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Viewing comments for Chapter 36 "The Good Book"
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Comment from --Turtle.
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I have a problem. I don't believe you are real. (Have you ever heard the song, Dear God, by xtc? I thought of that old 1986 song and the flavor of it as I read through this letter. I seem to do that a lot, relate things to something else... Put them in their proper bins by comparisons and the emotional equalities that try to form in more than my head. Something that can't be easily transferred via words, is the sounds... bafflement, frustration, trying to pin down a fly that keeps buzzing. Trying to dry out the clouds because what is clouds is really sand. Critical thinking and religion and philosophy, when you add them to a pot and stir and stir, it just makes a pot of mangled goo. Mangled goo that never really gets anywhere. It just sort of bubbles in the pot, and people kind of look at it and say... Oh ... you just forgot to add salt... A little salt, and walla, that's all that pot needs. And the frustration and 'enter better words that I have here' happens and you look at the pot and no amount of salt is going to save it. Some of the ingredients aren't all that bad on it's, but you look at the pot... and that sense of ludicrous bubbles.

when nobody's looking, they don't behave in the slightest as they tell me I'm
(There's always danger in the mass definition of they spoken in absolutes.)

Then, when he exercises that free will which you gave him in a certain way
(Sentence kind of comes off that God gave man free will in a certain way. I thought things like: when he exercises the free will that you gave him in a certain way... or something to separate that more clearly from 'in a certain way' .... that free will, which you gave him, in a certain way... or as this is informal.... that free will (which you gave him) in a certain way... Not sure. I paused here though, thinking about sentence flow. Maybe just when he exercises that free will in a certain way... ? and drop the repeat of which you gave him)

Talk about a bad temper!
(thinking leads to spotting contradictions, contradictions brings out something that is humorous... and the understatement of pointing out that contradiction with a human emotion is also got a bit of humor about it, that has a stroke of frustration and irritation and trying to make sense of madness.)

such as talking back to your parents, or working on the sabbath(Sabbath?). But
(A solid stroke of sharp humor, the kind that cuts with stroke of sarcasm that with the right tone, the standing next to in agreement tone, is just artfully applied. )

Brilliant! This solves the problem of the Bible [appearing to contain](You might be trying to do two things here... were you avoiding just (containing)) a lot of what would these days be considered balderdash[, but](while)? still allowing people to

operty of Mr Stackhouse; I have heard it espoused many times, (and) he is just

That is unless you accept the stories of statues that bleed, and(or?) your Son's image in a piece of toast, and(or)? miraculously healing springs, which most of
(suggesting only... though)

I'm sorry(,) God, but as far as I can see,
(direct addressment comma)

A few things to consider, but this was well articulated and easy to follow. You do a good job with framing. Not an easy task.

 Comment Written 23-Jul-2015

reply by the author on 23-Jul-2015
    Hi Turtle,

    I did actually qualify the "they" I used in referring to the clergy, by saying "by and large". Perhaps that is still a bit too strong, but I'm reluctant to change it. My intention was to say that the behaviour of these representatives of God on earth is basically indistinguishable from your average Jill or Joe. And if their claims are true, that shouldn't be the case.

    As for your other corrections, I have implemented nearly all of them, so thank you very much for your attention to detail. Most grateful for your kind review.


reply by --Turtle. on 23-Jul-2015
    Yeah, I think that was just the first they, and then the narrowing in happened later. I don't think it needed changing, or I probably would have pointed at it additional times, or at the end if it had stuck in my head, instead of the once when the thought entered my mind.
Comment from giraffmang
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Hi Craig,

Well, well, well. this is a very interesting piece, and one that may well elicit some negativity from the good old CA, but it shouldn't. It seems that freedom of speech may only exist if you agree with the other participants.

I have my own faith but tend not to espouse it as my is personal, as I believe all should be. Evangelical religion subjugates others but its very nature. If faith was personal, these conflicts would not exist.

If you want to find the biggest bunch of hypocrites, we all know where to look, and when.

This piece was superb. Well written and thought provoking.
Good stuff

 Comment Written 22-Jul-2015

reply by the author on 22-Jul-2015
    Thanks GMG, for your thoughtful review. I'm prepared for a certain amount of flak (which hasn't arrived as yet, not to say it won't). Concerning free speech, I think what's good for the goose is good for the gander, as they say. Much appreciate your stopping by, and your kind words. Craig.
Comment from Kingsland
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If there was no god, it would be necessary to invent one. That is the catch all to catch when it comes to a belief system such as we have these days called Christians. Do as I say but not as I do. So what else is new in this age old tale of woe, the bible that is. Let's go on a cherry picking thought process and just take the parts we like and throw away the rest. After all, isn't that in the nature of mankind as a whole. This was a well written article that I must say was very well written with some excellent points of view... John

