Monday, December 03, 2007

god checks his latest poll numbers

and it doesn't look good for the big guy...
or gal.


Pete Basso said...

More $hit-stirring by the unchurched reverend?? Surprising, not really. Only 34 reasons why God doesn't exist produced by the Minnesota Atheists?? Those were farily weak arguments, (admittedly I didn't read them all its like reading the national enquirer. How about 633 prophecies that have come true over thousands... God does exist. Now thats worth learning about.

Kim, I've asked you numerous times the same question but you cower away from the answer...are you scared oh wise one who is really foolish? Why the push to prove that God doesn't exist? Are you fighting with your natural instincts that say He does exist? If He doesn't exist then why is the majority of your time spent trying to prove that? Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny and Godzilla don't exist but I don't see you spending time on them? Is your heart crying out for God but your foolish mind clouding the truth? Instead of all your misunderstood emails going through, maybe you outta try a some knee-mail and send a message to God. He'll answer if you really clear your mind of all the "free thinking" and just listen. He'll speak to your heart.

Kim, your a child of God and just don't want to admit it. I have strong feelings that someday you'll be saved and see the light! That's all I want for Christmas!!

the mostly reverend said...

better off wishing for hannah montana tix.

i'm busy questioning things.
i picked up a new book this weekend about question questing. i'll write more about it when i've finished reading it.

i'm not trying to disprove ANYTHING, just trying to get folks to think about why they think what they think.
that doesn't register on a "god yes god no" scale, as far as i'm concerned. it's just a matter of reaching one's positions by actually thinking through and around all sides of an issue, not just blinding accepting something as true or false because someone ELSE says it is.

this shouldn't be viewed as threatening to anyone's thoughts; rather, it should be seen as an encouragement to study one's beliefs, to challenge them, to clarify them, or discard them.

ultimately, well-reasoned views are the tools for becoming a well-balanced person.
or something like that.

the mostly reverend said...

oh, and don't suggest that i am unchurched.

i've spent my entire life [or at least since i was three and can first remember such things] studying, questioning, and exploring issues of faith. just because i don't do it the same way as you, or because i have different beliefs than you, does not make them any less valid than yours.

for example, i don't pray, light candles, or throw dirt, hoping that you'll suddenly realize that a belief in an intelligent designer is pure folly. nor do i put your beliefs on the same level as the tooth fairy or a compassionate george bush in an effort to belittle your value system.

for one to do the same with mine could be seen by some as casting a poor reflection upon that person. [check out matthew 7:12]

Buckshot77 said...

Kim, I seem to find myself in similar circumstances when it comes to discussing religion with friends. For some reason those who are devout in their faith seem to be a lot less willing to discuss alternate views than those that proclaim their atheism. I prefer to question things myself and for some reason that just doesn't tend to fit in with most religions. Guess I need to keep searching too.

the mostly reverend said...

i think for some zealots, their religion is like a cozy blanket and a cup of hot cocoa.
they just want to feel warm and secure, while i like kickin' off the covers and walkin' around naked during the night.

[not that i do that all the time, mind you, but i choose to believe that i'm not going to hell just because i do once in a while.]

Pete Basso said...

Buckshot - please go back and re-read your post...

"those who are devout in their faith are less likely to discuss alternate views than those who proclaim their atheism"

It only makes sense to be less likely to discuss other views when you are devout in your own faith. Why would I date other women when I'm already married?? I'm confident my wife is the woman for me. (no, the bond of marriage is not the same as the bond with Christ but it helps to make my point).

Kim is agnostic which means he believes in nothing, (which somehow makes sense to him). Why do I want to listen to the view of believing in nothing when I'm 100% confident in Jesus Christ as my savior??

Buckshot77 said...

Pete, I used the word proclaim as an equal to devout. I'm not sure you can be devout in no beleiving in something. Hence my choice of words.

the mostly reverend said...

being an agnostic does NOT mean i believe in nothing, pete. quite the contrary, i believe in quite a lot.

you might want to explore just what it is an agnostic might believe at your next study group. it obviously can't harm you, so what is there to fear? you might just learn more about why you believe what you believe, and wouldn't that be good?

some well-intentioned folks think that being afraid to learn about something they oppose shows an inherent sign of weakness in the strength of their own beliefs.

