Just as a side note - please do not get the impression that I don't respect my parents. I disagree with them often on the solutions to problems, but in many ways we see the same problems. While they are more conservitive and I am more liberal, they are both intelligent, thinking people who can defend their thoughts and beliefs - in fact, I'm publishing these because they often bring out my rough ideas before I share them with the rest of the world, and often I use my discussions with them to help me refine my ideas.
First in the series is my response to her sending me a Forbes article (reprinted in something or other, readers digest maybe - maybe I'll scan it while I'm scanning that Epoch Internet letter.. ;-)) about a man feeling remorse because he protested the war whilest his classmate went and got shot at.
As it later turns out, her intent in sending me the letter was to point out all the wonderful things about America, not to say that she supported the Vietnam war. (See, I told you they were pretty good people.. - ironically enough, a lot of the disagreements I have with them stem from either them misunderstanding me or me misunderstanding them. I suppose this must be how most people are with their parents..)
Of course, I still disagree. I'm leaving my response up anyway (even though it turns out it isn't germane to the reason my mother sent the article) because it starts to show some of the rough ideas that I will eventually work into a essay about how I feel about the Vietnam war, the gulf war, and a number of other wars.
Whether it was or it wasn't, it's still wrong.
Our responsibility as citizens DOES NOT include getting shot at for the stupidity of the money-blinded fools that run the country. It never did. There's no reason why I should blindly accept the foolish decisions of those in power and not protest a war that is blatantly wrong.
You don't go over and shoot people up, then come back and protest. That's just silly. The time to protest is BEFORE the mistake is being made. If you were ordered by the government to go shoot a 2 year old girl because she was furthering communism, would you
A: Say 'Heck no, we won't go?'
B: run out with the semiauto, blow her away, then come back and protest?
Let's use a little common sense here, shall we? Whatever happened to Thou Shalt Not Kill? Oh, wait, that's Thou Shalt Not Kill unless Thy has a resource I want, has a economic belief system that I think is fundamentally dangerous (we all know how dangerous ideas are..), or happens to be sitting in the way of my development project. Right. Welcome to America.
To put it another way, okay, so there's a incredibly foolish war out to attempt to save the country from that big evil scary communism (Which, as I've pointed out, was neither big, evil, nor scary). So I'm one of the few that isn't blinded and I disagree - that's great - should I
A: Go over and shoot a bunch of people that I feel have done nothing to me to support my country or
B: Protest _instead_ of going to war?
The hero is the one who thought he was a coward. Age has made him conform, as I fear it eventually makes everyone - run against the grain long enough and you get tired and decide to just moo with all the other cows. I'm sure I'll be driving a SUV when I'm 40 and writing letters to the editor about how foolish these electric car things are, too. I'll also give up on trying to change the government, stop writing my congressman about things like encryption and music distribution and drilling for oil in some of the last undeveloped places on earth, and otherwise turn into a nice suburbinine clueless 2-hours-of-TV-a-day moron. And that'll make my congressman very happy, believe me.
I'm sorry, there's no defense for Vietnam. None. If you want to cut articles like this and send them to me to salve your conscience, you go right ahead. Expect to get emails like this one back every time. The protester did the right thing - this doesn't mean the person who went over and got shot at was any less of a hero - but he was a foolish hero.
I will NEVER grant the government the right to tell me who the enemy is - and I think you might be a better person, and more internally morally consistent, if you'd grow enough to likewise refuse the government this right.
Do you think our intervention in the Persian gulf was justified? Do you EVER get sick of watching us pick based on the US's interests which of two very morally ambiguous states should be the winner and which should be the loser? Do you ever wonder why it is that we live in a country that is the political and military equivalent of the playground bully?
Seriously, I'm not sold. I'm not even beginning to be sold. I'm so unsold I think I'll go write another essay about this. ;-)
> Jonathan, > I take it you got the birthday card. Did you ever get the birthday > box?
Er, actually that was the get well card, but I also got the birthday box.
> Actually, I was very much against Vietnam. I thought the country was > handling the situation the wrong way. I had a very difficult time being > associated with the military at the time. I put a dove of peace in the > window of our quarters at Christmas time.Hrm. You were against Vietnam but you would have gone anyway if drafted? Or what was the message of that article supposed to be? I'm somewhat confused.
Just out of curiosity, have you read my web site recently? (Yes, I know, you have no time.. - but there are some interesting lyrics at the top from a guy named Jackson Browne..)
