Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

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Post by The Drastic Spastic » Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:39 am

Originally posted by thylacine
Then there was St. Catherine who was... according to the tale... a beautiful blonde maiden also known to be an intellectual of her time... A cruel and wicked despot wanted to marry her but she refused. So he built this giant wheel with spikes in it so he could toss her in and turn the wheel and listen to her screams... but everytime he tried to have her tossed in the darn thing broke down. So they said it was a miracle. So he beheaded her instead... !!!
:rolleyes A miracle? So if someone's car breaks down, it means God doesn't want them to drive? That Catherine is just lucky WD-40 hadn't been invented yet. Or not, since she died anyway.
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Post by CurlyyHairGirl » Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:43 am

EEEEEWWWWW!! I am not in the mood to hear about decapitations. Has anyone read the Revolve version of the Bible? It's kinda new and was made to target teens, and it looks like a teen magazine, it is on the new testiment.
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Post by thylacine » Tue Mar 23, 2004 9:45 pm

I read that someone also did a version of the Bible written in slang so people can understand... And Jesus said, "Like, you know, blessed are the poor."

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Post by CurlyyHairGirl » Tue Mar 23, 2004 10:35 pm

I gotta read that one. I know that one had to have pissed someone off, huh. Interessting.:)
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Post by Maelstrom » Wed Mar 24, 2004 1:50 am

Originally posted by thylacine
I read that someone also did a version of the Bible written in slang so people can understand... And Jesus said, "Like, you know, blessed are the poor."
Oh, dear Lord, tell me that's some sort of joke. :shocked

Translations from Aramaic to Greek to English and so on have always caused problems one way or another. But slang is a subsect of language that will do NOTHING but cause trouble.

For instance, that whole thing about "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven"? It sounds like an absolute, since no way can a camel fit through a needle. But in Jerusalem there was (and I believe there still is) a very narrow gate called... you guessed it... The Eye of the Needle. It was too narrow for most livestock to go through, but it could be done in certain circumstances, if you were very cautious. But since that subreference has been lost through the ages, the statement went from "difficult, but possible" to "utterly impossible".

Considering how fast slang goes in and out of style, can you imagine what a "slang" bible would look like in a few years? Let alone a century or two. How many of us would be able to make heads or tails of Civil War era slang?

Imagine a slang bible from the 80s:

...And, like, God said His son was, like, totally tubular.... :yech
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Post by CurlyyHairGirl » Wed Mar 24, 2004 7:18 am

OR yo, says shizzle to the fizzay,and the wicked to un richee.

Some people talk that way at my school, imagine that in a bible.
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Post by Bamf Bunny » Wed Mar 24, 2004 7:42 am

Originally posted by thylacine
I read that someone also did a version of the Bible written in slang so people can understand...
There've been several versions of the Bible in contemporary English, notably the Good News translation in the 60s, the Contemporary English Version in the 80s, and The Message in the 90s. (Links go to the first book of Genesis in each.)
Originally posted by Maelstrom
"it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven"
"All things (e.g. a camel's journey through
A needle's eye) are possible, it's true.
But picture how the camel feels, squeezed out
In one long bloody thread from tail to snout." - C. S. Lewis
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Post by Warbird » Wed Mar 24, 2004 8:02 am

Originally posted by The Drastic Spastic
:rolleyes A miracle? So if someone's car breaks down, it means God doesn't want them to drive? That Catherine is just lucky WD-40 hadn't been invented yet. Or not, since she died anyway.
I think that's exactly the moral of the story!! And if your power goes out and everything in your fridge rots (which happend to me after Hurricane Isabelle) he wants you to starve. It's completely logical.

Martyrs are allways depicted with the instrument of thier death. Can you immagine what it would look like if instead of her head, saint Catherine was holding a spiked wheel of doom?!? That's enough to make you not want to go to church anymore. Actually, so is Saint Barthalamew holding his skin... Catholic art is way F-ed up.
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Post by thylacine » Wed Mar 24, 2004 9:40 pm

Actually St. Catherine has been depicted with both a sword and a wheel, one in each hand.