 Comment Written 22-Jul-2015

reply by the author on 22-Jul-2015
    Thanks, John, for your thoughtful and kind review. You make a very good point about the "cherry-picking" process being applied to many areas of thought. Much appreciated, Craig.
Comment from Nosha17
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I can understand your scepticism about the teachings of the Bible by all the hypocrites that flood the churches. I am rather cynical about them, too, but I feel that having a God to believe in and ignoring those who spout I can still benefit by having faith-without it I would not be here today. I am thus rather thankful, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I wouldn't push mine on anyone. Well written commentary about the Bible and your beliefs. faye

 Comment Written 22-Jul-2015

reply by the author on 22-Jul-2015
    Hi Faye. I find writing about my beliefs useful, as in order to be able to put them on paper, I actually have to have given them consideration, and tested them to my own satisfaction - if that makes sense. There's certainly no shortage of people on here who choose to write about their beliefs, although most are probably from a somewhat different perspective. As for forcing, I find the idea that anyone can tell anyone else what to believe rather odd :)
    Thanks for your kind comments, and thoughtful review. Craig.
reply by Nosha17 on 22-Jul-2015
    You're welcome, Craig. I worry about those that spout a lot on here, they may be sincere, but my religious beliefs and views I like to keep fairly private. People do not realise that it is their actions, not their words which reveal their sincerity and spirituality. Faye
Comment from Dean Kuch
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Ha-ha! Well, what can I say, Craig, other than A. Heathen just expended a lot of time, wasted energy and thought, for no reason whatsoever? While "Mr. Heathen's" efforts are clearly commendable--ie; questioning the barbarism of a supposedly caring and loving Heavenly Father, etcetera--they were clearly a waste of his precious time. What's that you say? Why were they a needless, although intelligent, rambling of thoughts, feelings and frustrations? Okay, if you really, really want to know, I'll tell you.

His letter, with all of his carefully thought out innuendo and conjecture, is (in his own estimation) falling on deaf ears. Or rather non-existent ears, to be more specific.

No more than I would write a letter to Bugs Bunny or Elmer Fudd (which, if either one of them answered, would really send me into a quandary!), for respective hunting tips or advice on how to avoid being shot, killed and eaten during rabbit hunting season respectively, then why would someone spend so much of their time asking questions of a being they don't believe exists in the first place? It's like trying to question Superman to see if he could help us out with technologies linked to our interplanetary travels. You ain't gettin' no answers.

This was great, Craig, in all seriousness. And it raises valid points that scholars, theologians and scientists have been debating for decades. We will ever gain any true understanding or answers to the questions you've raised here?

Time will tell...

~Dean :}

 Comment Written 22-Jul-2015

reply by the author on 22-Jul-2015
    LOL your point is well made, Dean. Of course, Mr Heathen made the same observation in the very first paragraph, where he anticipates a visit from the people in white coats. Maybe the letter wasn't really intended for the one to whom it was addressed? Or only partially so? In all seriousness, believe it or not, for at least one "ex-believer" with whom I am acquainted, this is *exactly* how it started. They would "talk" to a supreme being (having been taught that is what they were meant to do). But the more they examined the issues raised in this letter, and various other things, the more they were convinced that they were, in fact, talking to no one. So perhaps it's not as silly as it seems ;-)

    Thanks for your thoughtful review, I really appreciate it :)
reply by Dean Kuch on 22-Jul-2015
    It was a pleasure, Craig. I really enjoyed it. :}
Comment from ~Dovey
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I'm not quite sure what the experiment you are referring to is, in writing this piece, unless it is just to see how people will react to what you have written. There is no right or wrong answer to the questions posed of God, as any answer is subjective to each individual's own belief system. I imagine this particular issue will be debated until the end of time (or whatever else there might be at the end of it all.)

If your objective was to make people think, to stop and consider your viewpoint, you may succeed, to a point. More than likely it will elicit an emotional reaction and create a great debate. Either way, you made people think, so I'm guessing that make this a successful post.

My only suggestion for improvement is to refrain from beginning sentences with the words And or Or. Generally, another word will fit the bill better. Good luck with your message. It may not (no, I know you won't be too shocked) appeal to the masses. Good luck with your future endeavors.


 Comment Written 22-Jul-2015

reply by the author on 22-Jul-2015
    Hi Kim,
    I take your point about the use of And and Or to begin sentences. I've been over it, and I don't think it sounds awkward or incorrect. And (there we go again) well respected grammar guides say such usage is acceptable. As usual, I guess if I get enough complaints, I'll change it; as I have done with spelling in most things I put up here.
    Thanks for your constructive comments, they are always appreciated.
Comment from lancellot
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Very interesting. I don't know for sure but I think, if the Bible was really written by men inspired by God then it is quite possible that none of us are right about it or can actually understand its true meaning. We are far beneath the thinking of God, right? Thought provoking work.

