I’d suggest that you may be assuming an adversarial relationship where there isn’t one.

  114. I’d suggest that you may be assuming an adversarial relationship where there isn’t one.

    please take your own advice, and apply it to what I said to you, and you to me.

    Then read my comment to you again, calmly this time – without the indignation in your voice – and see if JUST MAYBE I am curious rather than berating you.

    It’s an honest suggestion about the mod thread. It’s a good place to hash stuff out when you need a time out. And I think perhaps, Iwood, that you do need just that.

  115. I went to a Jesuit university, so I can try to give the Ignatius Loyola pov. It’s simple.

    You see, the path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish, that’s the Bull, and also by the tyranny of evil men, the Bears. But blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will – the Fed – shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children, the Investors. Now above all this is the Lion, who will strike down upon the Bulls and the Bears with great vengeance and furious anger if they attempt to poison and destroy our brothers, the Stockholders. And, of course, you will know the Lion’s name is the Lord when he lays his vengeance upon thee, that’s You.

    Hope that helps.

  116. MDH @ #184 Not talking about analyzing religion. Talking about understanding situations that have religious context of any kind. Talking about people trying too hard to make religious nutters look silly. They tend to look bad enough without being blasted by Ration- and Materi-alist nutters. Just pointing out that the whole thing, from the headline down, is false, wrong, untrue, a bunch of bull penis.

    Takuan @ #179 YES I DO!

  117. Why this?

    Have you so little faith as to spend your time defending that which needs no defense…

    Is your insecurity so great or faith so thin, that the actions of those who would prostitute their religion in the street, leaving themselves open to ridicule, or the actions of those who rightly see irony in their behavior and find this behavior amusing, can offend you?

    Is your hubris so great as to believe you know that which offends your god?

    Then after reading the words of those who know as much or more about faith and spirituality as you, you dismiss them, calling them ignorant. Your words belie a weakness of faith.

    All those who would come here, to a discussion board, to defend that which should need no defense, without offering any thoughtful debate, but instead resort to simplistic and erroneous statements that those that do not have your understanding of faith cannot know faith are sadly clinging to their last thread.

    I question your faith.

    Unable to jump into mist
    Not believing in the abyss
    He looks down a rope
    From which hangs a dope
    Who’ll learn to fly at the end

    Be fearless.
    Let go!
    Let go.
    Be free!

    This is my faith.

    Pass through your fear, matrix of beliefs.
    Within my hand, feel your life;
    find in it yourself as you have always been.
    Our journey will reveal me to be,
    that part of you denied, no longer recognized,
    mystery given form, sanctuary for your hopes and dreams,
    figurehead for your love, depository for your pain.
    When I cease to exist, you will be born again whole, as you always were.
    Until then you are my child, my love,
    and I your god.

  118. Very poetic. I’m moved by your superior faith and righteousness, not to mention your flowery eloquence. You say we offer no thoughtful debate. That’s a thoughtless dismissal of my perfectly valid arguments, which, by the way, were neither thoughtless nor erroneous. The simplistic and erroneous statement(s) you mention came straight from the Bible, and unlike most other verses pasted in this forum, it’s not out of context. If that’s not where your faith is, your words are not for me.

    The ignorance you mention should be quite obvious to everyone here; the contradiction between the accusations and the captions suggest that the confusion between the subject of their worship and the object of their prayers is intentional. I won’t pretend there is no juxtaposition of symbols, but it’s such a stretch and so weak a joke that the flood of mindless asserting comments by those who call themselves free thinkers is more than irritating. They point fingers at people who believe in something and call them hypocrites, believing that they themselves are immune to the term because they are not religious.

    I’m not trying to defend these people, nor am i trying to defend God. I’m just saying what i feel needs to be said because i’m weak and can’t resist the temptation of attempting to shake the faith of the ‘faithless.’

  119. Oh man, I love this story. Trust the people who’ve never been able to distinguish between worship and veneration to get it really, really wrong.

    They’re praying before Wall Street’s very own version of the Golden Calf. They’re waving explicitly secular banners, and singing a vainglorious Tin Pan Alley song. They’re doing the laying-on of hands on an inanimate brazen idol. They’ve made a point of praying before this specific image. It sure looks like idolatry to me.

    And that business about praying to God Almighty in front of the bull? Doesn’t wash. Consider the episode where Aaron makes the golden calf, Exodus 32:4-7:

    And he … fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

    And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.

    Notice who they’re going to be praying to in front of their idol? Let’s see how far that gets them:

    And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

    And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.

    Bad times are about to follow. God and Moses are mightily ticked-off at the Israelites. This won’t be settled until thousands of them are dead, and the idol has been reduced to a powder which the surviving Israelites are forced to mix with their water and drink. And that’s what it says, right there in the Bible, about what you get for praying to God Almighty in front of an idol.

    And then there’s Matthew 6:5, 19-21:

    And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. …

    Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

    But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

    For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

    I’m just sayin’.

    PSpinrad @19, is that Jack Chick dialogue?

    Gruppler @21: Why are you guys always so sure that no one here knows anything about Christianity, or religion in general?

    This is so typical of the media (particularly Boing Boing as of late) to see an opportunity to ridicule people who think differently than they do based on ignorant assumptions.

    No. We’re ridiculing people for doing something ridiculous. What was that again about ignorant assumptions?

    Who says they’re worshipping the bull?

    Anybody who looks at the picture. The people doing the praying failed to consider how it was going to look. That’s funny, and deserves a laugh.

    Also, I’m not sure the person who looked at the picture and concluded that they were worshipping the bull would be wrong.

    They’re praying to Jesus and they chose the bull as a meeting place.

    No. They were at some pains to come to that spot because the bull is there. They’re crowding in round the bull, laying their hands on it. If physical proximity to an inanimate object matters, it’s technically idolatry.

    They’re praying for the economy, and the bull represents the economy. So if they were worshipping the bull, they’d have to be praying *to* the economy, not for it.

    I refer you to that passage from Exodus.

    What ever happened to that secular golden virtue called tolerance?

    What — you mean that virtue you only value insofar as we can be persuaded to give you the benefit of it, but which you feel no obligation to cultivate in your own character?

    The answer is: we’re being tolerant. That lot that wanted to pray before the brazen bull got to do so unmolested, and could do so again if they wished. What tolerance doesn’t require us to do is keep a straight face when they do something this funny.

    TX Rook @27: I’d call that a straightforward reading of the situation.

    John in Sapporo @31: Why weren’t these guys out praying before the market crashed, when it might have done more good?

    Silverblade @40:

    Isn’t the image of a bull, a symbol of Satan?

    Kinda yes, kinda no. In the Old Testament, the bull is associated with Ba’al (so is the ram), and all the Canaanite pantheon got recycled into devils and major demons, so that’s the bull’s most likely path into being associated with Satan. That was the “yes” part of the answer. The bull is also one of the four faces — man, lion, ox, and bull — of the four creatures that appear in Ezekiel 1. These later become the emblems of the four Evangelists, when the bull becomes the emblem of Saint Luke, which is what it most likely signifies if you run into it in an ecclesiastical context. Also, Takuan @44 and Antinous @45 are both right.

    Synapse @54: It doesn’t bother us. We just think it’s funny.

    JoshuaZ @59, of all the comments posted in this thread, I like yours best.

    Falcon Seven @68, you don’t know nearly as much as you think you do about Christianity. What you’re describing there are the strange beliefs of some fairly small sects.

    Takuan @71:

    I never get enough advance notice of these things to rig a big Tesla coil….

    The trick is to get the discharge to come off the right part of the sculpture.

