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But the postelection Trump movement is not tiny. Once it might have been hoped that young Republicans with a future would somehow distance themselves from the violent lawlessness of the postpresidential Trump movement. But one by one, they are betting the other way. You might understand why those tainted by the January 6 attacks, such as Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, would find excuses for them. They have butts to cover. Why do people sign up with the putschists after the putsch has failed?
What shall we call this future? Through the Trump years, it seemed sensible to eschew comparisons to the worst passages of history. Two traits have historically marked off European-style fascism from more homegrown American traditions of illiberalism: contempt for legality and the cult of violence. Presidential-era Trumpism operated through at least the forms of law. Presidential-era Trumpism glorified military power, not mob attacks on government institutions. Postpresidentially, those past inhibitions are fast dissolving. The conversion of Ashli Babbitt into a martyr, a sort of American Horst Wessel, expresses the transformation.
Babbitt broke the law too, but not to steal a TV. She was killed as she tried to disrupt the constitutional order, to prevent the formalization of the results of a democratic election. You are living in territory controlled by enemy tribes. You, and all like you, must assume the innocence of anyone remotely like yourself who is charged in any confrontation with those tribes and with their authorities—until proven otherwise beyond a shadow of your doubt. Take his side. They were written by Angelo Codevilla, who wrote the books and articles that defined so much of the Trump creed in We are so accustomed to using the word fascist as an epithet that it feels awkward to adjust it for political analysis. We understand that there were and are many varieties of socialism.
We forget that there were varieties of fascism as well, and not just those defeated in World War II. Peronism, in Argentina, offers a lot of insights into postpresidential Trumpism. He had the good luck to take power in a major food-producing nation at a time when the world was hungry—and imagined that the brief flash of easy prosperity that followed was his own doing. The only thing he knew for certain was the target of his hatred: anybody who got in his way, anybody who questioned him, anybody who thought for himself or herself.
Kill a student. Who needed policies when the solution to every problem was a magic name? The only plan he followed was somehow to force himself again upon his country, one way or another. It was pathetic and terrifying, a national catastrophe that produced a long-running international musical. Read: I know fascists; Donald Trump is no fascist. In the United States, the forces of legality still mobilize more strength than their Trumpist adversaries. But those who uphold the American constitutional order need to understand what they are facing. In his interview on July 11—as in the ever more explicit talk of his followers—the new line about the attack on the Capitol is guilty but justified.
The election of was a fraud, and so those who lost it are entitled to overturn it. I do not consider myself guilty. I admit all the factual aspects of the charge. But I cannot plead that I am guilty of high treason; for there can be no high treason against that treason committed in Maybe you recognize those words. He argued: You are not entitled to the power you hold, so I committed no crime when I tried to grab it back. You blame me for what I did; I blame you for who you are. But they share some ways of thinking. The past never repeats itself. But it offers warnings.
Skip to content Site Navigation The Atlantic. Popular Latest. The Atlantic Crossword. Blessings on your spiritual journeys! Thanks so much posting this. I consider myself on the agnostic side, but am deeply interested in all religions. Growing up in the U. S, I was raised with a Christian attitude but was a person who traveled and read a lot, thus was curious of other religions.
I see his teachings everywhere, but the cruelty I hear has made me doubtful of ALL my beliefs and frightened of damnation. I want to find god everywhere in the world and love him, not follow him through fear. This post really brightened my day and helped me feel gods love again. Thanks for your thoughts. It is unfortunate that many Christians have gone for a rather black-and-white, fear-based version of Christianity.
For a more faith- and love-based version of Christianity, I invite you to browse the various articles on this blog. Wow, lots of comments on this one. From scripture, even Jesus acknowledged that those who did not know him could enter heaven. Here are the passages that I had found, before knowing about Emanuel Swedenborg:. Servants who did not know of their master were punished less than those who did know Luke So with more knowledge comes more responsibility. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were already in heaven before Christ Matt. Jesus had no problem with those who did not follow him and yet were able to cast out demons Mark So to say just one religion saves is very narrow minded.
The universal maxim: do the good by the truth that you know. All who do this will enter heaven. While everyone knows the truth through their conscience, Christianity knows that this same truth became incarnate in human form. Why not a direct personal relationship with the One, instead of an abstract one? I have a hundred questions for God, only if they can be all answered honestly I will feel so much better. But my questions are not normal questions, ok wait they are normal but nobody would dare to ask the questions I tend to ask people. So anyways back to the real topic, my thoughts on this subject are I believe that there is one God and he told men to find ways that they can keep their children and women safe.
They Religion are written rules for safety. If there were none we would all be the same. God Bless to all. I am kinda glad to have found your site — mulling it over a bit. Thanks for stopping by, and for your good comments. I will give you a response on your longer comment, but it may take a little more time. You ask some great questions! Generally, one God which I believe who is capable of allowing his only begotten son to be sacrificed for the benefit, salvation, of anyone whom will believe, would be capable of any other way to give people a chance to believe.
