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Author Topic: Finally saw Bill Maher's "Religilous"  (Read 4868 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 13, 2009, 08:26:55 PM »

What do you guys and gals think?

My wife's and my own impression is, - just plain genious.

Really - Maher attacks "Christianity" that forgot the first thing - "REPENT..."
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2009, 08:46:18 PM »

I, too, finally saw it.  My housemate rented it and I tried to watch it with him and just couldn't stomach the hate.  The next day, though, I resolved to sit through it and see exactly what I might have missed.  Sadly, I was right all along.  Here are my thoughts:

   http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20078.msg298783.html#msg298783

There are a lot of trailers of his movie on YouTube as well.  In addition, there are many interviews of him explaining his views which basically boil down to this: all members of organized religion are crazies.  And sure enough, the people in this movie tend to prove his assertion only because he interviews not educated mainstream thinkers, but the fringe elements of religion and good-hearted people with a limited understanding of their religion.  While watching fringe element crazies is always humorous, his supposed critique is neither rational nor scientific; two views he claims to be a proponent of.  After all, the title is a combination of Religion and Ridiculous which should tip off and warn any thinking person that straw man arguments are forthcoming.  It's interesting to note that some posters mentioned how some of the Christian's are brainwashed... It should be noted that Mr. Maher views all Christians as being brainwashed.  Anyone hoping to see a fair yet critical expose of religion will be disappointed, but if you're in the mood for a rude and offensive simpleton's look at other simpleton's- this is your movie.  If you're not in the mood to check your brain at the door (or fill it up with rude and crass goofiness), here's a 9+ minute interview with Mr. Maher and Mr. Larry Charles (the director who brought us another wonderful low-brow production- Borat).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbA16i1gENA&feature=related
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2009, 08:51:19 PM »

Quote
Really - Maher attacks "Christianity" that forgot the first thing - "REPENT..."


I've only watched the trailers, and am interested in watching the whole thing sometime, but can you please elaborate on this statement, George? Do you think Maher would actually have any more respect for Christians who emphasize repentance?
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2009, 09:06:41 PM »

Quote
Really - Maher attacks "Christianity" that forgot the first thing - "REPENT..."


I've only watched the trailers, and am interested in watching the whole thing sometime, but can you please elaborate on this statement, George? Do you think Maher would actually have any more respect for Christians who emphasize repentance?

Unfortunately, it looks like he just does not know them... He begins his narrative by rendering his childhood impressions of the Roman Catholic parish where his Irish father took him while his mother, a Jewish woman, never attended it and never expressed any opinion on what this Christianity was all about. It seems from Maher's narrative that he was, from his early days on, exposed only to a very "left-brain," didactic, moralistic side of Christianity without even a trace of Christian experience of an emotional and "existential" sort. In the later parts of the movie, Maher is conversing with some very strange, very torn from the mere human history types like some members of an American "truck Christian" congregation somewhere in the desert of the USA way-way-way-way---away-from-any-city-history-culture- wasteland, where some crazy-looking guys tell him that "Jesus loves you" etc. Overall, it is surreal and indeed causing a viewer like me to sympathise very emphatically with everything Maher says, should I not be from a different world.
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2009, 10:02:48 PM »

Well, yes, see, it's just as Gabriel says, I'm afraid. Maher's intentionally chosen the "crazies" to make his point. He's really not being totally fair in a sense. Why doesn't he interview some level-headed, intelligent people for a change? Yes, his approach makes for good comedy, but at what expense?
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2009, 10:24:19 PM »

Well, yes, see, it's just as Gabriel says, I'm afraid. Maher's intentionally chosen the "crazies" to make his point. He's really not being totally fair in a sense. Why doesn't he interview some level-headed, intelligent people for a change? Yes, his approach makes for good comedy, but at what expense?

But just where is, in the USA, something that would not be "good comedy?" That's the whole point... It is rare, far in between... and it is not Maher's fault that he does not know it - it is ours...
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2009, 10:29:47 PM »

He did sit down with a perfectly sane Catholic priest and have a productive conversation about God and science. This makes me think that he did not set out to bash all religious faith, just the faith that is wholly irrational and/or misguided. 

 If he sat down with a real theologian he would have had his rear end handed to him.
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2009, 10:58:34 PM »

He did sit down with a perfectly sane Catholic priest and have a productive conversation about God and science. This makes me think that he did not set out to bash all religious faith, just the faith that is wholly irrational and/or misguided. 

 If he sat down with a real theologian he would have had his rear end handed to him.

Yes! Very likely... But just where are these "real theologians" in this ... land... Sad
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2009, 12:27:14 AM »

I love how in the interview the guy said: "We're not trying to offend.."

??
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2009, 02:28:01 AM »

He did sit down with a perfectly sane Catholic priest and have a productive conversation about God and science. This makes me think that he did not set out to bash all religious faith, just the faith that is wholly irrational and/or misguided. 

 If he sat down with a real theologian he would have had his rear end handed to him.

Yes! Very likely... But just where are these "real theologians" in this ... land... Sad

Well, I would point to people like Marcus Borg, but he's not so popular in most Orthodox circles.
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2009, 09:12:18 AM »

He did sit down with a perfectly sane Catholic priest and have a productive conversation about God and science. This makes me think that he did not set out to bash all religious faith, just the faith that is wholly irrational and/or misguided. 

