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A Religious Experiment

  1. yoshi97 profile image81
    yoshi97posted 8 years ago

    After reading through the religion forum, I see a lot of different views, but I also see some that are very much the same. What I am curious about is this ... are we all mostly different, or are we preaching the same message from different mouths?

    Only one way to find out ...


    I just want to know the following:

    Of what faith are you? Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist, Baptist, Catholic, etc.   -and -   What are your beliefs?


    Now, here's how I would like to see this play out (though I doubt it will work as I hope)

    I would like everyone to look at me as if I am a person looking to join your religion. I am giving each of you some of my individual time to explain your views and sell me on why I should become a member of your beliefs (or lack of beliefs).

    As these are (for the intent of this thread) considered individual interviews, I want you to *totally* ignore any other posts in this thread and not to speak of other religions (as that might make me consider the others more)

    Stick to why *your* religion is the right religion for me and tell me what rewards I can expect for becoming a believer in your faith.

    Again, you are here to sell your religion, not to speak of anyone elses, and I ask that you only post *one* message speaking of your cause (though you may edit it as often as you see fit).

    I also ask that you not quote anyone else's post, as I am here to listen to you, and not what you overheard someone else say in their private interview.



    As for why I am posting this, I want to see what the similarity and the differences are between the different religions, and those who refuse to play by the rules I will consider to be pushy salesmen not worth of listening to.

    The floor is open, and I am interested in learning more about your religion and what makes yours the right religion for me to follow. I'm not looking to change my religion, just trying to understand everyone else's without all of the fighting that distorts the messages being given. And who knows ... maybe what ou have to say will appeal to me and I could possibly decide to change my faith.

    So, if you have a lot of self-control and are up to the challenege, then I will listen to what you have to say ... smile

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I chose self acceptance.  When delving into the realms of external gods that cannot be approached I found myself to be harder on myself then any of the gods I studied would otherwise have been on me.

      When insisting I make myself better out of the nature of myself, I started to forget about myself and left my soul open for depression, self denial, a confused outlook on life and forgot the things that really did bring me peace.

      I had and always will be a lover of people or just life in general.  Starting from childhood I always felt the need to help.  My own mother would get irritated with me for insisting that she help a homeless man or give things away.

      It had never changed for me in all my life.  I had always been fascinated with the stars.. the Universe and it was my one place where I could look upon and just be free from "human" captivity. 

      In that place I get to wonder and imagine anything really is possible and can take myself away from here when I need to.  When studying religions and trying so hard to be a "good" participating member a few things really pushed my buttons.

      1. how unaccepting of human nature people in certain religions are.  I try to be tolerant of a lot of things but I am pretty intolerant of people who preach tolerance but will not tolerate different points of view. 

      Mainly, it was as "argument" at a church I was attending about homosexuality.  It bothered me to the core to hear that they wanted to love everyone but would not accept people like this...

      Hence, I became a hypocrite. Whereas before I considered being part of a religion, I was completely without reservations for someones beliefs, I actually found something that disquietly altered my "loving" nature.

      2. I thought that giving was always good to do, it made me happy and I never felt a reward was necessary.  After becoming active in a religion... my thoughts had changed and I did want a reward.  This also changed me into something I was not.  It did not make me better, it made me a hypocrite.

      I become very distressed when I felt guilty for not having money to donate to the church and I felt like I had to give them money.  It made me feel guilty for giving a dollar when they wanted more like 10.00.

      As I do still give to homeless people at random when I do have some money to spare, change a dollar, five dollars, whatever it be that I have that day. It felt better to know that whatever I had was good enough and it wasn't asked of me to do and it makes me feel better to give out of the kindness of my own heart.

      I say again... religion made me a hypocrite.  I was not happy to give to a church and it took money away from the  people who really needed help.

      Anyways, long story short.  The only thing that has ever made me happy was a belief in myself and the things that really give me peace without the need for rewards.  I don't need to be acknowledged.  (This also made me feel sad when going to church.  The want to be acknowledged for doing good, but was only acknowledged that I took up a seat in the house.) 

      I don't care for people telling me that my appreciation for the Universe and all that is in it is the devils deception.  All I ever found in certain religions is a mass hypocrisy that made me less then human.

      When taking myself away from those things, I got myself back and found my own empowerment which only exist in me as a real natural order.  If ever there turns out to be a gaint in the clouds looking over me, I would be sure to know that I did the best I could in life for what it is said that God loves the most... people.

      I am one of them. wink

      1. yoshi97 profile image81
        yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I can identify with your path, as it is one I have traveled myself. I was told to do onto others as I wished them to do upon me ... and I was fine about that ... until I was told there were people non-deserving of such treatment.

        My belief is that tolerance should be without limits, but there are times when my tolerance is tested and I bite my own tongue later when someone gets the best of me, as it proves I am yet a long way from the person I would like to be.

        I see nothing wrong with showing compassion to all, but I can cite some situations where this could prove difficult.

        For example, a while back, a man in Pennsylvania murdered several Amish children in a schoolhouse. Now, these Amish people had every right to be mad. After all, he billed their children and then killed himself. But instead, they publicly issued a statement forgiving what the man did and helped his surviving family along financially when they discovered the family was suffering financially from the father's absence.

        That's forgiveness on a level I'm not sure I could ever give, but that definitely shows tolerance without limits. Of course, I can't say all Amish are like this, nor will I. Instead, I will state that this group of Amish people stole my heart when they showed just how giving people can be.

      2. earnestshub profile image88
        earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this



        I am selfish. I recognize my "good deeds" of giving love is purely for myself. I get to grow as a person, I get the warm feeling, I am accepted sometimes by those who find it hard to accept many people, and feel even better about myself.
        I have taught my children, and am now teaching my grandchildren, love is a doing thing, not a religious or moral thing. Once you realize that when you give of yourself to others you are building all life including your own with every good deed, it all makes sense. No sin, no god, just a bit of self knowledge if you want to really contribute. smile I am no better or worse than anyone else, but I choose as a sentient being to make honest self knowledge the flagship of my understanding. smile

        1. yoshi97 profile image81
          yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

          I can see no fault with this thinking, as you work toward doing good for others and want it known that you do this not out of duty, but because it gives you a good feeling in return. To be honest, I really don't think beliefs should be duties to fulfill, but rather, things we do because we see them needing to be done and we are willing to do them.

          For example, I go to work every day and do my job, but I don't do that as a favor ... I do it to get paid. However, when I stop to pick up something someone dropped or to open a door for someone, then I am doing so because I want to, and not because I feel I must.

          To do good out of choice ... rather than obligation ... I can find no fault with that. smile

        2. profile image0
          sandra rinckposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          smile  When people ask me what religion I am, I say my religion is love.  In the words of Depak Chopra who answered a girl calling who was also conflicted with religion.  He said to her, the next time someone asks you what your religion is just say, "My religion is love."

          It works and your a great person Ernest.  I mean that. big_smile I don't think your flawed at all.  I could only be so lucky to have a grandfather like you.  My dad is sorta like you, he always said to me, "Do what you know or believe to be right". 

          Really, it was all he ever asked of me.

          1. earnestshub profile image88
            earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            Smart Dad! Smart daughter too! smile

    2. video lost profile image53
      video lostposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      *** I S L A M ***

      Because almost all the major religions prophecised about the comming of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and instructed to follow him when you come to know.

      Because Islam is more than a religion, it's a 100% complete Deen (Way of Life) which encompasses religion as a subset.

      Because Islamic scriptures Qur'an and Hadith (Traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are still preserved in their origional form and language. No other scripture on the face of this earth whether Bibles or Vedas or any other are in their orgional form. No other book related to any field of life or any religion except Qur'an is in it's origional form for more than 1400 years. It's a miracle of miracles.

      Because not a single Islamic fundamental is against humanity as a whole.

      Because science is reconciliating itself with Qur'an, for instance, the latest researches and established facts of science reagarding nature of the universe, origin of the universe and impermanence of the sun’s existence were already mentioned in Qur'an 1400 years ago. The discovery of the mummy of Ramesses  from the sea as a sign from Allah was already discussed in Qur'an.

      Because Islam does not seperate Muslims as a superior nation on the basis of color, race, caste etc. rather Islam points out Muslims as servants for mankind. Qur'an, Ch 3, The Family of Imran, V 110: Ye are the best of peoples, developed for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors.   

      Because only Islam,  besides speaking of good things, it shows us a way how to implement those good things.

      Like all Religions speak about ‘Brotherhood’ but Islam practically shows you  – it demonstrates how to practice it in your day to day life  – Salah,   Hajj, etc.