> However, there were other points the article made concerning America in > general that I agree with. The country is not perfect, but it is much > better than most others in the world, and we can all talk, write, > publish, make movies, etc., about our point of view of the country or > the leaders. Often things change over a course of time because we have > a government that can be amended, politicians that can be voted in or > out of office, etc. No, it is not perfect, but overall I think many in > the world see it as a rather desirable country.Well, okay, er, um.
First of all, we can't all speak. The government routinely lies about nonviolent protests to jail the protesters (1st amendment, right to assemble), and even when indymedia (www.indymedia.org) shows up and gets the whole thing on film, no one looks at them because they aren't mainstream or cooperate. The cooperate ('pro') media is owned by the advertisers and lies through their teeth whenever told to (I can hear you accusing me of paranoia now - but it's real. It's happening.)
As the 'Living the bill of rights' book says, each generation must renew America's commitment to the bill of rights, or it will not stand. Our generation is mostly not interested in the fact that their rights are being violated. Kevin Mitnik did six years in jail for lying on the telephone. (His only crime - the only one the government could actually make stick, because the only one he actually committed - was socially engineering the source code to the old analog cellular system and to the solaris operating system out of the respective companies that had written it. And he did it out of curiosity). And now that he's out of jail, he's prohibited from using or even talking about computers - this strikes me as a blatant violation of his first amendment rights.
The problem I have with America isn't the theory. The theory's great. The bill of rights, while a little more vague than I might like, is a excellent document. The problem I have is the implementation. We're consuming all the resources that future generations will need to drive our SUVs around, and it never even occurs to us that something is wrong with this. We don't _make_ anything any more, we just consume, and it never occurs to us that there's something wrong with this. We all get our news on the nightly television, or from the paper - which, by the way, are owned by the same people. We get lied to by the media, and we don't even care about it - we get constantly bombarded with ads.. ('Consume more!') and we don't see the problem with this.
You know, it's funny, in all my talkings with people from around the world, I've never met anyone who saw America as a desirable country. It may be that you're so close to it that you can't see the flaws - but there are some enormous ones, and they are getting bigger all the time.
When I talk to people from other countries about my EV project, solar power generation, writing distributed software to fight spam, or fighting the 'man', or ending the war on drugs, preferably with legalization, or political reform, they always think these are interesting topics - and many of them can respond intelligently, and even point to similar things that they or their friends are involved in. When I talk to people from America about these topics, I get a wide variety of responses.. usually things like blank stares or 'doesn't that cost a lot of money?'/'aren't you afraid going to those protests will get you thrown in jail?' (no, actually, from the video footage i's afraid it will get me killed - I wonder how you'll feel when you find out the cops split my head open for disagreeing with the status quo? Maybe then you'll start to believe me..)
My point is, America has a number of basic flaws which make it a less than ideal place. These are
A: The bill of rights is no longer defended, and is constantly violated by the government
B: The government owes more money than it can ever come up with (despite the lies the politicians tell)
C: The people owe more money than you even want to think about, for housing, credit cards, car loans, etc..
D: The people have stopped doing intellectually challenging things for entertainment, in favor of completely passive activities like watching television
subnote: This may be because of our power line frequency resulting in the strobe rate of NTSC being close to a multiple of the beta rate of our brains, thusly making television physiogically addictive. If so, HDTV may actually help the problem, as I think it's going to have a 72Hz refresh
E: The people no longer build things, which is really bad for their morale. Everything is built somewhere else, because it's cheaper that way. We sell each other hamburgers
F: Capitalism. In a word, capitalism sucks. Yes, it's treated me nicely - look at all the toys I can buy, and all the money i can donate to things like indymedia and killradio. But, look at what it's done to the environment - in essence, to the human race as a whole.
G: The 'powers that be' have gotten way too powerful. Look at the whole napster debate - have you ever heard _anyone_ ask what either the consumers or the artists want? No, it's all about the labels. The labels that in essence produce NOTHING - they just exploit the artists to get the music to feed to the consumers. Why should they have any rights? They're robbing other people's creativity.. why are we not listening to the artists (who have for the most part said, 'hey, it's cool with us') or the consumers, who've obviously voted yes..
H: American companies have gotten complacent. They'd rather have a good bottom line than produce new and innovative things.]
I: American investors have LOST THEIR MINDS! Look at all the money they sunk into dot-coms like pets.com and onair.com - whatever happened to using common sense to choose what businesses you support?