 If he sat down with a real theologian he would have had his rear end handed to him.

Yes! Very likely... But just where are these "real theologians" in this ... land... Sad

Well, I would point to people like Marcus Borg, but he's not so popular in most Orthodox circles.

Personally, I believe if I were not touched by something in the Orthodox Church that has nothing to do with "left-brain" "theology" or moralism (liturgic chants, icons, murals, candles, vestments of the priests, choir singing, the whole drama and mystery of the Eucharist) - I would perhaps remain as agnostic as Maher, and as bitter about the "religilous" people, literature, etc. Smiley The Divine Liturgy is maybe the only reason why I am not in Maher's "camp."
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2009, 09:13:32 AM »

I love how in the interview the guy said: "We're not trying to offend.."

??

Well, I do believe he has no deliberate intention to offend, but irony, sarcasm of course offend, always.
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2009, 05:13:41 PM »

Quote
Really - Maher attacks "Christianity" that forgot the first thing - "REPENT..."


I've only watched the trailers, and am interested in watching the whole thing sometime, but can you please elaborate on this statement, George? Do you think Maher would actually have any more respect for Christians who emphasize repentance?

Well I haven't seen Religulous yet, however in response to your last question, yes I DO think he would have more respect for Christians who in fact acted like Christians. The problem is, I don't think he's met more than 2 or 3 Christians in his entire life that practice what they preach. And most of them come from a certain portion of Christianity, that most people do see as "nutty". (whether they are "nuts" or not I do not comment on, because I've been "nutty" enough in my life, and in reality they most of the time mean well, which is where Maher goes off track sometimes) anyways....

I've watched Maher for years, and while I certainly don't agree with everything he says, much of what he says (about religion) is, like it or not, pretty much right on the mark. Considering his background, and the environment he grew up in religiously, it's amazing he's as open to the existence of God has he actually is. (he certainly is not an atheist, and when pressed, he has reluctantly admitted he believes that there probably is a God, just not a God we humans can define) He actually likes the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, even if he doesn't believe He is God incarnate, and certainly isn't anything like Dawkin's or these "Jesus never existed people".

One just has to get through his sarcasm, and often times angry way of stating points to see where he is coming from. Which certainly is hard sometimes. However he has had a well schooled Christian or two on his show in the last, and they end up agreeing on much more than they disagree on, even if they don't agree on theology.

I also remember about a year ago he had Andrew Sullivan on his show, and while Sulivan ius hardly a schooled theologian like Schmemman, he took Maher to task for some statements he made and left Maher speechless. (Sullivan was defending Christianity as a religion)

Anyhoo, this has inspired me to rent Religulous......so I will...Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2009, 05:15:29 PM »

He did sit down with a perfectly sane Catholic priest and have a productive conversation about God and science. This makes me think that he did not set out to bash all religious faith, just the faith that is wholly irrational and/or misguided. 

 If he sat down with a real theologian he would have had his rear end handed to him.

Yes! Very likely... But just where are these "real theologians" in this ... land... Sad

Well, I would point to people like Marcus Borg, but he's not so popular in most Orthodox circles.

Personally, I believe if I were not touched by something in the Orthodox Church that has nothing to do with "left-brain" "theology" or moralism (liturgic chants, icons, murals, candles, vestments of the priests, choir singing, the whole drama and mystery of the Eucharist) - I would perhaps remain as agnostic as Maher, and as bitter about the "religilous" people, literature, etc. Smiley The Divine Liturgy is maybe the only reason why I am not in Maher's "camp."

I'm in that same boat as well!
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2009, 11:07:09 PM »

I've not seen "Religilous" so I cannot comment about the movie.  But, many years ago, (I can't remember when) I read an interview with him in a magazine.  What stuck out to me the most was (and I'm paraphrasing here) his being upset that mankind couldn't come up with a "philosophical" system of morality but instead had to rely on the divine revelation of God in His Ten Commandments.  Thus, Maher's beef isn't so much with God as it is with mankind's inability to have a just society by its own power.

However, having said that, Maher is falling into the same trap as others of Christianity (and I am referring to the various confessions) and judges Christ's Church by its followers, imperfect as we are. 
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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2009, 03:12:01 PM »

I've not seen "Religilous" so I cannot comment about the movie.  But, many years ago, (I can't remember when) I read an interview with him in a magazine.  What stuck out to me the most was (and I'm paraphrasing here) his being upset that mankind couldn't come up with a "philosophical" system of morality but instead had to rely on the divine revelation of God in His Ten Commandments.  Thus, Maher's beef isn't so much with God as it is with mankind's inability to have a just society by its own power.

I just watched the movie last night, and it was actually a lot tamer than I imagined. Some reviews made it sound like the movie was this horrible, evil, anti religuous brainwashing event....(sort of like all the anti-Dan Brown websites talk about Brown's book/movies). In reality, the movie wasn't really like that, and I felt that Maher  at times was sincerely looking for good answers to his questions. Of course he is a cynic and a comedian, and indeed, a "rationalist" so that honest seeking is often counterbalanced by that side of him, but I didn't feel like he set out to "only" bash religion.