      Hinduism says…‘You should not rob’; Christianity says… ‘You should not rob’ ; Islam says…‘You should not rob’  – So what is the difference between Islam and the other Religions. Islam shows you a way how to achieve that state, in which people will not rob. Islam has a system of Zakat that is, every rich person who has a saving of more than the Nisab level, 85 grams of gold (or equivalent cash)  – he or she should give 2.5% of that excess wealth, in charity, every lunar year. If every rich human being gives charity, poverty will be eradicated from this world. There will not be a single human being who will die of hunger. After this, the Glorious Qur’an says in Surah Maidah, Ch. No. 5, V. No. 38... ‘As to the thief, be it a man or a woman  – chop of his of her hand, as a punishment from Allah (swt)’.

      Let me give you another example that most of the major Religions say that...‘You should not molest a woman, that you should not rape a woman’ –  Hinduism says that, Christianity says that, Islam says the same.  But Islam shows you a way how to achieve that state, in which people will not… men will not molest or rape a woman  – Islam has a system of Hijab.

      Allah (swt) in the Glorious Qur’an first speaks about the Hijab for the man, and then for the women.

      HIJAB FOR MEN:
      People usually only discuss ‘hijab’ in the context of women. However, in the Glorious Qur’an, Allah (swt) first mentions ‘hijab’ for men before ‘hijab’ for the women. The Qur’an mentions in Surah Noor:
      “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.” [Al-Qur’an 24:30]

      The moment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he should lower his gaze.

      HIJAB FOR WOMEN:
      The next verse of Surah Noor, says:
      “ And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons...” [Al-Qur’an 24:31]

      SIX CRITERIA FOR HIJAB:
      According to Qur’an and Sunnah there are basically six criteria for observing hijab:

      1. Extent:
      The first criterion is the extent of the body that should be covered. This is different for men and women. The extent of covering obligatory on the male is to cover the body at least from the navel to the knees. For women, the extent of covering obligatory is to cover the complete body except the face and the hands upto the wrist. If they wish to, they can cover even these parts of the body. Some scholars of Islam insist that the face and the hands are part of the obligatory extent of ‘hijab’.
      All the remaining five criteria are the same for men and women.

      2. The clothes worn should be loose and should not reveal the figure.

      3. The clothes worn should not be transparent such that one can see through them.
      4. The clothes worn should not be so glamorous as to attract the opposite sex.

      5. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the opposite sex.

      6. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the unbelievers i.e. they should not wear clothes that are specifically identities or symbols of the unbelievers’ religions.

      HIJAB INCLUDES CONDUCT AND BEHAVIOUR AMONG OTHER THINGS
      Complete ‘hijab’, besides the six criteria of clothing, also includes the moral conduct, behaviour, attitude and intention of the individual. A person only fulfilling the criteria of ‘hijab’ of the clothes is observing ‘hijab’ in a limited sense. ‘Hijab’ of the clothes should be accompanied by ‘hijab’ of the eyes, ‘hijab’ of the heart, ‘hijab’ of thought and ‘hijab’ of intention. It also includes the way a person walks, the way a person talks, the way he behaves, etc.

      HIJAB PREVENTS MOLESTATION
      The reason why Hijab is prescribed for women is mentioned in the Qur’an in the following verses of Surah Al-Ahzab:
      “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad); that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Al-Qur’an 33:59]

      The Qur’an says that Hijab has been prescribed for the women so that they are recognized as modest women and this will also prevent them from being molested.

      After implementing the above the Islamic Shariah says...‘If anyone rapes any women, he gets capital punishment’. that is, every man when he looks at a woman, he should lower his gaze –  the woman should be properly dressed up in the Hijab  – and after that, if any man rapes  – Capital punishment’.

      Therefore it is rightly said in Qur'an, Surah Al Imran Ch. 3, V. No. 19 The only Religion acceptable in the sight of Allah (swt) is the person who submits his will to Allah.

      1. yoshi97 profile image81
        yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        From what you have taught me, Islam is a religion of modesty, which is far different than the view we are given in the Western world. I was one of the few that shouted out against the crowd when 9-1-1 occurred, as people screamed of Islamic terrorists, I reminded them that no true man of Islam could have ever perpetuated such an act of violence, any more than a true Christian, Jew or Hindu could.

        I don't know where this notion of Islam being a violent religion came about, but I am pleased you have set the record straight on this one ... Islam is not the wine of rage and anger ... they preach the same tolerance that is expected from other beliefs.

        And like other beliefs, there will be those who chose to conduct hideous acts in the name of God, but these crazed few work toward their own ambitions, and not toward the enlightened of their beliefs.

        I have known some Muslims in my time (as well as Hindus, Christians, and Jews), and I can honestly say that they are as good of people as the rest are.

        The only confusion for me is the code of honor involving how one must dress, but I think we all must understand that people choose to be a part of Islam - it isn't forced upon them - so they accept this code as a way of life. Just as some of the Western world might find this manner a bit restrictive, I am certain they would find our manner a bit too aloof.

        And yet ... the fundamental belief of tolerance is still there ... just as I see it is in many other beliefs.

        That's why I say ... there are *no* Islamic terrorists, as terrorists can't be allowed to consider themselves men of Islam.

        Terrorists are those without belief, seeking only to destroy that which they chose not to tolerate. I wish more would understand this principle, as I believe it would help end some of the animosity that exists in the world. smile

    3. Earthscribe profile image80
      Earthscribeposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Well, my religion is outside of that parameter so I couldn't participate in that way. We eschew such "witnessing" as it is divorced from education & realtime application of wisdom. At some other point I may return to the thread to present info about our Theurgy -- but never to sell it.

      In our Holy Book there's one verse that sums it up quite nicely:

      "Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch!"

      http://www.elsilencio.com/elsilencio/gallery/large/36.jpg

      1. yoshi97 profile image81
        yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Actually, by 'sell me on it' I meant - to explain why you thought your belief system could benefit me or others. I'm not looking to be converted, just trying to understand the different belief systems there are, and looking to see what commonalities exist.

        By no means am I asking anyone to become a salesman, as that would be kinda like making this thread into a belief dating game, and I'm not looking for a change ... just looking to understand others better. smile

        1. Earthscribe profile image80
          Earthscribeposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          Sure, that's reasonable...
          I'll post what I can for what it's worth.

  2. profile image0
    dennisemattposted 8 years ago

    Interesting. really. I have no clue what is the TRUTH and will not try to sell you on anything, sorry. I was raised in what I now believe may be a cult, and it stank, and I am still trying to figure the rest out, I just wanted to say...good luck to you wiht all that.  smile

  3. profile image51
    badcompany99posted 8 years ago

    There is only one religion, you either believe in God and the birth of Jesus or you don't. No matter whether you are prod, catholic, jew or whatever it's down to that belief.

    Personally I look at the religious forums and laugh because I know from personal experience in the troubles in Belfast that when an athiest is lying dying the first name he calls out is " God help me " Tis truly amazing the number of athiests that find religion on their deathbeds.

    Religion is simple, you believe in God & Jesus or you don't, I do but if you don't I really don't give a monkeys, get a malignant cancer and see how it changes an athiest !

    1. Mark Knowles profile image61
      Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      lol

      Untrue. My first wife died of cancer not believing this garbage - and never uttered the word, "god." Didn't need to - because she believed in herself. And was never so insecure in herself that she needed to.

      I don't really give a monkeys how condescending you choose to be - nor how many times you need to flounce off because you forgot to take your lithium. I seriously suggest a god or a decent therapist though.

      ciao. wink

      How pathetic. Maybe a new avatar would help? lol

      Laughing at you right now. lol

      Mummy ! lol

    2. Lady_E profile image83
      Lady_Eposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with you but after reading through various threads on 
      Forums, I don't bother debating/discussing it.

      People can believe in themselves - it's their call.

      1. earnestshub profile image88
        earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Had the malignant cancer, nearly did not make it, but still no god for me thanks!

  4. profile image51
    badcompany99posted 8 years ago

    Well if I made you laugh thats a good thing, sorry to hear about your wife.

  5. yoshi97 profile image81
    yoshi97posted 8 years ago

    Mark;

    As I posted, I was looking for personal interviews on faith and Badco was straight and honest about what he felt.

    As I am treating this as a private interview, could you go back and edit your reply, pretending never to have read his, and give me your honest view on your beliefs?

    I'm not trying to control you, I'm just trying to keep the thread on track.