J: The 'new model' for making a profit appears to be 'sell it for less than you bought it for, and make it up on volume'. I guess the Japanese pioneered this one, but they (apparently) actually made it work.
K: Oh, yes - the American government robs the people (42% of my income goes to taxes.. not counting sales tax..) so that it can build better machines to blow things up. Look, we've spent MORE than enough of 'defense'. I don't want ANY of my money going to pay for better bombers.
L: Oh, yes #2 - Our school systems are designed to produce good conformist nonthinkers. The originals are labelled 'troublemakers' and sent to counseling until they conform. Not to mention hazed by their peers. Getting out of school was the best thing I ever did, as I've told you many times.
M: We have the highest percentage of our population - more than 1% - in jail of any country. Many of these people are in jail for 'drug crimes' - has it yet occurred to you that probably 20% of the US population smokes pot? That we the pot smokers (and I'm not ashamed to be in this group, nor will any number of articles from you make me ashamed - although I will comment that like all things, in moderation) are basically _voting_ to have it legal every time we break the law? But no, pot must be immoral (why exactly is that, anyway?) and therefore we should keep putting people who smoke it or have implements used to smoke it in jail 'for their own good' and make them serve out 'their debt to society'. These ARE OUR BEST AND BRIGHTEST in many cases - the people with the foresight to realize that the government isn't always right. We NEED these people out stirring up trouble, not rotting in jail - we're killing off our lifeblood, then wondering why we don't create anything any more. Is there any doubt in your mind that I'm a productive, creative member of society?
So, basically, the question you might ask is 'Why don't I move?'. Well, there are two answers. One is, I'm thinking about it. The second is that part of me wants to stay and try to change things. I realize that this is impossible, that I can no more change things than a single ant can build a anthill.. but as a 70 year old man told me yesterday, 'well, you put enough drops of water in a bucket, eventually it'll overflow. Keep trying.'. I love what this country is supposed to be - I just hate what it has become. And I think that if everyone like me just leaves.. then it'll never get any better.
The next letter is from Feb 14th, 2004. It is in response to a L.A. Times article, which headlines 'Support for abortion rights has weakened, while Americans remain torn on gay rights.'
Well, I have several answers. The first one is, polls lie. It's a basic fact of life. Out there stirring around in the real world, I see this stupidity and bigotry that would deny gays their birthright as humans dying just as the bigotry and stupidity that denied people of color died in the 70s. I offer you this prediction: Inside your lifetime, homosexuality will come to be accepted as no more condemnable than being black. Yes, there's still bigotry against homosexuality, just like there is still bigotry against people of color. But, as humans improve their methods of communication, the problem is solving itself. We are slowly learning that we are all just as tied to the wheel, and that hatred against any member of the human race hurts us all just a little bit. The human race has climbed a long way - but we still have a long, long way to go. --------------------------------------------------- How do polls lie? Well, many ways. First of all, the only people sampled were by definition those who chose to participate. That removes any chance of a truly balanced result right there. Second of all, they didn't show us the questions! It's possible to skew poll results _dramatically_ by altering the wording of the questions. --------------------------------------------------- The second one is: unless a miracle occurs, Bush is going to lose. Think about it - what with Enron's Kennith Lay being a good friend of the Bushes, Cheney being beholden to Halliburton who took many no-bid contracts in Iraq, Bush caught out to have _obviously and unquestionably_ known there were probably no WMDs [ask P. for hard details on this one, as a librarian she can provide you better citations] - Even Bill O'Reily, one of fox's most conservative pundants, has had to admit the WMD situation is disturbing. For that matter, there's the whole Afghanistan thing. 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. Osama himself was a Saudi. We bombed Afghanistan. Did we miss? Bush is evil. Americans are waking up to this fact as they look at the hand he has dealt, and the people he keeps company with. You don't think members of the armed services are a little upset at being sent into a war on false pretenses, on thugging around and making the world a worse place? Or their loved ones are upset at seeing them placed in harms way for Bush & Co's financial gain? Let me repeat. Most republicans are misguided. Most politicians are liars. I've learned to live with these facts. Bush is not merely misguided, and not merely a liar. He's _evil_. For some reason, some people are inclined to increase entropy in the world - to do destructive and hurtful things. Ravers call these people 'haters' - and we've learned that they are very, very real. We don't understand them, but we know them when we see them. Bush is one of these people. And I'm not the only person who thinks this way. So given that the Dems are very likely to win.. (How many people have I talked to in the