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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
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Post 30 Apr 2016, 01:26
Welcome, from another Marxist and Christian who agrees that Marxism is the logical outgrowth of a postmillenial Christian worldview where humanity gradually works towards the Kingdom of Heaven. I mean, the Sermon on the Mount is basically a description of a communist society. Not all Christians are postmillenialists, but I regard Left Behind-ism as a weird heresy that does not comport with church tradition.

As far as Engelsist's point on gods: one thing the old "god of the gaps" idea has never covered is why hunter-gatherer societies all have some form of deity, usually a panentheistic "all-father" type figure. These are groups without scarcity or coherent organization, who don't usually display the kinds of polytheistic categorization you see in tribal-to-slaveholding societies. This is a simple "all-father" that encompasses and is beyond all. The explanation in-vogue now is the "god gene," that there is an innate sense of religiosity to humanity that drives us forward. We can be described, even more than homo economicus, as homo theologicus.

I do disagree with your reading of the USSR's fall though. Obviously Yeltsin deserves calling out as a treasonous wrecker. And perestroika was a disastrous policy of transition to social democracy that should never have been tried. But I'd argue it was the logical consequence of having so ossified a bureaucracy, a bureaucracy that had set in frankly with taking power from the soviets in wartime and that had ramped into overdrive under Brezhnev. It strikes me as un-materialist to just say "it was one guy's fault." Every revolution reaches thermidor, the USSR was well past that point by the time of Gorbachev. The bureaucracy was so entrenched that any reform of it that wasn't broad enough in scope would ultimately only help it wreck the system it fed on like a leech or a cancer.

I also have no clue where Lev is getting "Mossad spies" from.
And I say this as someone not entirely averse to "conspiracy theories" when it comes to intelligence agencies, for whom "conspiracy" is a job description. Who isn't averse to describing misdeeds by Israel either. Who, for example, suspects a chunk (okay, mostly Richard Perle, who was investigated as part of the Larry Franklin intel leaks) of Bush's Defense Department of conscious collusion with Mossad. And who, based on Craig Unger's work for Vanity Fair, thinks it would be fair to describe Jerry Falwell as an Israeli agent during the Lewinsky affair, given his brazen meeting with Netanyahu at the start of it. In what amounts to using the scandal to undermine President Clinton's political capital, which apparently the spiteful asshole Bibi had as much of a vested interest in as the American right.

I think the Likud Party and right-wing parts of the Israeli establishment are a blot on Middle Eastern peace. And are manipulative vassals who don't actually even benefit American policy as much as their Labor rivals, and have a tendency to throw hissyfits at any President who doesn't handle them with kid gloves; Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Bush I, Clinton, Obama. But "the USSR was imploded by the Mossad" is a bit far even for me, I don't see a motive or evidence.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
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Post 30 Apr 2016, 03:34
The ultimate source of all religious belief is fear. Fear of the darkness of night, fear of thunder and lightning, flash floods, earthquakes, unfriendly carnivores with eyes that glow in the dark, etc.

You don't need an organized society or enough knowledge to propose a "God of the gaps" theory. All you need is the basic emotion of fear predicated on the fight or flight instinct, and enough memory capacity to have nightmares about deceased relatives suffering in agony (which is the basic source of belief in an "after life").

Honestly, when you reduce it all down to its lowest common denominator, the basic wish-fulfillment, coupled with the intrinsic selfishness, of such beliefs becomes glaringly apparent.

That's not to say that religion can't provide good times for Renaissance Popes or modern televangelists, but it's ultimately nothing more than a handy means of grabbing power and makin' that stupid money.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Post 30 Apr 2016, 04:38
Comrade Gulper wrote:
The ultimate source of all religious belief is fear. Fear of the darkness of night, fear of thunder and lightning, flash floods, earthquakes, unfriendly carnivores with eyes that glow in the dark, etc.

Again, the "god of the gaps" does not explain the existence in every observed hunter-gatherer society of a panentheistic "all-father" sort of figure. This figure is not ascribed to anything in particular beyond simple existence. It exists even in societies without a polytheistic system of anthropomorphized gods ascribed to X thing or Y thing, which seems to have arisen with the neolithic (tribal society) considering its sparseness among hunter-gatherers. The nomadic/semi-hunter-gatherer Amazonian and Papuan tribes seem to have rudimentary polytheism with primacy for a panentheistic "all-father" figure, the fully hunter-gatherer Khoisan/Bushmen appear to simply have the latter.

It looks increasingly likely the source of all religious belief is genetics.