    Sparky005 @72: It’s been a rough week. Lots of stress. I have two baseball bats. I’ll give you first pick of them.

    Come on. You know you wanna dance.

    Junior @81: Okay, you know your stuff. I think a lot of Christians, looking at that photo, wish they would just go home.

    Gruppler @82: Sparky’s packed up and gone home — but hey!

    I never claimed to be tolerant.

    Good thing. No one would have believed it. You’ve made it clear that you believe (on very little evidence) that you’re superior to everyone in this thread. I take that to mean you’re here on an ego-trip, not to evangelize for Christianity, since nothing could more effectively alienate your audience.

    I just find it funny

    Nope. You’ve never once sounded like anything in this conversation honestly strikes you as funny.

    that the people who say tolerance is the most important virtue

    Which no one here has done. I call shenanigans. You’re repeating arguments from some earlier encounter on some other forum, and are paying so little attention to this one that you haven’t noticed that your necessary preceding events haven’t happened.

    are also often the ones to ridicule people who believe in something they do not.

    You know, guys like you are a type, and one of the things they always believe is that they’re the only theists or believers present. You are so, so wrong about that. Granted, there are a lot of atheists and agnostics here — but that’s hardly an accurate description of our overall population.

    Christians are human. They know better than many people that they’re not perfect,

    Not that anyone could infer that from your behavior here. I’ll tell you a secret: that holier-than-thou routine is the single most alienating thing self-described Christians do to the general population. Many of the people here don’t reject Christianity because they think they know everything, as you’ve accused them of doing. They reject it because so many of the self-proclaimed Christians they run into are jerks.

    and they don’t claim to be.

    No, no. They just expect to be awarded that title by spontaneous acclamation.

    This article is the rough equivalent of a vegetarian caught red-handed eating a veggie burger that looks a little bit like a hamburger.

    It’s a lot funnier than that. You’re defending it because you think Christians (by which you mean “you”) should automatically rate more respect than this. Unfortunately for you and your expectations, Christianity doesn’t promise its followers that they’ll never look ludicrous.

    I also find it funny (in a sad way)

    You sound neither amused nor sad. You sound irritated.

    that so many people who treasure their superior intellect have to point and laugh as hard as they possibly can in order to reassure themselves that they’re right and there is nothing out there that science can’t explain.

    You old fraud. That set of issues has never come up in this discussion. You’re doing cut-and-paste from old conversations again.

    Sorry if i’m ruining some people’s jolly laughs.

    No need to apologize. You haven’t.

    You’re right; talking about how bad things are is much better and will probably yield much better results than believing that things will improve.

    Are you shooting for some kind of all-time record in “responses to statements that haven’t been made in the conversation in which you are theoretically participating”?

    Takuan @86: That is both true and virtuous.

    Matt Sanderson @93:

    They’re just praying that God would help stop the economy’s downward spiral. Laying hands on the bull is only a symbolic gesture. There is no worship of the bull involved.

    My guess is that you’re not aware of the reasons why they’re unlikely to embrace that exact explanation — no reason why you should be, and there’s a lot of history there — but I’d be amused if they did.

    It just feels like this post, and a lot of the comments, are being unnecessarily immature about it.

    How old are you?

    This falls under freedom of religion.

    Yes. They’re free to practice their religion. They did so. That’s where the photos got taken. Meanwhile, we’re free to think what we will of their religion, and to discuss it.

    Anything else I can sort out for you while I’m here?

    Bartholomew @94:

    This is a symbolic act of “spiritual warfare”, of the sort popular in “Third Wave” charismatic churches – for instance, in 1997 a group climbed Mount Everest to battle “The Queen of Heaven”.

    Which is a clear evidence that they’re taking their cues from Alexander Hislop’s unscholarly and atrociously bigoted The Two Babylons, a classic of hate literature which is to modern anti-Catholicism as The Secret Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is to modern anti-semitism.

    Incidentally, Sarah Palin’s churches have links to this kind of thing – see article here.

    I’ve already read that article, and I highly recommend it. It recently got a brief discussion in my own weblog, viz.:

    “There are ‘spiritual warfare’ adherents out there who publicly take credit for the death of Mother Teresa.”

    “She was 87 when she died. Epic fail.”

    Ari @105: I’ll keep an eye out for more.

    Gruppler @106:

    I personally enjoy all the comments from people who look up a Bible verse or the Ten Commandments on Wikipedia and think they are experts on the subject. Maybe when people stop assuming they know everything (what the Bible’s all about, what these people’s thoughts and motives are, what God’s reaction to their actions are, etc.) they’ll learn something useful. Doesn’t take divine revelation to figure that one out.

    I think that one translates as, “We weren’t all that impressed by Gruppler, and the arguments didn’t go the way he expected.”

    Scarybug @108:

    Awesome!

    Of course, they’ve been idol-worshiping the American Flag for generations now, but this is much more deliciously blatant.

    True! If it were just an emblem, they wouldn’t object to someone burning an instantiation of it. When they object to one being burned, they’re saying there’s some virtue that inheres in the actual physical object –- which is idolatry. Good call!

    MRAF @110: If they were this funny? Of course we would.

    Granted, the laying on of hands is a common Christian practice. When did they add the part about laying hands on inanimate objects, and what is the mechanism whereby the bronze bull has faith?

    ScottyBoy @120: Yes. That about covers it: yes.

    Gruppler @128: I disemvowelled that comment because the whole thing reads like a cut-and-paste job from some other forum.

    freeyourcrt @131:

    Weird, I didn’t think there were that many Christians in NYC.

    I don’t have a source for all the denominations in all the boroughs, but this year there are 1,556,575 Catholics in Brooklyn alone. If you don’t know the joke about why are there so many Christians in New York City, ask Ari.

    Phikus @135: I’m holding out for “Loving You Is Easy ‘Cause You’re Beautiful.”

    Frank W. @136, this is my job.

    Ivan256 @137: That explains a lot. How did they find out?

    Takuan @164-165: There are Christians who post here who could do a fine job. I suspect the problem is that none of them are enthusiastic about doing it on behalf of those people who are praying around the brass bull.

  120. Well, that’s frustrating. I wrote a long comment last night, but our off-and-on connectivity kept it from posting. It’s now posted here, but it’s a lot staler than it should have been.

    IWood, you’ve been re-vowelled. My apologies.

  121. @93 –
    “It just feels like this post, and a lot of the comments, are being unnecessarily immature about it. This falls under freedom of religion.”

    Nobody’s saying that they can’t do it on an issue of laws – as in the police won’t come arrest them for practicing their religion.

    People *are* saying that it *shouldn’t* be done because of their religion. A belief system that holds idolatry as taboo. Especially sacrosanct is the appeasement of golden bulls/calves. And here we have… a picture of said appeasement happening.

    Immaturity abounds, but it’s not these comments that condemn the act based on religious beliefs. What’s is immature are the people dancing and praying around the golden statue. These people should have read their bibles, and been aware of idolatry, even if allegorical.

    Again, it’s ironic, and has zero to do with freedom of religion.

  122. Jesus Christ. Why in God’s name are people praying for the economy?

    Didn’t Mr. Jesus say poverty was piety? Of course if people want to pray, why not put it to good use and intone the end of the Credit Default Swap?

    I don’t think many people even know what a CDS is. Check it out:
    http://tinyurl.com/5b2l7f

  123. Thank you for finally providing some valid refutation to my arguments. Most of your responses to my comments were good, but the other ones made it clear that you’re on a much bigger ego trip than i am.

    Gruppler @128: I disemvowelled that comment because it reads like a cut-and-paste job from some other forum.