last three years who can not stand Bush, who think he's a destructive cancer on the soul of America? A whole lot..).. why shouldn't we stand up for what we beleive in? This is our chance - for once, it's obvious who the bad guy is. ----------------------------------------------------- I hope, for your sake, taht you've learned that homosexuality is not a sin. If not, I encourage you to think long and hard on the matter - because if you do think they're sinful, your judgement of them IS a sin, and it's one that hurts the world at large. I realize you were brought up to believe certain things, and that (unlike me, for reasons I don't understand yet) you have a hard time casting off the teachings of your elders when it turns out your elders are wrong. I realize there is a very real possibility that you think my defense of gay people is because I am young and have been mislayed by Satan or something foolish like that. I tell you truthfully: I will never change nor waver on this matter. Gays are just as good as straights. There is nothing sinful about being gay - and gays should have all the rights straight people have. I have known many gay people - and by and large they are the best of humanity, not the worst. I have known many gay-bashers and people who would deny gays their rightful place alongside the legally mated for life - and by and large, they have been the worst. -------------------------------- Read the poll results carefully. 68% of respondants said that abortion should be a matter between a women and her doctor. People are in support of abortion - only 7% ! said that abortion had anything to do with the moral decline of this country. -------------------------------- That said - Are you still going to vote against Dubya? Or will you cast your vote for a man who has bombed two countries on completely false pretenses and for personal profit, hung out with liars and theives - theives who have robbed your own kin - so that you can continue to support discrimination against people who feel sexual attraction in a slightly different way than you do, and continue to deny women the right to choose their own future by killing off completely nonsentient life? ---------------------------------- This email will be published on my web site, and I will not remove it. Part of my life legacy shall be a interesting experiment - if I make it to 50, how will Sheer at 50 explain Sheer at 25? Will I try and claim that I was a impressionable youth without enough life experience to make good decisions? I think I understand now that while it may feel comfortable and nostalgic to hold onto the past, humanity needs to always manage to move forward, and the conservatism that is so commonly found with old age is _wrong_. I will continue to talk about that - on my web site and in my journal - until I've formed a good understanding for myself about it. ---------------------------------- I will make one more prediction. The ripples from who I am will change the world. Maybe very slightly, maybe in hard to measure ways - but they will. In many measurable ways, they already have. So if you think I'm wrong, you better come up with a clearheaded explanation for why that doesn't involve Chistianity - otherwise I'll be changing the world in wrong ways. ----- Original Message ----- From: Cheryl Pullen To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Saturday, February 14, 2004 4:37 AM Subject: Poll Analysis: Americans Lean More Conservative on Social Issues I must wonder why, if the Democrats really wanted to beat George Bush, they all choose positions that may cost them the votes of many Americans. See the poll. In addition, one must also remember that there are many family members of those serving in Iraq that will support support Bush because they believe their loved ones are taking a stand for a worthy cause. I don't know how representative either the area you live in or the area I live in are of the average person in America. http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/timespoll/la-000618abortpoll-442pa2an,0,6427319.htmlstory?coll=la-news-times_poll Love, Mom
> Regarding the 12 reasons--which I have seen and/or heard bantered about, > #9 which in this version refers to totally ridiculous idea of dog > spouses, in other discussions has said that extending marriage to > homosexuals would open interpretation of marriage such that it might > include marriage of near relatives, marriage of groups of people, etc. > What do you think of that argument? [grins] You already know what I think. I think that marriage of near relatives, groups of people, etc should also be legal. I know I'm not in the majority here.. but I do not think it is the business of the government to dictate morality. I do not think it has EVER been the business of the government to dictate morality - because no two people can even agree on what moral is. The business of the government is to prevent some citizens from infringing on the rights of other citizens (by murdering them, stealing their stuff, telling them tehy can't get married, etc..) > Also, on subject of controversial issues--how can we charge someone with > murder for killing fetus of pregnant woman, yet allow abortion, to > include partial birth abortion? That's a fundamentally broken law, brought around by some not too bright people. Life does not begin at conception - hence, it can't be murder to kill a fetus. Life begins when the neural net starts its dance at somewhere between 4 and 6 months. However, I suspect the law passed because people don't understand what a slippery slope it is - i