As for why neolithic society is where you start seeing polytheistic gods that fill in various gaps, the reason is likely that the more complex a language is, the more categorization can be made. Categorization to that degree is also pointless when your existence rests around "hunt, eat, frag, sleep," which is why hunter-gatherer languages are dramatically less complex in the first place.

Quote:
That's not to say that religion can't provide good times for Renaissance Popes or modern televangelists, but it's ultimately nothing more than a handy means of grabbing power and makin' that stupid money.

And for every Pope Alexander VI or Pat Robertson, I could bring up a Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King or Dorothy Day. The early English labor movement was Methodist and Quaker, the Quakers played a huge role in the womens' movement, Christians of all denominations and many Jews were abolitionist. Today, civil rights groups are still led by Northern/Black Baptists and Methodists, the Quakers and Presbyterians have a huge role in the anti-war movement alongside American Muslims, the labor movement in the US is predominantly Catholic. And their faith informs those struggles just as much as it does reaction.

My own church does a lot of work as far as immigrants' and prisoners' rights are concerned, plus charity for the homeless. And (left-wing) politics is brought up pretty regularly at the pulpit. So, I'm not sure what some Russian Orthodox assholes did to make you hate the church so damn much, but many of us actually do take Christ's teachings seriously.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 30 Apr 2016, 20:50, edited 4 times in total.
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Post 30 Apr 2016, 05:56
Annatar is a lot like Order. You guys should be pals.

Also frag you Annatar, you old bastard. Actually post here.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Dec 2015, 18:59
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 01 May 2016, 00:26
Dagoth Ur wrote:
Annatar is a lot like Order. You guys should be pals.

Also frag you Annatar, you old bastard. Actually post here.


Lol, I try.


Some good points made here re; spirituality, but as st. James said; ''The devils believe and tremble''. Action in this world is the fruit of Faith, and Christian Faith is not developed if it doesn't work against Capitalism.... Just as when some did not work against slavery.

But many do.
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Post 01 May 2016, 06:44
You should stop worshipping Loki and acknowledge the new gods and animistic spirits.
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Post 01 May 2016, 06:58
Dagoth Ur wrote:
You should stop worshipping Loki and acknowledge the new gods and animistic spirits.

Loki? Pfft. Odin meets Baldr meets ancestral spirits, in the Norse conception. Or, in the Hollywood one, the slain and risen Gandalf the Grey.

Gods plural all accumulate into God singular, we follow a triune conception of that. God the oneness beyond comprehension (Yahweh/Allah/whatever), God as example to humans (Jesus), God within all (Holy Spirit/"The Force"/whatever).
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Post 02 May 2016, 05:26
Yeah and then he says "watch out for those other dudes who claim to be Gods. only me bruh"

Also all we know of Norse Gods comes from Christian edda. Ragnorok fits into the Garden story pretty conveniently
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Post 02 May 2016, 06:54
Those other dudes who claim to be gods are part of his totality. He is us, and all beyond us. A pagan god can have veneration and prayers for aid; like an angel, or a saint. But it's pointless to worship anything but the all.
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Post 02 May 2016, 15:46
Except God routinely punishes anyone daft enough to serve other Gods. If he is receiving the psychic energy poured into the system from every point then why try to stop people from following dynamic gods?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Sep 2011, 13:51
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Post 02 May 2016, 16:33
Well, let me just say, that if there is a God, he's been overwhelmingly good to me, even though I've never really believed in him.
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My laws shall act more pleasure than command,
And with my prick I'll govern all the land.
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Post 02 May 2016, 17:27
How do you know it was him and not the Greater Soul of your ancestral kin, or the Spirit of your Nations?

The Desert Usurper has made it very clear that he gives nothing to those who do not follow him.
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Post 02 May 2016, 17:35


I am confuse.

All I know is that Jesus sounded like a cool guy when he said, "I have but one final commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you."
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My laws shall act more pleasure than command,
And with my prick I'll govern all the land.
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Post 02 May 2016, 20:17
Dagoth is high and angry at Islamists, pay him no mind.

Also, biblically there are numerous examples of God blessing non-believers. Mostly in the New Testament where it's all over the place, but even in the Old, Cyrus the Great (certainly not a Jew) is hailed as a hero blessed by God.