The interview he did with the Catholic priest/astronomer was interesting, and I wish they'd have shown more of it. Like others have said, I love to see him do a 2 or 3 hour discussion with a real theologian, someone on the level of Schmemman who can speak to the "modern" world and kind of lay out the faults of the Church over the centuries and yet, still have faith. I don't reckon Maher has ever had too many discussions like that in his life, and mostly has been exposed to "the Flinstones is an historical documentary" type Christians.

Quote
However, having said that, Maher is falling into the same trap as others of Christianity (and I am referring to the various confessions) and judges Christ's Church by its followers, imperfect as we are. 

That's true, and yet, Jesus did say "by their fruits you will know them". And by that standard, Christianity doesn't hold up very well on many levels. (but not on all)

It's one thing to understand the concept of the Church militant/triumphant, and the Church is full of sinners, etc...on an intellectual level, but it's an entirely different thing to come face to face with the harsh reality of it.

Honestly I can no longer make that argument to myself, or to others, whether they be non Orthodox or non Christian, because the argument has been made basically since Augustine and at least for those of us who are by nature skeptical individuals, it rings hollow. And I think that's what Maher's beef is, that on the practical level, some of the worst evils have been done in the name of Christ. Basically his followers do exactly the opposite of what he taught, so how can the church be what it claims?

However, that is one of the things that rings true about Christianity to me, as weird as it might sound. The teachings of Christ are so beyond what human's could come up with on their own, and the proof of this is that even when they stare us in the face, we still contradict what we claim to believe...this kind of gives support of at least some divine reasoning behind the teachings of Christ.

The one scene where Maher says something about religion just being an excuse for the guys in charge to gain power and wear costumes, then a montage of images flashes across the screen, a few of them with Orthodox patriarchs, in full "costume" with crowns, and all...and again, there is a bit of truth to that. While I "get" the symbolism and all, it does look pretty absurd to the outside observer that we have Bishops dressing like Byzantine-Roman Emperors. I mean, it's not like  Saint Peter, or Saint Thomas the Apostle dressed like that, and yet they still retained their full status of their office. (I thought I was told Eastern Patriarchs didn't start dressing like that until after the fall of Constantinople so it may be fairly "modern" in Church history terms)

Anyways, I thought the movie was pretty good, made some pretty good points, and a few bad points, (like the whole "pagan savior god horus" thing, which I think is an outdated theory on the origins of Christianity), and it had some pretty funny moments. In the end, I think it's a conversation starter, and that is what it is intended to be. Truthfully the Church (or faith) that cannot take a critical look at itself is probably just afraid at what it will see. But then, isn't that kind of the point of Christianity? To take a look at ourselves, even our dark impulses and passions and try to clean up our act? I think so, and so despite on how many points I agree with Maher's POV, I still maintain faith (as weak as it is) and hope one day he'll be able to do so as well.


 






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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2009, 03:30:21 PM »

Well, yes, see, it's just as Gabriel says, I'm afraid. Maher's intentionally chosen the "crazies" to make his point. He's really not being totally fair in a sense. Why doesn't he interview some level-headed, intelligent people for a change? Yes, his approach makes for good comedy, but at what expense?

But just where is, in the USA, something that would not be "good comedy?" That's the whole point... It is rare, far in between... and it is not Maher's fault that he does not know it - it is ours...


Yeah, I don't think Maher knows there are such people out there. Or at least, if he does, they are definitely few and far between, and figures they're not worth tracking down because they probably wouldn't dialogue to begin with. I mean, when I was Evangelical, and probably most people here fit this, I never even KNEW there was such a thing as the Orthodox Church, except in passing..."oh those people with the funny pictures of Jesus and Mary". I don't see how Bill Maher would be any different. We've all heard of people like Schmemman and Myendorf, and a few really great priest/theologians out there, but how many people outside of Orthodoxy have ever heard of these people? Most people IN Orthodoxy haven't heard of them. All most Americans have been exposed to is the people in this movie, and then the occasional Catholic priest who can have a sane conversation about science or rationalism or philosophy. Most really good Catholic philosophers and thinkers won't talk about things like this, even if they are capable. The only famous Catholic I can think of who is open to tacking issues such as these (and do so lovingly and not beat people over the head with doctrine) is Fr. Benedict Groeschel, but I reckon Maher has probably never heard of him. I can think of some Orthodox who are qualified, but again, Maher would never have heard of them, because only people who are already in the faith have. And I agree, that's not his fault, it is ours.

 The same goes for great thinkers in other Churches and religions too. I mean, really, the Tolkien's and CS Lewis's only come around maybe every hundred years or so. (by that I mean religious thinkers whom EVERYONE has heard of or at least aware of) So it's definitely understandable why Maher interviewed the people he did.




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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2009, 03:38:13 PM »

Quote


The one scene where Maher says something about religion just being an excuse for the guys in charge to gain power and wear costumes, then a montage of images flashes across the screen, a few of them with Orthodox patriarchs, in full "costume" with crowns, and all...and again, there is a bit of truth to that. While I "get" the symbolism and all, it does look pretty absurd to the outside observer that we have Bishops dressing like Byzantine-Roman Emperors. I mean, it's not like  Saint Peter, or Saint Thomas the Apostle dressed like that, and yet they still retained their full status of their office. (I thought I was told Eastern Patriarchs didn't start dressing like that until after the fall of Constantinople so it may be fairly "modern" in Church history terms)


I enjoyed reading your thoughts! Interestingly, the costume business is an objection I hear all the time from my Jewish friends who often ask, "What's up with the costumes?". Also I have other friends (guys) who say they aren't going near the Orthodox Church with a ten foot pole because "it's so gay". They feel only gay men would put up with walking around wearing those type of "costumes". It's actually been on my mind a lot lately.