mean, on paper it sounds good, protect the expectant mothers.. I do agree that there should be stiffer penalties for commiting a crime of violence against a pregnant woman - after all, in theory civilization exists to protect children, right? But I do not agree that it should be considered a murder to kill a fetus prior to the time that said fetus shows signs of being more than just a blob of cells, mentally. I mean, even at six months a fetus has a less developed neural network than a cow, and .. well, I was going to say you eat those, but I guess you are, like me, a non-mammal-eater. Anyway, it's certainly not illegal to kill cows. And except in instances where they are to protect a woman from a deadly situation, partial-birth abortions are not used in the U.S. - so why are you bringing them up here anyway? ;-) > Also, how far down the slippery slope did we go when we allowed divorced > pastors? [laughs]. > I sometimes suspect we want our cake and to eat it to. It depends often > on what those with the most influence on the laws want to get away with > personally, not what one can justify as right based on some other > source. I think it is foolish to legislate morality. You think it's immoral for me to [have sex before marraige | smoke weed | play 'devil music' ;-) | (insert your favorite immoral act here)]. I think it's immoral for you to [deny gays the right to marry or encourage your government to do so | encourage the use of psychoactive drugs (i.e. rittilin) on children | use standaardized testing on children | (insert my favorite immoral act here)]. Joe Sixpack thinks it's immoral for me to [criticize the U.S. government | encourage communism | participate in peace marches (Not supporting our troops!) | (insert his favorite immoral act here]. We might all be right. None of us might be right. Or somewhere in between. I really hope you have come to understand that your opinions on morality are just that - your opinions. And my opinions are just that - my opinions. The bible is just some set of stories from the desert that happened to be handed down, and is provably not a good source for moral guidance for several reasons which I'll be happy to detail if you're interested - although it contains much wisdom, it contains just as much foolishness. But, there's one thing we can all agree on. It is not moral for you to infringe upon my rights, and it is not moral for me to infringe on yours. If I break into your house, threaten you, attack you, I am commiting a act which the government should prevent. However.. it is foolish, and a very bad idea for the government to dictate morality.
wasn't the fault of the drug. It was the fault of him trying to take me somewhere I wasn't ready to go yet. I think this time I'm ready to go. But only if I can take everyone else with me. This isn't a place you reach with drugs, although they help open your mind. It's a place you reach with thought, and deed, and creation, and love, and respect. I respect you. I will not always agree with you, but I respect you and I forgive you for anything you may have done when I was a child that I perceived as a mistake. After all, you're only human.. *Hugs* Call, if you need help dealing with your job or whatever. I can't always answer.. I'm a busy person.. but I will try to help whenever I have time. Someday I will learn how to make time, I hope.. You do need to understand that all of humanity.. maybe all sentient life everywhere.. is my family. This keeps me rather busy, along with the neccesity of earning a living. Hopefully someday I'll crack the money game and be free to create in any medium that suits me. But for now, I'm where I am. As the new school said, if you're not there yet, you're not there yet. P.S. if you don't believe in grades.. stop using them. See if they fire you. It's a interesting experiment, no? You can be a teacher anywhere. Just make sure you don't saddle those kids with your fears. I love you. You can find much good drug information at http://www.erowid.org. There's noise as well as signal, like anywhere.. if you want to know about a particular chemical, also ask me. I have friends who have experienced many things. I can tell you it's pretty clear that meth and cocaine are bad drugs, weed is a good servant but a terrible master, and alchohol isn't that great in large quantities and should be avoided in general, since it's a organic solvent and you probably don't want to be drinking that. If you do decide to experiment with playing with your brain chemistry, remember to start out doing it with friends - responsable friends who will know it's safe to call 911 when something goes wrong. If it is not safe to call 911 in your area.. make it safe. Don't accept stupid rules.. work to change them. Addicts need help, not jail time. Dealers are good people. Pushers are evil. (Pushers are dealers that try and 'push' drugs.. force people into taking things that they aren't ready to take, or push drugs that are bad/tend towards a high addiction rate. Dealing is not immoral. Pushing is.) Become a member of genNet! It's not too late, and you've shown promise in that direction. Your next challenge is to start a net journal, and write in it. Don't be afraid of what people will think of you. Be a example to other teachers everywhere. If you already have a journal, please give me the address. I'd like to be able to read it. Jon "Sheer" Pullen