Specifically however, please enlighten those of us who remain confused by reincarnation. As an example, Krishna conciousness teaches an absolutely beautiful and devoted life to God whom appears in any way he chooses but still only ONE god. I understand that this could be once per each human life and I have considered that each human life, even reincarnated, is once. Please provide your take on this. Thank you for this forum and the ability to search for truth rather than search for ways to verify an opinion. Hi again, just to clarify my question, it seems to me that anywhere our God is, that IS the final destination or highest attainment. And that Jesus walking the earth is an amazing proof of the love our God has for us.
Jesus showed us exactly, by example, what a perfect human life is all about. Believe and act, love each other, love God the most. In the end, ALL whom believe and act and love each other all seek exactly the same attainment, which is everlasting life with our God. I am so interested in hearing your views regarding reincarnation. Thank you! Thanks for your comments and questions.
The Bible is fairly clear that we have one life on earth—and that is the belief of the major religions based on or related to the books accepted as Scripture in the West: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Meanwhile the major Eastern religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, generally teach that we go through multiple lives on earth before moving on to a state of eternal union with God. I do agree with you that the most important thing is not what particular religion we belong to or what particular doctrines we believe in, but whether we act on our beliefs by loving each other and loving God the most.
Still, there are many valid reasons people believe in reincarnation, and those reasons need to be taken into account in any response. Reincarnation is a major issue for many people. Certainly I do not mind waiting while you consider this topic. I realize it is quite a task to tackle! As you say, reincarnation is a major issue for many people. So, I learned a lot. Still, I found myself gravitating to Jesus… likely due to my existing relationship with Him.
Thanks for your patience. I have now written and posted a major read: long article on reincarnation:. The Bible, Emanuel Swedenborg, and Reincarnation. I hope it answers your questions! Feel free to continue the conversation there if you have further thoughts, ideas, or questions on the subject of reincarnation. Even if people do group together to share common faiths, each one of us has our own pathway to God. Thanks for stopping by. Hi, Just wanted to ask would you label yourself a Christian?
I think anyway. Yes, I am a Christian. My version of Christianity is probably quite different from what you grew up with, however. Or simply spend some time looking through Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life to find out more about how Annette and I view Christianity. I do agree with your thoughts. We must be free to follow the spiritual beliefs and take the spiritual path that work best for us. If we live a good life according to our beliefs, showing love and kindness to other people and serving them in our own unique way, we are building a life of heaven for ourselves.
We are living by the spirit of what Jesus Christ taught, even if we may not label ourselves Christians. My own beliefs are strongly Christian. And as I have said in this and several other articles on the website, this means that I believe God is loving, merciful, and wise, and has provided a path toward heaven for everyone, everywhere, each according to their own character and culture. True Christianity is not just about beliefs. It is about loving God and loving our neighbor, as Jesus Christ taught. Thank you for the time and effort you put into addressing reincarnation.
I have tried to understand the thought process of it and still do not. Your study is thorough and I appreciate this very much because I want to understand as much as I can! For me, in all my limited studies nothing compares to prayer. Without going into details, I receive gifts that would mean little to nothing to anyone else, but to me are meaningful and priceless and could not originate from anywhere else but the spiritual. Either than or I have a lot of irony in my life… and irony never crosses my mind at those times. I believe in God, and Jesus, and prayers are heard for those who believe. This is my path. Or something else?
But no matter how it was explained, even though I tried to understand, I just could not accept reincarnation. It is quite clear to me that trying to understand the entire spiritual realm or whatever work fits your comfort level in the human condition is at best, limited. We have all the chances we need in this one life! Thanks for taking the time to explain further. It sounds like you and I have come to similar conclusions, even if we arrived at them by a different route. I completely agree with you that people who follow other religions are not engaging in idol worship.
Their religion is just as real to them as ours is to us. Assuming they are genuine and sincere, they are truly following God as God appears to them. And about reincarnation, I, too, cannot accept it. I know it provides them with a sense of justice and meaning in life, even if I think that reincarnation is unnecessary and that there is greater meaning and justice without it. Thanks again for your thoughtful comments! If you have any further thoughts to share or questions to ask, feel free to post them in a comment or to submit a Spiritual Conundrum. Having travelled the world and experienced people from different religions in different settings, it is obvious that there are many who have found God through diverse paths. It is also true that religion is man made, however, when we examine the founders of each faith there are marked differences, and ones that could ultimately poison the well, so to speak.
Whilst I am certain that heaven will be filled with many from different faiths and cultures, because they followed Gods ways, there is only one being that claimed to be the way the truth and the life who actually lived his entire life worthy of that claim. This is happening on a massive scale in the Middle East and Africa now because of his commands and because he is the perfect example, according to this religion. Ultimately, I find people who claim that truth is a movable feast according to perception are building their spiritual homes on shifting sand. Truth, counter to popular, fashionable, opinion, is often, if not always, black and white and can be answered by a simple question:. Does God exist…yes or no. Is god a clearly defined being who although perceived differently by men, is one consistent being…yes or no.