Secretly, I too get a kick out of Maher, but I feel "guilty" for that, if this makes any sense...
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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2009, 03:57:08 PM »


That's true, and yet, Jesus did say "by their fruits you will know them". And by that standard, Christianity doesn't hold up very well on many levels. (but not on all)

Yes, but Christ did NOT say, "by their fruits you will know ME."  Our fruits may not always point to Christ, if at all.  Again, you cannot judge Christ and His Church strictly by the acts of buffoons like myself.  You're trying to kill the message by going after the messengers.
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« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2009, 06:08:26 PM »


Secretly, I too get a kick out of Maher, but I feel "guilty" for that, if this makes any sense...

LOL! I know what you mean, but I suppose I gave up feeling guilty about it some time ago, but I definitely understand.
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« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2009, 06:22:28 PM »


That's true, and yet, Jesus did say "by their fruits you will know them". And by that standard, Christianity doesn't hold up very well on many levels. (but not on all)

Yes, but Christ did NOT say, "by their fruits you will know ME." 

You know, that's actually an interesting point, and I've never heard it put in those exact words before. Thank you for that!

However, the Church is supposed to be the depository of the Christian faith. It gave us the Bible, the Sacraments, etc....and yet if the phrase "by their fruits you will know them" is applied to the Church, then it gets difficult to accept what the Church claims about itself, when it does things so contrary to Christ's teachings. Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing the Church is not the Church, just food for thought, as I know quite a number of people personally, including close family, who see things very similar to the way Bill Maher does, and it gets increasingly hard to argue the counter point, that's all.

Quote

 Our fruits may not always point to Christ, if at all.  Again, you cannot judge Christ and His Church strictly by the acts of buffoons like myself.  You're trying to kill the message by going after the messengers.

I totally agree with you on the individual level, however we know the "Church" as an institution has also done some things that are not so Christian, and I think that's where the dialogue and understanding with the skeptic breaks down. they inherently know the Truth within Christ's message, but then they see the Church sanctioning some questionable things throughout history, and so people say, "wait a second!"

i think the skeptic would argue that of course, you shouldn't kill the message just because the messenger is a poor example of the message, however, since the Church claims to be the ultimate messenger, and if that messenger is broken, it's hard to accept that message is at all true. (I hope that makes sense)

Like I said, I'm not arguing the Church isn't the Church, just saying I understand where the other side is coming from.

With that said, your point is taken to heart, as I've never heard it put quite so clearly before. thank you for your take......



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« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2009, 09:49:11 PM »

If he sat down with a real theologian he would have had his rear end handed to him.

Indeed. Question is, would he ever let that happen. Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2009, 10:28:20 PM »

What's wrong with crazy protestant christians? I was raised up as one and they are some of the nicest, friendliest, moral, and loving people on the planet. So who cares if they look or seem crazy to people that don't understand them. Who said that we must be like Mr. Spock all the time? Why can't we be irrational and fun like captain Kurt once in a while?


Everything doesn't always have to be rational.




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« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2009, 10:53:16 PM »

What's wrong with crazy protestant christians? I was raised up as one and they are some of the nicest, friendliest, moral, and loving people on the planet. So who cares if they look or seem crazy to people that don't understand them. Who said that we must be like Mr. Spock all the time? Why can't we be irrational and fun like captain Kurt once in a while?

Why Kirk? Why not Bones or Scotty? Cheesy

BTW, hi Jnorm, this is Tony-Allen Wink
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« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2009, 11:06:45 PM »

What's wrong with crazy protestant christians?

Everything. Just like everything is wrong with everyone else. It's called "the Fall."

I was raised up as one

And I was not. I was unsuccessfuly tried to be raised by my then-Soviet society as a Communist, and by my parents and friends as a secular humanist. Are you saying you are better than me?  Cool

and they are some of the nicest, friendliest, moral, and loving people on the planet.

Oh no. My secular humanist atheist friends are the nicest, friendliest, moral, and loving ones, believe me.
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« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2009, 08:40:03 AM »

Quote


The one scene where Maher says something about religion just being an excuse for the guys in charge to gain power and wear costumes, then a montage of images flashes across the screen, a few of them with Orthodox patriarchs, in full "costume" with crowns, and all...and again, there is a bit of truth to that. While I "get" the symbolism and all, it does look pretty absurd to the outside observer that we have Bishops dressing like Byzantine-Roman Emperors. I mean, it's not like  Saint Peter, or Saint Thomas the Apostle dressed like that, and yet they still retained their full status of their office. (I thought I was told Eastern Patriarchs didn't start dressing like that until after the fall of Constantinople so it may be fairly "modern" in Church history terms)


I enjoyed reading your thoughts! Interestingly, the costume business is an objection I hear all the time from my Jewish friends who often ask, "What's up with the costumes?". Also I have other friends (guys) who say they aren't going near the Orthodox Church with a ten foot pole because "it's so gay". They feel only gay men would put up with walking around wearing those type of "costumes". It's actually been on my mind a lot lately.

