Reflections on life, marriage, and purpose...by a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Boo!

Are Christians scary? I was in a blog-skipping mood last night and ended up transfixed to my computer at 2:00am pondering this question.

It seems there is a significant collection of people out there who honestly think we're monsters. Call me naive, but I'm surprised by this. I'm resigned to being thought of as "weird" because of my beliefs. I expect to be made fun of or considered "out of touch" or even ignorant. But viscerally frightening? Why this paranoia?

I rack my brain, trying to dredge up some examples from history or current times where significant numbers of sincere, practicing Christians (not just "cultural Christians" as in "America is a Christian nation") have perpetrated mass terror on their societies or blown up buildings. Where have we incited violence against innocent people, or threatened our non-believing friends? Do we steal from our neighbors? Do we rape people? Do we torch people's homes or beat people up because they disagree with our beliefs?

The particular individuals we apparently frighten point to obscure or fringe-clinging folks as examples of "the scary Christian". They theorize (or fantasize) about Christianity's mad methods and conspiracies to "take over the world and impose 'Christian martial law' on everybody else." (Oh yes...that would be terrible for society, by the way! Can you imagine a place where everyone had to "love one another as Christ first loved us"?)

Hmm...I've just had an epiphany! Maybe this phenomenon of Christian-fear is the "Bush thing" again. (Though I am not a total fan of everything Bush does, I will never comprehend the utter hatred and fear he incures from some.) But logically, that can't account for all of it. Bush has never indicated any desire to punish or persecute or exile people who don't practice his beliefs. He does consult his own convictions in his decision-making...but isn't that what's expected of the President? Is the President to govern apart from the conclusions his thinking and his faith lead him to? No...while people may or may not agree with or like Bush...he cannot be the sole reason for their fear of Christians as a whole.

A few more rabbit trails I've unsuccessfully followed to resolve this mystery in my own mind:

1. Can the fear stem from some Christian's declarations that they wish to reform or even "take over" the culture? No...I don't see it. Islam says the same thing and doesn't incure the same fear from the people who fear us. Some fractions of Islam even practice violence to accomplish their goals, and the "tolerant" liberal crowd (from whence comes much of the fear of Christians), for all intents and purposes, gives them a pass. Furthermore, most groups of people claim to want to influence their cultures. We all say things like this all the time...yes, even the "tolerants."

2. Do they believe that people such as Pat Robertson give us marching orders and we follow? (My suspicion is that Pat's "followers" include more gray-haired little grandmas than trained killers ready to carry out political assassinations, but then, I don't know everything!)

3. Are we feared because we're so shrewd and cunning that we will probably succeed at carrying out our evil plots? No...they claim to think of us as ignorant...simple-mindedly, blindly following the mandates of ancient superstitious texts. Sheep may be laughed at, but not feared.

What then?

Christ said "All men will hate you because of me". I always took this to mean that I would be mocked and ridiculed as His follower. But perhaps hate also translates to a fear reaction. People often hate what they cannot control, ever noticed that? Perhaps they see in us people who--while disagreeing with many of their fundamental beliefs--will not be wavered from our own beliefs. We won't water down our beliefs in order to endorse--for tolerance' sake--other opposing views. (Well, that only makes sense: people are either agnostic or logically conflicted...NOBODY can be multi-viewpoint and still maintain congruity within their spiritual and thought-life...but that's another discussion!)

I guess all we can do is live life according to our faith, and leave the fact that we might be hated, feared or ridiculed in God's hands. I'd hate to think what I'd have to become to be loved and revered by the world!

P.S. I'm not trying to start an argument about any of these points. I'm simply sharing a bit of my thought life here, because I wondered if it might resonate with or be helpful to other Christians who might have wondered on or considered these things too.

25 Comments:

Blogger MrsSushiQueen said...

What a great post and display of ideas! I have often wondered many of these same things myself.

It is just baffling to me that loving one another, showing hospitality towards one another, and following rules that tell us to respect our parents/elders and not to murder, are thought by some to be awful things to do. Regardless of what country or society one lives in, these ideas make a society a civil and tolerable place for all citizens. Frightening is the society that does not care about and respect one another, even just as fellow human beings, if not anything more.

How Christians are so frightening and worthy of being hated is beyond me. Perhaps it all comes down to the principle of we fear what we do not understand? It would be interesting to know the actual answer, though I am sure that is impossible.

