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How is Fred Phelps Biblically wrong?

Daring Blasphemer BN-0 2013/04/20 13:35:47
God DOES hate fags. That is just a fact. Homosexuality is punishable by death according to the Bible. How is he wrong in his interpretation of scripture? How do you KNOW you are correct in YOUR interpretation?

If he is correct, why are you not standing with him?
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  • FAWKES' NOOSE ~ ΔTX 2013/04/20 13:56:24
    FAWKES' NOOSE ~ ΔTX
    +7
    An obvious error.



    12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. 13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. -Mark 11:12-14

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  • BlunderWoman ~ FTGOP~ BN 0 2013/04/25 14:48:25
    BlunderWoman ~ FTGOP~ BN 0
    +1
    fred phelps is ugly

    Fred is almost as ugly as the Buy-Bull.
  • Giantfan 2013/04/23 15:43:41
    Giantfan
    +2
    Many things were punishable by death in the bible. The less intelligent the person the more they tend to be violent rather than think things through and come to a logical conclusion. They just remove the problem in this case gays by death.
  • Adam 2013/04/23 01:48:33
    Adam
    +1
    If you want to go strictly scholastic, then the holiness codes of Leviticus were considered to be null and void with Jesus, and the rest of the (Extremely limited) examples were strange and nonsensical translations. Sodoms sin was not Homosexuality, it was that the men that wanted to commit that homosexual act wanted to do so via Rape. Which is pretty uncontroversially wrong, and the "Gay is evil" interpretation suddenly looks very silly. Other places in the Bible replace references to insane pagan sex rituals with homosexuality, or just don't use any words that relate to homosexuality at all.

    The more broad answer is that most Christians know that the Bible was written by imperfect men. They know that they can learn from it, but without personal insight, intelligence, and a deep and abiding sense of love and compassion, it just becomes an ink blot test for whatever you want to believe. I have known plenty of Christians who know that God does not hate gay people because they believe in a loving God, and a God who hates gay people is incompatible with that. A handful of people whose translation of a translation seems to say something does not override the moral sense that they derive from religion. It doesn't make sense to accuse Christians of being mindlessly dogmatic, and th...

    If you want to go strictly scholastic, then the holiness codes of Leviticus were considered to be null and void with Jesus, and the rest of the (Extremely limited) examples were strange and nonsensical translations. Sodoms sin was not Homosexuality, it was that the men that wanted to commit that homosexual act wanted to do so via Rape. Which is pretty uncontroversially wrong, and the "Gay is evil" interpretation suddenly looks very silly. Other places in the Bible replace references to insane pagan sex rituals with homosexuality, or just don't use any words that relate to homosexuality at all.

    The more broad answer is that most Christians know that the Bible was written by imperfect men. They know that they can learn from it, but without personal insight, intelligence, and a deep and abiding sense of love and compassion, it just becomes an ink blot test for whatever you want to believe. I have known plenty of Christians who know that God does not hate gay people because they believe in a loving God, and a God who hates gay people is incompatible with that. A handful of people whose translation of a translation seems to say something does not override the moral sense that they derive from religion. It doesn't make sense to accuse Christians of being mindlessly dogmatic, and then not permit them to take any course of thought that does not match with your prejudices.

    ...That being said, there is a LOT of Christians who are closer to Phelps then they would ever want to admit, and are only not as bad because of willful ignorance of the Bible and sweet, merciful hypocrisy. But there are exceptions.
    (more)
  • Daring ... Adam 2013/04/23 03:35:40
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    Firstly, If Jesus made the OT null and void, why is it still attached to the NT?
    Why did Jesus say that not a tittle of the Law (the first five books of the OT) was to be ignored before he returned? Why do Christians cling to the Ten Commandments (which ever set they happen to think is the real one)?

    God makes in quite clear in the Law that Gays are to be stoned to death along with unruly children and adulterers. The NT (though not Jesus himself) makes it clear that this is the truth.

    Modern Christians have been tamed by science and the morals of a society that are far superior to the morals of the God of either the Jew, the Christians or the Muslims. The Christians that are NOT mindlessly dogmatic allow those who are to thrive, because like moderate Muslims, they understand that these fanatics are following the book as it is written, not ignoring the parts they do not like and justifying that willful ignorance with the claim that Jesus was about turning the other cheek.
  • Mark In... Daring ... 2013/04/23 03:42:34
    Mark In Irvine
    +1
    " why is it still attached to the NT?"