Secretly, I too get a kick out of Maher, but I feel "guilty" for that, if this makes any sense...

I always saw our costumes as being beautiful and cool looking. The jewish highpriest back in the day wore a costume, and jewish males still wear those things on their heads and some of them have long curly pig tails with big black hats and older looking black suites......so they have costumes too. And even at the synagogue some of the rabbi's wear stuff around their shoulder.......I could be wrong about that, but I thought I saw something like that.

Plus alot of college professors and protestant clergy dress up in scholar robes.

Alot of secular judges dress up in black rob costumes when they goto work. a soldier wears a color coded and som etimes bullet proof costume when going to war..........so what's wrong with costumes?


Costumes are cool!






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« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2009, 08:49:08 AM »

What's wrong with crazy protestant christians? I was raised up as one and they are some of the nicest, friendliest, moral, and loving people on the planet. So who cares if they look or seem crazy to people that don't understand them. Who said that we must be like Mr. Spock all the time? Why can't we be irrational and fun like captain Kurt once in a while?

Why Kirk? Why not Bones or Scotty? Cheesy

BTW, hi Jnorm, this is Tony-Allen Wink

Wow! I didn't know you moved to Atlanta! That's pretty far from Virginia! I hope everything is well with you. So how did you find out about "Orthodox christianity.net?"

It's a mixed bunch here.......you have alot of liberals and modernists here......along with conservatives and traditionalists.


It's like a salad bowl to be honest.



I do like Bones, but captain kirk was always the emotional one who went with his feelings where as spock always wanted to be logical.








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« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2009, 09:00:42 AM »

What's wrong with crazy protestant christians?

Everything. Just like everything is wrong with everyone else. It's called "the Fall."

I was raised up as one

And I was not. I was unsuccessfuly tried to be raised by my then-Soviet society as a Communist, and by my parents and friends as a secular humanist. Are you saying you are better than me?  Cool

and they are some of the nicest, friendliest, moral, and loving people on the planet.

Oh no. My secular humanist atheist friends are the nicest, friendliest, moral, and loving ones, believe me.


No, I'm not better, I just know that the kind of people Maher is making fun of are people I can see in my family, myself maybe.....as well as alot of people I either hung out with or still call friends. Alot of people on this board think that the Jesus camp was horrible.......but I don't see those people that way......I didn't think it was bad......I didn't see it as being awful. Some people think that the creation museum in Kentucky is a bad thing, but I don't see it as a bad thing, and I don't even agree with AIG on alot of things. Alot of people don't like Sarah Palin because she's a religious protestant that use to go to ...or still may go to a Pentecostal church. They think such a thing is crazy......I don't see it as crazy. In West Virginia you still have protestant churches that handle snakes, some people may think that's crazy.......but I don't see it as crazy.

I love the old order Ahmish and Mennonites, but some people may think they are crazy for living the way that they do, but I don't see them as crazy.....infact, I actually like what they are doing. I think our secular society can learn alot from them.



Do your secular humanist friends cuss like drunkin sailors? Or do they look down on such language?

Do they see sex before marriage as being ok or do they look down on such things?

Do your secular humanist friends tell others what to do ....what they themselves will not do? My step dad is like this. He wants everyone to do what he wants, but he won't live by those same rules himself, and my stepdad is an agnostic.





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« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2009, 10:21:14 AM »

No, I'm not better, I just know that the kind of people Maher is making fun of are people I can see in my family, myself maybe.....as well as alot of people I either hung out with or still call friends. Alot of people on this board think that the Jesus camp was horrible.......but I don't see those people that way......I didn't think it was bad......I didn't see it as being awful. Some people think that the creation museum in Kentucky is a bad thing, but I don't see it as a bad thing, and I don't even agree with AIG on alot of things. Alot of people don't like Sarah Palin because she's a religious protestant that use to go to ...or still may go to a Pentecostal church. They think such a thing is crazy......I don't see it as crazy. In West Virginia you still have protestant churches that handle snakes, some people may think that's crazy.......but I don't see it as crazy.

I love the old order Ahmish and Mennonites, but some people may think they are crazy for living the way that they do, but I don't see them as crazy.....infact, I actually like what they are doing. I think our secular society can learn alot from them.

I don't know, Jnorm. Perhaps you are right. I, however, do see all that, what you mentioned above, as strange, really strange. But you know, perhaps the right thing to say is, it is I who really am crazy. Other people, other things... I don't know. I'll pray for all.

Do your secular humanist friends cuss like drunkin sailors? Or do they look down on such language?

No, they don't normally cuss (maybe in a moment of anger or despair). As for looking down, well, we never discuss what other people say or do or how they live. So, no, no looking down.

Do they see sex before marriage as being ok or do they look down on such things?

Again, we do not discuss what other people do in bed or elsewhere.

Do your secular humanist friends tell others what to do ....what they themselves will not do? My step dad is like this. He wants everyone to do what he wants, but he won't live by those same rules himself, and my stepdad is an agnostic.