Did Jesus, according to the accounts we possess, perfectly represent God? Yes or no? Likewise, because of the huge differences between the life and teachings of Jesus and the life and teachings of Mohammad, for example, the religions that base themselves on these men are not the same and cannot equally represent God. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I am glad that you and I agree on this point. It is vital to understanding God as a universally loving and just God. The truth itself is eternal and does not change, because it is part of the being of God. We humans, though, perceive that truth in various ways. And though I do think we can have clearer and less clear perceptions of the truth, it would be hubris for any human being or religion to claim to have the absolute, pure truth.
Only God has that, because God is truth. If ten artists get together and paint the same scene, each painting will be distinctly different, even though they are painting the same scene. And each painting will express some unique human take on that scene. Further, every person who views each painting will also see something different in it. Religion is more like a painting than a snapshot. And each religion expresses to its followers some unique perspective on the eternal truth that is God. About Christianity in comparison with other religions, I am a Christian, and there are many reasons for that. If I thought a different religion offered a better and clearer expression of God, I would join it.
However, to be fair, Christians have just as much blood on their hands historically as Muslims or people of any other faith. Even today, there are Christians slaughtering Muslims in various parts of the world. The U. Recently, a report surfaced that the navy SEALS who killed Osama bin Laden unloaded over a hundred bullets into him after he was already lying dead on the ground. I do not condone such violence by Christians, Muslims, or people of any other religion. But it is a fact that the people of various religions, including Christianity, have interpreted their Scriptures and their founders—including Jesus—as condoning war and bloodshed against those who do not share their faith. Jesus himself engaged in armed violence in the incident of clearing the temple with a whip John The Bible is full of violence—and that violence is not confined to the Old Testament.
In the book of Revelation there are vast wars involving millions of combatants. Personally, I interpret the wars and violence of the Bible as referring to spiritual battles of good against evil. But many Christians interpret them quite literally. They believe that their religion commands them to take up arms against any who oppose their faith. And right up to this day, various groups of Christians have done just that.
And they have done it, not only against people of other religions, but against fellow Christians who happen to belong to a different branch of Christianity. I once attended an impassioned speech given by an American Muslim Imam saying that Islam is a religion of peace, and that those who are taking up arms in the name of Islam are misrepresenting their faith, and giving it a bad name. He stated bluntly that the religion they are preaching and acting upon is not Islam. The fact is, every religion has its zealots. Christianity is no exception. And every religion has its advocates of peace and harmony among the various races and cultures of earth. It is not fair or objective to judge other religions by their fundamentalists and zealots, while judging our own religion by its moderates and mystics.
In short, every religion has its beauties, and every religion provides its people with a unique human perspective on the eternal truth that is God. Only God has that. This the absolute heart of the issue. Some things are Black and White, and Jesus asks us to make that choice about him. With regard to your second response, of course, I am familiar with the oft quoted passages that suggest that Jesus condoned violence, although I have never heard anyone before say that he engaged in armed violence.
Do you read about a battlefield covered with the bodies of the fallen? At worst a couple chaps might have got a red mark on their backsides…but that is the extreme case scenario. Rather he says for them to shake the dust off their feet and move on. At worst one might construe this command as a reason to have arms for self defence, but given the turn the other cheek command, even this is a stretch.
While these very few passages might be used by those who are seeking to be violent as a justification or for pluralists to somehow demonstrate that Jesus was just as violent as the next crazy prophet from that region , not only are they ignoring the context of the passages, but also just about everything else that Jesus taught, and most importantly did. Do you, as a Christian minister, really conclude that the life and teachings of Christ justify the bloody deeds that have been committed by people in his name?
That seems to be what you are saying in part, which I find odd. Of course the Old Testament is a different matter, but Jesus abrogates the nasty stuff, part of the reason he got on the wrong side of the teachers of the Law. In my original remarks I talk specifically about the prophets themselves, not the followers, but if you are to relate the two, I think that anyone who reads the gospels would conclude that those who engage in violence of any kind are generally not following the teachings of Jesus, so you could argue they are not true followers.
What about Mohammed? Does the same argument apply to him? Are you familiar with the life and teachings of Mohammed? Are you aware of the fact that in the Hadiths his own faithful followers describe accounts of him slaughtering Christians, Jews and pagans in the thousands, raping captive women, and having sex with his nine year old wife? You could argue that those who commit atrocities in the name of Islam in the Middle East, in Africa, in Burma, in Russia, in Europe, in China, in Indonesia, in India etc are doing exactly what Mohammed told them to do and did himself. The difference between Mohammed and Jesus and just about any other prophet, except possibly Moses is night and day. Therefore, to conclude, while I agree with your analysis that atrocities have been committed by people from all religions, the facts show that Christians who do so are directly disobeying Christ.