Pete Basso said...

Kim, so glad you made that point. I just spent the last 8 weeks studying agnotics, new age spiritualism, mormon, hindu, muslim etc... for that exact reason. I'm trying to look at other religions and beliefs from a perspective to understand what draws someone to that belief system as I've been drawn to Christianity. However, you sparked a great question...what do YOU believe in?

the mostly reverend said...

questioning authority.

eight weeks, and the first thing out of your fingers was "Kim is agnostic which means he believes in nothing"?

seriously, if you listen to the words of the frank zappa song that i have linked from youtube above, from the "freak out" album, "trouble coming every day," you would have a much better idea of what i believe.
i first heard that song in 1966, and its words have had meaning for me since then.
and they still do.

Anonymous said...

It isn't questioning that is challenging for those of us that elect to see God, Jesus, and the HS as one. I think it is the tone with which you summarily argue we are idiots-be it intended or not you are rather condesending.

My mom's long-time boyfriend(weird to say my mom's boyfriend) is a PhD philosopher at ISU. Joe is an amazing guy that is by far the smartest guy that I have ever met. He is Jewish by culture, not by faith, and while he and I don't agree on much he never "disrespects" my faith choice-I afford him the same. In fact he honors and respects as I honor and respect his choices. We listen, discuss, and learn from each other. I probably learn more from him then he will ever learn from me...but we enjoy each other. Reading your posts gives one the impression the only thing you enjoy is marginalzing those that are followers of Christ.

The challenge I find in your God posts isn't that you are agnostic but it seems like you categorically disregards those that are "God people" to be less smart, or not as wise as the MR.

This is so much like the dialogue of division found in politics. Neither side hearing the other, only clinging more and more tightly to their beliefs...and never really honoring themselves or the value of others and only furthering their personal agenda.

I am in that same Bible group as Pete, and understand Pete is a pit bull when it comes to his faith. He is equally convicted of his faith as you are of your beliefs-you certainly respect that don't you? I see Pete in life and he displays his Faith the way he lives his life: big, loud, and without shame. Just as you live your life from your perspective so does Pete. Just as you don't like being "looked down on", neither does Pete.

My take on agnostics is found in my philosophy minor. Agnostics are much more aligned with the ability to prove God(or god) is real. Further, agnostics don't hold to the strict concept of authority in their lives, rather an agnostic would rather reason personal behavior rather than cede that to a "higher authority". This is the strict sense of an agnostic as I remember it.

Your choices are yours-this lines up well with my understanding of God given personal freedom.

I don't think those of us on the "God Squad" are offended by your beliefs-I think we struggle with your condesending tone.

jeff "anonymous" bratz

the mostly reverend said...

what i find condescending is pete's flat-out assertion that as an agnostic i don't believe in anything.

you can call my repeated efforts to highlight examples of hypocrisy in organized religion condescending if you want, but i have NEVER said or asserted that what you, pete, or any other anonymous posters here believes is "nothing" or not worthy of examination.

i have ALWAYS believed that people can believe what they want--christ, i certainly do--but i always like to challenge people to closely examine WHY they hold those beliefs.

and to shy away from a "public" scrutiny of those beliefs by claiming that your challenger [me, in this instance] believes in nothing is just flat out childish and beneath the level of this discussion, as much as it is.

pete can be big, loud and without shame, but he'd best recognize that in doing so, he sets himself up as a pretty attractive target, and he deserves to defend himself better than he does.

i welcome, on most occasions, the door-to-door evangelists who innocently knock on my door, asking me if i know where i'll spend eternity if i die tonight. they are brave enough to come to my door and ask me, and as such, i fully expect them to withstand my questions in return.

by repeatedly commenting here, on my blog, pete, and others, should be prepared to respond in kind.
i don't ask names, but i don't CALL names, either.

but i DO expect a little proof.

i do NOT blindly accept something just because someone said that someone said that someone said that someone said that someone said . . .