    You have a view which is just as important as everyone else's (at least to me) and I would like to hear it from you, without digging into how it relates to what others have wrote)

    All I'm asking is for a momentary 'play it by the rules'. smile



    and Badco ... it didn't make me laugh ... it made me sad to hear that happened. sad

    1. Eric Graudins profile image61
      Eric Graudinsposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Yoshi - I wish you lots of luck with that smile

  6. profile image0
    Madame Xposted 8 years ago

    Hinduism

    accepting of ALL other religions
    recognizes that the path to God is an individual and personal path
    your relationship with God is private and personal
    the truth resides within you and it is possible to know that truth
    there is one God who goes by many names

  7. yoshi97 profile image81
    yoshi97posted 8 years ago

    'There is one god that goes by many names'

    I never knew that, and I do find that highly intriguing. smile

    Anyone else have something interesting to share about their religion? As a thought, you could also include why you chose your current faith (inside your original post), but I'm not requiring anyone to do so.

    1. profile image0
      Madame Xposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Krishna, Rama, Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva . . .

      They are all incarnations of the Christ. Christ has come to this plane of existence many times and is, indeed, here right now. To think that He came only once is to put a limit on God in one's own mind. Every religion says openly that God is infinite, so by definition, He can not be limited by human thoughts.

      1. James Agbogun profile image61
        James Agbogunposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        And i must reply to this claim. I wish to state clearly that none of the above are related by virtue of incarnation. Except you are trying to say God deliberately wanted to create conflict for mankind. If you look at your list above; one say war, and the other peace. Isn't that a contradiction? And the definition of Heaven and requirements to get there differs with each one. So, what are we saying?

        1. yoshi97 profile image81
          yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

          An excellent question ... why do all religions differ if there is one ultimate truth? Is it possible that there is more than one truth? Dare we even ask such questions?

          I think that's the puzzle that we are all given. Do we believe or do we question things, and how much will we believe without proof? The pinnacle of belief is how much a person will accept without question. As such, people asking questions are often treated as if they have no belief.

          In my mind, questions are important as they provide answers that could help bolster one's beliefs. As such, I will keep asking them until I believe I fully understand.

          And yes, I do see many contradictions, and that's why I think belief is so difficult for many as they want to understand things better, rather than just be told to accept them as truth. smile

          1. ElElyone profile image55
            ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            THE TRUTH has paid me a visit on several occasions and He is NOT a truth He is THE TRUTH and the difference is that ONE PERSON embodies THE TRUTH and it is NOT a thing.

            HE IS A PERSON. big_smile

            See the difference?

            1. yoshi97 profile image81
              yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

              *sigh*

              My poor misguided child ...

              I have given you every opportunity to converse with me on an adult level and tried to help you express your point of view without having to resort to posts that demean others and make them look like ants on the sidewalk.

              I realize you might love God, but it's obvious you hate people, as you have not once (that I have seen) spoke to anyone without making it look as if they are beneath you.

              I can see why you have picked El Elyone as a name, as I believe you do actually see yourself as judge and jury to all men and women on this forum.

              I tried to hand out the olive branch throughout this thread to understand your views, and each time you have slapped me across the face by making me feel inferior for even daring to invite the chance to understand you better.

              I'm not sure what happened that you are sour on the human race, but I will pray tonight (yeah, I actually do that) that God will find it in his heart to remove the bitterness I see and replenish your soul with some happiness.

              I only wish it was within my own power to remove whatever it is that causes you pain, but alas, that is not within my power. I can only apologize for trying to understand you better, as you have by now made it obvious to me that you don't want to be understood ... you only want to be heard and seen as someone who is above all others.

              If you are representative of those that are chosen, then I shall remove my ballot from the box, as I prefer being one of the humble.

              'For the meek shall inherit the Earth'

              1. ElElyone profile image55
                ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                I am not trying to converse with you on an adult level.

                Yea rather, I am conversing with you on the level of God.

                And if you pray anything at all, pray that you understand that.

                And if I am telling the truth, you have to ask yourself, "maybe I need to listen?"

                Find one lie I have told.

                They are NOT my words.

                God is frank, direct and unambiguous...men are NOT.

                I just tell it like it is.

                Mankind can accept it or reject it.

                Stop thinking they are coming from me.

                Am I quoting me? Or Messiah?

                Take up your issue with Him. smile

                And you are NOT old enough to be my father unless you are ancient.

                1. yoshi97 profile image81
                  yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  I ask you politely to stop offending me, and yet you continue to do so.

                  The language of God is never offensive, nor should it be. Your mentality is that you are God speaking to me in person, and I consider that along the lines of what I read in Revelations, where a false prophet will come to speak in God's name.

                  Please, for my sanity and those who have joined this thread and kept to its rules, I ask kindly that you find another thread to talk down to your fellow humans or start a new one of your own.

                  Oddly enough, you started a thread earlier on how people censored you and dismissed what you had to say and I tried to be understanding and lend you an ear, but your choice is to bite it off rather than speak into it and I just don't want to continue on with it.

                  Therefore, you're God, I'm nothing. And we agree that I should listen to you ... and not speak back. Is that your goal? If so, I'm listening, but I think it is time that I stop responding to you, as you haven't the capacity to listen in return ... and the God I know listens to his children ...

                  1. ElElyone profile image55
                    ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    I mentioned censorship because it happens. It was not a complaint, I really do not care if it happens to me. It happens to plenty of others too.

                    That is why I mentioned that I have never tried to get someone to leave or reported them, not on a hub and not here. It's the people that run and cry to mgt. or tell me to shut up or leave, that is why I mentioned it. smile

                    Let em talk and be ready for a reply too. smile

                    I wrote a 15,000 word hub that got pulled in 24 hours. I do not care. 200 people read it in that amount of time, that would be along the lines of over 1,400 in a week.....nice numbers but....big deal man. lol

                2. profile image0
                  Madame Xposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  YOU are not God, so don't think you can speak for Him. What you call the truth may, indeed, be the truth. But no one else can know that unless they experience it for themselves. It is wonderful that you have.

                  1. ElElyone profile image55
                    ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    God does speak through His servants, I am just one of many, not special.

                    If He gives me words to speak in His name, then I will. smile

                    I speak like He does, just like He tells me to. Jesus said to speak His words and that IS what I do.

                    Read the scriptures, plenty of prophets spoke in the Name of God and in the 1st person too.

                    I do NOT call anything the truth, I do call The Person who called Himself the Way the Truth and the Life...I call Him the Truth, it's not my concept, it is that He is TRUTH and embodies ALL TRUTH. smile

        2. profile image0
          Madame Xposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          I am not making a "claim", but stating my belief, as requested by the original poster. Whether you agree or not is irrelevant

          1. yoshi97 profile image81
            yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

            Agreed.

            As said before, this is supposed to be treated as a personal interview where one can express their view without being reprised by others.

      2. Jewels profile image83
        Jewelsposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Beautifully said.

  8. Jerami profile image74
    Jeramiposted 8 years ago

    I choose The God of Abraham First because this is who I was raised up to believe in. I have found no contradictions in his message. I try to find out as much as I can about the original form of worship. I believe that man's own self righteousness has  adulterated the true message with thousands of personal interpretations. When Muhammad began the religion of Islam this was his message. I don't know how many names My GOD has with his other children.  I know that each of my children have a different name for me. B__ Head, Nice Guy, loving, punishing, charitable and stingy etc ???  My God has the power to make as many different covenants with each of his children as he pleases. I should only be concerned with satisfying my god and not be concerned with being satisfied. I believe that that is the way to true satisfaction.

    1. yoshi97 profile image81
      yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      In reply to Jerami:

      You said:

      'I should only be concerned with satisfying my god and not be concerned with being satisfied. I believe that that is the way to true satisfaction.'

      Jerami, I can see you place your beliefs ahead of your own wants. It must take a person with a lot of self-control to be able to do this, as there are so many temptations in life.

      I honor and respect this view.

      1. Jerami profile image74
        Jeramiposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        aaaaa  To me, life does seem to be one big oxymoron... In the long run, the most selfish thing you can do is to be unselfish now. I try to do that  ....BUT.... must be honest  Caint seem to keep it up all the time. any is better than none

        1. yoshi97 profile image81
          yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

          None of us are perfect, but those who at least work at becoming better are always honorable people. smile

  9. ElElyone profile image55
    ElElyoneposted 8 years ago

    "Someone" wrote this some place else and I thought it to be a short example of what the deal is....

    "One religion believes Jesus was God's son on Earth and they worship what he said while he was here. Another religion believes he was just a prophet, but guess what ... they still believe in what the man said!

    So, it made no difference how the man was perceived ... both religions got the same message. And other religions, which don't even believe in Jesus, preach the same philosophies."


    My reply was this"

    "they still believe in what the man said!"

    With all respect due The Messiah of God. He said He was and is God and so if one picks out His teachings and yet does not believe He is in very fact GOD...then they do not believe ALL of His teachings and cannot say they believe in Him.