Muslims, on the other hand, are obeying their prophet. Using words like moderate or zealot are irrelevant, really you need to define people as true followers of Christ or true followers of Mohammed. Thanks for your reply. To respond to your last point first in good Biblical fashion, I would suggest that if you really want to understand Islam, you speak with Muslims who are not fundamentalists. Not to be rude, but it sounds like your view of Islam comes more from fundamentalist Christian apologetics than it does from reputable Muslim sources. In short, before coming to all of these negative conclusions about Islam in comparison with Christianity, I would suggest expanding your view of Islam by learning more about it from moderate Muslim sources.
About Christianity being a religion of peace, and Jesus not literally commanding war and bloodshed, that is my view of Christianity, and it is apparently your view of Christianity as well. We can interpret these things spiritually and metaphorically all we want. Why would someone carry a sword—or a gun, for that matter—if they had no intention of ever using it? If you would never, under any circumstances, use a gun, it would be better not to carry one. And practically speaking, as I already said, Christians have engaged in, and continue to engage in, just as much violence as Muslims or people of any other religion.
Presumably Christians who engage in this violence do not believe that they are violating the tenets of their religion. And no matter how wrong you or I may think they are, they will have just as strong a belief that you and I are wrong. We are simply weak Christians in their view, unwilling to put our lives on the line for our faith. And the Christian scriptures themselves certainly do not make an open and shut case for it. Once again as I already said, the Bible is full of violence, and that does not stop with the Old Testament. I naturally think my own explanatory system can account for all the phenomena of life.
Pragmatically, though, none of us is really that smart or that broadly experienced. We are not God with infinite knowledge and experience of reality. And probably a lot of things of which I am totally ignorant. That is where I do think multiple systems and approaches will help us to gain a better understanding of reality than one system alone. When many people approach the same problems from different perspectives, through comparison of the results of those various approaches we gain a better understanding of those problems than if we approached them from only one perspective. As I have said several times before, I am a Christian.
I do believe what Jesus taught. However, I have a very different view of the meaning of what he taught than that of many traditional Christians. The universe does have black and white in it. However, it also has many shades of gray, and a nearly infinite variety of colors. To limit Christian belief only to the blacks and the whites is to subscribe to a flat, monochromatic posterization of a complex and highly nuanced religion. This is not the place to provide a full explanation of why I think that particular black and white view of Christianity is mistaken and short-sighted. But here are two articles that will provide some of the basics:. Who is God? Can We Really Believe the Bible? Some Thoughts for Those who Wish they Could.
I think we are going to have to agree to disagree, but before I sign off I will point out that I have gained my understanding of Islam from visiting and spending time in many Muslim countries Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Aden and Tunisia and from living in the UK most of my life where there are many more Muslims per head of population than the US, so I have not gained my understanding from Christian fundamentalist websites, but rather by experiencing first hand the suffocating, oppressive and unfair societies that this vile religion spawns.
I have also gained my understanding by reading the Quran, the Haddiths and speaking with devout and secular Muslims. It is often the latter who have the most negative things to say about Islam and how the West is tying a noose around its own neck. But enough,because I know all too well that I am wasting my breath. If you can come to the conclusions, and say the things you have about Jesus after years of contemplating his life and teachings, then I know there is no logic or argument that I can create that will make you see the light.
Unfortunately, in Muslim countries, and in many Muslim communities around the world, a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam is the dominant one. This is akin to what the Christian nations would be like of the Christian fundamentalists were in the majority and controlled those nations. They would be very different nations than they are now, with moderate and secular Christians largely in control. About Jesus, for the most part in these comments I have not said what I personally believe.
Only what many fundamentalist Christians—whom I strongly disagree with—believe. My own belief is expressed in the article I linked in a previous comment. I believe that Jesus is God with us as the Bible says. I do not believe that there is any parallel in the usual sense between Jesus and any human prophet, such as Moses or Mohammed. Jesus is God. All the rest are merely human. Unfortunately, a large segment of Christianity believes in Jesus in a very different way. And they do take very literally the Biblical—including Gospel—statements about swords and warfare. This, at least, you must admit if you have spent any time at all with the Christian fundamentalist zealots who parallel the dominant Muslim fundamentalists in the Middle East.
From everything I have read on here you are a gentle man who loves peace and wishes harmony between people of different religions, and that is an incredibly Godly approach to take. I can see that you believe the same about Jesus as I do, but maybe because of our different personality types, express that differently, so I will continue this discussion and will try to be as open as possible. From my observations of Islam in the wider world, the vast majority of Muslims are ordinary people, just wanting to get on with daily life without trouble.
They are incredibly hospitable, something I have experienced many times, but their religion has a fatal flaw that will inevitably lead societies that adopt Islam down a certain path. That flaw is Mohammad. He said a lot of good things early in his prophethood, but he turned pretty nasty later on. I am not exaggerating when I say that the Hadiths record genuine atrocities committed by him. He also commanded his followers to treat unbelievers harshly, and even to kill them.