    Really? What other forum are you talking about? That was a direct response to a comment posted in this forum. Are you sure it wasn’t because you couldn’t come up with any substantial or witty argument to it? I’m sure you could have if you’d just taken the time to think rather than flex your moderator muscle. =]

    But seriously, thank you for pointing out that my comments have made me out to be a jerk. Looking back, i see how obvious that is. My knee-jerk reaction is to post some angry comment in response to the ones i see as ignorant, and that’s what i’ve been doing all along; i wasn’t defending anyone, just arguing for the sake of arguing. I kept commenting because i didn’t get the kind of responses i was looking for. I was waiting for someone to say something i couldn’t argue with or show me where the flaws in my arguments were. You’ve done that pretty thoroughly, though your angry, elitist tone leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  124. Teresa: For what it’s worth, I thought your widely encompassing comment @198 was still relevant and insightful.

  125. Teresa has an “elitist” tone? Nope, you don’t get it. She’s smart, well read and good at her job. How is that “elitist”? As for angry; don’t go there.

  126. Trying to convince me that someone has the right to have an elitist tone has no bearing on whether or not that tone is elitist. As for angry, she went there first. It’s ok.

  127. Teresa (is just the first name okay? I’d somehow feel pompous addressing you by your full name.),

    You know, I don’t always agree with your point of view, but I do really like the way you so thoroughly explain yourself and give quotations or references when necessary.

    I need to do a better job of that myself, I think.

  128. Teresa, I take exception to “granted, there are a lot of atheists and agnostics here”.

    As an antitheist, I feel under-represented :)

  129. no one can make you feel inferior but yourself.

    There is some truth in that, which is why i don’t. What’s your point?

  130. When I wish to be heard, I speak accordingly. When I wish to be understood, I speak carefully. Mostly I listen.

  131. Mintphresh, i’m sorry you think i still sound like a jerk. Maybe i should have said it more like this…

    Takuan, to a degree, you’re right; even though my feelings are a reaction to my sensory inputs, i still have the ability to control these feelings (that does not mean, though, that someone’s actions can’t cause you to feel a certain way). Because of this, i do not feel inferior. You must have gotten the idea that i feel inferior based on that last sentence, where i said her tone leaves a bad taste in my mouth. What i meant by that was not that she made me feel inferior or angry or anything like that. I think that sometimes, conveying general ideas is more accurate than trying to express things precisely using more specific language, because we all have our own meanings tied to words, and the more words we use, the less likely our exact thoughts are to be conveyed accurately through them.

  132. “we all have our own meanings tied to words,”
    precisely. But if the intent is to communicate then we must reach basic agreement on terms. Return then if you would to the original article an your first comment and kindly rephrase what exactly you meant to convey. To mean it looks as if you feel you were not understood. I am listening.

  133. When i said that “we all have our own meanings tied to words,” i was referring to when i mentioned the “bad taste in my mouth.” That’s a pretty vague phrase, but it’s easy to relate to and therefore probably more accurate than a more wordy one.

    My first comment on this article was a result of my irritation at not only this article, but the trend i’ve been noticing lately of opinionated articles on controversial topics. I guess that’s just what BoingBoing is though, right? It’s unfortunate for me that there are many articles posted on BoingBoing that i find interesting and do not find in any other news feed, since i’ve been unwilling to unsubscribe and thus avoid angering myself by reading headlines i find ignorant, misinformed, offensive, etc.

    Sounds like a trivial problem, and maybe it is. The time i’ve wasted on this article has shown me that finding the good stuff in BoingBoing is not worth subjecting myself to the opinionated articles on controversial topics that are meant to be funny for those who agree with the posters’ views and ignored without protest by those who don’t.

  134. I don’t typically read opinionated things; i read either to learn (informational/news-related content) or to enjoy (fiction). Maybe you’re right; it’s good to open oneself to conflicting ideas, but i don’t see how it’s dangerous not to.

  135. all “news” is opinionated, most “information” is`suspect. The danger in not reading things you find vile (at least sometimes)is that you have no basis of comparison to review what you believe to be true and good. This can lead to self-deception.

  136. So what i should do is read vile articles, then keep quiet when i’m outraged by the fallacies? I can review what i believe is good and true by reading the Bible. As for self-deception, i think i’d rather deal with it in other ways. I may not read articles i find ignorant and still discuss people’s views with them. I’m much less likely to lose control of my words when i’m talking to a person face-to-face. What exactly do you mean by “self-deception” anyway?

  137. I’m ok with that, in this case. I believe the Bible is all i need to base my capacity for judgement on (and i need to read much more than i do), though that doesn’t mean i limit myself to reading only that book. I’m still not sure i understand what you meant by “self-deception.”

  138. Gruppler – inspired by God or not, the bible was written by men and then other men decided which bits were ‘true’. Everything, absolutely Everything is colored by opinion. We cannot be without prejudice or without bias. We are human – but we are also god.
    Just a warning. Read everything with your own mind ready to think critically. God, if you want to call it that is you. He gave you reason – use it ;) I mean this really really really kindly.
    Enjoy the dark – without it there is no light.

  139. Teller @189, I see you’re maintaining the SJ’s traditional reputation.

    Phikus @200, I’ll grant that it’s less ubiquitous, but it’s more traumatic when you do run into it.

    gruppler @202:

    Thank you for finally providing some valid refutation to my arguments. Most of your responses to my comments were good, but the other ones made it clear that you’re on a much bigger ego trip than i am.

    Gruppler, if it makes it easier for you to imagine that I have some kind of personal ego investment in arguing with you, by all means go ahead and think so.

    Gruppler @128: I disemvowelled that comment because it reads like a cut-and-paste job from some other forum.

    Really? What other forum are you talking about?

    How should I know?

    I don’t have to know which other forums you haunt in order to know that you’ve been rehearsing your material elsewhere. Text in which the arguments, explanations, transitions, etc., are being formulated for the first time or two, sounds different from text where you’re recycling points and arguments you’ve made before. If you know to listen for that difference, and you’ve got the right kind of good ear (there’s more than one kind), it’s not that hard to spot precooked prose.

    I don’t object in principle to people making arguments they’ve made before. I do object when they lose track of this particular discussion, and rattle off responses to things that haven’t been said here.

    In the comment I disemvowelled, you were responding to a set of issues that aren’t easily compressed. I would have to have missed substantial blocks of text in order to have failed to notice discussions of those issues going on in this thread.

    That was a direct response to a comment posted in this forum.

    You didn’t identify the comment you were responding to.

    You still haven’t identified it.

    Are you sure it wasn’t because you couldn’t come up with any substantial or witty argument to it?

    Yes. I’m quite sure.

    I’m sure you could have if you’d just taken the time to think rather than flex your moderator muscle. =]

    Putting a smiley at the end of your statement doesn’t disguise its intentional rudeness. I see you’re still pretending to find things funny when the truth is that you’re angry.

    Is it possible that you think I haven’t seen those arguments before? They’re not unusual. I don’t have to think up responses to them because I already know five or six whole different approaches to them. I didn’t respond because they were irrelevant to the conversation that’s actually going on here, and I didn’t want to be accessory to a threadjacking.

    You’re not big enough for me to have an all-out fight with you, and the good of the thread doesn’t require that I have a lesser one. What we’re doing here is just scuffling. If you’ll stop imputing motives to people for holding opinions different from yours, and limit your responses to commenters and comments that are actually present in this conversation, we won’t have to clash even that much. Wouldn’t that be better?

    But seriously, thank you for pointing out that my comments have made me out to be a jerk.

    You’re welcome.

    I’m a complete sucker for repentance.