    Because by and large the proponents of biblical thinking see god as a prison warden with rules the transgression of which he will punish. Their idea of god is the "great and terrible oz" of the old testament, because they are too insecure (or too terrorized by authoritarian parents) to be able live with the idea that they are responsible for making their own decisions in their own lives.

    IMHO.
  • Adam Daring ... 2013/04/23 10:28:16
    Adam
    +1
    I never said the OT, I said the holiness codes of Leviticus. The shellfish, 2 kinds of cloth, sowing multiple kinds of seeds stuff.

    Ultimately, the problem here is that you can't follow any book ridgedly, and as it is written. Not even a science textbook: those prove to be wrong constantly, and that is not a weakness. Its a strength that the followers are willing to change their mind when new information presents itself. Christians are not required to be more mindlessly dogmatic then the most scientific-minded atheist. They just, well, usually are. It is possible to be Christian and not be threatened by observable reality. It's all too rare, but not impossible.
  • Daring ... Adam 2013/04/23 12:37:25
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    +1
    I do not think we are in much disagreement. The one point of contention, it seems, is that you are OK with ignoring the parts of the Bible you don't like. I think you have not gone far enough. By picking out the parts you like and ignoring the parts you do not, you are making your own faith. It is my observation that most religious people do this, it is also observable that the holy books forbid this. If the Bible can be taken to mean anything you want and anything I want and anything anybody else wants, than the book is meaningless.

    The difference is that science is designed to change. It is designed to move forward as new truths are uncovered. As new things are uncovered the old are replaced unceremoniously and the new paradigm is embraced. Religion is designed as THE TRUTH in written form—unchanging and unchangable. By picking and choosing what to believe you are become your own moral compass and do not need the religion to which you cling as you are taking your truth from the world around you. That is as it should be, because reality is not as it was when men wrote the Bible.
  • Adam Daring ... 2013/04/23 16:21:00
    Adam
    +1
    I see no reason why religion needs to be that way, and I know Christians who agree wholeheartedly. Why can't a christian believe that the Bible is a complex mix of truth and parable, a lens through which you can discover your own moral code, guided by principles of love? As a scientist rejects a hypothesis that doesn't agree with the data, and an atheist rejects a previous morality that does not do good, a christian can reject a part of a sacred but flawed text that is inconsistent with the heart of their faith. Perhaps this is rare, but in reality, most atheists are also jerks too. Maybe a truly good person who is a christian reads the bible, and have more questions then answers. Maybe you call that meaningless. But maybe having more questions is exactly what you should have.
  • Adam Daring ... 2013/04/23 16:38:16
    Adam
    +1
    Here's an alternative question: if your perspective on Christianity says that Christians should agree with Phelps, and barely any Christians do, doesn't this show that your understanding of Christianity is wrong? How does it follow that rejecting a hateful dogma is a bad thing? Isn't it possible that some Christians are more capable of critical thinking and rejecting stringent dogma then you give them credit for?

    Not to discredit some COMPLETELY valid criticisms you have, of course. I just think that Religion or lack thereof is blown out of proportion. It's little more then the window dressing on someone who is already a jerk or a saint. Mother Teresa would have been a charitable Atheist, a Islamic Terrorist would have just been a nationalist terrorist, Franklin would have been a genius even if he was more religious and stalin would have pulled out his religion as justification if he had the option. The person trumps belief.
  • Daring ... Adam 2013/04/24 01:54:20 (edited)
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    +1
    There is no reason why a person can not take the parts of the Bible they like and form their own morality based on that and the society of which they are a part.
    There is no reason this can not be a valid form of morality, because it is EXACTLY how nearly everyone of any religion DOES form their moral compass. The first problem is that it negates the validity of the text. In other words the Bible just becomes like the writings of Plato, Virgil, Homer. There is nothing to worship if the dogma is scattered or removed. Everyone has their own idea of what God is or is not (this is again what Christians do now, but do not admit it or even understand they are doing it).
    The second problem is that those who do take the text AS IT IS WRITTEN must be made the pariah. They must be treated as the crazies they are and not ignored or tacitly supported by those with more sense.
    The third problem is. if parts are true and parts are false, who gets to decide? It matters because if your God wants the Laws to be obeyed, then it is the duty of these 'part' Christians to enforce them. If some are right and others wrong, where should the line be drawn? Gay marriage is case in point. Most Black people are liberal, but they are also religious and their religion tells them gay marriage is wrong. Are they right? How is it decided if each individual interprets the Bibles truth and parable for themselves?