Cheryl Pullen wrote: > I ended with WWJD because, I believe that while there may have been laws that had a purpose during the OT when society was different than it bacame later and when life itself was likely different in what it took to survive, Not wearing men's clothing as a woman or woman's clothing as a man has nothing to do with survival. It's the same time of prejudice that gives rise to racism. It speaks ill of Noah (although, so does his compliance with a mass murdering god). Then again, the Christian god (notice the small 'g' - just expressing my opinion of Christianity's validity when it comes to describing higher powers) has racist, sexist, and just about everything else -ist moments. Also, aren't you Christian types supposed to be against moral relativism? What you've just suggested is that moral is a relative term - that it's moral to be transgendered now but it wasn't in old testament times. How's that again? > Jesus, the Son of God, brought a message even more focused on love and on the heart, not letter, of law. He "dinged" the religious rulers over and over for their claims of following laws, out of love of themselves and/or their power, not love of others and love of God. I guess I see Jesus as a pioneer, but not as better than the rest of us. His miracles, if indeed they are real (it is, despite all your historical references, very difficult to say what of the bible is fiction and what isn't) are a sign that he either had better tech than we do, or knew more about the shape of the universe. But his message of love, while long overdue, doesn't make him better than you or me. As far as him being the Son Of God - well, if God created us, then we are all his children. A interesting thought for you: If Christianity IS true (highly unlikely), I would still prefer hell - yae, and eternal suffering - to supporting and becoming one with a entity that would put others in hell for eternity. Yes, I'll pick eternal torment over being part of the system that eternally torments others - and I think, if you manage to pry away your utter conviction that Christianity is true and look at the problem with open eyes, you'll find that somewhere deep down you agree with me. > > Love, Mom > > Jonathan "Sheer" Pullen wrote: > >> Cheryl Pullen wrote: >> >>> Jonathan "Sheer" Pullen wrote: >>> >>>> Deut. 22:5 says: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God." >>>> >>>> How on earth can you defend this document? >>>> >>>> S. >>>> >>>> >>> Deuteronomy, likely written by Moses, contains other laws I'm sure you, & quite possibly I, would not really feel were laws we agreed with or could support. >> >> As do many other books of the Bible, which is part of my basic problem. People are making laws - and making decisions that control their fellow men - as if the bible was God's infallible word. And you yourself have come to recognize that it isn't. At least part of the book is likely fiction - why should we trust any of it? >> >>> Many rules we do not follow today had very good logic in protecting people or making life better. About keeping Kosher, for ex., http://studentorgs.utexas.edu/cjso/Kosher/kpamphlet.html >>> Deuteronomy's overal theological teaching though is about the relationshipof love betwen God & Israel. >>> Overall, there are many good messages: security against false accusations, protection against being taken advantage of for women who were living in a society where they were subordinate, call for punishment not to be so excessive that culprits were dehumanized, security of property, right to receive fruit from one's labors, all--even servents--to get rest on the Sabbath, strong marriage bond, no one (disabled, impoverished, powerless) was to be exploited, all were to have fair trial, no one was to be above the law, concern was expressed for the animal world. >>> >>> If one reads through the whole Bible, what phrases and words come up again and again? Caring for widows, orphans, strangers in the land. No lying. Not lying on soft beds at expense of powerless. Forgiveness. God's response of love and forgiveness and rescue when people cried out to him. Above all--Love. >> >> >> Which is good as far as it goes, but... a better document about love could be written, *should* be written. Also, I suspect your eyes slide from the verses of hate without acknowledgment, because your preconceived notion of the religion is that it is good. >> >>> Are you going to discard all verses, all books of the Bible by all their various authors, God, Jesus, over a handful of verses? >> >> >> No. But neither should you support laws that promote injustice claiming it is the will of God when in fact you have reason to suspect the bible is *not* universally God's will. I will happily take what is good about the bible. But it is not the One True Book, and it's extraordinarily unlikely that >> >> A: Mankind is fundamentally bad, evil, or sinful - /and yet we tell our children this/. >> B: God will punish you for eternity, or through inaction allow you to be punished, because you don't agree with *m - /and yet that is the threat that is held over our heads/ >> C: If a thing feels good, it must be sinful - /and yet, over and over, this is what people throughout history were told. >> /D: Any finite being can capture even a small hint of what it would be like to be infinite on paper - /and yet, we are told the bible is the Word Of God. Well, obviously - if God is infinite, *e contains all words. This is trivial to prove./ >> >>> >>> WWJD >> >> I prefer to ask, what would Sheer do? I may not be as 'special' as Jesus - certainly no one is going to write books about me thousands of years after my death - but the universe really only needs one Jesus - and it does, also, I suspect, need one Sheer, somewhere, to be in balance. >> >> S. >> >