    Looking back, i see how obvious that is. My knee-jerk reaction is to post some angry comment in response to the ones i see as ignorant,

    It’s an easy habit to fall into. Someone’s always being wrong on the internet.

    and that’s what i’ve been doing all along; i wasn’t defending anyone, just arguing for the sake of arguing. I kept commenting because i didn’t get the kind of responses i was looking for.

    I could tell. You kept expecting people to get into arguments with you about the basic grounds of knowledge and belief. People here who are interested in the subject tend to take those as read, and figure the real conversation starts further on down the road.

    I was waiting for someone to say something i couldn’t argue with or show me where the flaws in my arguments were.

    Here’s a useful trick to know: the real reason you shouldn’t impute motives to the people you’re arguing with is that it guarantees their attention won’t be on the points you’re trying to make. Instead, they’ll be paying attention to the personal imputations, because it’s about them. People always pay attention to stuff that’s about them.

    You’ve done that pretty thoroughly, though your angry, elitist tone leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    I’m neither angry at you, nor a member of an elite. My best guess is that you figure I’ve won the argument, and you’re sore about it. But honestly? If winning an argument were a thing you could separate from the content of the argument, I’d cut that one loose and give it to you, because I truly don’t care about winning for its own sake. When I look back on the best arguments I’ve ever had, the majority of them were ones I lost. An argument you win hands-down on all points is one you come out of not knowing anything you didn’t know going in, but a really good loss can be amazing.

  140. a minor problem MintPhresh, a few minor procedures and we could have a zygote budding along in your abdominal cavity in no time. The necessity of using a bit of my DNA will regrettably result in some discomfort from talon rending, but it’s worth it!

  141. let me think about that ,tak. discomfort?!? the birthing of your spawn sounds about as mind-numbingly painful as i can imagine pain to be ( and its minTphresh BTW;)). maybe with the right anesthetic and a c-section….perhaps it could be done. and for the rest of u out there, try shaking that mental image for awhile!

  142. oh my. now see that’s why the ‘breeder’ thing always makes me laugh – ya just need some creativity is all.
    I’m now imagining the spawn of teresa/mintfresh/takuan. Wow. I think it would be some sort of fire breathing (minty smelling) dragonlike animal, that would fly alongside Cory with his red cape and googles.

  143. There’s a God, or there isn’t. No one can say which it is with certainty. It’s distressing when people passionately and recklessly argue their positions on issues like this. There will be no end soon, no truth revealed. Can we live with that? There need be no winner, no “correct” view.

    We are free to believe what we believe, and I think we all deserve a respectful conversation when those beliefs are open for discussion. Let’s be decent to each other, or else the whole thing turns into a train wreck of hard feelings.

    (clap. clap. clap.)

  144. I can happily accept that I have no pressing personal need to prove or disprove theism to the world at large.

  145. i thought something stung

    Hmm.. are you sure that isn’t the early stages of Takuan trying to impregnate you?

  146. Teresa@226: Upon further reflection, you are absolutely right. It is the difference between simply rolling my eyes and running, screaming, clutching my ears. I am glad Minty didn’t explain why loving you is easy… ;D

    Minty: I’d get that looked at, if you can find anyone brave enough. Maybe that Pork Soda will kill it before it pulls a John Hurt on you.

    Now, if this keeps up, I am going to end up quoting Frank Zappa lyrics, and I think my lyrical quoting quota has already been attained for this thread (with the Public Image Ltd.)

  147. #246 comments? Yikes. I liked T-Hayden’s comment about learning the most from arguments she’s lost. My marriage has been one learning experience after another.

  148. arkizzle @ #195 – Yeah, I get and appreciate the irony. And it is laughable. But, then again, do we expect the wanna-be watered-down Jews, hell-bent on performing a big-time-media stunt, to think about anything other than how to get on TV?

    What I can’t see is the jump from this unexpected situation to the BB headline, or the silly Pharyngula post, because they entirely miss the point.

    Maybe I’m jaded, but I’m becoming increasingly sensitive to these sorts of stunts. I mean, PZ Myers was familiar enough with the Old Testesment to find the appropriate lengthy quote, but apparently cannot read the two-sentence caption that came along with the picture. Is is lazy analysis, but it seems that people encourage it because he’s bashing the religious, and who really cares about them, anyhow?

    Then again, like I said, I might be jaded, as my snake worship cult has been forced into hiding.

  149. Takuan @ #225:

    on what basis do you rely on the bible?

    I’m sorry, i’m not sure exactly what you’re asking. Do you mean “basis” as in “daily basis” or as in foundation? I’m guessing you don’t really care that much either way, which is cool. I’m not exactly sure where this conversation is going anyway. But i am interested.

    AGF @ #226, thanks for the warning. I make it a point to think critically when reading the Bible. I’m not a fan of dogma, regardless of what people here might think. I know it was written by men, and that opinions color everything. What i meant when i said “i don’t typically read opinionated things” was that i don’t typically read things written about the writer’s opinion. Sure, if you want to get technical, our opinions (but rarely our emotions) can be found in pretty much every form of our expression.

    Teresa @ #227:

    I don’t have to know which other forums you haunt in order to know that you’ve been rehearsing your material elsewhere. Text in which the arguments, explanations, transitions, etc., are being formulated for the first time or two, sounds different from text where you’re recycling points and arguments you’ve made before. If you know to listen for that difference, and you’ve got the right kind of good ear (there’s more than one kind), it’s not that hard to spot precooked prose.

    I don’t care that my comment was disemvowed. I’m just curious as to why you are so sure you can ‘hear’ the precooked-ness there. I don’t haunt forums. In fact, i rarely post on any forum anywhere; when i do it’s because i have a computer-related question i can’t find posted anywhere else. I really can’t think of a time i’ve had a similar discussion with anyone. Perhaps your ear is fallible. By the way, it was addressed to #127 posted by mdh three posts up. There were only two issues; his use of the label “the righteous” and his accusation of “cognitive dissonance.” Doesn’t matter, never did. I’m only bringing it up to clarify.

    Putting a smiley at the end of your statement doesn’t disguise its intentional rudeness. I see you’re still pretending to find things funny when the truth is that you’re angry.

    I wasn’t trying to disguise anything. I was trying to convey my actual mood as of writing because i knew that those words could easily be taken the wrong way, just like i get the impression that you’re in no mood to place any meaning on a smiley face because you’re angry at something (by the way, i never said it was me; i’m not so delusional as to believe you care about me anywhere near enough to let me anger you). But you said you’re not angry, so i’m probably wrong. How can i possibly know your feelings better than you? The remark about my pretending to find things funny (which really sounds pretty resentful to me) is actually referring to my sarcasm in recent posts. People who point out the obvious meaning behind sarcasm are usually angry, in my experience. But i don’t know you, of course. Maybe you always talk like that even when you’re happy.

    What it comes down to is that text does not convey emotion like verbal communication does. You can only assume you know my tone, just like i assumed your tone was angry and elitist. I didn’t say those things because i was angry; in fact, i was feeling rather relieved when i wrote that.

    I’m a complete sucker for repentance.

    To me, that sounds like angry sarcasm.

    You’re not big enough for me to have an all-out fight with you…

    I’m not really sure what size represents in this metaphor, but it’s comments like these that lead me to guess that your ego is at play here. Of course, i can’t really know for sure so i have to rely on my assumptions, just like you. Problems arise when we assume we know things like that and make accusations based on our assumptions, which brings me back to my original reason for posting comments on this article in the first place.

  150. Irony I”ron*y, n. [L. ironia, Gr. ? dissimulation, fr. ? a
    dissembler in speech, fr. ? to speak; perh. akin to E. word:
    cf. F. ironie.]
    [1913 Webster]
    1. Dissimulation; ignorance feigned for the purpose of
    confounding or provoking an antagonist.