[you get the drift? "in the beginning, yada yada, word of god. amen"]

if you want to believe that the bible is the word of god, fine. you're certainly not alone.

but don't expect ME to accept that you are CORRECT, and therefore BETTER, and therefore i need to have someone PRAY for me, and that i will see the light...

THAT is an insult to me of an exceedingly high order, and i really doubt that pete even recognizes that.
he might laugh it off, and say that i'm overly sensitive, or just being ridiculous, and yet when he gets all bent out of shape when someone at walmart benignly wishes him a happy holiday because they are besmirching HIS "right" to be wished a "merry christmas" then i think pete is living his religion a little too loudly, and perhaps he might consider accepting just a touch of shame.
or at least i might suggest that he consider a quiet moment of reflection of the great variety of creatures which inhabit HIS god's planet.

we AIN'T all the same. and yet pete must reconcile, somehow, that HIS god created us all.

hmm. "and HE saw that it was good."

go figure.

Anonymous said...

This is the dialogue I appreciate. I am not certain that I have posutlated that my God is better and need to pray for you. I think you were using "you" in the general sense-no?

It seems that your umbrage to Pete's "sensitive" nature isn't much different than his view of your "sensitive" nature. It is actually pretty funny that you both are more similar than you realize.

I see you position the "God Squad" as "dummy heads", and the agnostics as the true "smarties". That is what I am pointing to when I say that you come across as condesending to the GS. Christians need to do a better job of knowing and listening-I am one of them. But so do those agnostics.

I fully believe your intentions are good-so are Pete's. You elect to see the worst in the intention...and I surmise he very well may do the same with you. I happen to side with Pete's beliefs so think that he is "right" in this scenario, but I have been married 12 years and realize no matter how much I tell my wife I am right(and I always am) she pushes back and shuts my "rightness" down-in all means and manners.

So how would you like a Christian to engage you, challenge you, and still not offend you? If you are really open to dialogue how do you agree to engage with out reduction to name calling? There is plenty of stuff that I would love to discuss with you, but don't have the energy to engage a game of "i know you are but what am i?". How can dialogue develope?

I had an awesome experience a couple of weeks ago, and would love to have it happen again. My wife is a registered indep voter. Well she gets the calls etc. from everyone on both teams. Recently a kid from BO's campaign stopped by-we talked for 45 minutes on the details of BO's positions, plans, etc. While there was much I disagree with the conversation and candor was so refreshing I called the campaign headquarters and told them I probalby won't vote for BO, but I ran into a guy that was fun, honest, and represented the campaign exceptionally well. I would love to have this with more regularity in my life.

jeff "anonymous" bratz

the mostly reverend said...

but jeff, i categorize religious folks as neither "god squad" nor "dummies." i don't.

i welcome an exchange of ideas, not just biblical passages. i challenge someone with religious beliefs to present evidence of their beliefs, not simple denials of carbon dating, for example. i believe, and have told pete and others as much, that to me their religious beliefs have significance to me only insofar as i can see evidence of them--in good deeds, acts, and thoughts. to the extent that i do good deeds and the religious person does good deeds our values overlap or are parallel. we may see similar things as good or proper, but that does not mean that our ends or goals nor the means of achieving them are the same. only similar.
likewise, our intents may seem identical or very much alike, but they most likely are only similar in some respects. as long as i am not told that they are wrong or bad, i don't really give a rat's ass. nor should they likewise care what i think of their value system.

but if they challenge mine, then they should be prepared with more than just passages from what i believe is just a book--just a book--and not the word of "god" but simply the words of someone who claims to have been spoken to by "god." i prefer words of the person with whom i speak. one's OWN thoughts. otherwise, they sound like george romney did back in 1968 upon his return from viet nam: brainwashed. i prefer to speak with someone who has thought about their beliefs and values enough to put their thoughts in their OWN words, evidence that they really HAVE processed this input, rather than just regurgitating large chunks.

i do NOT repeatedly tell religious believers that i meditate for their souls, or those of their children [or grandchildren].
for someone to suggest that they can and that it would be helpful to me is akin to me telling someone how THEY should pray or conduct themselves in their innermost affairs.

i appreciate someone who can challenge me to grow, but not in my ability to cite archane passages. that's nothing more than a memory challenge, something at which i am increasingly at a disadvantage. but i am able to think, to receive and process information, and to articulate it in my own words.

if i want to know what the bible says, i'll read mine.

but rarely do i want to.

