'Old Testament,' Take 2: 4-29-09
Religion in flux in U.S.: 5-1-09

Interfaith work for teens: 4-30-09

Teen-IYA

The small group of teen-agers I was sitting with on the floor of the 3HO Kundalini Yoga Center in Midtown Kansas City included a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Christian and a Baha'i.

They had come to discover whether they wanted to help form a new Interfaith Youth Alliance, and they were talking about what approaches such an organization could take.

I found it immensely encouraging to know that young people are learning that they must get engaged in interfaith dialogue and understanding if our country is to find a way to live in harmony with a religiously pluralistic population.

When they arrived they heard members of the yoga center talk about their Sikh religion and why, as American converts, they had been attracted to it. But the teenagers in attendance weren't looking for religions to which to convert. Rather, they were trying to understand the faith commitments others make so they can be good neighbors to them and vice versa.

The adults who had gathered this group together, including Shannon Clark (she's the one in the photo whose face you can see), executive director of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council, were trying to find ways that would engage more and more young people, so much of the Sunday afternoon session was devoted to brainstorming service projects and other types of activities that would draw in teens.

One of the national models for this is the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core led by Eboo Patel, who will be in Kansas City in November as part of this year's annual Festival of Faiths.

Are people in your faith community, if any, finding ways to learn about the faiths their neighbors and co-workers practice? If not, why not? Ignorance in this area is dangerous.

* * *

GREENING UP SANCTUARIES

More and more congregations are seeking to create greener worship spaces, this report says. If people of faith can't be leaders in caring for Earth, something is really wrong. I was glad four or five years ago to be able to do a piece for The Kansas City Star suggesting that among those now much more actively involved in what's called "creation care" are Christians who identify themselves as evangelicals.

Comments

Dolores Lear

Interfaith work for teens, is great, but we also need Interfaith work for Adults also.

All Faith Scriptures need to be Translated with our High Tech Science Knowledge, or Interfaith work will bog down, as usual.

Protestant Faith, broke into many different Groups, and is still dividing today.

Man-Made Religions are all from One Source. Humans will remain divided, until they Accept our High Tech is the Supernatural of Religion.

The Human Species God, in our Image, is our High Tech Science Human Ancestors. They Colonized Earth with an Eco System, and then brought in all the Species.

Humans today would follow Genesis 1, when they Colonize a new Planet, null and void like Earth was, and how Venus is today.

The Lord God, 'Us', made Humans in their Image, by High Tech Reproduction, not by Heterosexual Body Birth, the Original Sin.

Today we also make a Human 'fetus' in the Lab, in our Image, and Clone Animals, supernaturally by High Tech. The Lord God Cloned the Female from the Male Rib.

This type of High Tech Science should be taught to our teens, to Prove All our Heterosexual Body Birth Man-Made Religions have the same Source.

Adults and Teens need to Search Religious Writings and Myths, to see how All Ancient Writings, have this same 'supernatural' High Tech in their Faith Beliefs.

It is Time to put our Faith, in the Reality of Life After Birth, not in Faith of Life After Death in Heaven.

We do have the High Tech Knowledge, to Know that Elements in Physical form do die, and return to the Elements of our Earth System.

Eternal Physical Life is for Living Humans After Birth, not After Death in 'Heaven'.

Will Graham

Bill, I agree that we should be "finding ways to learn about the faiths their neighbors and co workers practice."

I want to know, especially, if my neighbors and co workers are practicing Islamic of Atheist faith, and yes, atheism is a faith.

memberofKCFreeThinkers.org

Adamh said, “Cole we all know you are Iggy's stooge.
Don't you get sick of doing his dirty work?

Me: What dirty work would that be? I suppose for Xs, like you. it is difficult to understand that nonreligious people think on their own, individually. Sometimes they have fun together. - you know what fun is?

Adamh: “You want a debate? You say it is always possible?”

Me: What are you hinting at -?

Adamh: As an atheist, what you are pushing is that existence, life, mind, and reason itself are the product of mindless forces.