Yahweh punishes idolaters scripturally, in the sense of people who worship other gods; and this is just as much money, or self, or what have you as Ba'al. Also note that when he literally purged people for worshiping a false deity, this was explicitly in the context of "they're tossing babies into the fire." Calling on other gods as if on a saint for aid, as an aspect of God, has no biblical basis but is part of the Christian hermetic tradition and thus church tradition. And Christ did not write a book, he founded a church that wrote a book; scripture is only the encapsulation of the heart of that tradition.

God works on all nations. There are prophets in all, and every faith is a (however-imperfect) means of getting closer to God. A Christian will believe that we have the "real ultimate tr00th," but Mahayana Buddhism's teachings are probably remarkably similar for a reason. Hinduism is in dire need of reform, but Krishna was widely identified by Jesuits as a likely prophet to the Indian people. And Shaivism points further in the direction of the divine in the context of that system, by breaking its rigid and anti-human caste and gender structure. Islam, Shi'a Islam is closer to Christianity than Sunni and thus I guess it's more "God's way of reaching them," but it was the opinion of the Catholic Church for centuries that Islam in general was God's way of reaching out to the pagans of Arabia.

Within the context of paganism itself, you had movements pushing further towards monotheism such as the Roman mystery cults of Isis and Dionysus. Hell, you could even say the first recordable example of this was the move towards Aten-worship in Egypt, but at most that was making use of the negative situation of a Pharaoh forcing worship of his ancestral deity for the good of a push away from "god of the gaps." Yahweh even has little resemblance to Aten, the sun is of course part of him but it's only tangential. If anything, he better-resembles Set, god of foreigners and change, the one who would have cursed Egypt. Or Osiris, the slain and risen god, gatekeeper of the underworld. Or even Isis, goddess of slaves, the downtrodden, redemption, nurturing.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 02 May 2016, 21:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 02 May 2016, 21:05
Actually I was stone cold sober austin when I wrote that lol. Please do not try to dismiss me in that manner.


Also the tolerance of idoltry by Christians is really one of its greatest hypocrisies. If you are serious about monotheism then entreating basically anyone other than God for boons or answers is really dumb.

Further, while I disagree with monotheism (and any other static picture of the spirit world), that is not the crux of why I don't take the Semite God at his word. His attempts to corral all psychic power under his umbrella (which would be meaningless if his claims were true, that he is the only actual God), trying to eradicate the worship of our ancestors, opposing materialism, and just generally being a boring ass bore are what stick in my craw. I also don't buy his Creator and His Creation bit. But that he posited the idea of a God above all Gods, a Supreme Single God, and lots of Heathens have come to similar conclusions seems kinda irrelvant though. Like German pagans were probably more about hospitality than the Jews but that doesn't mean much.

Really I know where you are coming from with the unified cosmos concept. I just don't buy the underpinning claims made by YHWH. And he doesn't really make a very good case for why we should believe him.

Oh and I am not any more pissed at Islamists than before. I'm just being materialist about things and admitting how much they define actually existing Islam. They simply forced me to admit just how heterodox I was.

Yeqon wrote:
I am confuse.

lol

Yeqon wrote:
All I know is that Jesus sounded like a cool guy when he said, "I have but one final commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you."

I don't remember that but he also said "render what is Caesar's unto Caesar". His abdication of the material world is really despicable.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
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Post 02 May 2016, 21:20
Dagoth Ur wrote:
Also the tolerance of idoltry by Christians is really one of its greatest hypocrisies. If you are serious about monotheism then entreating basically anyone other than God for boons or answers is really dumb.

Not at all. A saint, or if you're hermetic a lower-g god even, would simply be upper-G God's tool for the purposes of your communication. A more "down to earth" conception for human consumption, in our failed state of grace and imperfect knowledge. Someone who will aid you on God's behalf.

To worship a saint is idolatry, that is worshiping simply an enlightened human.

That said, I'm not entirely comfortable with saint veneration. Not over idolatry, which is a non-issue here. But the hierarchy of believers saint veneration creates, it's not entirely in keeping with the Sermon on the Mount. This is a pretty traditional Protestant view, only Lutherans and Episcopalians do it among Protestants. But, the way they handle it seems fine with me. These are people as confirmably in Heaven as one can be, for one reason or another. Once you reach Heaven, you are a saint. And that's it.

Quote:
His attempts to corral all psychic power under his umbrella (which would be meaningless if his claims were true, that he is the only actual God),

All psychic power is already under his umbrella. This is part of why forcing religion down someone's throat is ridiculous, and was condemned as such by successive rulings of the church's Magisterium. Conversion by the sword is not real conversion.

Quote:
trying to eradicate the worship of our ancestors,

I'd eradicate the human sacrifice cult of the druids too.

