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May 24, 2007

Comments

Dr. Dan Graham

Thanks for your insightful remarks on a Church's Marqui sign. In your comments you said, "But I definitely remember, from my church-going years, how the Christian Church teaches that all other religions (except maybe Judaism, since Christ was a Jew) are illegitimate cults, providing excuses for the weakminded to avoid their Christian responsibilities." If I may, I would like to engage you in dialogue on this statement. First, of all, Yes - I'm one of those "wisenheimers" who still believes that faith in Jesus Christ is THE question of life. If you're going to believe something - then believe it - right?
It seems that your characterization of the church comes in the form of a question you consider yourself qualified to answer. "I wonder if he or she sees all other religions as excuses?" You then promptly go on to answer that question as if you are an authority on the issue. In any debate strategy it is necessary for one side to test the qualifications of the other side to speak with authority. Sense you are speaking with such authority - may I sincerely ask one question: "Are you a part of any group that really makes a difference in your life?" A support group? A hobby group? A recovery group? Any group at all? Have you ever had someone who is not a part of that group criticize it as if they really know what is going on in your group? Did you wish to ask them if they had ever been in the group - other than attending once or twice way back in there "group going days"? And when they attended back then it wasn't really anything more than an occasional event of little if any real participation. So now they feel that they are qualified to make a broad sweeping statement with authoritative judgment about any and all "group" meetings. Would that please you or would you feel like you've been categorized and dismissed by an authoritative absentee who does not really know what they are talking about on the subject at hand? I find it almost entertaining to see how many folks who have never played in a football game wanting to criticize the coach and the team on the field. I find it downright offensive how many folks want to condemn the soldier and the unit that is at battle from the safe confines of their living room couch. My friend I do not wish to offend you - but it seems you don't mind talking about "church" as if you are qualified to do so. Go find yourself a group of people that love you "warts and all" - help you through some of your most painful losses and join you in your most meaningful victories - then have some wag come along who once visited your group and now feels that they are completely aware of all that goes on there by one particular observation from their couch of condemnation. If might just make you a bit doubtful that they have any idea at all what they are talking about - or that they feel it is quite acceptable to put down those who are genuinely struggling with the issue of faith and values in our day. Truth is.... I used to be just like you in my going with stupid-people days and I can say with authority that it was easier back then to just do whatever I wanted without any accountability at all. After all - who needs people who make you think. So let's take your advice - let's dismiss the entire history of 2000 + years of Christendom and let's color "church-going" folk as idiots - cause we're smarter than they are, right? Right? Yeah, that is right? Isn't it? You might note that my name is attached to my comments while you - have chosen to remain anonymous. That would make you an authoritative UNKNOWN source would it not?
Yeah - stupid is as stupid does - and that is about all I've got to say about that......

Dr. Dan Graham

Scruff

Okay, a dialog it is.

I think you misunderstand the point of my post. Perhaps I've misstated my argument, because your comments don't appear to match the original post.

For example, you said this: "I'm one of those 'wisenheimers' who still believes that faith in Jesus Christ is THE question of life." Please understand that I'm not calling all Christians wisenheimers. I'm (joking, trying to be funny) calling the people who make up these silly signs wisenheimers. I think this will be more clear if you re-read the post.

Then you say this: "It seems that your characterization of the church comes in the form of a question you consider yourself qualified to answer. 'I wonder if he or she sees all other religions as excuses?' You then promptly go on to answer that question as if you are an authority on the issue. In any debate strategy it is necessary for one side to test the qualifications of the other side to speak with authority." What authority? What answer? I never did answer the question. I left it open for the reader to decide. Can you provide a quote of where I answered the question in my original post?

You ask: "Are you a part of any group that really makes a difference in your life? A support group? A hobby group? A recovery group? Any group at all? Have you ever had someone who is not a part of that group criticize it as if they really know what is going on in your group? Did you wish to ask them if they had ever been in the group - other than attending once or twice way back in there "group going days"? And when they attended back then it wasn't really anything more than an occasional event of little if any real participation. So now they feel that they are qualified to make a broad sweeping statement with authoritative judgment about any and all "group" meetings."

This is not at all what I'm doing. But to answer your question, I have a lot going on in my life. Among other activities, I'm a member of a large Buddhist order, and am also a member of one of my city's largest and best-respected aikido dojo. There are other things, but I won't bore you with them. So yes, I do have quite a bit of social interaction going on. Your assumption that any criticism thereof would upset me the way criticism of the Church upsets Christians is inaccurate.

As always, what we have here is a well-meaning Christian trying to impose his own ideas on what everyone else thinks. It doesn't bother me if someone criticizes my beliefs or my "groups".

You wrote, "I find it almost entertaining to see how many folks who have never played in a football game wanting to criticize the coach and the team on the field. I find it downright offensive how many folks want to condemn the soldier and the unit that is at battle from the safe confines of their living room couch. My friend I do not wish to offend you - but it seems you don't mind talking about "church" as if you are qualified to do so."

See, another difference is that I don't make assumptions or accusations about the experience of the person making the criticism. For your information, I spent decades as a cool-aid drinking, three-days-a-week Church-going Assemblies of God Christian. I could provide names and dates of my churches and pastors, if I knew you.

You see how this works? I make one little remark - one among hundreds of other remarks and comments, essays and blog posts about all kinds of different topics - one little remark questioning the motivation of people in my old neighborhood, who evidently think that if you don't believe as they do, all you have to offer is excuses (which reminds me of radical Islam). And BAM! Along comes a Christian, who promptly uses assumption, innuendo and accusation to warp and twist what I said to fit his own idea of the argument, in typical Christian arrogance.

IF your belief system won't allow you to see things as they really are, then you're among the people I'm talking about, although I'm actually only talking about them indirectly in this post. I'm not attacking Christianity with the original post, only the people who created the signs that I mentioned (again, a re-reading of the post might be in order). But you've proven my point about Christianity in general with your arrogant, assuming comment.

Thanks for checking out Tengu House, and feel free to check back often. My blog features lots of non-Christian material for you to make unkind assumptions about.

Travis

"...I can't help but wonder what these church-going, sign-posting, Jesus-bumpersticker-sporting Christians would name as the difference between their brand of religous intolerance and radical Islam."

For one thing, I don't want to spread Christianity by violence. So there is that one minute superficial difference that jumps right out at you without having to dive into the theology of the different faiths...

Scruff

Good point, Travis. Most Christians in this country don't want to spread their faith by violent means. But remember that some do; and also remember that most Muslims don't want violence, either.

I feel that religous intolerance is religous intolerance, whether it's Christian, Muslim or whatever.

Thanks for the comment!

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