Me: If a tornado kills several people, what was the reason? Some say god had a reason. Testing us. Or some crap like that. I say nature happens and maybe we should be more prepared through scientific knowledge.

The human learning process is not mindless. Even people like you, using a brain in your mishap way, made up religion/god. People have learned over the years what works and what doesn’t work by trial and error. It doesn’t take a genius to see this. It happens every day. You should pay more attention. It has happened before and it will happen again and again in the future – and religion will become less and less important. For example, evolution, every day, is happening right before our eyes and yet some deny it. Pathetic.

Adamh: Only one catch...none of this has been demonstrated; as misrpresenting the Bible, quote mining it, and displaying your gross ingnorance of history and philosphy does not consitute "argument". Contiinued

memberofKCFreeThinkers.org

Continued: Me: None of this has been demonstrated? You learn by learning from something. A thought, something you read, some thing you experienced. Some thing taught to you by a person who is educated and through scientific research, calculated and practiced over and over through proven methods, to pass onto others. Not by studying and re-studying bronze-age writings. You move onto the real world. Ignorance of history and philosophy?...well, you have proven that. I wonder what that constitutes?

Adamh: All you do is parrot Iggy's patter...and you are second rate at it. At least he was a First Class smear artist! LOL!

I don’t have a need to be rated. I live by my own rules and will promote what ‘I’ want to promote. As far as being a smear artist, I think you are confusing conversation on subjects you do not know how to defend except by bringing up topics of past failed unrelated subjects – such as governments - in association with the nonreligious…and something can’t come from nothing. Well, you did. You simply refuse to realize we are on our own on this planet and the fact that we need to make the best of it and be more tolerant toward others civil liberties.

Wouldn’t it be better to put all this religious effort toward science so we can live longer? I don’t know. Maybe I’m wasting my time here. Maybe not. I would at least like to see one person who can see the good side of all this and wonder about another way. Perhaps a rational and practical way of life.

Adamh: Quit yanking our chain.”

What? Only one chain amongst you? Makes sense…you seem to be sharing the same brain on several issues, why not a chain?

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

Just Thinking

I don't believe for a minute that all beliefs should be respected. That seems to be the underlying assumption of this increasingly shallow interfaith line that Bill is promoting these days, without preconditions.

Some systems promote subjugation, and adherents will not rest until all of their enemies (i.e., people who disagree with them) are killed. Jihadists and militant atheists fall into this category to be sure. They are out to squelch anyone who does not agree with them. We had a militant atheist jihadist Stalinist posting here for quite a while. His expressed goal was to make Christians "shut up." Such beliefs should not be respected.

Other systems promote hatred and intolerance of those who do them no wrong, but who have, nonetheless, been labeled as infidels. Again jihadists fall into this category, but so do knee-jerk Christian literalists who both have the idea that they are God's chosen to enforce their particular brand of morality, even when those they oppose do nothing wrong to others.

Still others believe that human life has no intrinsic value. They're the most dangerous of all because they can exterminate children without blinking an eye. Lust has far more value to them than life. The right to fulfill whatever lustful desire is paramount and overrides any right to life.

There is a long list of beliefs and behaviors that should not be respected in this country, but rather exposed and prevented. If these beliefs and resulting behaviors are left unchecked, then they will result in the victimization of those who have not wronged the oppressors. I think we should all stand up against the bullies. Not by bullying, but by standing up to abusers and by denouncing behaviors that victimize others. Jesus stood up that way.

Dolores Lear

Cole:
"Wouldn't it be better to put all this religious effort toward science so we can live longer? I don’t know. Maybe I’m wasting my time here. Maybe not. I would at least like to see one person who can see the good side of all this and wonder about another way. Perhaps a rational and practical way of life."

Me:
I propose a Rational and Practical High Tech Way, for Good Eternal Human Life on Planets and in Spaceships.

With the Sexual Revolution, and Population Explosion, for the past 100 years, no one wants to give up Sex for Pleasure, for Eternal Purebred Physical Bodies made in a High Tech Lab.

Instead they invent New Ways for Pleasure Sex, to Control Male Reproduction. Tying the male tubes, and pills for the females.