11:34 AM, February 22, 2006  
Blogger Mrs.B. said...

Good post, Erin...I've been thinking these same thoughts!

1:15 PM, February 22, 2006  
Blogger Mrs.B. said...

Erin, have you gone to Happy Feminist's blog to read what they are saying about Crystal's post on women needing protection? Happy Feminist is pretty nice and her post wasn't mean but some of the responses have been pretty sad.

1:47 PM, February 22, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

Yes, I saw the post in my blog-surfing last night. Happy Feminist comments here sometimes and is always very gracious (If you see this, HF...I appreciate that about you:o). But I have to say that some of her commentors--on that post at least--were extremely condescending towards Christian belief, and even hateful. I was very saddened by what I read there.

2:16 PM, February 22, 2006  
Blogger Mrs.B. said...

Yep! HF is nice! Although we disagree I respect and like her. Some of her commenters???....not so nice!

2:51 PM, February 22, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

Erin,

I had to giggle when I read the part about Pat Robertson. I work for him here at CBN. (Just as a side-note: Not all of us agree with everything he says all the time...)but I would have to say that the "gray-haired grandmas" far outnumber any "trained killers" we might have supporting us. :-P

3:46 PM, February 22, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

Erin- I knew it! ;o)

4:35 PM, February 22, 2006  
Blogger zan said...

I like HF too, but that post, you mentioned Mrs B., was very depressing. I was very saddened how some of her commentors openly mocked the Bible. I have never been that upset in awhile. Maybe it is hormones or something but I won't be going back there for awhile, just incase you were wondering why I haven't been commenting.

I am ready to have another baby and have been very overwhelmed (infact I thought I was going into labor last night). Reading about people who hate God and His teachings is a very big downer for me. It actually ruined my day.

For the time being I am trying to keep my focus on more pleasent things until I can emotionally and spiritually handle confronting attacks on my faith voluntarily. I just feel like the devil tries me enough, right now, without willing looking for trials.

I don't mean that Christians shouldn't read her site, I am just saying that right now I am not up for additional spiritual attacks.

My mom was reading a Martin Luther sermon and she told me that, in it, he was saying how he believed the devil hates life. He also said that he believed that the devil works harder on women who are pregnant because of the new life they carry. Some people might think that that is silly but it makes sense to me. Luther should know something of pregnant women. His wife gave hime 8 children.

10:59 AM, February 23, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

Zan- Hang in there! Having never been pregnant, I can't comment to that...but I have gone through things in my life where I felt spiritual oppression, so I know exactly what you're talking about. What Luther said makes sense. I think Satan will find anything he can to mess with people. You're doing the right thing though...just focusing on God and what you have to do. Hope your baby comes safely and quickly!

1:01 PM, February 23, 2006  
Blogger Mrs.B. said...

Zan, I think it's wise to know yourself well enough that you need to focus on the positive. There have been times that I have thought about not reading HF's site anymore....it may come to that some day. Besides, I don't think my comments REALLY change anyone's opinion. I don't comment there very often though, because I feel that they have a right to discuss their issues without my interference but sometimes I can't help myself...especially when they mock God.

1:03 PM, February 23, 2006  
Anonymous The Happy Feminist said...

Oh how funny -- I was just checking in, and didn't expect to be the subject of a thread. I really appreciate all of your very kind comments. I am sorry that some of my commenters offended people. (I have a policy of trying to allow anyone and everyone to comment on my site without moderation.)

I am happy to say that I value Christianity and its contributions to our civilization, and I value my Christian friends and relatives. (I'm the granddaughter, of a Lutheran minister.) I'm also enjoying my current project of re-reading the Bible. But I think I have some insight into why some people characterize Christians as "scary." So at the risk of causing further offense, here goes:

-- Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the ONLY means to salvation. Christianity is one of the few major world religions to declare that there is only one path to salvation. (Jews, Hindus and Buddhists, in contrast, do not claim that there is only one path to God or salvation. I am not sure about Muslims.)

-- Many or most Christians believe that those who do not believe in Christ will go to hell-- even those of us who are well-intentioned but honestly do not believe in Christ. Many conservative Christians believe that hell is a place of eternal PHYSICAL torture.