He was particularly viscous towards the Jews he beheaded a thousand in one day after they surrendered to him. Now here is the heart of the flaw…Mohammad is upheld as the perfect Muslim, the one towards whom all young men must look to as a model of perfect behaviour. Since in Islam all his early commands are abrogated by his later ones, it follows that a true Muslim will adopt the same detestable behaviours that Mohammad did in his later years. This is why so few Muslims openly condemn the atrocities that are happening in the Middle East and Africa at the moment. To your point about Christian fundamentalists…it must be an American thing. Since I became a Christian over 20 years ago, I have never encountered the type of Christians you are talking about.
I went to a number of evangelical churches in the UK and now attend one in Canada, and find loving communities that detest violence. I agree to a point that when Jesus told his disciples to carry a sword when they went into the surrounding country, this could, and maybe was intended to be interpreted as a license to have a weapon for self defence. However, the only time that one of his disciples was actually violent, Jesus stopped him, and healed the soldier. Unlike Mohammad, Jesus never ever commanded or participated in genuine aggression the temple was from all accounts a visceral reaction to seeing the house of God turned into an extortion racket gouging travelling worshippers.
I honestly believe that you, and the many well meaning people like you who wish to see harmony, who suggest there is no difference between true followers of Christ and true followers of Mohammad are in fact playing straight in to hands of the enemies of Christ. To be clear, I am not saying that there is no difference between true followers of Christ and true followers of Muhammad. In fact, the main point of the article is that different religions are required on earth precisely because of the differences among people and cultures. If Christianity had been a suitable religion for the people who founded and adopted Islam, they would be Christians, not Muslims. I know Christians like to think that their religion would work for everyone. But God is in charge in this world, not us.
And I believe that God has provided the various religions for the various cultures of the world because God sees the character and personality of each culture, and provides for it the particular religion required to reach the people of that particular culture and character. In short, true followers of Christ and true followers of Muhammad are different, and that is why they are Christians and Muslims, respectively. As you say, most Muslims are good, thoughtful, hospitable people.
For them, this is what their religion teaches them to be. And they live by their religion as they understand it. You make a very good point that their leaders are the ones who tend to vitiate their religion. If they are living under fundamentalist zealots, they will tend to be pulled in that direction. If they live under more moderate and peaceful regimes, they will live more peaceably. As a group, American Muslims are much more liberal and peaceful than their counterparts in much of the Middle East. This is both because they live under more peaceful conditions and because they choose to live in a more liberal country due to their own approach to life.
We have many Christian fundamentalist zealots in the U. Usually they are suppressed fairly quickly. But if they were ever to grow greatly in numbers and gain power, we would be living in a very different country—a much more violent and intolerant one, similar to the countries that are ruled by Muslim fundamentalists. Meanwhile, Islam has its moderates and even its mystics. The mystical Sufi branch of Islam has a broad, tolerant, peaceful view of humanity.
It views the war and bloodshed in Muslim scripture and history not as a pretext for literal violence, but as an expression of the spiritual warfare of good and justice against evil and injustice. Islam originated at a very violent time in human history. But just as Judaism has left behind its early practice of animal sacrifice at the tabernacle and then the Temple, which was central to its religious practice in pre-Christian times, and instituted a synagogue system and a concept of personal sacrifice to replace literal animal sacrifice, so Islam is able to change and grow beyond the violence of its early years. Unfortunately, the areas of the world where Islam predominates are still quite violent. This makes it harder for that religion to move out of fundamentalist zealotry and into a more moderate stance, as most of Judaism and Christianity has done.
As the conflicts that plague the Middle East are gradually resolved not without much conflict , and that region moves toward a more peaceful existence in some possibly distant future, I believe Islam will take a similar course. With regard to Christian fundamentalists creating societies like the ones created by fundamentalist Muslims, if they were to create ones that were focused entirely on Christ and his teachings, they would be amazing…even if people had swords for self protection! If Christians in general were focused on loving Christ and living by his teachings, we would be living in a very different world! As an ordained minister are truly a woof in sheeps clothing.
About Jesus Christ being for everyone. To reduce it to slogan-like brevity, I would say that Jesus Christ is for everyone, but not everyone is for Jesus Christ. In somewhat less cryptic but still brief form, I would say that the salvation wrought by Jesus Christ saved everyone on earth—no matter what their religion—from certain damnation. It was a universal salvation that covered the entire world, including non-Christians.
However, not all people can accept Christianity as their religion. What I said was that Christianity as a religion does not work for everyone. Christianity as it actually exists in the world is not very much like what Jesus Christ taught and demonstrated in the Gospels. As it is now, Christianity as a religion often gives Christ a bad name, and repulses many people who might otherwise accept Jesus Christ. It is in the church I go to! But I do agree with the overall sentiment of the statement…the church has given Jesus a bad name. Lee: Thank you! I have been struggling with these issues for the past several years. The struggle is coming to a head this week as I prepare a lecture on scripture for this weekend at a Catholic retreat. Jesus is my God. In fact, much of it offends me.