A person like your stepdad would never, ever be my friend.
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« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2009, 11:53:58 AM »

Quote
I don't know, Jnorm. Perhaps you are right. I, however, do see all that, what you mentioned above, as strange, really strange. But you know, perhaps the right thing to say is, it is I who really am crazy. Other people, other things... I don't know. I'll pray for all.

I think, Heorhij, that had you grown up with the things JNorm is mentioning, they wouldn't seem very strange to you either. I too grew up with some of those things and so for me it is almost perfectly "normal"-actually, it is STILL more normal for me than these North American people who seem to have no interest in God or spirituality or Church-I find it increasingly difficult to relate to such people. For many of these same people whom JNorm listed, the Orthodox Church is really, really strange. So ones' perspective is often  contingent on what one's experienced in life. I think it's a very good thing to spend time with different groups and cultures-it promotes understanding.
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« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2009, 12:34:31 PM »

I too grew up with a lot of these types of Evangelical customs and traditions, or was at least aware of them. They are not foreign to me in the least; yet, I think things like snake handling and "Jesus camp" are "crazy"! Smiley

Of course there are crazies in all aspect of humanity and faith, including Orthodoxy, so we shouldn't be too hard on the "people", as the reason I'm a practicing Christian is because of an Evangelical friend of mine, who LIVED as a Christian, that still remains a big influence on me. Anyways, I don't just growing up in that spiritual culture makes people see it as not crazy, because I did, and I still think "some" aspects of it are nutty. That doesn't mean they aren't well intentioned people, in fact, often times they are the best and most friendly people around. But I still think it can be a little weird.....however as we joked, grown men wearing capes and crowns pretending to be "stand in" Emperors is a little crazy to, so who am I to judge? Smiley
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« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2009, 12:38:01 PM »

I agree. Snaking handling and Jesus Camp seems crazy to me too. But some of the other things make more sense to me, if I try to understand where the people who practise them are coming from. Like the Amish and Mennonites-if I study their theology I can somewhat understand their desire to keep their distance from the world -to live humbly and simply and to avoid certain soul-destroying things. To me that makes a fair bit of sense.
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« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2009, 06:29:07 PM »

I agree. Snaking handling and Jesus Camp seems crazy to me too. But some of the other things make more sense to me, if I try to understand where the people who practise them are coming from. Like the Amish and Mennonites-if I study their theology I can somewhat understand their desire to keep their distance from the world -to live humbly and simply and to avoid certain soul-destroying things. To me that makes a fair bit of sense.



Really, IMO the Amish is as close as Protestantism gets to a monastic movement. I have Mennonite friends, and they certainly don't do any "crazy" things like have fist fights in the Holy Sepulchre. Smiley Of all denominations to think of being as "crazy" I'd put Amish and Mennonites at the bottom of the list. While they are iconoclastic at least they are consistent. Amish are nothing if not consistent, and frankly they do more for the Gospel than I certainly do. Truthfully, if there was no Orthodox Church, and I still believed the Christian message, I'd probably seriously consider becoming Amish. but I admit, I'd have a tough time giving up my SciFi DVDs. Smiley



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« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2009, 06:45:46 PM »

I agree. Snaking handling and Jesus Camp seems crazy to me too. But some of the other things make more sense to me, if I try to understand where the people who practise them are coming from. Like the Amish and Mennonites-if I study their theology I can somewhat understand their desire to keep their distance from the world -to live humbly and simply and to avoid certain soul-destroying things. To me that makes a fair bit of sense.



Really, IMO the Amish is as close as Protestantism gets to a monastic movement. I have Mennonite friends, and they certainly don't do any "crazy" things like have fist fights in the Holy Sepulchre. Smiley Of all denominations to think of being as "crazy" I'd put Amish and Mennonites at the bottom of the list. While they are iconoclastic at least they are consistent. Amish are nothing if not consistent, and frankly they do more for the Gospel than I certainly do. Truthfully, if there was no Orthodox Church, and I still believed the Christian message, I'd probably seriously consider becoming Amish. but I admit, I'd have a tough time giving up my SciFi DVDs. Smiley





LOL. That's more funny and interesting to me than you might imagine!
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« Reply #34 on: June 19, 2009, 11:45:55 PM »

Wow! I didn't know you moved to Atlanta! That's pretty far from Virginia! I hope everything is well with you. So how did you find out about "Orthodox christianity.net?"

Actually I'm currently in the Savannah area, like my blog said - Atlanta refers to my metropolis, since that's where my new eminence lives.  Grin

And actually I registered here a long time ago, and forgot about it, then decided recently to come back.
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« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2009, 11:57:36 PM »

I don't just growing up in that spiritual culture makes people see it as not crazy, because I did,

I guess it's like me growing up in the former USSR with ITS nuttiness - military parades, red banners with hammers and sickles, portraits and sculptures of Lenin everywhere, children waving hands in salute and bringing flowers to the monuments of the beloved Party leaders, etc. Drums, drums, drums...

My "vaccine" from all that has always been books - Tolstoy, Chekhov, Hemingway, Faulkner, Marquez, etc., and good friends, and liquor (sometimes, unfortunately, in excess), and symphony and piano music, and family...
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« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2009, 01:18:39 AM »



Everything. Just like everything is wrong with everyone else. It's called "the Fall."