But look at our Evil population explosion from 1 Billion to 7 billion. Even with Killing and War, with High Tech Weapons, this did not stop a population explosion.

There must have been a different reason than Flesh Lust, for the Fall of Purebred Adam and Eve Clones.

The Males began Reproducing Misbred Humans by Heterosexual Reproduction that caused Generation Body Birth, Death and Rebirth.

Once Humans accept their Better Half is their Male or Female Clone Helpmeet, not Mate, the Rapture of their Eternal Enduring Agape Love, will Overcome their Flesh Lust experienced in Heterosexual Body Birth.

Humans are Consumed with all the Other Evil Flesh Lusts of our short Lifespan, especially Hate of our Brothers/Sisters of Life and Polluting our Home Planet.

There is Good Eternal Flesh Agape Love for a Clone Helpmeet, with Eternal Physical Life After Birth on Planets and in Spaceships.

All Scripture, Myth, and High Tech Science Knowledge, can proves this in Genesis, with a High Tech Translation.

memberofKCFreeThinkers.org

On the subject today I think it is good the youth want to get along with other religions. I also think it is a shame they can’t be encouraged to really use their own minds to think as they want, not guided in the direction of some kind of organized religion.

I have experienced this in my own family. If I only had some kind of higher power it would be better than thinking on my own. Teach all religious history to children – allowing them a choice – then see what happens…Maybe they will see it is all a myth and choose total freedom without fear.

Will, does calling atheism a faith make you feel like you have won something? And you call me arrogant and ignorant. Call it what you want it is still total freedom from a thought-crime god like yours.

Jt said, “I don't believe for a minute that all beliefs should be respected. That seems to be the underlying assumption of this increasingly shallow interfaith line that Bill is promoting these days, without preconditions.”

Only your interpretation of you god is right, huh. Bill is trying for some kind of peace. You want everybody to follow your jesus god. You have tried to shame Delores and Susan into submission.

And tell us how you know jesus stood up that way. There isn’t enough evidence he was even a man. Perhaps if your knee didn’t jerk so much you could think properly. Were you taught this as a child? Surely you didn’t volunteer as an adult.

Authors@Google: Christopher Hitchens
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD0B-X9LJjs

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

Susan

Just Thinking wrote, "There is a long list of beliefs and behaviors that should not be respected in this country, but rather exposed and prevented." While I wholeheartedly agree that people need to be protected from behaviors like violence and harassment, I am concerned about how the idea of "preventing beliefs" might be interpreted/enforced by certain people.

And here I am not making assumptions about what Just Thinking meant when he said this -- I am just expressing my concern that since most people absorb their beliefs from their families as children, "preventing" certain beliefs would entail a great lowering of the quality of life for all famililes -- we would all be forced to give up a lot more of our privacy, and the First Ammendment right to free speech would become nothing but a big joke.

And WHO would decide WHICH beliefs needed to be prevented? Someone right here on this blog has implied that by not wanting to impose religion on my children, I am probably setting them up for harm and leaving them free for others to "give them experiences." There is such a wide range of parenting beliefs in this country, and such a wide range of educational philosophies (and some parents homeschool NOT to keep their kids from hearing about evolution and about kids with two mommies or two daddies -- but rather to keep their kids out of coercive educational environments) ...

In other words, there are growing numbers of families who are doing lots of things outside the norm when it comes to raising their kids, so I don't see how ANY parent would see it as benificial for some people in power to start dictating how individual families can do things, or which beliefs can or can't be expressed in the home. I definitely feel the First Ammendment needs to be protected, and stripping some parents of their rights would ultimately take away the rights of everyone. (Continued)

Susan

(Continued) Someone here the other day told me something like, "Sorry Susan no sale" -- and I am wondering where anyone got the idea that I am trying to sell anyone anything?! I am expressing my opnions about the effects of certain teachings, that are being put forward by SOME Christians -- i.e. the other day I was talking about how some Christians believe the earth is "already doomed" anyway, and we just need to persuade everyone we can to join us in God's lifeboat -- and I said that kids raised in this belief are less likely to see environmental issues as a worthwhile concern --

Seems pretty logical to me, but I also provided a link to the Assemblies of God's statement on environmental protection. At the end of this post, I will also provide another link, to the Southern Baptist Convention's website. The links to their actual articles are extremely long to type out, so I will just be giving the link to the website, and those interested can go there and just type "global warming" into their search engine to access their articles on this issue.

