Sunday, September 14, 2008

Last night, him on the phone, ranting angrily about "Christians" for quite a while. Then suddenly he stops and says, "Oh. I'm so sorry. You're a Christian, aren't you. You're not like them, though."

This morning, SMS from him. He's at Mass.

I'm puzzled.


Perseus said...

My guess (made without any knowledge or insight, and made with total bias) is that he's one in an almost incomprehensibly long line of Christians who think they are somehow different to all other Christians.

I sit back in my lounge-chair, feet up to the fire and say, "Muslims, Christians, Hare Krsnas, Tarot Card Readers... it's all the same"

Seriously, fashion sense aside, I can't discern a difference between any of 'em.

Fate-clingin' acolytes.

(Though at least the Christians gave us Bach... oh, some of those cello pieces... SWOON!)

Della said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Perseus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Della said...

Sorry about that.

He's not a Christian at all, but I think was going with some friends or something. He was in a grumpy mood about Christians again this morning, but adding how he's sure he's corrupting me. Probably is, but not with faith.

Guess it depends on how you're looking at things. Regardless of religion or belief, it does come down to faith. So things in common there from the start. Not sure about fate.

Anonymous said...

I am sad you can't see the difference perseus and its unfortunate that it is mostly true. That is the one of the main problems that Christians, myself included, have. If we acted the way that Christ taught us to you would be able to see the difference.

It saddens me that most Christians don't act the way God wants us to. I wish I could change this but I only change. Maybe, hopefully, one day you will meet a Christian who is different and you might change your opinion of us. Or at least try and view us as individuals rather than a group.

Perseus said...

Lee, I do of course see each Christian as an individual, and that is how it should be.

I am merely referring to your faith in an an omnipotent and sentient higher being, which, no matter how it is disguised and/or delivered, is the same belief as those held by Muslims and Tarot Card Readers. Fate, design, after-life... and a rather frustrating propensity to attribute all that is to this higher being, (and wearing 'faith' like a dog collar around their necks, leashed to whatever variation of Fate they were brought up to believe in.)

And Del - no worries, and CD is on its way.

Perseus said...

"Not sure about fate"

All religions, including the gluten-religions (the new age 'cosmos' 'energy' chakra aura hippy twats), seem to have in common a belief that all things happen 'for a reason'.

That's the very definition of 'fate'.

I find the whole 'new age' philosophy even more odious and disrespectful than any established religion. They are so obsessed with fate and kamma and forgiveness... I got in a MASSIVE fight with one of them who claimed that a victim of child sexual abuse in some way 'deserved' it (albeit on a cosmological, possibly 'past-life- level) or brought it on, and she must 'forgive' her attacker in order to 'move on'.

At least the Christians just say stuff like 'God moves in mysterious ways' and throw the pedo in jail.

I should really go and get my own blog to argue this stuff.

Oh, hang on, I have one.

As you were.

Della said...

Thanks, Perseus! I'll organise sending you some money for it.

I think there are only a handful of things that happen for a "reason" in the "cosmic" sense of it.

Apart from that, shit just happens. A lot of the bad stuff is because people are bastards. Whether that's fate or not, I'd hope it's not. People spend too much time trying to work out grand scheme reasons for why something bad has happened to them or someone they love. Maybe it's to try to make it seem less horrible. But stuff happens because people are people, good and bad.

With the new-age philosophy, I think that's what I hate most about things like The Secret. It sounds all nice and fluffy and the universe is your vending machine, but with the way it uses that thought of "you get what you ask for," it can lead to those conclusions of "Oh, the Holocaust. Yeah, they must have thought negatively," or "Children who've been molested must have done something awful in a past life," or any other sort of crap.

Maybe it's masochistic of me, but I'm kinda looking forward to your next installment of the Bible review.

Anonymous said...

Perseus - I understand your point, I obviously don't agree with it, there would be little point in me being a Christian if I didn't. I guess this would be one of those agree to disagree situations.