    But they can say they believe in everything that He said except that He is GOD.


    "both religions got the same message."

    His message was and is "I AM GOD and I AM the I AM (YaHVaH) and I AM the Savior of the world and there is NO other but Me"

    That is His message and the foundation of ALL of His teachings.

    He came 1 time, NOT several times, He came and was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world and raised Himself from the dead.
    He did NOT come but ONCE.

    1. yoshi97 profile image81
      yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I understand and respect your reply, though it is confusing when other religions speak of things differently. It's difficult to know who is right when many say they are the only truth and all contradict each other.

      From what you have said I understand that Jesus (at least from a Christian understanding) arrived on Earth to give us all another chance, which seems to say that God is forgiving and patient, as he could have easily just brought about another flood.

      As I am here to listen and take things in (my rules for myself in this thread) I will not debate what you have said, and instead will see how it all fits in with the beliefs of others ... as I am trying to get a meaningful glimpse on religion from the eyes of many and your view is as much important as anyone elses.

      I will say that a man who starts a religion through his own sacrifice establishes a precedent for all who should follow (I'm not saying Christians should all be crucified - far from it - I'm saying they all should understand the meaning of giving selflessly to benefit others)

      1. ElElyone profile image55
        ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        There are a hundred dozen religions.

        You said "I will say that a man who starts a religion through his own sacrifice"

        NO, He did NOT start a religion, He knew that word and would have used it to state as such. He came to be a sacrifice, to live a perfect life and to raise from the dead and to teach the only way of salvation and return to glory.

        NOT start a religion. God is NOT a religion. Men make them up.

        Men made it into a religion, then 50 dozen more. His apostles did not start one either. I cannot let you keep making these incorrect remarks Yoshi and I don't know where you got them.

        If you're going to refer to Jesus, please do NOT mention the word religion in the same sentence, thank you. smile

        1. yoshi97 profile image81
          yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

          You have me a bit confused. If Christianity is not a religion, then what should it be classified as? (I'm not saying you are wrong, just asking for a clarification)

          Also, you are right in saying that Jesus did not start a religion ... a poor choice of words on my behalf. If he had set down many people and asked that they worship him for years to come, then my words would have been accurate, but from what I have read in the Bible, Jesus never asked people to form a religion around his life, so I do stand corrected on that one.

  10. ElElyone profile image55
    ElElyoneposted 8 years ago

    I will add that the scripture is very clear that it is in fact NOT "all inclusive"

    many are called and few be chosen.

    When I show up for football tryouts with 100 guys and the coach announces

    "You are all welcome to try out, but only 40 will be chosen."

    I do NOT say "great, all of us are going to make it on the team." big_smile

    Our society hates to be told that someone can be excluded and if you tell them that they will go get the ACLU and hall you into court.

    God is NOT the ACLU.

    1. profile image0
      Madame Xposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Wow El, where did that come from?

      1. ElElyone profile image55
        ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        THE TRUTH

        1. profile image0
          Madame Xposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          I mean, why is your story about some being chosen and a football team analogy relevant? I don't understand.

          1. ElElyone profile image55
            ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            "Many are called and few be chosen"
            Messiah

            NOT all are going to make it.

            Just like the team.smile.......God is NOT "all inclusive" in His choices.

            1. profile image0
              Madame Xposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              Oh.

            2. yoshi97 profile image81
              yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

              As I don't want to put words into your mouth (enough of that goes on in these debates) is it a case that you are chosen from birth? Can someone do something to insure they are chosen, or is it accepted that some will never be chose?

              Again, I am not questioning your faith (I want you to believe what you believe). I just want to understand it better.

              1. ElElyone profile image55
                ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                Messiah said "You have NOT CHOSEN ME, rather I have chosen you and NO ONE can come unto Me unless My Father draws him"

                Again, NOT "all inclusive"...He is NOT and American.

                1. yoshi97 profile image81
                  yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  I'll explain my confusion, as you seem to think for some reason I'm wearing a different jersey.

                  I was brought up a Methodist and I was told that God chose those who believed in the holy trinity (Father, son, and holy ghost) and respected their teachings. Are the chosen you speak of different than what I speak of in this paragraph?

                  If not, then that seems to say we have no chance at going to Heaven unless we are chosen, and nothing we say or do on Earth matters ... and I'm hoping that I am reeeaaalllly misinterpreting you big on this one. That's why I'm asking for a clarification.

          2. yoshi97 profile image81
            yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

            I think Madame X is asking the same question as I am ... how are the chosen picked?

        2. Earthscribe profile image80
          Earthscribeposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          http://www.swapmeetdave.com/Humor/Cats/CatLaugh.jpg

          1. Shaul Stein profile image56
            Shaul Steinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            i do not get it.
            what are you saying to this person?

            1. yoshi97 profile image81
              yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

              I think El Elyone was trying to convey the final TRUTH by laughing at his own antics and allowing us to share what we believe in uninterrupted. smile

              1. Shaul Stein profile image56
                Shaul Steinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                but El is not the one who inserted the picture to begin with.

    2. yoshi97 profile image81
      yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Now there is something I never knew ... and I went to church many years. Still, I can see where that could be the case. After all, how could there be people that were 'chosen' if God already had chose them all?

      What you say does make sense.

  11. Rochelle Frank profile image89
    Rochelle Frankposted 8 years ago

    To the original post:
    I am all of the above--more or less at various times-- but have come to be comfortable with where I am now.
    Everybody "pray without ceasing" and you are usually pretty much there.

    1. yoshi97 profile image81
      yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      You stay constantly in touch with your faith. No one can fault you for that. smile

  12. nilla97209 profile image56
    nilla97209posted 8 years ago

    Hi Yosji97,
         What a wonderful exercise you have initiated. I will participate here by saying, I believe as a Catholic that it is all a Mystery.
         What the truth of this existence is will hopefully be made known but maybe not. I hope for the love and peace of all people, but I know not every one does. I also wonder how a 3 dimensional world can even exist and I come back to my core belief that it is all a mystery.
         I have been both sinner and saint to both sinners and saints at various times in my life and I don't have any answers. I love as best I can, and feel love as best I can. I avoid pain as best I can and I avoid inflicting pain as best I can. I was not made to be an evangelist, or teacher, or a religious although some are.
         I have had periods in my life when I believed I was made to proselytize many things from religious faith to diets, but not any more. I have finally come to the age of I don't know much about informing anyone else about anything. Hmm, maybe that is what I should preach now. None of us really know anything and that is the gospel truth!

         O Mary, my Mother,
    I offer you my soul, my mind, and my heart.
    Make of me God's instrument.
    Give me a penetrating mind to discover,
    firm to judge, open to understand, free to serve the truth;
    an honest mind in telling what it sees rather than what it wants to see;
    a tolerant mind which does not dictate to other people,
    but which explain what it sees clearly;
    a mind infused by the light and the truth of your Son Jesus,
    patient in faith, while waiting for the vision of eternal life.

    Amen.

    1. yoshi97 profile image81
      yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      To me, it appears you have found peace with the fact that none of us can ever be perfect ... yet another peace that beliefs offer to help cope with an often cruel world.

      I agree that we must sometimes throw our hands up in the air and let be what will be ...

      Also, as I have said so many times in many forums ... it's not what you know, but what you can show others, and from your post I judge you as a person who tries their best to show others kindness, which is something I can find no fault with. smile

      1. nilla97209 profile image56
        nilla97209posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        You make my eyes water smile

  13. Rochelle Frank profile image89
    Rochelle Frankposted 8 years ago

    Going back to the original post, a quote
    "
    I would like everyone to look at me as if I am a person looking to join your religion. I am giving each of you some of my individual time to explain your views and sell me on why I should become a member of your beliefs (or lack of beliefs).

    As these are (for the intent of this thread) considered individual interviews, I want you to *totally* ignore any other posts in this thread and not to speak of other religions (as that might make me consider the others more)

    Stick to why *your* religion is the right religion for me and tell me what rewards I can expect for becoming a believer in your faith. "
    ============

    I don't want anyone to join my religion. I used to belong to a particular church--- and was a bit uncomfortable with the idea that they wanted me to spread their particular brand of faith.

    I did not have a lot against the principles they were teaching, and was even grateful that their teachings helped me to both understand and question some of the scriptural teachings.

    I think the ability to question for yourself is important. Even the Gospels teach that the Apostle Thomas questioned what other witnesses had seen. He had to see for himself.

    This was a sincere questioning, which was answered.

    I think all sincere questioners seeking the truth, are answered.

