DIALOGUE

I invite you to peruse the post immediately previous and examine the comments section. Therein a person named Bullfrog raised some pretty solid standard right-wing talking points regarding the alleged War on Christmas and the larger alleged campaign against Christianity in the U.S. Since I believe Bullfrog is likely quite sincere, I felt it appropriate to offer him/her the most sober and thoughtful response I could muster. That, of course, means that my response was quite long and gassy. So I won’t reprint it here, I’ll just link to the post. Have at it, please.

(NOTE: If you decide to join in, please note that I managed to restrain myself from using demeaning or insulting language after I calmed down a bit. I feel that, as ridiculous as Bullfrog’s ideas seemed to me at first, it is possible in today’s climate of overheated misinformation that he/she could be quite sincere. So try to display a bit of tact, and please don’t start out with hostility as I did.)

6 comments on “

  1. Mary says:

    Dear Church Secretary,Being a god fearing member of society myself, I often feel it necessary to explain myself above and beyond the call of duty, hence, I found your note both funny and familiar. : )

  2. Bullfrog says:

    Look guys, I have to be honest and say that in your quest for wisdom, arrogance will not make the journey any easier. Talking about me like I am a Babe in the Woods” simply because I don’t agree with you is sort of self-righteous don’t you think? I’ll consider your views, whether I agree or not, but without the pity thank you.

  3. Mary says:

    I was actually being serious, I find myself over explaining crap all the time; sorry, that’s all I meant…no pity here…

  4. teh l4m3 says:

    Yes, he is arrogant because he proved you wrong.What a convenient world you live in.(Sorry, CS, but I have less patience than you. I mean, he says at one point “I recognize there is no big coherent conspiracy blahdiblahdiblah…”, and then continues on as though there is. What the hell?)

  5. Bullfrog says:

    Please help me understand how I was “proved wrong”, first of all as I think what CS and I are having is a difference of opinion.Second, when I say there is no PHYSICAL group of people who are conspiring to eliminate all things Christian from our society, I am drawing a line between the physical world that we live in and the spiritual; maybe you saw references to Satan and other things spiritual in the exchange CS and I were having? There is a spiritual realm that we cannot see and a battle is being waged there between good and evil and I believe the evil chalks up a small battle won the day we are not allowed to say something “Religious” because someone says they are offended by it.Comprende?

  6. Interesting point, Bullfrog. We seem to share a belief in the physical existence of Satan, or at least in some malevolent spiritual population in opposition to God.However, I take my cues on the nature of that evil’s existence from the book of Genesis. The simple yet cleverly written passage where the serpent appears to Eve is obviously, and meaningfully, heavy on symbolism. Perhaps the serpent is a metaphorical representation of Satan, or perhaps it was an actual serpent being used as a puppet by Satan or one of his underlings. The elliptical nature of the symbolism is probably what leads many people, theologians and secularists alike, to conclude that this passage– indeed, the entire story of Adam’s and Eve’s fall from grace– as metaphorical. I digress, however.My point is that this Evil, though obviously conscious, sentient, and powerful enough to manipulate the physical realm (I’m obviously a proponent of the serpent possession theory; a literalist interpretation, to be sure), did not force Eve or Adam to disobey God. What the Evil did was to use persuasion. However, Eve’s subsequent admission that she was deceived is admission by her that she was aware that something was fishy with the serpent’s proposition before she bought it. Adam’s excuse was even more pathetic: he blamed God for giving him a faulty companion. Anyway, both humans rebelled against God of their own free will. Again, the free will aspect of the story is what lends it such an allegorical tang.This is where you and I diverge, Bullfrog, and I can see why teh l4m3’s b.s. detector went off. I have no doubt there is a spiritual war going on. However, if we are the physical pawns, as it were, then we are pawns with free will. How much influence comes from the other realm? I haven’t a clue. However, we make our own choices. That is, I believe, the essence of Jesus’ example for us.Jesus came primarily as a ransom sacrifice, a mitigating expiation for humanity. The lesson of the Israelites, I believe, is that human beings in their imperfect state could never measure up to God’s perfect standards. No amount of law, even as dictated from God, could change that. So a perfect life had to be given in exchange for the perfection tossed away by Adam and Eve. Highly symbolic, I know, but that’s where it gets really cool.Jesus didn’t just come out of Mary’s womb and get tossed directly onto a burning altar. He lived to adulthood, and did a whole lot of interacting with humanity along the way. Why bother? one might ask. Well, I think that gets into Jesus’ other important role, the one that gets lost in so much of contemporary Christian dogma. Between Jesus’ much ballyhooed birth and his oft fetishized death, there was a remarkable young adulthood as recorded in the Gospels. Jesus set quite an example, one that is often ignored by many Bible-thumping, queer-bashing, moralizing self-described Christians today.To sort of get to the point (because I know this rhetorical meander is making people’s eyelids heavy), the dogged defense (unnecessary, as I see it) of Christmas in the name of defending Christianity is an attempt to blow smoke up our collective nether regions. Christmas, from a biblical perspective, has nothing to do with Christ. It is an invention of the clerical orthodoxy, originally designed to bring non-Christians into the fold in a less messy and violent manner.In a more general sense, the alleged war on Christianity in this country is a political fiction created by modern-day Pharisees who are more interested in stirring up anger and fear than they are in cultivating Christ-like qualities. These same Pharisees give political support (usually by leading voting blocs of the ‘faithful’) to the most horrible behavior of our government– mass murder, torture, etc.– while they rail against homosexuality and other sexual issues.I guess the bottom line is that I tend to view the real battle for good and evil as one that every person must wage within him- or herself first. If one studies and appreciates the living example of Jesus Christ, then one will be better equipped to fight this war. One will not be easily misled by divisive, publicly pious hucksters who prey upon our human failings of fear, ignorance, and self-righteousness.

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