 Comment Written 21-Jul-2015

reply by the author on 21-Jul-2015
    But for me, the question then remains - if we can't understand it, what is the purpose of having it? Thanks, lancellot, for your thoughtful review, I appreciate it. Craig.
Comment from I am Cat
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*looks around*

Gosh Craig,
i left here HOURS ago... wth? and Gynt is the ONLY person to review this? seriously? Where is everyone?

lol, wow... you're a popular guy tonight doll face... It's like... uh uh... we're not touching THAT one. wow.
Yikes. Is this some sort of little ink blot thing like they put on clothing and if you sneak it out of the store it explodes and ruins everything near it?

*looks left... looks right*

*listens* no thunder... the skies are clear... I'm assuming it's safe to speak freely?

Well... you raise some interesting points... While I do not believe in assassinating an entire group of peoples ... any more than I agree with accepting an entire group based on what they say or do, or look like or don't look like, or eat, or wear, or whatever... I do believe there are ones in every crowd who are good people... and ones who are not so good...

Believe me, I've been hit on by more deacons in the Baptist church than by any other group in my old small town! That being said, I don't think it's because there is or isn't a god present.... perhaps they just weren't really good at what they were supposed to be good at doing.

Some people just can't always get it right.
Ah well... try again. right?

Maybe there is a god... maybe there are many gods... I have no idea.. .i think, for me, the point is... nobody knows for sure... it's the righteous indignation of any group which goes around discounting and hating another group for believing or disbelieving which I have a problem with.

And yes, there are things in the bible which are so bad... just like the story of Lot! But hell, man wrote the bible... and maybe they are true, maybe they aren't ... Really, it's like taking 12 members of FS... let's say, the top 12 poets or authors on FS and leaving them in charge of writing the entire STORY of today's world.

or ONE public person who was sent here to save it. Let's say... David Koresh. Ok?
For the sake of argument... Does anyone today think David was actually sent here as the son of god, reborn?

probably not. Number one, because he has glasses? really?
well, ok. he was supposed to be 'in our image". I, for one, wear glasses. just saying.
but... maybe mine is not the image... I dunno.

anyway... they went in and killed the man. shot him in the head and burned him alive.
yeah... well. welcome home Jesus.
the point is... none of these people who believe in Jesus would welcome Jesus today. would they? not unless he descended out of clouds and glowed purple... and even then... (hell, Prince did that)...
they still wouldn't buy it.

ah... but I digress.

I think you put up a few entertaining piece of writing... the fact that I don't have a six to award you, sort of pisses me off... but then, oh well... it would have been discounted by someone anyway, right?

anyway... I am proud to review this, and I hope it's enough.. It's most likely enough at least to get you, me and gynt blackballed for speaking up.

such is life.

hugs and love and laughter to you...


 Comment Written 21-Jul-2015

reply by the author on 21-Jul-2015
    Hiya Cat,

    I absolutely agree with you that tarring all the members of any group with the same brush is a very bad thing to do. If I came across as meaning to do that, then my bad. My intention was more to say that, in spite of the veneration which is given to religious figures in society --specifically, priests, rabbis and imams-- I see no reason to believe that they are, on average, any better or worse than any other group. However, if their claims were in fact true, we should expect them to be very much different, should we not?

    You know the "score" doesn't matter to me -- if it did, I would be writing about something very different ;-)

    Thanks for your very thoughtful review and comments.

reply by I am Cat on 21-Jul-2015
    Oh , I realize that... and I totally agree that they should be held to a higher standard, definitely.
Comment from Pantygynt
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At the age of 5 I came home from the convent school in which I had been placed and asked my doubter's first question:

"Mummy, was Jesus really a good man?"

"Yes dear of course he was."

"Well if he was, why did he suffer him to punch his pilot?"

I don't remember getting a coherent answer to that or any other question I have since raised.

By the standards you mention I am well qualified to take up the Word and pass it on as I have coveted a number of my neighbours' wives over the 74 years I have walked upon this planet and am currently involved in coveting one more on the principle that you are only as old as the woman you feel.

Having read your treatise I am convinced you are the new messiah but would ask for clarification as to whether this is your first or second coming. I think it is probably your second as during your first did you not write a lot about Lot?

It is not often that I experience absolute empathy with the writer I am reviewing but I am so glad that somebody else agrees with me over coveting neighbours wives. Has been great fun and to know that I am not going to end up as the devils devilled kidneys is really quite reassuring. You see if the good one doesn't exist then the bad one can't either.

Please let me be your Peter and upon this rock you may build your public house. I will almost certainly deny you at least thrice if it serves my purpose, but not before cock crow, sloth being one of my favourite ways of passing the time, second only to lechery.

 Comment Written 21-Jul-2015

reply by the author on 21-Jul-2015
    LOL... thanks, PG -- I think! There may still be hope for you -- as long as you don't also covet your neighbour's ass. Much gratitude for checking out my little rant. Craig.

    "Punch his pilot" -- I really have to write that down.
reply by Pantygynt on 22-Jul-2015
    I agree with you here
    but have no fear
    my neighbour's ass I'd not hold dear.