This belief system has been used to justify historical atrocities like the Spanish Inquisition -- which had a certain logic if one accepts that lack of belief in Christ condemns a person to eternal torture. The Spanish inquisitors thought it was appropriate to suppress anti-Christian ideas because it could lead people to reject Christianity and thus become damned. They also believed it was appropriate to torture or execute "heretics" in order to save their souls or to protect other souls from heretical ideas. Obviously, nothing like that would happen in the U.S. anytime soon, but people do worry about bad things, like censorship or persecution of religious minorities, potentially resulting from Christian beliefs. (I am not saying this is correct, but I think it is the way a lot of non-Christians think.)

People also remember a time when Christianity was the majority religion in this country as a time of oppression for minority religions. My father remembers that he and other Jewish kids in his public school were forced to say the Lord's Prayer even though it was not part of their religion.

People also worry about the notion of the Bible being inerrant truth. If the Bible is without error, why shouldn't its laws be imposed on people? Why shouldn't we have a theocracy? I think the Dominionists you write about in your next post advocate precisely that view.

As I said, I personally value many aspects of Christianity, and I truly love the Christians in my life. I don't like the idea of people simply writing off Christianity. But I too often wonder about the politicized Religious Right (inluding the Dominionists!) and what their agenda for our country might be.

1:50 PM, February 23, 2006  
Blogger zan said...

HF,

The torturers of the Spanish Inquisition were not Christians. Just because somebody has labeled themself as one it doesn't mean they are. True Christians do not want to enforce Christianity on others who are not willing. Whenever you see becoming a Christian as law in a country you see the corruption of the Church. Alot of the unbiblical teachings in the Roman Catholic church started after it was forced on Rome by Constantine. I think a lot of people who are afraid of Christians and their influence on society don't have a clue about real Christianity. They see a few hypocrites and quote them.

I also don't see why believing in one way to salvation would be scary to anoyone unless you were feeling convicted. If you are an athiest why be afraid?

Christians are Americans too and they have a right to vote and support policies that are closer to what they believe just as the secularists do to their beliefs and values.

Hell does make sense if you believe in heaven. Do you really think Hitler is in heaven? If there is a place for the saved to go their has to be a place for the unsaved to go.

Yes, we do believe the Bible is the inerrant truth. However, if you begin imposing the teachings of the Bible on unsaved and giving them false assurance of salvation that is wrong and dangerous.

I myself am totally opposed to a theocracy. I see in the Old Testament that the Jews were the chosen people. I see the Church as the chosen people in the New Testament. The Church consists of Jews and gentiles. The theocracy in the Old Testament was a picture of what was to come in the New, the Church. When Christ came to earth a lot of the Jews wanted the Messiah to deleiver them from the Roman Empire. He repeatedly would tell them that His kingdom was not of this world. Unfortunately I think some Christians, today are making the same mistake the Jews made and are looking for a physical kingdom here on earth. We need to be looking up, so to speak. I also don't see Christ, when he was on earth, imposing His teachings on people. Instead, the crowds came to Him (drawn by the Holy Spirit.) I am no theolgian but that is what I make of it.

I am going to still exercise my rights as a Christian American and vote for pro-life issues, and freedom to express my religion without being persecuted for it.

I think, with all that is going on in the world, that non- Christians should not be afraid of the Christian community but the Muslims. Whenever people make jokes about Christianity or publish horrible pictures of Mary you don't see us rioting in the streets and killing people.

Yes, the Christian Church has had some dark times in history because it is run by men who are fallible. All Christians should not be grouped into "The Spanish Inquisition." People who do that are ignorant of Church history and should really study it.

4:22 PM, February 23, 2006  
Blogger Mrs.B. said...

Well said.----**EXCELLENT** comments Zan!!!!!!!!!!!

I especially liked this one:

"Just because somebody has labeled themself as one (a Christian) it doesn't mean they are."

I hope HF comes back to read this.

4:46 PM, February 23, 2006  
Anonymous The Happy Feminist said...

I am back! And I actually agree with the core of what Zan has to say-- you can't lump everyone into the same mold.

I think it is important for all people of good faith to do the hard work of treating people as individuals rather than representatives of a group. I don't assume that all people who call themselves Christian will fall into the same error as the Spanish Inquisitors. I don't assume that all Muslims are dangerous either. I think there is value to be found in both Christianity and Islam, even if I am also critical of many Christian and Muslim beliefs.

I think you are correct in saying that secular liberals often pre-judge Christians, and that shouldn't happen. That's something we secular liberals need to work on-- although I think you will find that secular liberals believe in freedom of religion for all, including Christians.