The fate thing is interesting. I don't believe in fate because that would mean we are not responsible for our own lives and that is crap. Instead of believing that everything happens for a reason I believe that God can use every situation for whatever purpose.

Della - I hate the book The Secret to. I had friends who thought it was great, but it is such a meaningless, useless potentially harmful book. We should have a book burning day.

Perseus said...

"it is such a meaningless, useless potentially harmful book...."

Unlike the Holy Bible, a book of love (which suggest that heathens such as myself wll be cast into the eternal pits of Hell... amongst a thousand other atrocious, disgusting and racist messages).

I think there are only a handful of things that happen for a "reason" in the "cosmic" sense of it

Like, say, the resurrection? By jingoes you lot would be NOTHING without that bit of good luck. Judas did you all a favour...

But I agree with everything else you said... things happen because they happen for a multitude of reasons and coincidences, but I firmly reject that a higher sentient creator is somehow getting involved in all of this.

I believe that God can use every situation for whatever purpose

Dude, that's fatalist. Or at best interventionist. It supposes a sentient being in any case, which puts you right on the same page as the Hare Krisnas and even those whackos that stand outside US army funerals with the 'God Hates Fags' signs. You and them believe in the SAME idea, with only slightly different interpretations.

Lee - so are you saying that you disagree with me that a Christian and a Muslim share the same belief in a higher being? I think you'll find they believe in a higher sentient power and so do you, and so does the hippy astrologist and dumb-ass wicca chicks. Or is your religious conviction 'right' and theirs all wrong? Sorry then, my bad. That's right, you have the resurrection and John 3:16 which is sooooooo infallible.

Anonymous said...

You know I can see this going on for a long time without anything changing and for no purpose. I've had converstations like these before and they go on for ages and generally are pointless. So this will be my last comment here as I have better things to do with my life.

Perseus said...

Apologies for wasting your time by suggesting that you and Muslims both believe in God.

From now on I shall always make a disclaimer to differentiate Lee Clarke's particular religious faith with everybody else's because it is most obviously completely different, far more important and probably much more right(in what way I can hardly imagine, but, whatever, I'll go with it).

I too have better things to do with my life than listen to people who believe their religion is better than everyone else's, and believe some magic dude in the sky controls the planet.

If you're Adventist, take solace in the fact I shall rot in hell for all eternity. I'll be down there with red hot poker's shoved up my arse alongside the smarter Millerites that saw it for what it was on the cliff that night...

Good day to you, m'am.

(Del - man, one chick saw the CD for $1.99 at an op shop in Hopper's Crossing. You can HAVE it!)

Della said...

Re: resurrection. I know it's down to faith (again), but if I didn't believe in that, then I wouldn't believe in the Christianity thing. Plus, I think the New Testament would have been significantly shorter had it not occurred ("And then the disciples all went home, had a nice cup of tea and put their feet up, thinking about what had occurred over the past three and a half years, while wishing for Prozac to be invented...").

I don't think there'd be much of a point to Christianity without it. The words of Jesus would just be another set of teachings from a wise man.

Anyway, rambling a bit there. And now for more...

The book burning thing made me think of how much I'm not a fan of book burning, even if I don't agree with their contents. The only bit I've seen of The Day After Tomorrow was where one of the people was chucking books into the fire to keep warm. Practical, I'm sure, but it made me grind my teeth and change the channel.

Annnnd: That was obviously an op shop that hadn't cashed in on the "retro is the new something-or-other" ;) But thanks.

Perseus said...

"I know it's down to faith (again), but if I didn't believe in that, then I wouldn't believe in the Christianity thing."

That's all you have? The resurrection? One incident across every other incident noted in the Bible? Your faith hinges on that alone?

As the old man says in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. "It's just a jump to the left..."

One tiny little step, and this beautiful world will open up for you. No more clouds the size of a fist signalling the end of days, no more Satan, no more judgement from a despotic and violent God, no more having to forgive violent psychopaths, no more having to wash the feet of creepy old men on the Sabbath.