    Just because you get the joke doesn’t mean it’s funny.

  151. gruppler, the problem here is that you’re picking a fight with the bouncer, and you’re the only one who doesn’t see it.

    You will never out manouver her, especially not by being all greasy and trite.

    But hey, if you’re SURE it’s about her ego and not about yours….

  152. Do I have a vested interest in proving god does not exist? No, I don’t have to prove or disprove anything as I’m not making any claims. I don’t care if people wish to believe in gods, demons, angels, or any other invented phantom as long as they keep it to themselves. As long as they wish to use their faith to control my life well then…
    —————
    Gruppler, in a stroke you write off the whole of human achievement with the exception of one poorly written compilation. In doing so you present a string of contradictory, arrogant, and close minded statements and in the process insult everyone. Though it would surprise you to know I don’t find you at fault.

    You claim to know something of imperfection yet also claim to present “perfectly valid arguments”. You call us mindless and ignorant, yet wish to “shake the faith of the faithless”. I think the bad taste in your mouth is of your own doing. We have endured your insults with great restraint, and you reward that restraint by continuing to heap insult upon insult. You talk in circles; using a book, any book, as its own proof does not prove your point, it only serves to prove the point many have made concerning self-deception.

    This is the sad fact most christians will never be strong enough to face; this is a big world, your one book contains nothing that can’t be found in a thousand thousand other books. Unfortunately for the rest of us, the damage done by your one book and religion, or the other two desert cults, is sadly not over. The hate and intolerance of christian love is blatantly contradictive and destructive to all those who do not share your singular view of life.

    When I earlier said, let go, I mean try letting go, just once, without god, without your book, without your belief. As a simple one time experiment, let go of all belief and faith, just to see what happens. What you will find is you can’t. Not because you are afraid, though many are, but because you don’t know how, you haven’t the ability. That is what your faith has done to you, it has taken away the ability to control your own life. Just take a moment to think about the thoughts, the reasoning, the excuses, going through your head right now as you read that challenge. You lack any ability to take a true leap of faith without faith.

    If one cannot believe, if only for a moment, that everything one knows is wrong, then soon they will believe anything and know nothing of their beliefs.

    Because of a crippling faith in corrupted knowledge, we deny ourselves the cognitive tools needed to understand our experience beyond the teachings of our fathers.

    These people been thrown the bone for so long, they don’t know a roast has meat.

    That is the nature of your life, and from a protective shield of arrogance, you will continue to claim otherwise. That is the nature of self-deception.

    Here is a warning you will never believe; if Jesus returns as predicted, christians will not treat him any differently than the Jews and Romans did 2,000 years ago.

    So, this time, ask yourself, why? Then, why not?
    ———————–
    Does anyone get the feeling these people all sound the same, the phony politeness while they casually throwing out insults. Zombies for Jesus. Trolls of the cross.

  153. Medra,

    wanna-be watered-down Jews

    Is that Christians in general, or just the brand shown above?

  154. #253 posted by mdh

    gruppler, the problem here is that you’re picking a fight with the bouncer, and you’re the only one who doesn’t see it.

    Honestly, i’m not trying to fight. I was when i first started posting on this article. Now i just want to clear up some things.

    You will never out manouver her, especially not by being all greasy and trite.

    I’m sure she’s very agile. Again, i’m not trying to fight. I don’t have any hostile feelings toward anyone here, and i’m sorry that my earlier posts started that tone you continue to imagine now.

    But hey, if you’re SURE it’s about her ego and not about yours….

    No, i tried to make it clear that i cannot be sure it’s about her ego, and i presented some things she said that lead me to that conclusion, though i know it may be flawed. That’s why i responded to her post. I’m just curious. I want to be proven wrong about her.

    FoetusNail @ #254, i really am sorry i insulted everyone.

    You claim to know something of imperfection yet also claim to present “perfectly valid arguments”.

    I’ll try not to be so trite next time by avoiding superlative.

    You call us mindless and ignorant, yet wish to “shake the faith of the faithless”.

    Nope, i didn’t call anyone mindless. I said that there are several mindless asserting comments posted here. Big difference.

    I think the bad taste in your mouth is of your own doing. We have endured your insults with great restraint, and you reward that restraint by continuing to heap insult upon insult.

    Again, i sincerely apologize for my insults. As for continually heaping on insults, i’m sorry you’ve been offended again, but i don’t know exactly what i said to offend you. On the other hand, you’ve had your fair share of insults toward me.

    You talk in circles; using a book, any book, as its own proof does not prove your point, it only serves to prove the point many have made concerning self-deception

    We’ve all been talking in circles here, in case you haven’t noticed. I never mentioned using a book to prove anything. Thank you for your concern for my salvation from self-deception. You already know i mirror that concern.

    As for letting go, i’ve done that several times in my past. Very often, i consider the other side of things, where God is simply a tool to direct my thoughts and emotions. I always end up returning to the side where what the Bible says is true, though, because i choose to. I’m well aware of the consequences, and the good ones vastly outweigh the bad.

    That is what your faith has done to you, it has taken away the ability to control your own life.

    On the contrary; i have more control over my life than those who trap themselves in their own understanding.

    That is the nature of your life, and from a protective shield of arrogance, you will continue to claim otherwise. That is the nature of self-deception.

    Do not mistake arrogance for confidence. Yes, my earlier posts were arrogant, and i apologize for them again. Now i’m simply trying to point out the places you claim to know things you cannot know and base your accusations on them, which is what you’ve been accusing me of. You know the nature of my life, really? You are deceiving yourself if you believe you can sum up people’s lives based on what you think you know they believe.

    Here is a warning you will never believe; if Jesus returns as predicted, christians will not treat him any differently than the Jews and Romans did 2,000 years ago

    That isn’t likely to happen, not because Christians are more perceptive, open-minded, or whatever, but because according to the Bible, he won’t be returning in the form of a human-born messiah. There won’t be any chance for persecution or crucifixion.

    Does anyone get the feeling these people all sound the same, the phony politeness while they casually throwing out insults. Zombies for Jesus. Trolls of the cross.

    So the phony (or non-existent) politeness and casual insults are only repulsive if they come from “us people.” In case you didn’t notice, you’re doing exactly what you’re accusing me of. All of it. There are at least two sides to everything. Arguing that the other person is stuck on one side is often futile because chances are, you’re stuck on the other.

  155. RE: Me to Gruppler @ 255

    After you have addressed FoetusNail’s far more interesting words @254, of course.

  156. (Oops, looks like i missed the closing blockquote tags in the previous post. Sorry for the confusion.)

    Arkizzle, sure. Actually, i meant to respond to that when you posted it but forgot to.
    Arkizzle @ #145:

    No. When a group (or many different groups, under the umbrella of Christianity) tell us how to live our lives by pushing for legislation to restrict our personal and civil rights, they are making it very clear that they are ‘the righteous’ and ‘we’ are not.

    This is the nature of politics. Christians have been told in the same way that praying in school is wrong. It goes both ways.

    When those same groups preach the hatred we have seen countless times against Muslims and homosexuals (amongst others) they are clearly saying “we are the righteous”.

    Yes, some Christians are misled and are convinced that God hates some people and loves others, which is in fact ridiculous. If i ever saw or heard someone say “God hates fags” for example, rest assured i would like to have a nice, long chat with him, though people like that are obviously convinced they know the Bible without reading it and are unlikely to listen to reason. (By the way, my intention is not to make myself out to be perfect or above these people. I know you’re probably thinking the same things about me that i said about “people like that.”) Yes, these are the people sullying the word “Christian,” and yes. I’m glad you see that. I know i haven’t recently contributed much to clearing Christianity’s name, but that has been my goal in the past and i’m resuming that goal, though i don’t expect to make much progress in this forum.