One thing that makes me nervous (not scared, but nervous) about certain politicized Christian groups is that they do seem to want to impose their religious values on others. For example, I don't have a beef if Christians want to believe and teach their children that homosexuality is a sin. But I do have a beef if Christians want the government to try to regulate the consensual sexual behavior of gay couples. I haven't been able to find any reason to prevent gay people from having sex other than the fact that it is against certain religious beliefs.

I also don't have a beef with with someone having a Ten Commandments monument in his yard, but I do object to a courthouse endorsing the Ten Commandments because that is tanatmount to the government endorsing one religion at the expense of others. ("Thou shalt have no God before me" is a pretty controversial statement for people who worship other gods.)

9:44 AM, February 24, 2006  
Blogger zan said...

What Christians are trying to regulate homosexuals having sex in their homes? It shouldn't be in the open public just like straight couples should not engage in sexual behavior in public but I don't have a problem with them doing their thing in private. It is wrong and they will have to answer to God for it.

I would really like to know who is doing that.

As far as the ten commandments go. Most of the times it is displayed is for historical reasons. This country was founded on Judeo-Christian values and it is important to display our country's history. SHould we take down every symbol that has a remote religious undertone to it? What about the eye on the dollar bill. That is directly related to the Masons which is a religious organization. You cannot have a purely secular society without throwing away a good amount of history. You are saying that anything related to religion should only be on private property. If this were to come to pass, some serious remodeling would have to come to all of our money and monuments and our capital. We shouldn't teach our children in schools about the different denominations that settled each state and why they are different from one another. I think these kind of things are very important for children to learn.

I guess we should take down all crosses on public highways that are put there as memorials. Did you know some group wants to do that? It is just getting ridiculous.

If somebody sees the Ten Commandments and is offended by one of them, so what. It is a historical/religious document. He should learn from it and appreciate the fact that some people hold to these teachings. What really bad commandment is there really. You mentioned the No other Gods Before Me." That is what Christians and Orthodox Jews believe. I could go one about this but I wanted to mention the Muslim comment.

What good thing do you take away from the Muslim religion? So many people say similar comments but they never give an example. I don't see it as peaceful at all. We have a very small community of Muslims here and I haven't heard a peep out of them condemning the killing and rioting. It is also a religion without love. The only way for you to get to heaven is if you do A,B, and C well enough.

In all fairness to the more "sane" Muslims. Maybe the reason they don't speak out against the violence is because they are afraid to get killed themselves. That is the only excuse I can think of.

I mean, I think it was very stupid for the Dannish papers to print those cartoons because it was sure to cause violence and alot of innocent people were killed.

Just to clarify, I do not hate Muslims and feel greatly for them because they are so lost. I feel the same as I would for anyone following a false religion.

Oh, one more thing about your dad being forced to say The Lord's Prayer. If you recite it, it doesn't really say anything that is offensive to Jew's belief's. Yes, it was said by the Messiah but Jews believe that Jesus was a real person just not the Son of God. They think he was a teacher. Another thing, my mom is old enough to remember back when there was prayer in schools and Bible reading. They would only read from the Old Testament so as not to offend Jews.

In fact, I think it would be great if the children in schools were taught that there is something bigger than themselves and to be thankful. Oh, with no religion anywhere we should have no Thanksgiving in the schools because of the Pilgrims.

I got to go now. George getting into things.

11:33 AM, February 24, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

HF- So sweet and patient of you to try to engage us ingnorant housewives in rational discussion. (JUST kidding! I know you don't feel that way;o)

Anyway...don't feel the need to apologize for your commenters. I think their comments reflect their heart, and the real thing that makes me sad is not any personal offense, but that they do not know or understand the personal relationship that can be found with God. Those of us who have that relationship wish that everyone could find what we have.

I wish I could address all of your points, but that would take a very long time! Zan...I liked your response, it was very clear and to the point.

I think we all agree that we can't lump people into broad categories. Christians don't have the right to try to "lump" people that don't agree with us anymore than anyone else does. However, we do believe as Christians that God does the judging. That causes us to be concerned about people who seem to be living apart from God. Still, we know that NOTHING we can do will change a person's heart. WE cannot hold people to God's standards and make them behave in certain ways. Only God can do that, by working in their hearts. Therefore, it would be absolutely silly for us to try to make everyone in America act like Christians when they're not, if only for the simple reason that it's impossible!