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Post by CurlyyHairGirl » Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:52 pm

That scares me, I havent seen those and I'm thinkin' I don't want to.
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Post by Warbird » Thu Mar 25, 2004 5:38 am

Originally posted by thylacine
Actually St. Catherine has been depicted with both a sword and a wheel, one in each hand.
Now that you mention it, I have seen that image. It just never realized what that wheel was (I admit that I'm not familiar with her story) and didn't make the connection when I read the prior post.. They usually like to make them as brutal as possible, so I assumed she would be holding her head in one hand and a sword in the other. Barthalamew usually has a skinning knife and his skin. It seemed logical.
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Post by thylacine » Thu Mar 25, 2004 2:48 pm

This medieval painting that I saw was actually quite beautiful. She was standing with a sword in one hand, and a wheel in the other hand, and had this calm placid look on her face like nothing much happened at all... I guess that's why she's a saint. They tortured & beheaded her and she's got no worries! :LOL

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Post by Maelstrom » Thu Mar 25, 2004 4:52 pm

Catholicism (both Roman and Orthodox) has a history of people engaging in "red martyrdom". Those who have been horribly, horribly tortured for their faith. This generally happened under occupation (the original pagan Romans, the Turks, etc.), but occasionally happened because some individual was just a complete dickweed and decided to rape/beat the crap out of some pious innocent.

I believe (and correct me on this if I'm wrong, everyone) that martyrdom is revered for several reasons. One, it's a link to the suffering Christ went through on the cross. Two, it shows that if you have belief and faith, you can weather anything. Hell, if St. Barthalamew can keep his faith while he's being flayed alive, then keeping your faith while you're going through an economic downturn should be a piece of cake, right? ;) And three, if you do wether adversity, keeping your faith to the end, then there is a reward for you. And, in this case, I consider "keeping the faith" to include keeping your sense of humor, your sense of love and trust, and a host of other positive things, instead of turning into a bitter nutball of a zealot who thinks "GOD HATES XXX" :smirk

A more current example of martyrdom and keeping your faith: I remembered hearing about people who survived the concentration camps (most statistically likely to be Jews), and that some of them had created some sort of "healing" house for those who had gone through the holocaust. One of the people who came there was one of the prison guards, who apparently could no longer live with what he had seen and done. The staff, who may well have recognized him on the "other side of the fence", welcomed him with open arms. In all likelyhood the staff had been martyred for their faith, brutalized and butchered because they were Jews. If not, if they were among the countless Poles, homosexuals, "Gypsies" (used as an umbrella for Rmani, Sinti, etc.), "enemies of the state", and others who got in the way of the Nazi machine. Regardless of this, they still forgave and cared for their torturers when the need arose. That's keeping ones faith.
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Post by thylacine » Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:44 pm

That is very interesting about the prison guards & people of the holocaust. I never knew that.

I also have the personal opinion that one does not need to "martyr oneself" to be a true Christian, but I admire the courage of anyone that does. If the Romans were coming to toss me to the lions, I'd make myself scarce!

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Post by Maelstrom » Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:23 pm

Remember that religion was a slightly different animal back in ancient times. Now, in the "age of reason", we have various scientific means to explain some of the world around us. We understand the theroies of physics, epidemics, internal medicine, meteorology, geology, and a host of other things that were originally seen as 100% controlled by the gods. Back then, your religion explained *everything* around you, from why your kid died of measels to why the tide rises and retreats. Now, science explains all that, and our religions are reserved for social interactions, allegorical teachings, and all manners of things strictly controlled by faith alone. If someone dies from a lightning strike, it may be seen as God's will that it happened at all, but it won't automatically be seen as God taking an active hand in it and smiting some non-believer.

Therefore, when the early Christians were tortured to death in Rome (made into human torches, fed to lions, used as target practice, etc.), they let themselves be killed to *prove* their loyalty to a God that took an active hand in things. They figured a few minutes, or hours, of pain was a worthwhile trade for guaranteed entry into heaven.

Also, and this is something a little hard to explain, death and suffering was *everywhere* back then. It's only been since the Victorian era (late 1700s) that the Western world sanitized everything to avoid death entirely. People often die in hospitals now, instead of home, and when they die their bodies are taken to a funeral parlor instead of back to their home to be displayed and mourned over. In years past, people commonly died in the streets, or their homes, their bodies seen by all. You saw dead animals everywhere, too. Death was common, your own mortality constantly reinforced, and the afterlife always on your mind. The spectre of their own death wouldn't phase a martyr in the least.