  157. I do notice, and it would appear everyone has noticed. Jesus, whatever his form, will be denied, that is the nature of the mythical savior.

    How about this one.

    How about this one…
    1 Cor. 2:14… “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

    Saying someone makes mindless statements, then trying to say that does not by implication make them mindless is the height of intellectual dishonesty. Taking that absurd position demonstrates your arrogance and contempt for us.

    Why?

  158. Foetusnail @ #260, glad you noticed. So you see that when you insult me, you insult yourself?

    Jesus, whatever his form, will be denied, that is the nature of the mythical savior.

    Could you please cite the verse you’re referring to? If it’s the one i’m thinking of, it’s out of context. Otherwise, i’m not familiar with it and would like to read the context again.

    Saying someone makes mindless statements, then trying to say that does not by implication make them mindless is the height of intellectual dishonesty. Taking that absurd position demonstrates your arrogance and contempt for us.

    I did not say anyone makes mindless statements, but rather that mindless statements were made. I know that everyone is capable of making a mindless statement whether or not that person is mindless. I do not see how that absurd position causes you to think i’m arrogant or that i hold you in contempt.

    Why? Because i’m actually enjoying these conversations, now that i have my head on straight.

  159. Christians have been told in the same way that praying in school is wrong.

    I disagree that this is the same, at all. Individual school attendees are free to pray where they like (it is just talking in your head, after all).

    The distinction is that the leaders of such establishments (eg. the teachers) should not conduct any (eg. nothing to do with singling Christianity out) religious practices that would be seen as condoning one religion over another, or a lack thereof.

    It is not about Christians being told, amongst all people, that they cannot pray, it is about leaving all notions of religion at the door so all people can get the same baseline education.

    How you choose to spend your time outside of the state classroom is your own choice. Choose a faith-school otherwise.

    Remember: Chritianity is a choice. A choice amongst many choices. Race and sexuality are not choices. To discriminate based on the hand dealt by nature is not the same as questioning the choices one has made in life.

    Yes, these are the people sullying the word “Christian,” and yes. I’m glad you see that

    I would be offended if you thought I saw all Christians as a homogeneous-hate-blob. The point I was making is this: If both you and the hate-mongers both call yourself Christian, it is probably in your (personally and parochially) best interest to differentiate yourselves, and make it very clear you do not stand for the same things.

    I’m not suggesting that the presumtion is that “Christian” means hatred, but the time has truly come for a real and public divide, between the Christian of love, and the Christians of hate..

    I say that with genuine respect: protect what you believe in, because it’s in the wrong hands right now.

  160. As for letting go, i’ve done that several times in my past. Very often, i consider the other side of things, where God is simply a tool to direct my thoughts and emotions.

    Also, I’m not sure you are getting FoetusNail’s definition of “letting go”..

  161. Arkizzle, you make a good point about the prayer in school. I did not put much thought into that comment, and you’re right (in other words, i guess it was somewhat of a mindless comment). My point was that saying that it is exclusively people who call themselves Christians who are pushing for legislation to restrict our personal and civil rights is a bit myopic. The same can be said about practically any piece of legislation, and there are plenty of Christian democrats and non-Christian republicans.

    We agree completely on your second point. We Christians are often our own worst enemies. Many other countries reject Christianity simply because the word “Christian” implies a hypocritical, judgemental American lifestyle that they don’t want to be a part of. On the other hand, there are people who call themselves Muslims but follow Jesus. Words get watered down by our actions, and the media seems to help make sure everyone knows about the bad stuff while the good stuff never gets mentioned.

  162. Arkizzle @ #263:

    Also, I’m not sure you are getting FoetusNail’s definition of “letting go”..

    Maybe you’re right, but my point was that i’ve lived without faith, without God before; i remember what it was like. I have no intention to return to that even for a simple one-time experiment. Make of that what you will.

    This is the sad fact most christians will never be strong enough to face; this is a big world, your one book contains nothing that can’t be found in a thousand thousand other books.

    Also, i forgot to respond to this comment…
    FoetusNail @ #254:

    This is the sad fact most christians will never be strong enough to face; this is a big world, your one book contains nothing that can’t be found in a thousand thousand other books.

    When stating something as fact, chose your words carefully. Have you read and fully understood everything in the Bible? If not, how can you be so confident that you know that there is nothing in there that can’t be found in any other book? The cool thing about the Bible is that we read it continually because as we change, a verse we read earlier that had no significant impact on us may now hold new meaning for us. We do not read to gain head-knowledge. But according to the Bible, that only works if you are willing to believe what the Bible has to say.

  163. No, you are right Gruppler, I have a problem with any group demanding people behave a certain way, to please certain sensibilities.

    I don’t think I mentioned Christians doing this exclusively. You happened to be defending Christianity, and I used the legislation example to illustrate why Christianity collectively exudes rightousness, which was really the only point I was making.

    Also, in a completely non-argumentative way: can you show me people who call themselves Muslims, who follow Jesus?

  164. The cool thing about the Bible is that.. etc.. etc..

    Surely that just points to how interprative the whole thing is. Like Pink Floyd lyrics, they are so beautiful and insightful to so many different people because they mean nothing without individual interpretation. You are projecting the meaning and the significance.

    ..that only works if you are willing to believe…

    ..like Santa Claus? Sorry cheap gag, but really.

  165. surely biblical meaning could only be correctly extracted by reading the various bits by various authors in their original tongue? In my experience, proponents of biblical infallibility are invariably uni-lingual and unaware of translation issues. To suggest divine intervention through faith corrects the meaning moots the whole point of a bible. Might as well say you don’t need it at all then, so long as you have faith. Or a potato.

  166. Arkizzle @ #267:

    Also, in a completely non-argumentative way: can you show me people who call themselves Muslims, who follow Jesus?

    Unfortunately, i cannot. I made this claim based on first-hand accounts by people i trust. I know that then must hold no meaning to anyone here, but remember that in order to prove something does not exist is typically much more difficult than to prove that it does.
    @ #268:

    Surely that just points to how interprative the whole thing is…

    Yeah, sort of, which is why minor differences in translation are not an issue. When God wants to say something, he says it.

    ..like Santa Claus? Sorry cheap gag, but really.

    Not really. I can see how you can come to that conclusion, but what i said was “that only works if you are willing to believe,” meaning you’re willing to listen to the words you’re reading, rather than read them purely objectively, or in a mindset in which you’re looking for something to disagree with, or unwilling to truly listen.

    Takuan @ #269:

    surely biblical meaning could only be correctly extracted by reading the various bits by various authors in their original tongue?

    No, not the Biblical meaning, but rather the author’s exact words can only be correctly extracted in the author’s native language. But as i said earlier, Biblical meaning is whatever God wants to say at whatever time. This probably sounds silly to you and i don’t expect it to make perfect sense to you, not because you’re inferior in any way, but because this comes from experience, which is useless in a philosophical debate.

    Might as well say you don’t need it at all then, so long as you have faith.

    There are different stages of faith (though who can define them exactly?). At first, we read to learn. Then, we read to hear. God talks both through the Bible and through other means. So yeah, the Bible is not our only means of communication with God, but we do need the Bible. Again, i’m aware of how silly this probably sounds.
    minTphresh @ #271:

    gruppler, i’m afraid that the more you try to tell me the irony isn’t funny, the more hilarious i find it to be.