Quote:
opposing materialism,

"God has ordered everything according to measure, number, and weight." These words provided the impetus for innumerable scientific discoveries. An Abrahamic worldview is innately materialistic, nature is not some spooky and mysterious thing that can change on a whim like in animistic faiths. It is something to be explored.

Quote:
Really I know where you are coming from with the unified cosmos concept. I just don't buy the underpinning claims made by YHWH. And he doesn't really make a very good case for why we should believe him.

Whatever the unified cosmos is, the singularity, that is God. Whether this is the specific entity of the Old Testament or not is actually not relevant to my worship. But why not? The Jews were either the first or second to claim that unified cosmos, depending on which came first in the Judaism vs. Zoroastrianism chicken-and-egg dispute. Regardless, they've historically tended to recognize their God as the same.

Plus, Christ is a god of compassion and reform. Any deity I would want to worship would have to be both: A) all-loving, and B) continually pushing in the direction of making that felt.

Quote:
I don't remember that but he also said "render what is Caesar's unto Caesar". His abdication of the material world is really despicable.

The Sermon on the Mount is all about change in the material world.

"Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's" has numerous interpretations. But even the most conservative interpretation is "certain things belong to Caesar, don't resist that" in the context of taxation. The most radical is "if you work with the imperial state, prepare to pay the price." These don't even really contradict each-other, but in the context of the former interpretation, I don't really see fault in paying for upkeep for roads which benefit and interconnect us all.

Certainly the early Church had a long tradition of civil disobedience. Women's roles were far more equal than those in the wider Roman society, slaves had a place of escape and equality. And they refused to pay tribute to the idolatrous cult of the Emperor. A law that conflicts with God's law is no law.
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Post 04 May 2016, 06:47
I just can't for the life of me understand how you all have this innate certainty about the origins, motives, past and present actions, and foreseeable future of universal cosmic deity/deities.

Where does it come from?
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Sep 2013, 03:08
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Post 04 May 2016, 08:14
Comrade Gulper wrote:
I just can't for the life of me understand how you all have this innate certainty about the origins, motives, past and present actions, and foreseeable future of universal cosmic deity/deities.

Where does it come from?

I don't have certainty. At all. But first, the experiences I've had comport with there being "something" there beyond the immediate sensory reality. Second, Christianity makes sense for me both in the sense of a consistent and systematic theology, in the sense of its predictions comporting well with how human history has transpired, and in the sense of its values being most in line with what seems to help humans live well together.

But most importantly, it's about the sense of transcendence from the beauty of the Christian religious "language" and liturgy. All religion has an aesthetic sense to it, which is why you see so many people saying things like "art is my religion."
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Post 09 May 2016, 00:54
Having thought some about Dagoth's position, it led me to thinking about the relationship of faith to shifts in material power relationships and thus current progressive movements in various faiths in general.

Judaism: Reform/Humanistic Judaism is a step forward, given its focus on the kibbutzim tradition, the Exodus, and working towards earthly justice. Orthodox Judaism is a rigid, patriarchal and occasionally outright racist blot on humanity, though the Hasidics' Kabbalah is interesting stuff.

Christianity: Mainline Protestantism is a step forward within the context of the Church body, consistently taking progressive stands and pushing further towards the Kingdom of Heaven while opposing Rome's supremacy. I'm thinking especially of Methodism and Episcopalianism here. The former being arguably the first explicitly proletarian Christianity with its strong labor history, and the latter being predominantly bourgeois left-liberal but less hampered by conservatism than any other denomination, where even Methodism can have socially-conservative baggage depending on the church. Lutheranism is generally more progressive than not though hampered by its anti-humanist doctrine of "total depravity," Presbyterianism is generally more progressive than not though hampered by a loose sentimental attachment to Calvin's doctrines which if taken as a whole are oligarchical insanity, and Northern Baptists are generally more progressive than not though hampered by "sola scriptura" absent a grounding in the Church as a human body. While I take slight theological issue with its baseless often-exclusively-political view of Christ, liberation theology is a valid socialist-left pressure movement in Catholicism. Insofar as it's semi-Christian, Rastafarianism is progressive in its consistent anti-imperialism.

I don't see many redeeming qualities in Orthodoxy, which also emphasizes the oneness of God less than Western Christendom and has all the top-down problems of Catholicism without any leftward pressure movement. The conservative wing of the Catholic Church is also a roadblock. And evangelical Protestantism is a bourgeois reactionary movement.