The word "martyr" tends to bring up all sorts of imagery. Nowadays, it's distressingly negative. It's generally used for two kinds of people: nutcases who blow innocent people up to make a political statement, and mopey, guilt-inducing, attention-demanding creeps who say things like, "Oh, no, don't mind me. You go on ahead. There's not enough room in the car for me, and I'm sure I'll see Disneyland someday...." :rolleyes

Traditionally, a martyr was someone who suffered, one way or another, without any gain in mind but the tempering and purification of his own soul. No sympathy from passers-by, no political or land gains. For this, there are three types: red, green, and white (this is best explained in the book How the Irish Saved Civilization, which is also a darned good read. :) )

Red martyrdom: This is the one we're most familiar with. These people have physically suffered, or were killed, for their beliefs. To spread the Gospel and prove their faith, early Christian martyrs would happily go to the lions in Rome.

Green and White martyrdoms: Here I've directly cut and pasted from an article on http://www.americancatholic.org/messeng ... man.asp#F1 :

In the book How the Irish Saved Civilization (Doubleday), Thomas Cahill talks about both green and white martyrdom. According to Cahill, Ireland was unique in that Christianity was introduced there without bloodshed (red martyrdom). No Irish martyrs emerged until the time of Elizabeth I. Cahill states that this lack of martyrdom disturbed the Irish, so they conceived first of a green martyrdom.

Green martyrs left behind the comforts and pleasures of ordinary human society to live hermits' lives on mountaintops or lonely islands. As Cahill puts it, they went "to one of the green noman's lands outside tribal jurisdiction." There they studied Scripture and communed with God after the example of the anchorites in the Egyptian desert. Ireland could not duplicate the barren terrain of the Egyptian desert; thus, this green martyrdom gave way to the more social life of monasticism.

Against this background Cahill introduces Columcille ( "Dove of God" ); also called Columba or Crimthaann. Born in 521, a prince with a title to kingship, he chose to become a monk. By age 41 he had founded 41 monasteries. Because Columba was held responsible for the Battle of Cuil Dremmed in which 3,000 men died, he became an exile. As penance he set out to save the same number of people as died in the battle.

Columba, with 12 relatives, founded a monastery on Iona off the coast of Scotland that became famous throughout Europe. Monks from Iona in turn set out for what they called a white martyrdom: "[H]enceforth all who followed Columcille's lead were called to the white martyrdom, they who sailed into the white sky of morning, into the unknown, never to return."
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Post by Bamf Bunny » Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:02 pm

Originally posted by Maelstrom
It's only been since the Victorian era (late 1700s)
Queen Victoria reigned from 1839 to 1901. She was born in 1819.
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Post by thylacine » Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:09 pm

That is interesting. I have seen the book, but never had a chance to read it. I heard it was excellent.

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Post by Maelstrom » Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:10 pm

Originally posted by Bamf Bunny
Originally posted by Maelstrom
It's only been since the Victorian era (late 1700s)
Queen Victoria reigned from 1839 to 1901. She was born in 1819.
Damn! Why do I keep getting that one date wrong? :doh! For some reason, I keep thinking it started in the 1790s instead of the 1890s.... Thanks for the correction, BB.
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Post by CurlyyHairGirl » Sat Mar 27, 2004 3:20 am

Oh, about the people who were put in concentration camps, along w/gypsy's and jews they also put Jahovah's witnesses habitual criminal and a lot of others, they would deport them and give them badges; yellow for Jews along with another color(the badges were an upturned triangle)Black was for antisocial,Pink for homosexuals, red for political, green for habitual criminals, brown for gypsys, blue for something i can't think about right now, and violet for Jahovah's witness. For the Jews, the would create a badge with 2 colors, the bottom is yellow with a righted triangl and on top of that they would put another color*exmple: pink on yellow would indicate that the prisoner was a homosexual Jew* the two were put together to form the star of david.

Just a tidbit. We are working on a project in our history class on the holocaust, this was part of my groups. There were also MANY Catholic churches and convents and places like that , that gladly took on Jews and others targeted by the Nazis in and hid them for safety, children were the easiest to hide 'cause they were small.
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Post by thylacine » Mon Mar 29, 2004 9:11 pm

People have a great capacity for evil. The Holocaust is totally sick. People who do things like that to other people are sick-sick-sick-sick... and you know what else? They are SICK!!!

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Post by Maelstrom » Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:26 pm

Like I said: humanity defines itself by its enemies. A negative is an affirmation of what you are not, and lets you project everything you despise onto a "safe" target. By destroying that target, you have a "legitimate" way of attacking what you hate in yourself. It's the very idea of a scape goat.