They reproach me when my Protestant tendencies manifest themselves. They think Protestants are going to hell. Anyway, it has been quite an anxiety provoking experience putting the lecture together. Self examination often is. Your comments have been affirming and comforting. Thank you. Thanks for your comment. And wow! I hope your lecture goes well. If you have a moment, stop by afterwards and let us know that you were able to escape both stoning and the Inquisition! It does help to have a community of fellow believers to share our faith with. Good luck on your future endeavors!
Well Lee, I did escape stoning, but not the Inquisition! The priest in attendance called me into a room afterwards to proclaim his disgust with what I had to say. Thanks for the post mortem! The Inquisition continues! I must say that your article has enlightened me. At least I have some answers. I was born Catholic, still Catholic for formality. My interest in the Catholic church started windling slowly as I grew up and started to discover gaps and inconsistencies in Christianity. I have 3 qtns for you;. Free will. From the little I know about Christian teachings, God gave man free will. But the more I have thought about this notion the more I have come to believe that it is not real.
For free will to have meaning, any choice one makes should be sanction free. But hell exists as punishment for sinners. Of course we have power of choice over certain simple things like where to live, what to buy, when to pee, who to marry, number of children etc. But I feel as though this is a faux free will because each of us is just a self fulfilling prophecy living out the path drawn by God. Generational curses. I interacted with a Catholic priest on one occasion. We talked about generational curses.
Well I found it hard to believe. I am not an expert on the Bible but I know that this issue is mentioned somewhere in the O. T, something about the sins of the father… Please enlighten me :D. Furthermore, how can they be valid if Jesus brought universal salvation to mankind and conquered sin and death? I could be wrong though. And thirdly if they are valid, why would God let a person suffer for sins he did not commit. Basing on the teaching commanding us to love, even our enemies,can God forgive Satan? Just wondering…. Thanks for stopping by, and for your thoughtful comments and great questions! But if they are not helpful to you, it may be time to question whether to continue attending, and perhaps search for something else that offers more of what you are seeking.
Your questions are great ones, which deserve whole posts on their own. Yes, free will is central to Christianity as I understand it. My view is that while God knows our future, God does not decide or determine our future. Another way of saying this is that although God knows what choice we will make, we are still the ones making that choice. For a post that deals with related issues, see: How does God Govern Humankind?
Is God Actively Involved in our Lives? And we often struggle with the same issues that our parents struggled with. Yes, I do believe that God forgives even Satan. However, from my perspective, Satan is not some fallen angel, but rather is the combined evil of all humankind gathered into a single composite evil being. In other words, Satan and the Devil are the same thing as hell. For more on hell from my perspective, see: Is There Really a Hell? What is it Like? I realize these are brief and inadequate answers to some very big questions. I think this article if known to every religious and non-religious person on the planet will save a lot of troubled minds from confusion with which they are suffering and will reduce lot of conflicts also.
But then I guess people need to have a burning desire to discover the mystery. This article and all other knowledge is just one google search away, but the concerned person needs to feed in the correct inquiry before he gets enlightened with knowledge. The deeper a seeker seeks, the deeper he will go. We need to start directing our free will in right direction and then more will be revealed to us. With all of these religions creating so much confusion, we must know that they are man-made. Therefore, in the order for us to please God and be or become Saved, we must live according to our Spirit.
The flesh is mammon that which we shall not serve. Because the flesh is evil and not good. We must not serve God and mammon Spirit and flesh. So serve God. God directs, corrects, disciplines, speaks to and through, us in our Spirit, which He created in His likeness and in His image the Spirit. Now, there is flesh all of our senses and our brain which speaks to our senses, our limbs, and more….. Our flesh becomes of God, if and when we serve our Spirit only, which is the wrestle, the fight, and the battle. While our flesh has become evil due to our own thought and our lack of Spiritual knowledge.
Remember, We wrestle, not against flesh and blood, but, against principalities a territory of a prince ruler , powers, and the rulers of the darkness lack of Spiritual knowledge of this world, against Spiritual wickedness morally bad or not knowing in high places greater degree. I agree with much of what you say. We certainly are in a spiritual battle between light and darkness. And we must follow God and spirit, not flesh and blood, if we are going to win that battle. I also agree that if we do follow God and spirit, then we will become servants of God in our flesh our body as well as in our spirit. The flesh is evil only when it fights against God and spirit. When it is the willing instrument of God and spirit, it becomes blessed and good, not from itself, but from the spirit that moves it from within.