The Swine King said...

Minnesota Athesits? I think i won their crit this year! Not a very big turnout - probably for obvious reasons. Is that like the Illinois Nazis in the blues brothers? "I hate Illinois nazis."

Anyway that was fun. So my question is you like to be the free thinker and get everyone argue the other side for a second. What do you see that you could believe in or that intrigues you about believing in a life everafter.

the mostly reverend said...

it's so much easier this way, believing in heaven and shit, having someone ELSE tell me what i believe.

i don't have to think, i don't have to worry about being good, because as long as i ask for forgiveness, i'm good to go, no matter WHAT my transgression.

hell, i can cheat on my wife, i can lie to the public/electorate about what i believe, just to get elected. i can even steal the damned election.

i can lie about people i don't like, declare war on them, kill them, have innocent americans die in my illegal war AND GET RE-ELECTED just by lying to them about terror and things, and STILL be viewed as a good christian, and KNOW that when i die, i'll go to heaven, because god's on our side, because we're americans, and god loves us more than anyone else in the world.

it says so on our money [even though the godless chinese seem to have all of it these days].

Anonymous said...

That is your take, from's Pig's question?

Why do you point to the worst "Christians" and not the "good" ones to highlight.

It seems unfair to paint all Christians with the same brush. I know some VERY foul agnostics but don't see all agnostics as such.

I think you bundle Christians as _____; just as you bundle Conservatives as _______. It would seem more appropriate to extract politics and faith(even though it is the vogue thing to use them interchangably(is this a word?)) and see them seperatley.

I know the arguement can be made such as "look at the fruit on the tree", but just because one says they are a Christian doesn't mean they are. Much like folks that say the are either Dem/Rep doesnt always mean they are what they claim(look at their voting record).

Further it would seem that they are gradients of belief. And as such people act out accordingly. I do lots of really good things in my life, but their are things that I do that many Christians wouldn't feel represented them well I am sure. But the thing is I don't represent all Christians, just as you don't represent all agnostics. I represent my personal beliefs and demonstrate my relationship with God- not others and it would be unfair to judge a class of people based upon my faith walk.

If we were to paint all ___________ are _________ because Jeff/Kim are _________ - it would logical to think that isn't a fair analysis?

So please don't judge me by GW, and certainly I won't judge you by Greg Lincoln Rockwell.

No back to Pig's question...

jeff "anonymous" bratz

the mostly reverend said...

hey, i just jumped in somewhere on the christian spectrum. i could just as easily have spoken from the perspective of my mother or my sister, but i didn't want to.

god will forgive me; will you?

the mostly reverend said...

i didn't even mention reproductive rights, did i?

Anonymous said...

Reprodcutive rights?

Not sure?

Now back to pig's question. :)


Buckshot77 said...

Considering this debates still lively, here's my question from one of Rev's earlier comments. He obviously takes great offense to people offering to pray for him. My question is, if the person you're praying for hasn't accepted Christ (as it's my understanding you have to do this to be admitted to heaven), isn't that person going to hell whether you pray for them or not? If that is indeed the case, is the praying just to make you feel better or is there an actual purpose/reason/law of God behind it?

Anonymous said...

Great question Buckshot, I'll get an answer posted later on. Don't have time to post right now.


the mostly reverend said...


i really don't care if people pray for me. really. but as you pointed out, buck [well done, too], it's a complete waste of time. and i agree, that for the one offering up the prayer on my behalf, it's "fuzzy blanket and cocoa" time. ["gee, my religion is SOOO good!"]

what i don't like is that those who pray for me--and tell me about--it are so full of themselves that they need to announce to the entire world, as well as me [and i obviously don't care, because if i did, i'd do it myself, and keep my big trap shut about it] that they took time out of their private time with god to talk about me.