    1. yoshi97 profile image81
      yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      An excellent response. I like how you decided your beliefs for yourself. I think we are all born as individuals, so there is definitely room for individual beliefs (or the same, for those who chose to think alike). smile

  14. Rochelle Frank profile image89
    Rochelle Frankposted 8 years ago

    Well-- maybe I have to go back and re-read. I never understood that Jesus SAID he was God. He  did use a lot of metaphorical language-- "The KIngdom of God is like.." etc,

  15. Jerami profile image74
    Jeramiposted 8 years ago

    I don't remember chapter and verse but the lord was saying that we (mankind) has nothing to be proud for. Good looks. strength, intelligence  and yes even Faith. The Lord gives these things to whom ever HE chooses, So He will give faith to those he chooses  WHEN he chooses. We should pray for true faith and "maybe" he will give it to us?  We can not understand his reasons.

    1. yoshi97 profile image81
      yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      That provides a bit of a conundrum. Hmmm ...

      If God choses who he wants to believe, then what is the point of spreading his word as others won;t have faith unless God gives it to them. Is spreading the word more a test of the faith of the people he chose to spread his word?

      This is the exact confusion that prompted me to start this thread, as I want to better understand how all of this works from many different views.

      1. Rochelle Frank profile image89
        Rochelle Frankposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        To add to the confusion, many people are totally turned off and turned away from what may well be the truth, so zealously offered by some.

        1. ElElyone profile image55
          ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          This is really very elementary and simple.

          The people who are granted repentance (and this IS what it says, GRANTED) are in need of hearing about the offer, so messengers are sent to proclaim the offer so they can hear it and believe.

          This is what Messiah meant when He said "to him that has ears to hear let him hear and believe...that I AM the way the truth and the life and no man comes unto Me unless My Father draws him"

          It is like growing something, you plant seeds, you water it and then leave it up to God to make the seeds grow and NOT ALL of them will, only the ones chosen will.

          But it takes men and women to do the plant and water part.big_smile

  16. Valerie F profile image60
    Valerie Fposted 8 years ago

    I left the Catholic Church in my mid teens and spent several years identifying as an agnostic. I might have become a full-blown atheist except that I could not subscribe to any philosophy that says we create our own reasons for existence. We didn't when we started to exist, obviously.

    Thinking that there might be something to the idea that there is some grander scheme of which we are a small part, I explored different religions, philosophies, and religious philosophies and made the following observations. Western religious philosophy in particular describes God as love. Love is recognized even by atheists as being a good thing. Which religion or system of belief shows us a supreme being who is a supreme example of love, of stopping at nothing short of violating someone's free will for their benefit?

    This brought me in a roundabout way back to the Catholic Church.

    1. profile image0
      Leta Sposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I was raised Catholic, but it was always some point (actually, much) of contention their views on the roles of women, plus the evil I have seen organized religion doing in the name of God throughout history.

      I have always believed in God, however, and my study of various religions, both eastern and western, and reading most great authors and about the lives/beliefs of most of the great artists and writers throughout history only enhanced that thinking.  The ideas in Mysticism and Pantheism attracted me...my conception of which I guess I would say is beyond the human concept of love, but which certainly includes it.

      A few years ago when I was studying painting, I came across an author, John O'Donahue, who writes enormously beautiful prose (and who is also a poet, and ex Catholic priest) about the meaning of beauty in the world.  This seems to have answered something for me.

      Which has brought me back in a roundabout way to the Catholic Church.

      smile  ...though I still do not prefer to be 'organized' about it.

      1. yoshi97 profile image81
        yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I see nothing wrong with your approach. You take in what's around you and enjoy the fact that the world has much to offer. I'd be interest in knowing more about mysticism and pantheism, as I know little about the beliefs involved.

        It definitely sounds like you have given yourself a well-rounded education and that you keep your mind open to new ideas and philosophies. smile

  17. ElElyone profile image55
    ElElyoneposted 8 years ago

    Oh yeah and by the way, remember the other hub when you were misquoting facts and scriptures left and right? The one about evolution?

    Like "man was created before the animals" lol
    I did not know that. wink

    Or "how did dinosaurs fit into the ark because they are mentioned in Job?"
    They were not and Job was written before Moses wrote and I told you the books are not put together in a chronological order and you blew me off even though 1st year Sunday school know this. smile

    Where I pointed them all out to you and you just blew me off?

    Never once replying accept to say "I got another hub to write"

    So much for "the meek" lol

    I have admitted when I am wrong in these forums, can you?

    I do NOT take kindly to people who misquote scriptures in public and then make no correction when it is pointed out.

    And by the way, an olive branch is accepted AFTER the offender admits error and NOT before then. smile

  18. ElElyone profile image55
    ElElyoneposted 8 years ago

    "The language of God is NEVER offensive?"

    ALL OF YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS LIKE A USED MENSTRUAL RAG.

    Is that offensive?

    I could quote a few more. smile

    Here is one.

    THE FOOL SAYS IN HIS HEART THAT I DO NOT EXIST.

    1. earnestshub profile image88
      earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Foolish and offensive.

      1. ElElyone profile image55
        ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        GOD is offensive to the FOOL lol

  19. ElElyone profile image55
    ElElyoneposted 8 years ago

    Mercy, mercy, all of this talk about me.

    If you believe in me and I exist, then you will have your proper place with me.

    If you believe in me and I do not exist, then you will have lived a righteous life and feel great when you die.

    If you do not believe in me and I do not exist, then you were right and lived however you wanted and you are just dead and cease to exist because I do not exist. You will also have nobody to tell how right you were either.

    If you do not believe in me and I exist, then you have made a tremendously great error and I will miss you very much.

    ע ל ע ל י ו ן

    1. earnestshub profile image88
      earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Another megalomaniac it seems... bit too common amongst the zealots. smile

  20. ElElyone profile image55
    ElElyoneposted 8 years ago

    Psalm 14:1
    For the director of music. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

    Proverbs 1:7
    Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

    Proverbs 12:15
    Fools are headstrong and do what they like; wise people take advice.

    Proverbs 13:16
    A commonsense person lives good sense; fools litter the country with silliness.

    Proverbs 14:16
    The wise watch their steps and avoid evil; fools are headstrong and reckless.

    Proverbs 14:24
    The wise accumulate wisdom; fools get stupider by the day.

    Proverbs 14:33
    Lady Wisdom is at home in an understanding heart— fools never even get to say hello.

    Proverbs 17:12
    Better to meet a grizzly robbed of her cubs than a fool hellbent on folly.

    Proverbs 17:16
    What's this? Fools out shopping for wisdom! They wouldn't recognize it if they saw it!

  21. ElElyone profile image55
    ElElyoneposted 8 years ago

    Proverbs 19:29
    The irreverent have to learn reverence the hard way; only a slap in the face brings fools to attention.

    Proverbs 26:1
    We no more give honors to fools than pray for snow in summer or rain during harvest.

    Proverbs 26:8
    Putting a fool in a place of honor is like setting a mud brick on a marble column.

    Proverbs 26:11
    As a dog eats its own vomit, so fools recycle silliness.

    Proverbs 27:3
    Carrying a log across your shoulders while you're hefting a boulder with your arms Is nothing compared to the burden of putting up with a fool.

  22. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 8 years ago

    Is this from the same book where your "all powerful" god can't even feed itself?

    Vicious, nasty little fella!

    "Should people cheat God?  Yet you have cheated me!  "But you ask, 'What do you mean?  When did we ever cheat you?'  "You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me.  You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me.  Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple.  If you do," says the LORD Almighty, "I will open the windows of heaven for you.  I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in!  Try it!  Let me prove it to you!  Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease.  Your grapes will not shrivel before they are ripe," says the LORD Almighty.   (Malachi 3:8-11 NLT)

    1. ElElyone profile image55
      ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Yep, when you cheat GOD, it's like cheating your parents...things get pretty ugly for you, not them.

      And I am sure they can feed themselves too. lol

  23. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 8 years ago

    And of course if you happen to have chosen the wrong religion (out of the hundreds generated by the same book) well...

       If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, "You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord." When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through.   (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)
    Tell me just how naive do you need to be to believe this stuff?

    According to you, the god that made the universe is an insipid ferocious little spoilt child who is psychotic and stupid beyond comprehension. If someone started life with a working brain, how long does it take to get indoctrinated in to this non thinking fairy land with the good and bad boogymen? Don't pretend to know the bible, you should read 10 ways to know if you are a zealot or not.

    1. ElElyone profile image55
      ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      2 “And on that day,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will erase idol worship throughout the land, so that even the names of the idols will be forgotten. I will remove from the land both the false prophets and the spirit of impurity that came with them. 3 If anyone continues to prophesy, his own father and mother will tell him, ‘You must die, for you have prophesied lies in the name of the Lord.’ And as he prophesies, his own father and mother will stab him.