Just 'life', in all its glory, as the be-all and end-all of human experience.

"With your hands on your hips!"

Della said...

It's the pelvic thrust part of that that appeals to me the most, somehow...

Ahh, too much sugar at lunch.

It's not all I have, but I see it as one of the most important parts of things. It's like the culmination of so many parts of the Bible - things leading up to it and following it.

Apart from that, we don't believe in hell. Think it's more of a Catholic thing?

Perseus said...

"we don't believe in hell..."

So, umm, you're mob is right and the Catholics are completely wrong. Totally wrong! Those stupid, stupid Catholics!


Got it.

Wow, youse are soooooo different to every other religion.


I always end up looking like John Cleese when I do the pelvic thrust bit. I'm too lanky to do it with any panache.

Della said...

I guess there'll be some point at which it'll be discovered who's right or wrong about hell.

So maybe people should start being buried with a packet of marshmallows - either way, tasty. The marshmallows that is, not the dead.

The ministry of silly walks, pelvic thrust division?

clarebear said...

Looks like you guys all have your ideas, just wanted to add a quote from something i was watching today:

[Shepherd Book prepares a meal as he absentmindedly addresses River.]
Book: What are we up to, sweetheart?
River: Fixing your Bible.
Book: I, um… What?
[Pan over to River, who works on a book with pens, brushes, and loose pages.]
River: Bible's broken. Contradictions, false logistics… doesn't make sense.
Book: No, no. You - you can't...
River: So we'll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God's creation of Eden. Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels already there. Eleven. Important number. Prime number. One goes into the house of eleven eleven times, but always comes out one. Noah's ark is a problem.
Book: Really?
River: We'll have to call it "early quantum state phenomenon". Only way to fit 5,000 species of mammals on the same boat.
. . .
Book: River, you don't… fix the Bible.
River: It's broken. It doesn't make sense.
Book: It's not about… making sense. It's about believing in something. And letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It's about faith. You don't fix faith, River. It fixes you.

Perseus said...

"You don't fix faith, River. It fixes you."

What's that meant to mean?

Book and River are both idiots.

Personally, I really like the Bible as it is. Not as good as The Collected Works of Shakespeare, but a great read nonetheless. Especially all the porn in the Old Testamant.

So River's an idiot for trying to turn this great collection of stories and myths into a scientific leaflet.

Meanwhile, Book and his/her reliance on 'faith' in some mongrel in the sky is equally ludicrous. Does he/she also believe in Young Earth Creationism? Bzzzzzt! WRONG!

I'd like to add an extra line to your script.

Perseus enters. Extreme close up of his handsome face.

Perseus: You're both morons, now bring me a coffee.


Perseus said...

Oh, and...

It's not about… making sense. It's about believing in something. And letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It's about faith. You don't fix faith, River. It fixes you.

Same logic used by suicide bombers.


You guys do know there's no God, right?

clarebear said...

just because you can't see something dosent mean it's not there, it means you are narrow minded for dissmissing it's existance offhand.

Perseus said...

"just because you can't see something dosent mean it's not there..."

True, though it does mean it's highly less likely that it is there.

"it means you are narrow minded for dissmissing it's existance offhand"

That's a big leap. I'm 'narrow-minded' for not believing in God? Do you believe in Apollo the sun-God, who rides a chariot across the sky pulling the sun? No? Wow, you are also very narrow-minded, then.

clarebear said...

Do you believe in Apollo the sun-God, who rides a chariot across the sky pulling the sun?

you assume i don't. you assume too much, but thats what comes of believing there is no being better than yourself.

Perseus said...

"there is no being better than yourself"

I don't think that all. There's heaps of beings better than me. God isn't one of them though.

I'm sorry for assuming you didn't believe in Apollo. Silly me, being so 'narrow-minded'.

Many people used to pray to Apollo. He was very real to them. Perhaps you do the same.