Originally, when things got really bad, the shamans would dress up a goat, load it down with the evil luck that was plaguing the villiage, and let it loose out on the countryside, where supposedly all the bad luck would follow. In this manner, the scapegoat was very much a sacrifice. Its loss would eliminate the bad luck (or sins) of the community. In other cultures, the animal would be killed instead, but it was still done with the same goal of appeasing some higher power. And I think we're all rather familiar with the concept of a lamb being sacrificed to wash all our sins away... :whistle
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Post by CurlyyHairGirl » Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:23 pm

If anyone would like to check out my teachers site, it has tons on the Holocaust and all that jazz, and links to other sites.

it is:
http://www.smjuhsd.k12.ca.us/~cgreeley/

I use this site alot sometimes.
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Post by thylacine » Tue Mar 30, 2004 4:56 pm

Quote: "By destroying that target, you have a "legitimate" way of attacking what you hate in yourself. It's the very idea of a scape goat."

It sounds like a school yard, doesn't it?

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Post by Maelstrom » Tue Mar 30, 2004 5:31 pm

Originally posted by thylacine
Quote: "By destroying that target, you have a "legitimate" way of attacking what you hate in yourself. It's the very idea of a scape goat."

It sounds like a school yard, doesn't it?
Sadly... yes. It does. And it is. :(

The idea of having something else take the blame for your misdeeds, without any contrition or will to change on your part, is an incredibly immature and selfish thing. That's why a modern-day scapegoat is an object of pity and compassion: it means someone has been royally screwed and blamed for stuff they didn't do.

Christianity took a different tact with the concept. Yes, we had a sacrificial lamb to take the blame for literally everything we've done. In return, we got a clean slate, absolution, and a "get out of Hell free" card.

BUT....

There's a catch, here. This is where the "traditional" scapegoat idea takes an interesting, and more mature, turn. The Lamb wasn't just a farm animal you killed to even the score. The Lamb was someone you identified with. He was a being who made a conscious decision to do this, without our asking, and therefore you owe Him. With this one difference, we've got an incredible leap from "I'll just blame someone else, have him pay, and keep going on like before" to "Oh, man, this was my fault, and someone else suffered; I can't do this anymore." It's a measure of maturity. From serving our own needs and only being annoyed that we got caught, to 1) realizing there are others who pay for our mistakes, 2) feeling an empathic bond with others that overrides our own sense of self, and 3) taking steps to rectify the situation, even if it's inconvenient or painful for us.

An immature asshole will stand you up for a date, and when you confront him later he'll shrug or laugh and say, "Sorry, dude, I really got caught up with this cool videogame." Someone who's mature will at the very least call you to apologize for running late. A true gentlemen will go out of his way to get to you, even if he gets a flat on the road, gets splashed with mud in the pouring rain, and his cell-phone goes on the blink.

What's the difference between a flake and a gentlemen? It isn't age, breeding, status, wealth, or anything external. It's the same thing that makes someone a "good" Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, or whatever faith they believe. It's a sense of responsibility, empathy, and the willingness to put others above self.

Have you ever wondered why gang cultures, hate groups, and so on seem like such immature schoolyard bullies? Why do they act like such spoiled bratlings? It all goes together. To create a scapegoat is the ultimate in irresponsible, immature behavior. It's not only refusing to admit to your own flaws, but gleefully putting the blame on something (or someone) else when caught, therefore avoiding any repercussions from your own actions. It also requires an utter lack of empathy, which is the glue that binds any society together, from humans to meercats.

I'll never be able to go along with the fire-and-brimstone section of Christianity, which constantly screams that we're all horrible, horrible sinners! Guilty for life! Guilt guilt guilt guilt! Feel ashamed for absolutely everything, you lousy piece of filth! He died for you, and you can never be worth it or repay the debt! That's going too far in the other direction. It's one thing to recognize that you're human and fallable, just like everyone else, and that you should strive to overcome this frailty. It's another to believe (or have forced upon you) that you're utterly worthless at all times. :rolleyes
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Post by CurlyyHairGirl » Wed Mar 31, 2004 3:54 am

I don't go for that either. There is no way in any world that a person can be totaly and utterly innocent of sins. Some people go as far a telling you that because you sin you go to hell, then I guess I'll meet them there 'cause eveyone sins, even the pope.
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