      Yep...that is what happens to those who prophecy in the name of God and esp. if you lie about it.

      And your point it?

      1. earnestshub profile image88
        earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        The point is, the words speak for themselves. Hateful, narrow minded bigoted, a lot like your replies really smile

        1. ElElyone profile image55
          ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          If you lie in the name of God, then you deserve to die !!!

          Did you go around lying in the name of your father?

          And get a pat on the back for it?

  24. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 8 years ago

    Another example of your omni benevolent god.

    "I have wiped out many nations, devastating their fortress walls and towers.  Their cities are now deserted; their streets are in silent ruin.  There are no survivors to even tell what happened.  I thought, 'Surely they will have reverence for me now!  Surely they will listen to my warnings, so I won't need to strike again.'  But no; however much I punish them, they continue their evil practices from dawn till dusk and dusk till dawn."  So now the LORD says: "Be patient; the time is coming soon when I will stand up and accuse these evil nations.  For it is my decision to gather together the kingdoms of the earth and pour out my fiercest anger and fury on them.  All the earth will be devoured by the fire of my jealousy.  "On that day I will purify the lips of all people, so that everyone will be able to worship the LORD together.  My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia will come to present their offerings.   (Zephaniah 3:6-10 NLT)

    Lovely stuff, just the sort of despot I would suck up to! smile

    1. ElElyone profile image55
      ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      YES EARNEST GOD DOES HATE EVIL AND HE DESTROYS IT.

      AND YOUR POINT IS?

      I mean, I suppose if evil is happening in your house you just sit on your fat rear end and do NOTHING.

      1. earnestshub profile image88
        earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Taking to shouting now? Losing it are we?

        1. ElElyone profile image55
          ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          Proverbs 19:29
          The irreverent have to learn reverence the hard way; only a slap in the face brings fools to attention.

          1. earnestshub profile image88
            earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            I'd like to see you try and slap my face sunshine!

  25. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 8 years ago

    Tell you what fella, you follow your tiny god, and i will just keep laughing my ass of at you.

  26. ElElyone profile image55
    ElElyoneposted 8 years ago

    "According to you, the god that made the universe is an insipid ferocious little spoilt child who is psychotic and stupid beyond comprehension."

    NO EARNEST.....ACCORDING TO YOU, YOU ,YOU !!!!!!!!!!

  27. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 8 years ago

    Where's your out-clause?

       "I will sweep away everything in all your land," says the LORD.  "I will sweep away both people and animals alike. Even the birds of the air and the fish in the sea will die.  I will reduce the wicked to heaps of rubble, along with the rest of humanity," says the LORD.  "I will crush Judah and Jerusalem with my fist and destroy every last trace of their Baal worship.  I will put an end to all the idolatrous priests, so that even the memory of them will disappear.  For they go up to their roofs and bow to the sun, moon, and stars.  They claim to follow the LORD, but then they worship Molech, too.  So now I will destroy them!  And I will destroy those who used to worship me but now no longer do.  They no longer ask for the LORD's guidance or seek my blessings."   (Zephaniah 1:2-6 NLT)

    Do you get killed along with the rest?

    1. ElElyone profile image55
      ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Nope, I do not worship Baal or Molech or idols, nor do I do wicked evil things.

      Worship of Molech was to put your babies into the hands of a metal god heated to a glow and watch them sizzle.

      If you saw someone do that, would you help? or kill the idiot fool?

      He destroys evil, what is wrong with that? NOTHING AT ALL !!!

  28. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 8 years ago

    Some more of your gods approved slaughter.

    Then, with Micah's idols and his priest, the men of Dan came to the town of Laish, whose people were peaceful and secure.  They attacked and killed all the people and burned the town to the ground.  There was no one to rescue the residents of the town, for they lived a great distance from Sidon and had no allies nearby.  This happened in the valley near Beth-rehob.Then the people of the tribe of Dan rebuilt the town and lived there.  They renamed the town Dan after their ancestor, Israel's son, but it had originally been called Laish.   (Judges 18:27-29 NLT)

    1. ElElyone profile image55
      ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Yes earnest if you read it all, the whole chapter, it has to do with the worship of idols and the punishment for that is death.

      And your point is?

      1. earnestshub profile image88
        earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Once again it speaks for itself. Neurotic behavior killing people to save them? Abusing innocent people because they will not follow your beliefs? Sorry, no interest in little neurotics, people or gods. Still a depiction of insanity.

        1. ElElyone profile image55
          ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          If you keep worshiping yourself or the things you create or what others have. Then you will die in your sins.

          1. earnestshub profile image88
            earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            See that's where you run away with yourself. Those are your options, not mine.

            1. ElElyone profile image55
              ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              Facts are NOT options Earnest.

              And you have said I am irrelevant, so ignore me. big_smile

              1. earnestshub profile image88
                earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                Like I keep saying, get over yourself. Quotes from a book are not facts, they're just quotes from a book.

                1. ElElyone profile image55
                  ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  ROTF lol

                  1. profile image0
                    Leta Sposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    This is STILL going on?  Aren't you drop-dead bored by this time?  Guy (and you are), see a counselor or something.  Clearly you are a fruitloop.  smile

  29. Eaglekiwi profile image76
    Eaglekiwiposted 8 years ago

    I identify as being a Born Again Christian
    For the benefit of those people who do not understand what that means ,it is simply this.

    Mankind was born once-physical birth

    The second birth offered is through the Holy Spirit, so a Spiritual experience. Asking and accepting the Holy Spirit to cleanse and forgive , then filling you with His Spirit. ( Opening your eyes to truth and understanding) so that you can fully know Him.

    Jesus did not say you needed a special man or church to have these gifts...all you is ASK and it will be Given..smile

    As a young child the first church I attended was a Presbyerian one. Caring and good people.
    Later as a teenager I joined the local Mormom church. They too were good and caring people.
    Somewhere in my late teens to late 20's I didnt bother with God or follow any religion and Christianity was from my mind and heart.I did everything my way,when I wanted , with who I wanted and I openly critized anyone who tried to deter my journey on the highway called 'Me'.
    On that highway I made friends with people just like me ,somegood ,some not so good,but no-one knew where they were headed ,we just knew the journey was all about us....which worked fine until we wanted more...more answers to life that is...and had children who eventually wanted to know more about their world , and other people...

    Eventually I came to 'the crossroads' of my life.
    I chose Christ , I beleived he loved me enough to die for me.
    He answered (and continues too) all of my questions and fills me with hope.
    Hope for the future ,in a dying world
    Hope for love ,when people obviously physically show hate to one another
    Hope in eternal life, there has to be more ,and if there is not ,what have I lost-Nothing.

    We live in a constantly changing world ,filled with new laws every day ,but Gods rules never change ,they are the same yesterday ,today and forever.
    I am glad I know exactly where he stands and that he is not a man (or woman) that will change His mind.
    I feel free because He set me free.

    That is why I call myself a Christian and a child of Gods...I am content in His Love and He has been faithful to his promises.

    It is sad to see some people quote scripture after scripture with no love in their hearts...even God said that was 'as clanging cymbals' noise , noise .Maybe they are hoping to ward of the enemy? ..hmm..as with all weapons ,training would be appropriate.

    God doesnt need defending ,and I am grateful for the opportunity to share with you a man called Jesus ,I know him as friend  and Saviour smile

  30. Valerie F profile image60
    Valerie Fposted 8 years ago

    There were a few other observations that I picked up- that there is not a single person in the world who represents their religion or belief perfectly. As the only people who believe they never fall short of their own professed ideals are either deluded and/or have abysmal standards, I concluded that it is a grave error to judge a religion's teachings by how its devotees fail to follow them. People violate their beliefs very often, even while they claim the most loudly to be following them.

    Suicide bombers do not represent real Islamic teaching.
    Hindus persecuting Christians, Muslims, and Sikhs run afoul of Vedic teaching.
    And if you claim to be a Christian, but you have a problem with Judaism, you're hating Jesus' own people.

    And to paraphrase a brilliant homily I once heard, the Catholic Church, just like any group of people, has a lot of people screwing up and doing a lot of things nobody should like. But we also have the Bible and the Sacraments. Which do you think is a better reflection of what the Church really teaches?

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      You would think the answer would be repentance for something of that flavor but na, all I learned was the thing I do not want to be. big_smile

      1. Valerie F profile image60
        Valerie Fposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Well, the Bible teaches repentance, and we have a Sacrament that's all about it, too.

  31. mcbean profile image76
    mcbeanposted 8 years ago

    I have strong beliefs.

    I am a non believer and I believe this will all that i have to give.

    I embrace the randomness of all acts.

    I do not look to thank a God for the good in the world.

    I do not look to blame a God for the bad.