Yes, the various religions are made by humans, not by God. Even Jesus did not start a religion or a church. His followers did. The quality of a church or a religion depends upon the quality of its leaders and of the people who belong to it. As long as there are human beings involved, there will be some confusion, because none of us has a perfect understanding. Only God does. That is how God exercises judgment on human institutions that no longer serve God. The wheels of justice may sometimes turn slowly, but they do turn. I believe there is a difference between faith and religion. If you truly believe have faith in God and in what he teaches all these worldly concerns such as religion become pointless. Follow what God says, and everything else will fall into place.
In short religion is pointless, the word of God and faith is all that matters. But that is just my humble opinion. I agree that the key issue is our faith in God—and also following what God teaches. However, many people do not have the ability or commitment to go it alone spiritually. They need a church or spiritual group to belong to in order to receive spiritual teaching and get together with others to strengthen one another in their faith. This, I think, is why in addition to faith, there have been various religions on the earth throughout recorded history.
Without faith, and the life of kindness that accompanies true faith, religion means nothing. But for people of faith, religion can be a guide and support for their faith. Hello, Firstly Mr. Lee, great work. Your thoughts and ideas are wonderful. I was an atheist for most of my lifetime though never disrespected any religion or beliefs simply because i feel i am not that capable or have so much of understanding. We all are in one direction but in different paths. Many believe they are right and the other person is wrong.
It is always according to me wrong to say it is only we who are correct. My religion is only correct. Unfortunately people see who has taught was rather than what has been taught. All religions say there is love. People do not understand that there is in real just one religion and that is the religion of love. The basic truth in all religions, irrespective of country or race is one and the same In the words of a famous baba in India, There is only one religion, the religion of Love; There is only one language, the language of the Heart; There is only one caste, the caste of Humanity Nations are many, but Earth is one; Beings are many, but Breath is one; Stars are many, but Sky is one; Oceans are many, but Water is one; Religions are many, but God is one; Jewels are many, but Gold is one; Appearances are many, but Reality is One.
God is something which i feel a human being is incapable of understanding. It is beyond his capacity to understand what god is thoroughly and completely. We in our lives try our very best to understand and end up misunderstanding each other itself leading to unwanted issues. We all are creation of god. Everything is created by god. Whatever happens is because of god. But what is god? Who is god? We will never know. But we can reach god only through silence and love.
Irrespective of religion, god loves everyone through various religions. We need to have faith not only in the religion but also have faith in the god in the religion. Not just the words, but the wisdom. God will never discriminate. We are all members of the same family, bound by the Religion of Love. God brings us all together. We humans separate ourselves from one another. Though you do mention other faiths, and the personal conceptions others have, you mainly respond to comments in these threads in such fashion. What about Vedic religion? What about the ancient Greeks? What about the Isrealites and Caananites that worshiped Yaweh among a pantheon of other gods before those gods were demonized in the Hebrew Bible?
Those gods are not singular, nor are they always good, they represent aspects of nature and life. This is something utterly verifiable in the psychological and sociological fields, it has testable hypotheses and predictions. We cannot prove anything beyond this. Yes, many modern faiths propose this kind of god. Yes, I am speaking from a monotheistic perspective, and I presume that most of my readers who are not atheists will be monotheists rather than polytheists. Spiritually and philosophically, monotheism works better than polytheism to explain the nature of the physical and spiritual universe. As you say, even Hinduism, a historically polytheistic religion, has developed the idea that all of the gods are different expressions of a single underlying God. However, the same general principle described in the article applies to polytheistic religions as to monotheistic religions.
Those who adhere to them and practice them faithfully with the intent to please their gods and serve their neighbors will find their place in heaven after they die. Ultimately, the important thing is not the belief; it is the intent and the action as informed by the belief. Beliefs simply mold and shape good or evil intentions in one direction or another. If the motivation is good, it will eventually find a channel toward good. Proof is a slippery concept. As popularly used, it really means preponderance of evidence, not absolute proof. The fact is, we cannot even prove that the material universe exists. The only things for which we have direct evidence of their existence are non-material in nature.
Simply because monotheism seems to be a better explanation does not mean that it is the one that should take the front and I feel as though it demeans the beliefs of other faiths to assert particulars of that faith are incorrect because your conception of god is correct. An obvious one is the notion of an afterlife, something not every religion shares, not even modern ones. As the Cartesian meditations expound, emotions and feelings are a type of thought. Those descriptions, even, are extremely problematic, because they come from a supposed material world.
This universe of thought, of course, is the universe we may live in. This extension appears in the thinking universe to be a wall, and I receive its touch through what I will call a hand. I hope I am being clear enough, because this thought experiment makes it apparent that even if we are in the cogito universe, we still have to operate under the laws which SEEM to work. From this I can garner the strong assumption that it will rise and set again. And each morning and night it does, making my assumption stronger. Operating in this universe makes very little difference. There is no way to know that the logical train from A to C will go through B. But I apologize for that wordage. I feel as though it lead you away from what I was trying to communicate.