I think we would also share the opinion, however, that there DO have to be rules and standards within society. I would venture to say that not only do Christians have just as much right as anyone else to be involved politically and vote according to their beliefs about what is best for society...but that secularists ALSO vote in such a way as "imposes their religious values on others". (Religion being a set of values, secularists have their own version of religion). There is NO difference between a humanist, secularist, atheist, darwinian, etc., political activist and a conservative Christian in that respect. We all bring our beliefs and presuppositions to the ballot box.

Just a few examples of how a secularist might impose his values:

-Higher taxes to pay for more social services: greater burden on everyone and diminishment of the importance of working hard for one's needs and ability to give charitably.

-Gay marriage (since you brought it up:o): Our children grow up in a world of gender and sexual confusion. Disease and health concerns rise (VERY high mortality rate amongst those who practice homosexuality). "Marriage" means everything, so it no longer means anything. Our society would be sanctioning an arrangement that causes children (if they are adopted or conceieved artificially) to go without a mother or a father.

-No death penalty and laxer punishments for criminals: society is unsafer, because the fear of pubishment is lessened.

-Citizens aren't allowed to be armed: the ability to protect one's family is removed. Only criminals would have weapons and law-abiding citizens would be powerless against them. (Do you think a law against guns is going to stop a law-breaker from obtaining one?)

I could go on, but I hope that I've made my point that "imposing values" is not unique to people of Christian beliefs. Our society HAS to accept some imposition of values. It's only a question of, which ones? And I think we ALL have the right to make our voices heard within this debate.

11:45 AM, February 24, 2006  
Anonymous The Happy Feminist said...

First, I'll respond to Zan's question about whether there is really anything positive about Islam. I can't say I am huge expert but I did have the pleasure of living in an Islamic country for a while when I was a teenager. I don't love everything about Islam, and certainly, like Christianity, it is sometimes corrupted by fallible human beings.

Here are some positive things about Islam, some of which are similar or the same as with Christianity (with some slight variation):

-- belief in one indivisible God
-- belief in "submission" to God's will
-- belief that all human beings alike have sin(except Mary, and maybe Jesus-- I am not sure about this)
-- reverence for Jesus (but as a human being not as Christ)
-- belief that one can gain access to Paradise only if one's good deeds outweigh one's bad deeds-- but that it is only through God's mercy that one is able to do good deeds. One gains God's mercy only through submission to God.
-- injunctions throughout the Koran to respect and tolerate other religions (although this respect does not preclude theocracy, nor does it mean allowing other religions to proselytize-- it does mean that Muslim states are supposed to, at the very least, permit Christians to worship freely albeit privately!). Islam actually has a better history of tolerance towards Jews than Christianity does -- until recent years when Arab Muslims became upset at the creation of Israel.
-- Islam rejects any kind of racism. It is intended to be a "universal religion."
-- Charity in certain specified amounts is one of the five Pillars of Islam.
-- Prayers five times a day and a month of fasting between dawn and dusk encourages communion with God.


When I think of Islam, I think of a religion that promotes positive ethical behavior and communion with God, just as Christianity does. I obviously condemn Muslims who commit terrorist acts, and Muslim theocracies like Saudi Arabia which treat women terribly -- but these are just as much corruptions of Islam as the Spanish Inquisition was a corruption of Christianity.

2:17 PM, February 24, 2006  
Anonymous The Happy Feminist said...

Yikes, I didn't mean to go on so long. I'll try to do better with the next issue -- do members of the Religious Right really support laws criminalizing private sexual behavior by homosexuals? Yes! Those types of laws were held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas. Here is what Doug Phillips had to say in this post http://www.visionforum.com/hottopics/blogs/dwp/?archive=/2004_10_01_index.htm#109781195263221270:

"God destroys nations, not because they fail to define marriage, but because the civil magistrate tolerates and condones perversion, or refuses to enforce Gods law (which has been and remains our constitutional, common law tradition---notwithstanding the usurpatious and unconstitutional ruling in Lawrence v. Texas), thus allowing homosexuality to spread unchecked throughout the land. Sodom and Gomorah were not destroyed because they legalized gay marriage. They were destroyed because sodomy pervaded the land and was not punished. The magistrate did not enforce Gods law."

I believe James Dobson holds similar views. I realize they are not representative of Christianity, but they are examples of people whose Christian beliefs "scare" me, because they would want to impose God's Law on me with regard to purely private sexual decisions.

2:25 PM, February 24, 2006  
Anonymous The Happy Feminist said...