    I believe that we will all end up where we started. As tiny blocks of matter lost in a sea of similar particles.

    I believe our life is a tiny period where our substance forms a pattern that is able to maintain itself briefly before being lost forever in the chaos.

    I believe in the right of others to believe what they want.

    I believe we should all keep our personal beliefs as just that, and not preach to others.

    I am confused by organized religion.

    I believe in the power of religion to do great harm because of the passion it stirs. When passion outweights reason, there is not limit to the trouble it can cause.

    I believe than many will find my views difficult to understand.

    I believe that I have said enough.

    1. yoshi97 profile image81
      yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I believe I see nothing wrong with your beliefs. You see life from a scientific point of view, believing in that which you can touch, feel, and see. Faith is believing in that which can't be proven, but belief is considering something real because you believe it has proven to you. As such, I see nothing wrong with your beliefs.

      The thing I find most interesting is that you are okay with others believing what they will. As your beliefs classify you as an atheist, most would have us believe that you are out to disprove religion and allow no others to have their beliefs, but this post proves just the opposite ... that you are not out to abolish religion ... it's just not something you embrace.

      As such, I most certainly won't cast a stone at you, nor should anyone else, as you are exercising your beliefs while allowing others their own. smile

  32. ElElyone profile image55
    ElElyoneposted 8 years ago

    Matthew 18:5-6 Messiah says:

    “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.
    But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea."

    Just a different point of view.

    One from man, the other from The Messiah.

  33. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 8 years ago

    This is an honest attempt to explain where my particular view was born.
    I was from a Catholic family.

    In my twenties I went from rags to riches when I left for the city, started a business doing what I loved to do, and kept doing it for almost 30 years.
    I awoke every morning wanting to go to work to have fun, just like I did the day before.I cannot recall ever feeling under pressure, seldom knew how much money I had, and could not care less anyway. I had modest needs, as did my wife, like a piano for our daughter, we had a decent car, and all we required.
    Extra money often got used up on friends and family that had less. Never missed the money, would not know where it went. Too busy enjoying!

    I knew nothing at all about business gouging, so just treated those who worked for me as well as I knew how at that time resulting in honest decent management doing my jobs as well, leaving me free to do as I liked.

    I found  time to think and learn, as with enough money came intellectual space and time to read and learn about this strange bush kid and what he needed to know.

    Since then I have been able to keep learning what I deem important, how to be me.

    I have to say I find myself to be deeply flawed, always have. It's not about low self worth, but it is about looking inside to see how I really am, wearing it, then doing the always painful work required of self knowledge.

    I do not believe in sin or god, although I was a "born again" as a younger man. I do have substantive evidence for my beliefs, reinforced over time, and not at all simple or simplistic.

    I have no formal education having less than 4 years of school in total spread over 6 years.
    I have permitted myself to think and learn what I have chosen as important to know.

    You may spot the holes in my formal education in my writing, (self taught) but if you take me on with religion, nanotech, psychology, brain chemistry and several other areas of interest, know that I learn quick, and will advance a considered opinion.

    I believe in reading widely to broaden the mind, questioning all of it then using evidence from other sources to validate. Works for me. smile

    1. profile image0
      Leta Sposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      It's cool, Earnest...  It's all about a journey I think...at least to me.

      I cannot imagine doing the same thing for 30 years, wow.  But I must say it always surprises me how many people I sorta feel an affinity towards...or something sorta like that...that turn out to have been raised Catholic or who are ex-Catholics.  It's weird!  Kinda like a club or a cultural affiliation or something.

      They usually are NEVER of the Mel Gibson ilk, though!  lol wink  ewwwwww.

      1. earnestshub profile image88
        earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        It was partly the people involved. I loved dealing with the public, I had a unique niche, and all the needed expertise to carry out business in a way that worked great for the customer.
        30 years dealing with the public in a market that you absolutely dominate is a real buzz! What it taught me is that people are good in the main, and often so much more!

        And, at 23 or so, I got to play god a bit too, deciding who was worthy of the extra time and engineering knowledge required to give their machine the edge! smile

      2. yoshi97 profile image81
        yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Earnest:

        My grandmother was of the same fiber ... self made ... and let me tell ya, I sure wish she was here, as she was a great person. She infected me with the same bug, as I went on to teach myself how to repair computers (self-trained) and now I have been doing it for 20 years.

        It goes to show that we can teach ourselves, just as easily as we can be taught ... which says a lot for the strength of the human mind.

        Of course, it never hurts that you were able to do something for 30 years that you liked. Few get that privilege, often having to take on jobs that they hate.

        Your fortunes are many Earnest (speaking more of your life than any dollar you have ever earned), and I do feel fortunate for knowing someone lives a life that proves hard work and dedication do lead to something good.

        And Earnest ... modesty is not a flaw ... it's a gift. smile


        Lita:  I think you might feel more comfortable around catholics and ex-catholics because you grew up around them (I think I remember saying you did) so you have a good understanding of their beliefs and this gives you a commonality to start with ... or ... you run a life full of coincidences (many of us do, including myself, but I won't droll on about the oddities I have witnessed personally, as this is more a quest to learn about the people surrounding me on this forum.

        With rare exception, I must say I am impressed with the caliber of people who hang out on these forums, and while many believe in different ways ... the common theme seems to be about being good to others, whether out of choice (which seems to be the preference) or because it is deemed the proper thing to do.

  34. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 8 years ago

    No, you love to here your own ideas and express them as fact. smile
    One day you may even believe enough to leave others to decide for themselves. smile

  35. Colebabie profile image61
    Colebabieposted 8 years ago

    Why do some people talk and talk and talk and say the same thing over and over again expecting a different response??

  36. Iamblessed profile image54
    Iamblessedposted 8 years ago

    It's really too bad this "experiment" got out of hand. It "could" have been a good one to follow. Instead, all we got was "rhetoric" and a bunch of "bantering" back and forth. That tells us nothing about religion, but a lot about the people writing the "arguments". Who won??

    It "could" have been refreshing to hear "the other side" - period!

    1. Eaglekiwi profile image76
      Eaglekiwiposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      There have been more great posts than bad ones smile

    2. profile image0
      Leta Sposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Completely disagree.  Between the crap, there was some interesting stuff.  And I much prefer hearing about 'the people' and the stories that frame their thoughts.

      1. yoshi97 profile image81
        yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I agree wholeheartedly with you Lita. I've squelched the noise to listen to what people have to say ... and I have to say that I have learned many interesting things throughout this thread.

        While there has been some side banter trying to take things off-track (as that appears to be the sole purpose of one individual) I am extremely proud of those who have been brave enough to share their personal thoughts and keep it otherwise civil.

        Remember ... the purpose of this thread is an interview where you can share what you believe in (even if your belief is that you believe in nothing), and as such, I don't want *anyone* feeling they must defend their beliefs. This thread wasn't created for that purpose, and anyone who posts here and feels pressured to defend their beliefs, I ask that you do as I have ... and refuse to listen or converse with those who try to berate your belief.

        Too many threads in this forum revolve around telling others their beliefs are wrong, and the purpose of this thread is for everyone to get an equal chance to express their personal view of their beliefs without being judged by others or feeling their beliefs are inadequate or don't matter.

        I do encourage friendly conversation and questions some might have of another's beliefs, provided they revolve around understanding them better - not tearing them down - and I believe we would see even more share of themselves, if only we can resist the urge to defend what we believe in.

        That's why I started this thread by stating to everyone that it's a one-on-one interview with me. As I am not questioning your beliefs, only asking what they are, then you need not defend yourself to anyone here.

        And with that said, I can't wait to hear more from everyone. smile

  37. Eaglekiwi profile image76
    Eaglekiwiposted 8 years ago

    I still remember this guy who attended the same church as me years ago now.

    He had a wife and between them 4 kids ,anyway Norman ( why are Normans always strange) never had a normal conversation , he always spoke in scripture and quotes ...

    It got to be so irritating, and one day this tall young guy called couldnt stand it any longer and at a church picnic....when Norman was asked if he wanted to play this ball game , he launched into  If the Lord so ....rah rah rah

    This young guy yelled out "What the f*&%*ks wrong with you  man".....yes or no...lol

    lol lol..Everyone talked about that picnic for months..and Norman left the church,( think he felt contimated or something)...truth was Norman was not holy at all...wont go into details , suffice to say ,Norman used Spirituality as a mask to hide dirty nasty lil secrets...

    No, Im not inferring you are hiding nasty secrets , but I do think you need to get with the real programme...even Jesus blended in with all kinds of people...he didnt preach every single conversation...
    That is what is meant "Be In the world"....(not of the world)

    Strive to live in peace!