    “Funny” is a relative word. If someone says something is funny, he probably means that he finds it funny. Whether or not something is universally funny cannot be proven. I haven’t been arguing that there’s no possibility of humor here. In fact, i wasn’t the one you were arguing with; i stepped into your discussion with medra42. I posted a definition of irony that i thought relates well to this article.

    I need to get on with my life and away from this forum. Again, i’m sorry for the offenses i’ve caused and for providing yet another bad example of Christianity. I do not regret spending time in this discussion, though, because i’ve learned a lot about controlling my tongue and what happens when i finally get to speak my mind. Teresa, i apologize for speaking to you disrespectfully. Whether or not you’re angry is none of my business and it doesn’t change anything; you’re allowed to be angry while telling me how i feel. And whether or not you’re on an ego trip is also irrelevant. It was inconsiderate of me to pursure those arguments. I’m not apologizing because i want anyone’s forgiveness; i just want you to know that i’m sorry. Maybe next time i comment on BoingBoing we’ll be able to have relevant, intelligent discussions without the hard feelings and name-calling.

  167. So, anyone that professes to believe can make the good book mean whatever they want it to mean. Just remember the Moslems think you are reading the corrupted word and there is no such thing as the son of god. Read their book.

    Left handed compliments and apologies all the way out the door. Why?

  168. FoetusNail @ #273:

    So, anyone that professes to believe can make the good book mean whatever they want it to mean.

    That’s not what i said; professing to believe is not important here. Truly opening up to what it has to say also opens you up to understanding.

    Left handed compliments and apologies all the way out the door. Why?

    Not out the door quite yet, obviously. I’ll do my best to answer any questions directed at me. I don’t really know what you mean by “left handed compliments.” Care to provide some quotes? As for why, i already told you why. I regret many of the things i said, and the ways i said many other things. I wasn’t controlling my words and that’s something i feel strongly about.

  169. Foetus, dunno about America (I presume you are in America), but over here in the UK, the spelling ‘Moslem’ is considered slightly negative, if not offensive.

    No wrist slap from me though, spell as you will.

  170. That’s exactly what Mr. Phelps would say.

    Have you read the Qur’an? It uses all the same circular logic, self-confirming language, admonishments to the faithful, threats, and warnings to beware of the unfaithful. I’ve read half of it, meaning one half was threat and the other half was more of the same. What you must understand is the way christians and moslems view each other’s texts is how many of us view all three desert cults.

    That believers believe only believers can understand their books is ridiculous and self-insulating. What it means is keep on believin’ no matter you hear, cause they can’t be readin’ what you be readin’. This is also impossible for believers to believe, but we can read and comprehend, and we do understand the nature and danger of your book. Sorry.

    You can always spot a troll, because they say, well I got to go, but they never leave. Not that I care one way or another, I’m just sayin’. They also seem to find just enough manners to stay, though without the threat of moderation, who knows what they would look like.

  171. minTphresh @ #251 – Oh absolutely. All irony is funny. All sarcasm is funny, as well.

    gruppler @ #252 – There are multiple definitions for irony, the consensus being that it has to do with the unexpected. That said, I appreciate the irony, but do not find it humorous. This does not mean that I do not “get it.” The overall attitude of most avowedly secular people commenting on the situation seems to indicate that they really feel that the wish-we-were-dead-and-with-Jesus people in the picture really are reenacting the Old Testesment story. Lazy, lazy, lazy. Fat and lazy.

    You can also chose to believe that I don’t appreciate any other irony associated with the story, BB, Pharyngula, etc, or any other events you would like to label as ironic. I’m going to keep diving off this board in my hipster-free zone.

    arkizzle @ #256 – Christians are Jew Lite ™, like whiskey without that warming bite, or cocaine without the sting. These whitey-whites and their random acts of Protestantism, they’re like whiskey cut with water, or coke cut with baking powder. What good is the drug if you have to make the high up in your head?!

  172. Wow Medra, that is probably the most offensive comment (to a rational live-and-let-live type) in the whole thread.

    I mean, I don’t give a fuck for religion, or it’s followers (beyond the fact that they are human, and deserve that much respect), but how you just described Christianity is everything that’s wrong with religion, and it’s bickery, bigoted, righteous, we’re-the-only-real-one bullshit.

    Really.

  173. I just don’t know how you can say something like that after bitching about everyone else’s comments misrepresenting the situation, all the way down the thread..

  174. And as far as I can tell, nobody thinks these people are actually reenacting anything. Everybody is laughing at the fact that they did such a monumentally ignorant thing, missing the obvious symbolism contained in their own book.

  175. Arkizzle, thank you for correcting me, I have no idea where that came from. I just checked my history and have only used that spelling twice, both times on this thread. That’s also very interesting, I would hate to offend as they tend to murder the poor bastards that offend them. And yes, I’m still in America; I can’t even move out of this area try as I might.

  176. Gruppler, praying in schools isn’t wrong. There’s no Constitutional problem with praying in schools and no one has ever claimed there is in the United States. What is wrong is organized prayer in schools. This has nothing to do with Christians in particular. This is a general problem because of the establishment clause and the 14th Amendment. Organized prayer (especially in a school environment) puts pressure on students to do so and provides an endorsement of whatever religion the prayers appear in. See the difference?

  177. Antinous @ #280 – I don’t. I was referring to that one.

    arkizzle @ #278 – I apologize if anyone here thinks I’m passing judgment on the Christian religion, rather than describing a set of beliefs that some Christians hold.

    The fact of the matter is that many modern Christians claim to worship the Jewish god, but ignore most of the OT and the laws therein. In this sense, they are watered-down Jews.

    As well, there exists a significantly large group of Christians, spanning sects, that want the apocalypse to happen sometime in the next second. In this sense, they wish they were dead and with Jesus.

    And, finally the references to whiskey and cocaine were fairly obviously meant to call to mind the so silly phrase that “religion is the [drug/opiate] of the masses.” The statement that their drug is cut with something less dangerous was meant to imply that many modern Christians don’t practice that old time religion (like Ethiopian Jews, for example).

    It is a statement of fact that much of the Christianity practiced today venerates the Holy Bibbel, but ignores most of what is inside of it (OT).

    Modern Christians have many, many, many reasons for doing this. But they do it all the same. I don’t care that they do it. It doesn’t make their religion any more silly than Orthodox Jews or Shinto priests. It just is.

    @ #281 – Fair enough.

  178. FoetusNail @ 276:
    I think the problem you’re having with “our book” is that you’re relying on logic. Faith is not logical. It takes a step of faith to believe something you can only understand if you’re willing to believe. That’s the point. I know you’ll tell me that’s a load of crap or something like that, and logically, you’ll be right. But human logic is incomplete and flawed. Relying on it as your only basis for all judgement is worse, in my opinion, than relying on a book written by men about their experiences with God.

    medra42 @ #286:

    The fact of the matter is that many modern Christians claim to worship the Jewish god, but ignore most of the OT and the laws therein. In this sense, they are watered-down Jews.

    In the NT, Jesus tells us to stop sacrificing animals to cover our sins because that’s what he said he came to do; fulfill the old law. That doesn’t mean we ignore the OT, it means the old law no longer applies. We have a new and improved covenant, one that is available to all men, not just Jews. So yeah, if you want to look at it that way, sure. You can call us watered-down Jews. Just like i can say you’re being ignorant. Don’t like it? Me neither. Is there some truth in it? Sure.