During my research the other night, I was encouraged to discover that some Evangelicals are indeed (as Bill said) getting more concerned about Creation Care. However, at the Southern Baptist Convention site, I saw an article where they express diagreement with their fellow Evangelicals who signed a statement titled "Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action."

Again, it doesn't matter if anyone still feels my opinions are not backed by adequate "documentation." I am not impressed by some of the so-called "documentation" some of you use to back up your claims that I'm not She who I say that I am, and your attacks on people like Cole.

The simple fact is: I support your First Ammendment rights to continue to be as small and petty as you choose to be -- I am not at all in favor of silencing you: I do think it would be more interesting if you shared your own well-thought-out views of actual issues, rather than confining your "views" mainly to personal attacks on the people you disagree with ...

But, ultimately, free speech is the best way to counter harmful ideologies. So I will continue to support free speech for all.

Here's that link I promised:

http://www.sbc.net/

Just Thinking

Susan,

When I use the "prevent," I'm talking about prevent as in the sense of preventing a disease. Dangerous beliefs should be contained, before they are able to gain a foothold. Some beliefs are dangerous in a free society such as America. For example, we should not so much as entertain the belief that someone has a right to rob innocents of their life; such a belief is as bad as any disease, and we should work to prevent it from forming. That's fundamental to the American system that protects life as an inalienable right. A belief that life is not a protected right, if widespread, would ultimately lead to the destruction of our society. So, we must do everything in our power to prevent such a diseased belief from forming in anyone's mind.

"And WHO would decide WHICH beliefs needed to be prevented?" America is a place where that is routinely done. Our country is founded on a balance between individual freedom and individual rights. Basically, we define rights, and protect those rights by not allowing people to interfere with others' rights. Life is considered an inalienable right, and a belief to the contrary should be prevented from spreading, as we would with swine flu.

Beliefs that, when acted upon, would destroy our freedoms and/or rights in this country should be prevented. Beliefs that people can interfere with the right of assembly are diseased. Beliefs that people can interfere with the right of worship are diseased. Beliefs that people can interfere with protected speech are diseased. It is a diseased belief that people can invade the privacy of others who are not harming anyone. It is also a diseased belief that someone can arbitrarily end the life of a child in a last-minute abortion.

Some diseases are better prevented.

adam harrison

Cole, before you can rest easy in your atheistic faith, you need to brush up on some practical matters like the origin of the universe itself, of life, and the degree to which human reason is reliable.

After all, you don't have that "theory of everything" yet that all the atheists keep promising us.

In fact, you can't demonstrate any of the above; all you can do is posture about it and make unsupported claims.

And don't pretend, in opposition to Just Thinking, that you think all believes should be respected. I know what you and Iggy say at your meetings, and I know you would do a lot more if you had the political power to do so.

Who ya kiddin, sport? LOL!

Red Biddy

Just before midnight last night "preacher DJ" added a couple of comments. I hope he was jesting - but I don't think so !

Cole, Susan - you've gotta read this !

First he said to Susan:"Global temperatures are dropping, not rising" but gave no "proof" for this statement, and then to Cole he said "There really is proof that the Bible is true. That proof is Jesus.
"The fool hath said in his heart" there is no scientific evidence but God. The Lord hath delivered him into our hands !

There is absolutely no scientific or historical evidence that such a person as Jesus ever existed, we do however have a great deal of evidence that global temperatures are rising and at an alarming rate and have now reached an irreversible point.Within the next 15 years parts of the world are going to suffer huge losses of water due to the melting of the glaciers. Billions of people (yes I said billions !) are going to be affected by this.