Heorhij,

This is where I have a problem with Maher. I haven't seen the movie, but I've seen him on t.v. on occasion. Having been a former atheist/agnostic for most of my life (and having the vast majority of people around me still in those camps), immoral, hypocritical wackjobs come from all corners. This I know for sure. Before and since I've become Orthodox, most of the religious folk I've met, particularly Christians of various kinds, are really very lovely. Mind you, I don't live in the U.S. In Canada, we are far less extreme and eccentric in most areas, including our Christians, hence the reason why we are so boring.

So why target the religious only? I guess of course it is at least in part because some vocal Christians have a very self-righteous tendency (although I've only seen those on American television shows), not to be confused with concern for the welfare and souls of others, which can be misconstrued as self-righteousness. Still, I don't see most Christians that I've met thinking that they are better than other; rather, they get worked up about things that are sinful and damaging, because these things tend to hurt people in general.

Christians are an easy target because they are counter-cultural (but this is politically correct because Christianity is deemed to be the dominant religion, although I would seriously argue that Christianity is really influential in popular culture anymore), which some might argue, especially those in the U.S., where so many claim to be Christian. But Christians who really are trying to live the Faith are counter-cultural - and I'm not talking about converts wearing Russian peasant costumes (by the way, I consider myself a chicken-Christian or slacker-Christian because I do need to be more counter-cultural in order to grow as a Christian). One look at Much Music (the Canadian version of MTV) and the likes of Lady Gaga, which my 12 year old students watch (which makes me want to cry in despair - despite, or probably because, I lived a largely hedonistic, immoral/amoral, God-free life in my youth), is enough to convince me that Christianity most definitely does not rule the roost anymore.

Anyway, I repeat, there are just as many idiots from all creeds and philosophies, even including the educated intellectuals, some of whom are beyond arrogantly obnoxious and more self-righteous and weird than any Christian I've ever met. Can't Maher just target all the goons? There are such a variety from which to choose. I realize that he couldn't possibly fit them all in to one movie or show, but then he could rotate/do a series, whatever...

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« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2009, 08:43:08 AM »

. Christians are an easy target because they are counter-cultural (but this is politically correct because Christianity is deemed to be the dominant religion, although I would seriously argue that Christianity is really influential in popular culture anymore), which some might argue, especially those in the U.S., where so many claim to be Christian. But Christians who really are trying to live the Faith are counter-cultural - and I'm not talking about converts wearing Russian peasant costumes (by the way, I consider myself a chicken-Christian or slacker-Christian because I do need to be more counter-cultural in order to grow as a Christian). One look at Much Music (the Canadian version of MTV) and the likes of Lady Gaga, which my 12 year old students watch (which makes me want to cry in despair - despite, or probably because, I lived a largely hedonistic, immoral/amoral, God-free life in my youth), is enough to convince me that Christianity most definitely does not rule the roost anymore.

I agree... although I personally find the "Christian music" that I often hear on my car radio absolutely disgusting as well. And in my university I see thousands of young kids who are united in social clubs with Baptist or Methodist tags. That's a dominant thing here, so that's actually culture, kind of. Nothing really rebellious.

Anyway, I repeat, there are just as many idiots from all creeds and philosophies, even including the educated intellectuals, some of whom are beyond arrogantly obnoxious and more self-righteous and weird than any Christian I've ever met. Can't Maher just target all the goons? There are such a variety from which to choose. I realize that he couldn't possibly fit them all in to one movie or show, but then he could rotate/do a series, whatever...

One thing at a time. Smiley

But I agree, Maher is morbidly fixated on religion. He should diversify his talent.
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« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2009, 12:30:54 PM »

Wow! I didn't know you moved to Atlanta! That's pretty far from Virginia! I hope everything is well with you. So how did you find out about "Orthodox christianity.net?"

Actually I'm currently in the Savannah area, like my blog said - Atlanta refers to my metropolis, since that's where my new eminence lives.  Grin

And actually I registered here a long time ago, and forgot about it, then decided recently to come back.



My bad, when you mentioned "Savannah" on your blog, I thought there was a savannah somewhere in Va or something. Now I understand.

So you have a girlfriend in Ga.........cool! Most of my friends live in Ga and Alabama. I use to visit down that way alot, but haven't been down that way in two years........the price of oil really messed me up......as far as traveling goes.

I miss Alabama......Lord willing, maybe one day I will be able to live there again. It's such a wonderful place.


I hope all is well with you!





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« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2009, 12:41:11 PM »

No, I'm not better, I just know that the kind of people Maher is making fun of are people I can see in my family, myself maybe.....as well as alot of people I either hung out with or still call friends. Alot of people on this board think that the Jesus camp was horrible.......but I don't see those people that way......I didn't think it was bad......I didn't see it as being awful. Some people think that the creation museum in Kentucky is a bad thing, but I don't see it as a bad thing, and I don't even agree with AIG on alot of things. Alot of people don't like Sarah Palin because she's a religious protestant that use to go to ...or still may go to a Pentecostal church. They think such a thing is crazy......I don't see it as crazy. In West Virginia you still have protestant churches that handle snakes, some people may think that's crazy.......but I don't see it as crazy.