  179. No the problem I have with your book is it’s just as contradictory and useless as tits on a nun, but you people use it to justify every thing from the burning heretics, the inquisition, and murdering homosexuals. The wealth of man’s knowledge was written in the Tao Te Ching. You people really do need to stop believing you own spiritual enlightenment. It’s just plain silly. Hell, Mark Twain wrote some great stuff. But as you are a believer, well, only non-believers can understand this stuff.

    “The easy confidence with which I know another man’s religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.”

    “Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes, and wishes he was certain.”

    “So much blood has been shed by the Church because of an omission from the Gospel: “Ye shall be indifferent as to what your neighbor’s religion is.” Not merely tolerant of it, but indifferent to it. Divinity is claimed for many religions; but no religion is great enough or divine enough to add that new law to its code.”

    “We despise all reverences and all the objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our own list of sacred things. And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us.”

  180. The Way that can be experienced is not true;
    The world that can be constructed is not true.
    The Way manifests all that happens and may happen;
    The world represents all that exists and may exist.

    To experience without intention is to sense the world;
    To experience with intention is to anticipate the world.
    These two experiences are indistinguishable;
    Their construction differs but their effect is the same.

    Beyond the gate of experience flows the Way,
    Which is ever greater and more subtle than the world.

  181. Gruppler @ #287 – Yes, Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it. We could split hairs all day, but how about we leave it at this: you believe Jesus succeeded and passed the favor of the Jewish god on to you. Then again, modern Jews may disagree.

    You can call me ignorant, and I can say you’re trying to explain away my comment by simply assuming (or wishing) that I’m not familiar with your belief. And I can call you a taint. And a donkey. Or my best bud.

  182. FoetusNail @ #288:

    “The easy confidence with which I know another man’s religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.”

    Good quote. Do you think it doesn’t apply to you because you don’t consider your set of beliefs a ‘religion’?

    No the problem I have with your book is it’s just as contradictory and useless as tits on a nun, but you people use it to justify every thing from the burning heretics, the inquisition, and murdering homosexuals. The wealth of man’s knowledge was written in the Tao Te Ching. You people really do need to stop believing you own spiritual enlightenment. It’s just plain silly…

    @ #254:

    …I don’t have to prove or disprove anything as I’m not making any claims. I don’t care if people wish to believe in gods, demons, angels, or any other invented phantom as long as they keep it to themselves. As long as they wish to use their faith to control my life well then…

    Remember when you said that? Now you’re making gross generalizations, wild accusations, and on top of that, you’re telling me how i should live my life. To be clear, no one i know knows anyone who was involved in burning heretics, the inquisition, or murdering homosexuals. I have no intention of controling your life; i’m attempting to clear up any confusion about what i believe, but as most people are choosing to write my words off as folly, i see i’m wasting my time. You said you don’t care what i believe. If that’s true, why are you so bent on trying to convince me that i’m believing a lie?

    By the way, i have read the Tao Te Ching. If you believe that the wealth of man’s knowledge was written there, why do you choose not to practice what it says? It is you who is arguing in circles now, making claims you cannot possibly back up. Give it a rest.

    medra42 @ 292:

    …you believe Jesus succeeded and passed the favor of the Jewish god on to you. Then again, modern Jews may disagree.

    Pretty much, though Jews are still God’s chosen people even though they reject God’s son. As Jews generally are not allowed to not read the NT, agreeing with is us who do is slightly difficult.

    And you’re right, the old law is not abolished, other than the animal sacrificing. I believe i misquoted earlier when i said that; the word ‘fulfill’ is slightly ambiguous there and doesn’t refer to animal sacrifices. However, i’m curious; what are the laws you think we don’t follow?

  183. Oooo! “However, i’m curious; what are the laws you think we don’t follow?” I’m curious! DO you eat shell fish? Is cotton polyester an abomination and what about football? And is all the food you eat kosher? I know this sounds a bit bratty – but really – I want to know. I’m always impressed when people take things that far.

  184. AGF @ #296, please show me where the Bible says not to do these things. No, i don’t eat shell fish. But no, i don’t eat things based on whether or not they’re labeled kosher. Also, i’m not trying to make it sound like i think i’m faultless when it comes to following the law, it’s just that you guys seem to see clearly what i don’t.

    Romans 14 talks about how nothing is unclean in itself but is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.

    Also, Hebrews 8:13 ESV:
    In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

  185. I believe AGF and Takuan have started the ball rolling on what I was going to say about the gazillions of laws you don’t pay any attention to.

    And they haven’t even touched on the harmful ones like killing your children for disobedience, and killing adulterers, and killing people that work on the Sabbath, and killing people that…

  186. I think you can get out of all the killing people stuff with the turn the other cheek and love thy neighbour bits.
    Shrimp Lev 11:9-12 mixed fiber Lev 19:19 (ok so it’s wool and linen – I guess you have to make a value judgement WWYD regarding polyester blends. I mean is the problem really mixing of the fabrics or just wool and linen? Hmmm. If we ok poly blends then I think we gotta let lesbians off too. The rules only talk about being with men! (Lev 18:22)
    pork Lev 11:7 and 8
    oh and these are all from the king james.

  187. Here’s a link with a bunch of answers to this topic: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080926130437AA1rbXD
    Some of them are good, some are weak, and some are even sarcastic. You can decide for yourself which are which. Also, have fun with http://www.openbible.info/topics/

    I’m going to stop reading comments here for real this time, as i said twice or thrice that i would. I don’t think i’ve asked any questions that haven’t been answered one way or another, and i don’t think there are any questions left for me to answer. If you still have something to say to me, again, you know how to find me.

  188. The comment @254 you quote was not addressed to you, but since you bring it up, yes, by coming here and jumping on everyone’s shit you deserve to be confronted. As to the crimes sanctified by believers of the book, all done in his name, and today it is still used to justify hate and deny citizens their rights.

    Your book is filled with hate and intolerance. So there are no gross generalizations or wild accusations. As to telling you how to live your life, only in as much as your anger and intolerance and arrogance affect this thread.

    You made a choice to come here and express your beliefs, then use scripture as some strange proof that we cannot understand scripture, informing everyone that because the bible says we cannot understand, that means we cannot understand. Sorry, but we understand you all to well.

    What I believe or practice, is not in question. All I’ve said concerning my own faith was said earlier to Sparky, “Sparky, this ain’t about faith. It is what they have faith in and what they do because of their particular brand of faith. We are all people of faith of some sort; for instance, I have faith religion will eventually fade from memory like a bad dream.”

    Later I then said, my faith is that one day god will cease to exist as a separate imagined entity, a separate part of our consciousness, and we will once again be whole, as we always were before religion excised the best part of what it means to be human, turning our own imaginations against us.

    Religion and gods have never saved a single soul, but have murdered millions. We save ourselves. That single set of footprints in the sand, were when you carried yourself. I think you, or someone else, mentioned fellowship. Fellowship is what we need, in pursuit of fellowship we tacitly approve a lot of other shit, so religion is what we got for our trouble. Thanks.

  189. I posted this link the other day in another thread. I met this man, H.E. Garchen Rinpoche is not a mythical creature, yet, tell this man what you know of faith, and how he his going to hell because he does not accept your narrow vision of faith. Tell him he can not understand your faith. And no I am not even a pale shadow of this man, but what you have said to us is no less arrogant and narrow minded. Peace. Take that leap. You will find in it yourself, as you always were.

  190. @ Gruppler re: #143:

    Not a bad word about Christians from me. But I see nothing to indicate that these people worshipping the bronze bull at Wall Street are Christians. Or that you are, for that matter. Quite on the contrary.
    To me, Jesus is still a role model. I wouldn’t call myself a Christian, though, because the kind of people who do are not the kind of people I’d want to associate with, for reasons made only too clear in this very thread.

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