What Descartes says about God in his meditations was what I was commenting on. What I am trying to assert is that there is only a very shallow depth of characteristics we can ascribe to God. Creation is the only attribute we can ascribe to this entity. One could be dreaming and that dream will seam a thousand times more real, more amazing, more fulfilling, than what they eventually wake up to.
To be clear, I am not a Cartesian. Descartes made many leaps of logic in his derivation of the entire structure of God and spirit starting from Cogito ergo sum. Everything else we experience indirectly. To add some specificity, there is more evidence for things not measurable in time and space—such as thoughts and feelings—than there is for things that are measurable in time and space—such as stars and galaxies. And science deals only with things that can be measured in time and space. The idea that the physical universe exists objectively out there is an assumption, not something that can be proven.
Yes, that assumption works pretty well. Things seem to operate quite consistently as if the material world does exist objectively out there. However, it still remains an assumption, since an equally valid interpretation would be that the world of mind operates by definite rules, and that is why we seem to perceive the possibly nonexistent physical world around us to operate by definite rules. Atheists who speak of mind operating arbitrarily, and therefore denigrate it as being an invalid basis for reality, are in the stone age as far as their understanding of mind is concerned. The more we research the mind, the more it appears that it does indeed operate by a complex but definite set of rules.
There is nothing arbitrary or haphazard about it. Flying pink elephants and such are a ridiculous canard of atheists who seem to miss the point that whatever reality may be, it has definite characteristics, and is not a blank canvas on which we can paint any old thing that strikes our fancy. This also means that not all conceptions of God and spirit are equally valid. They may provide a pathway to God even if they are in error. However, there is spiritual truth and spiritual falsity just as there is material truth and material falsity. Spiritual reality is not dependent upon our conception of it for its reality. If God exists, then God exists as a definite entity independent of our particular conceptions of God.
Back to material reality, as I say in the article, I happen to believe that the material world does exist objectively out there. But I recognize that this is an assumption, and not something that can be conclusively demonstrated or proven. It would do atheists and materialistic scientists a world of good to have the humility to recognize that their view of reality is based on something that cannot itself be proven. Perhaps then some of the hubris observed in their unfounded pronouncements about the non-existence of God and spirit would be ameliorated. If theists would have the same humility, then perhaps the interaction between the two could cease being a shouting match and instead become a productive conversation.
I read your insights and the questions many people ask themselves everyday. Which religion is right and wrong? Is there such a powerful being known as God? Is it wrong to question the all mighty God of his existence? Many religions influence or try to persuade others that there religion is following the right way to God. I always ignored the fact that not going to church would label me as a non believer and condemned me to my fate known as hell. I thought that was utterly ridiculous since I have done nothing wrong but believe in what is right. But why be known or labeled as a Christian, Catholic, Muslim, or so on. What satisfaction do we get from it? Why not just be a freedom of belief and follow what feels right to me?
To some people, it seems it just not good enough. We all have had a small doubt, done something bad, or wrong. We have all broken at least one rule or law along the way. So does that label our fate to eternal damnation? There are worse things, killing another human being with no remorse and liking it is surely seen as your fate to be hell am I right?
Which yes he loves all his children and many killers are forgiven perhaps since there heart showed the truth of realizing what they have done. But they still broke a rule and jus to say perhaps went to heaven. How about the other millions that were forgiven possibly. The government steals from us everyday, a child stealing food to survive is still stealing regardless but for the right to survive another day, or stealing from the rich and give to the poor. It benefits another person not yourself, for the child it benefits the child and is it wrong though? But he will forgive us if it was for a good reason. There needs to be a balance in light and dark. We are not good or evil, we are just neutral since we harvest both deep inside.
We all have love and hate in us. We all have a killer inside of us or a hero to save lives. So why fight back to see who is the right one to follow and refer to others. Just live and keep on living the life you wish to have, love yourself and love others and worry a little less. You know better then anyone what is right and how you should live it. Lots of things to think about! People usually think of being religious as belonging to a particular religion, going to church, and so on. That works well for those who like to be part of a group that shares their faith. Others are more individualistic in their beliefs and their spiritual practice. As long as there is a desire to live for what is good and true, serve others in good and useful ways, and ideally look to God as the source of everything, then the person is on a pathway to heaven.
At least, that is my belief. This page has been very helpful. Thanks to all that has dedicated time in putting this page together. Thanks for stopping by and expressing your thoughts. Belief in God is great nothing wrong with that.Emma Raducanu loses to Otherwise Theres Nothing New Analysis number in first match since she won US Open and left Otherwise Theres Nothing New Analysis coach before telling press conference: 'I'm 18 years old. This is the latest accepted revisionOtherwise Theres Nothing New Analysis on 15 August Retrieved May 15, With all of these religions Otherwise Theres Nothing New Analysis so much Otherwise Theres Nothing New Analysis, we Personifying Nature In The Giver know that Otherwise Theres Nothing New Analysis are man-made. This universe Otherwise Theres Nothing New Analysis thought, of course, is the universe we may live in.