Do you believe in Apollo?

If not, why not?

Della said...

I've started reading some Greek and Roman history again and it's interesting how elements of what Apollo was worshipped for became things other gods were worshipped for. But then so much changed with Greek belief years and years prior to that with a move to patriarchal society instead of matriarchal, and then other things with the progression of the gods. Maybe it was the polytheism that made it so fluid, as opposed to monotheism, which perhaps keeps things more focused on the singular.

Would write more about this kind of thing, but am getting so snoozy I can hardly keep my eyes open. I feel like a nanna.

I'm kind of curious about what you believe in/about, Perseus.

Perseus said...

I like to interpret your mate Yahweh as merely the composite form of all the Gods before him, whether it be Apollo, Thor or the Rainbow Serpent. There were thousands of Gods, and, over time, (in Judeo-Christianity anyway) there ended up being just one.

As Hitchens says, "Just one to go."


I believe in exactly what you, Clare and Lee believe in, minus God.

Which is why it irks when Christians suggest I'm somehow deficient. We're all sharing the same experience - life in all its glory. We all admire the beautiful sunset, we fall in love, we experience pain, and tranquility, and are moved by great art. We work, we try, we fail, we succeed, we eat chocolate. We believe in fairness, and equality, and honesty, we admire effort, we like to pat dogs, and maybe have children, we laugh at jokes and care for our friends and family. We try not to die.

But you guys attribute life to a sentient creator, I don't.

I assume you guys pray. I believe you are talking to the air and nobody is listening. I kind of pray too, but in my case, its more 'wishing' or 'hoping' which in turn converts to 'striving' (for whatever I pray for).

My Mum is quite ill. I 'pray' she gets better. I tend to her when I can. She goes to doctors. I hope with all my might that her health improves. If it does, I will attribute it to good luck, good medicine and good care... not God.

So you see, we are the same, just minus one little technicality.

Of the thousands of Gods that have been worshiped over time, I believe in just one less God than you do.

Clare thinks that is narrow-minded of me, but I argue, that if there's just ONE God of antiquity that she doesn't believe in, then she is equally narrow-minded as I.

(Actually, there's probably two great differences we have. God, and a sentient after-life.)

Della said...

Mm, it is much of a muchness. As for what's not believed in, I don't think it's a deficiency thing, just a choice. One of the millions of choices we have in life.

Regardless of where or what or who we think life comes from, it is still an amazing thing. There's such a lot of beauty to be experienced, even in the mundane and everyday.

I hope your Mum does get better.

Kaisa said...

Actually Perseus, I think you are correct. Us Christians, Muslims and tarot are the same. We believe in a higher power when it suits us, typically when the shite hits the fan or we can get a buck or two.

I also agree that generally we do believe in the same thing. Where I work I have been termed a "Jew for Jesus", because my religion is close to that of the Jewish religion. An if you read it the Jewish religion is my religions forefather, and the Muslims it's cousin.

You have of course more or less knowingly really tried to throw the fox in the hen house with your suggestion Tarot readers and other spiritualists are the same as Christians. But if take away the deity whom they are worshipping I can completely understand us being the same.

Personally I think a large portion of the rivalries between religion is the desire to be on top and for the world to run in black an white. It is so much easier having a superior being looking down on you saying "NO! You will not Swim on my day!" and squishing us to bits. Then it is taking responsibility for ourselves and letting someone else do the hard work.

In the end I think a true person is someone that is aware that they are not perfect, and finding a perfect role model to aspire too. An I think if you can look beyond the religious shite that is all these people are doing, is trying to find themselves a role model who won't let them down.

Perseus said...

Well said, Kaisa.

To clarify my fox... What I see the religious and the spiritualists having in common is belief in permanency, souls/spirits, elements of fate, judgement, punishment and reward coming from something other-worldly, and a 'design' of sorts relating to events (most often spoken as, "it happened for a reason").

I'm interested to know though: Which religion do you belong to?