I love the old order Ahmish and Mennonites, but some people may think they are crazy for living the way that they do, but I don't see them as crazy.....infact, I actually like what they are doing. I think our secular society can learn alot from them.

I don't know, Jnorm. Perhaps you are right. I, however, do see all that, what you mentioned above, as strange, really strange. But you know, perhaps the right thing to say is, it is I who really am crazy. Other people, other things... I don't know. I'll pray for all.

Do your secular humanist friends cuss like drunkin sailors? Or do they look down on such language?

No, they don't normally cuss (maybe in a moment of anger or despair). As for looking down, well, we never discuss what other people say or do or how they live. So, no, no looking down.

Do they see sex before marriage as being ok or do they look down on such things?

Again, we do not discuss what other people do in bed or elsewhere.

Do your secular humanist friends tell others what to do ....what they themselves will not do? My step dad is like this. He wants everyone to do what he wants, but he won't live by those same rules himself, and my stepdad is an agnostic.

A person like your stepdad would never, ever be my friend.


I guess it is strange.....but I'm unable to see it as such at this time. I don't know, maybe I'm numb to it. And yeah, my step dad can be pretty hard to get along with at times......I guess I shouldn't steorotype secular humanists as being all the same.







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« Reply #40 on: June 20, 2009, 12:48:39 PM »

I agree. Snaking handling and Jesus Camp seems crazy to me too. But some of the other things make more sense to me, if I try to understand where the people who practise them are coming from. Like the Amish and Mennonites-if I study their theology I can somewhat understand their desire to keep their distance from the world -to live humbly and simply and to avoid certain soul-destroying things. To me that makes a fair bit of sense.


Check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUdc5h10zTo

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMP-CQ_bvSM

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD8CmqXia2w




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« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2009, 01:15:32 PM »

Apostle Ford


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV_wRCnIAas


I don't know if he still is, but back in the day, he was a seventhday adventist oneness pentecostal.

Back when I was in college, I sang for the gospel ensamble for one year....or half a year (1996 or 1997), and on one saturday we went to his church to sing, and we got their pretty late....like around 11 am or 12 pm, and he was preaching when we got there, and we left while he was still preaching.....and that was like around 8pm or 9pm at night.

This man can preach for hours upon hours......literally!!!

I still remember to this day some of the stuff he said in his sermon those many many years ago. Some might call him crazy, but I don't.....and I never ever ever was so attentive in my life at a sermon until I heard him preach......and I sat and stood there listenning to him preach for hours and never was bored, tired.........ect. I was fixed on almost every word he said for hours upon hours that day.







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« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2009, 01:54:38 PM »

The videos of the snakehandlers-completely and utterly creepy!! Made my blood pressure rise just watching them. I can well imagine what Maher would have to say about this...
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« Reply #43 on: June 20, 2009, 02:43:18 PM »

From a modern sociological perspective, it's easy to denounce the pentecostal snakehandlers as crazy.  Of course, doctrinally speaking, they're way off.  I grew up in the Ozark mountains catching and picking up copperheads and cotton mouths and scorpions, but I'd never invite one to dance with me.  But as strange as it is, or maybe because of it's strangeness, it sure seems that their faith can "move mountains" and that it is like "little children". 

One thing's for sure, they got themselves some mighty happy feet.  Y'all catch some of those dance moves?!  Cheesy 
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« Reply #44 on: June 20, 2009, 02:48:38 PM »

The videos of the snakehandlers-completely and utterly creepy!! Made my blood pressure rise just watching them. I can well imagine what Maher would have to say about this...

This one is about Jesus Camp:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2STDH14aJVk



I see this as normal. I don't understand why it's crazy. When I was 12 I had a 13 year old Assembly of God friend who spoke in tongues and he made the rain stop once so that we could finish playing basketball. He would give all his worldy possessions away. If another kid on the school bus or elsewhere asked for it.....then he would just give it to them. He would turn the other cheek and love his enemies. So I don't see it as a bad thing. I don't understand why it's crazy.


In college a bunch of us would go from dorm to dorm witnessing and doing bible studies, and we would pray for people, and it all seemed normal to me. Infact, that Apostle Ford guy once slapped me in the head with a bunch of olive oil.

I only went to the club(worldly club) maybe once or twice in college just to see what it was like, I went to no parties for we had our own gatherings, bible studies, events.........ect. The same was true when I was in highschool. I was part of a christian afterschool club.........and I had an awsome time, both in highschool and college......I don't smoke, drink.....barely cuss if ever, didn't have sex then........ect.


So it was an awsome experience....it kept me safe from gangs, drugs, sex.........ect. I have childhood friends that are in jail, and I have some that are dead. Now if they were like me, and went to christian social clubs at highschool, and gathered with christians in college, then maybe some of them will be alive today or not in jail today.


Some people might think this is crazy and that it's sheltering the kids, but I see that as a good thing. I was sheltered and came out ok.......and I'm sure alot of these kids will be fine too.

Also, some might call this "brainwashing", but we brainwash our kids all the time....every society on the planet tries to brainwash it's citizens.....so what's wrong with "brainwashing"? Brainwashing can be a good thing......it doesn't always have to be bad.


Shoot! I'm glad I was brainwashed.







Jnorm888
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 03:20:43 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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