This is happening right now, in our lifetime, and if "preacherDJ" and others are preaching otherwise they are doing their people a gross and dangerous disservice.

Red Biddy

Susan,
I read your comments yesterday about environmentalism and religion and agree, that people who believe in the Rapture and the End Times probably have no incentive to protect Planet Earth from the ravages of industrialization.
But having said that I'm sure that most church going folks are not so stupid and are on board with the current scientific research. The proof is indisputable that we are warming up.
I think that opponents are mainly right wing Republican business types who don't want to spend the money to clean their act up. A guy I know well, who fits that category and is a life long atheist just won't accept that "we" have anything to do with global warming. We've only lately managed to persuade him that global warming is really happening....This is not a religious thing !
Meanwhile..Trying to find a bumper sticker I saw once "If the Rapture happens, can I have your car ?"

Susan

Just Thinking, I am not sure what you mean by "containing" dangerous beliefs "before they are able to gain a foothold." You talk about disease prevention -- and I can't help but think about how people with deadly and highly-contagious diseases are often quarantined whether they want to be or not.

Are you advising this sort of suppression for people who have ideas you deem to be dangerous? You say you support freedom of speech and freedom to assemble -- but do you support these same freedoms for people expressing pro-choice sentiments? When you say that diseased beliefs should be prevevnted from spreading, exactly what are you advocating?

I see some beliefs as harmful, too. Right here on this blog, I've expressed concerns about hierarchical belief-systems that support certain people being "over" other people (i.e. husbands over wives, parents over children). I've talked about so-called parenting experts like the Pearls (authors of "Train Up a Child"), who advise parents to institute harmful practices like blanket-training (teaching a baby to stay on a blanket by smacking her leg everytime she starts to crawl off).

I strongly disagree with this sort of teaching. I think it as harmful. But I am NOT in favor of suppressing the free speech of these people I disagree with. Because I think free speech is our best weapon against diseased ideas.

You talk about preventing disease, and I think we all know the best line of defense against disease is a healthy immune system. And how do we develop a healthy immune system? Of course things like nutrition and adequate rest are important supports -- but namely we build up immunities by getting exposed to stuff and fighting it off. Our immune system "remembers" many diseases it's dealt with before, so many things will only make us sick one time, and after that can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Of course, every analogy breaks down somewhere, and where the disease-analogy breaks down is with diseases like swine flu, which are highly-deadly and move fast -- therefore while I was glad when my girls got the chance to fight off chicken pox (though we moms worry with any illness), I wouldn't want them exposed to swine flu.

But with ideas, I think rational and open discussion is our best defense against diseased ways of thinking. And maybe you think so too, Just Thinking. I hope you will come back and clarify.

Susan

Hi, Red Biddy. Yes, I saw those comments of PreacherDJ (or DG?), and waited to see if someone more scientifically-knowledgeable than me would respond. I'm glad you have!

About Jesus -- of course you know I believe He existed and that He rose from the dead. But I agree that I don't have conclusive physical proof to back this up. My faith is based a lot upon things that have happened inside me, and also my perceptions of how God has reached out to me through various people at various times.

Of course, people like adamh and Will Graham will likely say that I should shut up about these personal experiences since I can't document them. But my experience so far of you Atheists, has been that you don't think I need documentation to offer my opinion -- you just don't think someone should try to "sell" you an idea without good evidence to back it up.

And, of course, each person has differing ideas as to what constitutes adequate evidence and documentation. adamh doesn't think Cole has sufficient evidence to support his Atheism. PreacherDG (DJ?) thinks we have all the evidence we need to support the resurrection -- but while I believe in it, too, I can see how someone else might remain un-persuaded. I say long live free speech! Individuals will always come to some different conclusions, and that's a good thing, because when we are challenged we will either realize we were wrong, or develop a stronger rationale to support our continued belief in something.

In our diversity, if we will listen to one another, we will all keep growing stronger.

Dolores Lear

adamh.
"Cole, before you can rest easy in your atheistic faith, you need to brush up on some practical matters like the origin of the universe itself, of life, and the degree to which human reason is reliable."