Islam: Curiously for the branch that chose succession by descent, Shi'a tends to seem less bureaucratic and more open to reform than Sunni. You don't see Wahhabiism coming from it, and you do see greater power for Sufi traditions in it. Insofar as it's semi-Muslim, the Baha'i seem very progressive in their calls for egalitarianism and world unity. And even Sunni Islam is worth supporting within the Indian Subcontinent particularly, given how strongly the Hindu/Muslim clash there corresponds to traditional caste divides. Rejection of the caste system is one thing Islam definitely does right.

Wahhabiism is worth fighting anywhere and everywhere, and I would argue more controversially that Sunni Islam in general may have to give way. Islam in general has "church tradition" very strong. This is a good thing in that with "scripture-alone" there is no lens with which to interpret scripture or and no recognition of the human body a given Prophet created which compiled said scripture to begin with, which inevitably leads to disunity. But Sunni Islam has a more "the law is the law because we said so" view of it. It's more civil law, less common law. Wahhabiism seems to me the logical consequence of the weaker position of inner reason relative to the Shi'a.

Hinduism: On the one hand, this is probably the hardest faith to reform because reaction is so ossified. On the other hand, there are definite strong reform movements, and it's the most diverse faith on the planet. Shaivism calls for a bigger role for women and breakdown of the caste system, obviously I'd support that in the context of Hinduism. Honestly though, there's a Hindu-derived (even Shaivism-derived) faith that's already achieved that breakdown. It's called Buddhism.

Jainism: Probably progressive on net in the subcontinent, given its rejection of the caste structure and humanistic foundation in compassion. It'd be more successful without its asceticism though, meaning again Buddhism which instead preaches moderation.

Buddhism: Theravada is a rigid dungheap of rote memorization. I'm sure it's worthwhile for its practitioners, but Mahayana's "all must be free or none can be free" is far more worthy of support in my opinion. Especially in its more Eastern-fied forms; the further from the Subcontinent it got, the more relevant to day-to-day life it got, culminating in the very daily-life-focused Zen.

Sikhism: I see no problems with it. There are some gender issues in their community, but they have a very strong internal reform movement on that. Meanwhile, their strong egalitarianism is absolutely admirable.

Confucianism: Confucianism proper, especially in its merged-with-legalism reactionary "neo-" form, is a conservative status-quo-for-status-quo's-sake system justifying essentially any form of authority over anyone else as long as it's conducted charitably. It needs to die in a fire. Mencianism is a sensible Aristotelian "golden rule" sort of thing that's worth supporting.

Taoism: Interesting insights, but far too passive and world-rejecting. Its incorporation into Zen, I feel, is vastly superior.

"Indigenous faiths": Ridiculously broad umbrella, but I disagree with Marx here. I do think they can play a progressive role. They've been at the heart of anti-imperial movements, consistently. Plus, Marx did not predict the climate crisis. While I do believe it's our duty to our species to better our lives as much as we can, some caution in our handling of the natural world may have prevented this. Just taking it a bit more slowly. And, on dialectical grounds, it thus makes sense that reactions to imperialism and climate change are two of the main reasons they've sprung up again.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 09 May 2016, 01:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
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Post 09 May 2016, 01:38
In ancient times, religion had no connection to morality or politics whatsoever, except insofar as the Emperor had a private cult, occasionally augmented by side-cults for his side pieces (Antinous and the like).

The idea of opposing the cult of the Emperor with a brand new cult is one that doesn't really cut the mustard in the 21st century. Nowadays, religion has basically been shunted to the fringe as the last stronghold of cultural reactionaries a la Pat Robertson. The heroic story of Jesus has sadly degenerated into a Southern-accented shout out to "Jee-zus" which occurs when gay people get rights or New York Value Tyrants attempt to take guns away.

It's really more of a cultural paradigm shift which has nothing to do with religion and has everything to do with some sort of vague inclusiveness, of which "Political Correctness" is the harbinger and hallmark. Whatever else you want to say about the Bible, it's frequently less than acceptable in this key area.

Honestly, when it comes down to it, I just don't see religion as a reliable standard bearer for morality during these times of great change. You can jigsaw the New Testament only so much before you come across Paul's unmistakable homophobia and misogyny.

Unless you prefer to believe in some version of the Gnostic Jesus, or the Unitarian concept of God, in which case you can safely dispense with Paul. But good luck trying to get hundreds of millions of Christians to dump their King James and sign on to this new interpretation. For that, you'd need a slew of new prophets, and no one believes in them anymore.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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