    Peace I like that word smile

    1. ElElyone profile image55
      ElElyoneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, a lot of people do hide behind things, spirituality is only one of them. Some hide behind drugs, booze, sex, etc...

      Some are transparent.

  38. ElElyone profile image55
    ElElyoneposted 8 years ago

    1 Cor 2:15-16

    "But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man
    For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him?" But we have Messiah's mind."

  39. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 8 years ago

    Thank you yoshi97, but be assured, I am deeply flawed. smile I am not pretending. I have hurt people all my life through my ignorance, I would just like to have less of it! smile

    1. Eaglekiwi profile image76
      Eaglekiwiposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Yep Im definately human too!


      In fact the last time I said to God , I need to talk to you

      He said "its gonna be a long night isnt it"

      nite all smile

      1. earnestshub profile image88
        earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        smile That was funny! Goodnight dear Eaglekiwi! smile

        1. yoshi97 profile image81
          yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

          Goodnight Kiwi. smile

          1. profile image0
            sandra rinckposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            nite, nite Kiwi. smile

    2. yoshi97 profile image81
      yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Ignorance ... as defined in the dictionary .. is not knowing something. The fact that you went on to discover you hurt others and feel sad for it tells me you are a good person.

      Besides ... it's not about what you did yesterday, or else we would not live so long. The purpose of a long life (in my opinion) is to give one a chance to learn enough to correct the mistakes they make early on.

      Rest assured, there is good inside of you Earnest, or else you would not regret what occurred in the past.

      understanding is not a flaw ... it's an evolution of the mind that allows you to see past mistakes and press forward by not repeating them. smile

  40. ElElyone profile image55
    ElElyoneposted 8 years ago

    No answer as to why He spoke through the donkey eh?

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Because he likes to make an ass of himself? lol

      1. earnestshub profile image88
        earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Bought to you by the quick wit of Sandra Rink! (say fast 5 times)  smile

        1. yoshi97 profile image81
          yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

          Help ... I've fallen out of my chair (from laughing), and I can't get up.

          1. profile image0
            sandra rinckposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            lol  I love to make people laugh. smile

            1. yoshi97 profile image81
              yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

              Yeah, but ya gotta be careful with that gift. What if I woulda cracked my head on the desk on my way down? I coulda sued you for injury due to comedy.

              I'll be keepin an eye on ya, to make sure ya not be hurtin anyone else - haha!

              1. earnestshub profile image88
                earnestshubposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                Sandra, stop knockin the heck out of hubbers! smile

                1. yoshi97 profile image81
                  yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  Kinda reminds me of that 'funniest joke' skit from Monty Python. I found the original written skit here: http://www.jumpstation.ca/recroom/comed … /joke.html

                  haha!

                  1. profile image0
                    sandra rinckposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    I just got done reading it and watching it too.  I like this one best.  Biggus Dickus. 

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPGb4STRfKw

  41. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 8 years ago

    Just finished reading. They were a talented group, I never missed their TV shows. Wonderful! smile

  42. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 8 years ago

    Oh yes! Thank you Sandra, I am having a good day! and Yothi I agree, we should all deny it and say we heard it from our parents. smile

  43. rosariomontenegro profile image77
    rosariomontenegroposted 8 years ago

    Yoshi, I've been trying for a while to read about religion in the Forums and I have to confess, let me put it this way,  I didn't have an exceedingly rewarding experience.
    But then, surprise, I saw your thread, your title was excellent, I wanted to know what the experiment was about and wow, I found a bunch of very interesting people giving very interesting answers. Of course one has to jump a bit to avoid the local impersonator of I don't know who exactly, but it's been worthwhile.
    Now of course we are talking Monty Python, an interesting development, so I guess the discussion is kind of over. But I have to thank you for the opportunity to get to know the views of a group of intelligent people.
    As for myself, I was born a Catholic, became at 17 an agnostic, then traveled a long road and eventually found a true Teacher and a spiritual path for me to walk. I am trying to be a Buddhist and I think any religion that suits the mind of a given person is a true religion.
    Thank you Yoshi for an excellent thread.

    1. yoshi97 profile image81
      yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Actually, we took a short break to relax, given some of the intensity we have seen in this thread. I have learned a lot and hope to learn more, so I'd like to see it continue, as I believe it to be (for the most part) a success, in that many people were allowed to share something about their beliefs allowing others a glimpse of how other beliefs work. I'd like to see more people be brave enough to come forward and share their beliefs.

      Is there anything you can tell me about Buddhism? To be honest, I only know about the Buddha statues, which claims me as probably one of the ones who know the least about Buddhism, but I'm willing to learn more. smile

  44. Susana S profile image91
    Susana Sposted 8 years ago

    Hi Yoshi, I was just going to point out the benefits of Tibetan Buddhism for your interest and discernment, so it looks like I have joined this thread just at the right time smile My own reasons for liking the teachings of Buddhism are:

    You are encouraged to think for yourself at all times and question everything.

    There is no God to worship. The Buddha was just a mortal man who became enlightened - he is not seen as a god.

    One of the aims of Buddhism is to increase and develop your personal capacity for compassion, love, forgiveness & happiness. Buddhism offers various practical techniques to help you achieve this, such as meditation.

    There is no judgement. Everyone has their own path to follow.

    There is no sin. Only things that help you develop the best of human qualities (such as compassion) and those that take you further away from that goal.

    Here's something the Dalia Llama said in the book The Art of Happiness. "There are five billion human beings and in a certain way I think we need five billion different religions, because there is such a large variety of dispositions. I believe that each individual should embark upon a spiritual path that is best suited to his or her mental disposition, natural inclination, temperament, belief, family and cultural background."

    To me, that's wisdom smile

    1. yoshi97 profile image81
      yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Indeed, that is wisdom! Many religions would have us believe that mortal man is incapable of following a proper plan on his own, and now I see a whole belief system revolving around the belief he can.

      I can easily accept this belief, as I too believe people are capable of remarkable things, if only they are given the chance. smile

  45. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 8 years ago

    Warning! usmanali is loose again!

  46. Eaglekiwi profile image76
    Eaglekiwiposted 8 years ago

    Looks for my iggy button lol

  47. rosariomontenegro profile image77
    rosariomontenegroposted 8 years ago

    I forgot to add that imho it's best that religion and state remain separate. A government should defend all religions including of course the non religious individuals or groups. Heavens forbid that one single religion rules (even if it is mine) because religions are made in heaven, so to speak, but are applied by human beings that are or are not mentally and morally sound.

  48. Shaul Stein profile image56
    Shaul Steinposted 8 years ago

    i have accepted that i have missed the mark, made errors, mistakes and done many wrongs. some of them willfully, some not willfully but in a moment of passion i broke rules that i knew better, and some i have done in ignorance. those became knowledge / learning and i moved forward, trying to remember what i learned from the ignorant error and so it became part of conscience understanding for me.
    the three forms of errors i have found, come with a disciplining and the first one comes with the most severity of disciplines.

    1) willful errors, ardent disregard for doing the right thing.
    2) not willful, but I knew they were errors and lost control of my actions.
    3) i had no idea it was wrong at all, none, my conscience did not warn me.

    i have found that no matter what, i still could not "always" do the right thing and still lost self control "from time to time." and i am still "ignorant" of many things.
    so i found myself feeling like i could not atone for all of this and wanted to be free from the guilt and sorrows that accompany a soul carrying such a burden.
    then the atonement found me and forgave me as i told the atonement what i had done.
    now i am free. if i do happen to disregard my conscience, i speak to the atonement about it and continue on the path.

    i love the atonement because it first showed me love and forgiveness.

    1. yoshi97 profile image81
      yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I am familiar with this belief. Through penance, one can be forgiven and move one, knowing they can still lead a good life by doing the best they can to stay on the right path.

      Oddly enough, we teach our children the same thing, by having them apologize for the wrongs they commit against others and asking of them to try and be better children the next day. smile

  49. Earthscribe profile image80
    Earthscribeposted 8 years ago

    "There is no God to worship. The Buddha was just a mortal man who became enlightened - he is not seen as a god."

    Refreshing to see some accurate thought on Buddhism, Susana! big_smile

    1. Jewels profile image83
      Jewelsposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Very refreshing.  I've always seen Jesus the same, a mortal man who became enlightened.

  50. Shaul Stein profile image56
    Shaul Steinposted 8 years ago

    look at the original on page 8
    seems like he is being laughed at

    1. yoshi97 profile image81
      yoshi97posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Perhaps ... but I like the idea we can finally share our beliefs without donning on a suit of armor first. After all, the premise of the thread was to be able to share what we believe in (just this once) without having to defend our beliefs. smile

 
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