And finally, (I'll stop soon, I promise) I'll address Erin's excellent point about values. I agree that most of us vote based on values, including values we derive from our religions-- and I don't see anything wrong with that.

I get nervous though when people try to impose values on me with regard to private behavior and with no rational basis outside of "it says so in the Bible--" or when people want my government to endorse or impose certain religious beliefs. (I don't mind seeing a copy of the Ten Commandments, but I do mind if my court system endorses it.)

2:34 PM, February 24, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

-- belief that one can gain access to Paradise only if one's good deeds outweigh one's bad deeds-- but that it is only through God's mercy that one is able to do good deeds. One gains God's mercy only through submission to God.

HF- Actually, this is the very essential difference between Islam and Christianity: Christians understand God's Word to mean that we cannot ever do enough good deeds to please Him. Even if we did 100 "good things" and only 1 bad thing...that one bad thing is enough to separate us eternally from God because He is perfect.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!

Romans 5:6-9

2:52 PM, February 24, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

A great article on understanding the difference between Islam and Christianity is found here:

http://www.worldmag.com/articles/11550

3:02 PM, February 24, 2006  
Blogger zan said...

What Christian group is trying to impose their values on your private life? What court system is trying impose the Ten Commandments on a certain people?

Doug Phillips has some good points and I do believe that God will punish nations that are apostate. However, I think I should let God dstroy them. I don't think I should start a small army and decsend upon San Francisco an force them to change their ways. If God wants them punished He will punish them in His own time, whether that be with some huge natural disaster or at Judgement day. BTW, I actually hope that cities like San Fran and Las Vegas are not swallowed up by the earth in Old Testament fashion. My heart goes out to un-Christians and I hope and pray for a reformation. Politics isn't the answer for changing people's hearts and manners and habits but as Erin so wonderfully put it, we have every right to vote our values. If we are in the majority than laws reflecting our values will be made.

Now I do know that there were some laws in Mass called Blue Laws that would forbid certain things. Sodomy was one of them. As Mass became more liberal they did away with most of them. Some still exist in some of the towns. Like Arlington, Mass is a dry town. you can't sell liquor there. All of these laws go back to the Puritans. Now the way they did away with them was because the people wanted them done away with. I think that some of them were really good but, unfortunately people have changed, but that is the way our country works.

I believe that Sodam and Gommorah was destroyed for their sinfullness which included sexual immorality. If you look around sexual immorality is being punished through STDs and broken marriages and relationships. The Christian Right did not create these problems.

I was familiar with some of what you wrote about the islam faith. I noted that love was not there. That is the biggest difference between these two religions. It is a religion based on works. Very sad.

Erin, you did a great job explaining concervative values. I wish I was as clear.

3:09 PM, February 24, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

I don't think I should start a small army and decsend upon San Francisco an force them to change their ways.

Zan, you make me laugh:o)

3:12 PM, February 24, 2006  
Blogger Mrs.B. said...

Wow, I go away for an afternoon and miss a REALLY good discussion! Good job ladies!

Erin, I **LOVE** the way you communicate.....you are truly gifted. You have a way of writing that exalts truth but is very kind. Zan, you are gifted in writing too.....your writing style is different from Erin's but really cool none-the-less! You are so clear and 'real' and FUNNY. I LOVE reading your comments.

**Politics isn't the answer for changing people's hearts and manners and habits...**

I SO MUCH agree with that sentence!

11:11 AM, February 25, 2006  
Anonymous The Happy Feminist said...

This was a great discussion. I definitely understand that Islam is different from Christianity in significant ways. I was only trying to say that there are more similiarities than one might suppose and that there are positive aspects to the both Islam and Christianity. I worry about both my Muslim and Christian friends being tarred with prejudice, even while I myself am sometimes critical of those belief systems.

I am very glad to know there will be no army descending on San Francisco anytime soon-- but the Doug Phillips quote seems to be saying that it's bad for judges and magistrates not to punish "sodomites." It sounds to me like he is advocating state punishment of private behavior. I understand he is only one man, and that he does not represent all of Christianity by any means, but his is an example of the kind of rhetoric that I find "scary."

Meanwhile, I would love to see blogs by Zan and Mrs. B, but then maybe they would be less likely to comment on other blogs, which would be a loss. I have been thinking about the countdown to Zan's due date and hoping that all goes well.

1:14 PM, February 26, 2006  

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