[FoRK] Christians and atheists start a calmer dialogue

Tom Higgins <tomhiggins at gmail.com> on Wed May 9 22:22:27 PDT 2007

> On May 9, 2007, at 5:48 PM, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar wrote:
> > So both are willing to sit down together in different venues,
> > discuss their divergent perspectives, and, in some cases, jointly
> > visit church services across the United States.


I go to church every Sunday, I go to pot lucks, I go to bible study
and ya know what...no one (except for a very select few and even then
only on a very select few topics) want to hear me talk about not
believing in the invisible make believe god and frankly I do not think
that is the place to do it. They are there not to disbelive but to
belive, its would be like showing up at a Yankees game with a Mets cap
on, its like goign to the opera and demanding they do a full
retrospectove of the Sex Pistols.

It would be like forcing he teaching of religious doctoring over
science in a science class...oh wait,.....

When people go to church you know what they want?

They want to hear the Jesus loves them, that their cherry picked parts
of the bible cover all that could happen in their life and if those
"other" parts get mentioned well then just chuckle and pity the
unbeliever who did not get the memo that things have been
reinterpreted yet the text is still the most perfect and holy, that
arms grow back on those who get prayer, that there is a place after
death where they sit near to their god etc etc etc.

Many of them also want fellowship, to sit and talk to folks who belive
like they do, to examine thier lives with others who share the same
framework.

They are not all creepy and bizarre though Jeff, some are nice folks
who got some bizarre belief system. Many do not even buy into the ting
hook line and stinker. For instance Demons...there are some in
churches who hold that Demons are very eal and very much at work in ou
lives while others in the same chuch shrug and think the metaphore
went out of bounds into the twilight zone. Yet they are both in the
same church. Its not as cut and dried as saying they are all over the
hedge.

Talking to folks at church , for the most part, is like talking to
anyone else. Sometimes though..Sometimes its like talking to a
Republican who thinks their vote for Bush did not send them to nightly
reenactments of "out damn spot", sometimes its like talking to
Democrats who know, for sure, how people need to live in order for it
all to be better and will legislate that by hook or by crook,
sometimes its like talking to people who play way way way too much
D&D(insert game system that eventually becomes a lifestyle choice) and
has forgotten that in life that ring of heat resistance does not in
fact give them a major advantage on a Save Vs Spilled Coffee.

The notion though of getting atheists to go to church to come to some
sort of middle ground is ludicrous.  If you do not believe in  Santa
Claus then no amount of hanging our with the All Year Santa Fan Club
decking the halls and making sure your not naughty will not some how
solve the bottom line fact that Santa is historic mole hill that has
been turned into Mt Everest. For those that have dedicated their lives
to Jesus and the way of life he has prescribed (ok his
followers...wait only a couple of the stories where from folks who
were actually on the scene the others got it second or third hand but
its still the perfect living word of god) I do not think there is an
option to come to a middle ground with any other faith let alone those
with a lack of faith, other than to the extent they have interpreted
the bible to allow them to do things like be nice to the Jews or not
snicker too loudly at the Baptist or suffer the nice folks who simply
were born in the wrong place and were forced to be Muslims.

A dialog would require the same languages to be understood or at the
very least a common set of logical underpinnings  from which to grow
an understanding. In the case of the faithful and the faithless this
is, imnsfho, outside the scope of both side. To the faithful the
faithless is simply lacking faith and that is the problem , to the
faithless the faithful are full of it and see that as a problem.

Meanwhile the ongoing and unceasing damage is being done not only to
ourselves but everything around us , generations of potential get
stifled at best or killed off at worst, pogroms go on under other
names, the klan builds more summer camps, the evangelicals fight hard
to keep gays from getting the same rights as they have, the faithfull
bend to thier knees multiple times a day and pray

yea pray

ball of confusion

hey hey

So this detante your talking about...what exactly do you think is
going to happen????

-tomhiggins

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