[god and i worked this out a long time ago: we respect each other's turf well enough not to interfere. that's why he doesn't offer suggestions to me how to run the orphanage.]

what you do with your god is your own damned business. if i wanted to make it my business, i'd go with you and pray with you or something.

anybody out there remember the last time THAT happened?

Anonymous said...

I don't struggle with someone praying for another that doesn't want to be prayed for. I struggle with the efficacy of said prayer if disclosure of prayer makes the prayed for more anti-God.

I don't know who tells you they are praying for you, and don't really care. The point is they aren't doing it to spite you, rather out of love.

If they want to pray great, especially if it doesn't harm you.


Pete Basso said...

Well Kim, thanks for trying to answer the question for me but you’re a way off on your answer by my standards. Very hateful and angry by the way. Tis the season to be joyful, I’m not seeing that in your last post!!

First of all, Kim is officially the first person I've ever met that is offended because someone has wished good will to be brought to him via a god. I can assure you if you were Muslim, Hindu or otherwise and offered a prayer I'd be thankful, regardless of my religion. Just knowing that someone cares enough to offer their personal time to ask for the betterment of me is rather comforting. In this world of flipping people off, gossip, back biting and political correctness a Christian comes forward with a wide open heart with no hidden agenda, (the agenda is clear that I only hope God can intercede into Kim's life and fill his heart enough that he is able to get the answer's he needs to understand the incredible love God has for him), yet he is intolerable of our good intentions. It is a reoccurring sentiment in our country that agnostics and atheists alike fight against the Christian religion but work with the other religions to allow their intolerances…just doesn’t make sense to me. There is a real “catch-22” happening here. They are intolerant of our religion but tolerant of other religions????.

Now to answering your question… I have to tell you this is a GREAT question that is a very complex question for those who do not believe in Jesus and very simplistic for those of us who have a strong belief in Jesus Christ. The reason we pray for others is because God has called us to pray for others as a means to accomplish His will. As a child of faith, I do as my father asks just as I did when I was a child in my own father’s home. When Jesus asks me to pray for my fellow man, I do it. Coincidentally, prayer really works!! Through my own prayers and those of our friends and family, our little daughter’s sight has improved dramatically when the doctors said it wouldn’t. I have many stories of where prayer has worked miraculously in my life that I’d be happy to share with anyone. Not only that but there are many studies that have been done in the medical field that prove prayer works!!

You see the dynamics of our responsibility to prayer are not fully defined by God but He chooses to work in conjunction with the will of his people therefore allowing for change in one’s heart. I pray for Kim and all agnostics / atheists because I know what is coming to those who do not receive Jesus in their heart and I don’t want that. Kim is a cycling brother and friend, despite all of our political and religious differences; despite his perceived anger towards our good wishes towards him, we do get along when together. He’s a pretty easy guy to talk to, rides hard and has a funny sense of humor, (when he keeps it relatively clean). I don’t want his soul to perish in hell…is that a bad thing for someone to want? I say no.

As for the assessment of prayer facilitating a “so full of themselves”, or “make us feel better” approach the answer is no and yes. I offer my prayers in complete humility to those whom I pray for. It has nothing to do with being egotistical but exactly the opposite. It’s putting your fellow humans in front of yourself. Part of the problem with this world, (Kim included), is that they subscribe to the same religion, SELF WORSHIP.

Prayer for others does make me feel better; wishing good will makes anyone feel better doesn’t it? That’s not why I do it though, that’s merely a side effect; prayer is called upon by God and is a way of conversing with Him. I get to know God better by prayer and in turn we have a stronger relationship. Through the works that have been performed in my life by prayer, my faith grows deeper consequently allowing for more happiness. Kim says he’s all about peace, love and happiness, yet when those feelings are expressed to him he fires back with anger, (see above posts). If that is part of his constitution of beliefs then I’m confused as to why he’d even want to subscribe to it.

Buckshot77 said...

Pete, definitely a great and well thought out explanation. Thanks!

the mostly reverend said...

this has been an interesting exchange of ideas; i'm going to file my next comment as a new thread. please file your comments following that new post, if you would.