Me:
How can any Human, Religious or Atheist, made of the same Elements as the Universe, be able to Know the Origin of the Universe Elements?

A Supernatural God that made Life on Earth. Atheist Humans say Elements did a Big Bang, that made Life as we Know it.

Humans need to use their High Tech today, to at least Know All Life as we know it, are made from Elements.

Where did these Invisible Elements came from, that are in Visible and Invisible Life?

Maybe the Lord God, In our Human Image in Genesis, and still Alive today, Knows. Maybe Jesus Alive, for 2000 years with the Lord God, Knows.

But for the Present, we have to Translate the High Tech Knowledge of our Past, recorded as Supernatural in Religion and Myth.

We do Know how to Colonize a Planet like the Lord God did in Genesis. We do Know how to reproduce a Human Fetus, and Clone Animals in the Lab.

The Lord God Reproduced Cloned Male and Female Humans.

The Lord God, did come to Earth, Supernaturally, to a Planet that was null and void of Life like Venus.

Humans on Earth do not Know, how the Lord God a Human Society Evolved, and traveled in Space in fiery chariot Spaceships.

So how can we keep challenging each other, on where the Life Elements Came from? God is not a Good Answer with High Tech Science.

With High Tech Translations of Religion and Myth, Humans can Know how High Tech Life began on Earth, and was during the time of Noah/Atlantis.

That will get Humans on the Correct High Tech Road to find out about Human Life on Planets and in Spaceships, before Life was Colonized on Earth.

Knowing Where the GOD/Science Elements Came from, is not necessary for Human Peace on Earth.

Will Graham

Red Biddy's claim that there is "absolutely no historical evidence that such a person as Jesus ever existed" is strikingly uninformed. In fact, I think he knows his statement is false, and is simply wanting someone to challenge him.

Even Bart Ehrman, much loved by the local atheists at KCFreethought does not dispute the existence of Jesus.

And according to Wikipedia, which Red Biddy loves so much, the sources are extended.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

Will Graham

Susan, there you go again...please stop lying about what I said. I NEVER said you should "shut up" about your personal experiences.

I said you should not use them as a basis for smearing whole groups.

PreacherDJ

Susan and Red Biddy,

Susan, you were waiting for someone more knowledgeable to refute my statements? I think you could have done better than Red Biddy's "Nuh-uh".

My statements were not in jest, they were quite sincere. And they are not unsubstantiated.

To say that there is "absolutely no historical evidence that such a person as Jesus ever existed" is simply oblivious. Virtually no historian, not even the ridiculous Jesus Seminar, denies that there was an historical figure named Jesus. And if you were threatened with death for proclaiming something that you knew was a lie, wouldn't you back down? But the apostles didn't, because Jesus' resurrection was the truth, and was an important enough truth to die for. And it is because of their actions that Christianity was not immediately wiped out.

As for "global warming," there are so many things wrong with that concept that it is amazing anyone believes in it at all. Although temperatures did go up for a while, they have been dropping for the past several years. This website talks about how much they dropped just this past year according to FOUR different sources: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/02/19/january-2008-4-sources-say-globally-cooler-in-the-past-12-months/.

I hope that helps clear up your confusion.

Susan

It's been exciting to learn, as Bill mentioned, about how some evangelicals have really been taking an active role in trying to help solve our global warming problem. This is probably old news to some of you who keep up with things better.

But for anyone who hasn't heard about this other old piece of news, I thought I'd share what I've just learned about the National Association of Evangelicals. A couple of years ago, Focus on the Family Chairman James Dobson, and some other right-wing folks, sent a letter to the NAE seeking the ousting of their Vice President, the Reverend Richard Cizik, for his "relentless campain against global warming."

The weird thing was, Dobson and the other signers hadn't even chosen to BECOME MEMBERS of the NAE themselves. I'm not sure why they thought their opinion would carry so much clout. And Kudos to the NAE for refusing to be cowed!

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/marchweb-only/109-53.0.html

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/national-association-evangelicals-rebuffs-dobson

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