    EDIT: Accidently hit enter key.
  • Adam Daring ... 2013/04/24 02:24:46
    Adam
    +1
    I think that this is the heart of it. You are arguing what religion too often IS, while I am arguing about what it CAN and SHOULD BE. The thing that scares many Christians, and confuses many atheists, is that both the moral Christian and Atheist are on remarkably even footings. Neither really knows the truth, and both must rely on their own observation and wisdom in order to try to come to a conclusion that might do some good in this complicated world. Its probably quite terrifying to admit that your view of something as significant as god himself is basically just a lens on which you view morality.Bui from my perspective as a person raised in a remarkably progressive church, it really doesn't seem all that strange.

    I recommend looking into the UCC as a religious organization. I'm far from an organized religion type these days, but I maintain a firm respect for the church I was raised in. I still remember the day we decided that we would marry gay couples who wanted to get married, long before ANY state allowed it legally (This was in 1999), or when my mom told me how her first Bible study class started with the instructor saying, "Okay, lets get this out of the way first. The big bang happened. And evolution is real, and its pointless to try to argue otherwise". Theres also a great essay floating around on their website about how God would prefer an Atheist who arrived at their opinion out of personal conviction to a Christian who simply believes what he is told.
  • Daring ... Adam 2013/04/24 05:21:55
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    +1
    We are not in disagreement as to how to make decisions in a society. I am simply pointing out that your view is overshadowed by those with less of a grasp on reality and a death grip on scripture and that the moderates are NOT standing against such idiocy.

    As I said, finding wisdom in the Bible is possible, holding it up as the moral exemplar and claiming the God in it's pages has any meaning in the real world is dangerous and has been proven so throughout it's bloody history.
  • Adam Daring ... 2013/04/24 18:17:41
    Adam
    +1
    I would say it does have meaning, but certainly not an infailable meaning, or one that isn't open to interpretation.

    As for the moderate Christians, well, they don't want anything more to do with those other Christians then you do. It doesn't reflect on their faith any more then it reflects on yours. Most Moderate Churches seem to me to operate at the local level. The reach of the church is as far as the boarder to the next town. Their scope is as broad as the community luncheon and food shelf, not taking responsibility for a broad and pervasivefundamentalism in strangers. Which is probably for the best, really. You want to see moral peerpressure, try going into the church I grew up in, and say something bad about gay marriage, and then get torn to shreds.

    Alternatively, maybe moderate christians don't want to associate with there hardliner associates because they fear they by doing so, then when people talk about them on, say, an internet poll, they will get lumped in with people like Fred Phelps. Just a thought.
  • Daring ... Adam 2013/04/25 02:13:40
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    +1
    Any meaning you find is yours alone. It can have no more collective meaning than any book of philosophy, because you have removed the dogma.

    Fundamentalists ABSOLUTELY reflect badly on moderate Christians in the same way the radical Islam reflects badly on Sufis, who are a moderate as Muslims can be. To say they reflect just as badly of MY faith is to misunderstand my atheism for faith. I have no faith in anything in the way you define the word.

    Until moderates stand up AGAINST and speak out AGAINST fundamentalists they WILL be lumped in with them as they are the SAME faith. To outsiders the differences between Baptists and Presbyterians is something that can only be discerned with close study. The churches you are used to and the ones you grew up in are not the ones raising money for political action—but you can not be blind to the mega churches of the evangelicals, the collective buying power of the Mormon church with it's compulsory tithing or biggest of all the Catholics—only slightly weakened by the ongoing child rape scandals. YOUR church may not be dangerous as a body, but their ignoring of the dangers of those who bother to FOLLOW the book IS a danger. And the blame is NOT shared by atheists, as we do not profess ANY truth from that abhorrent holy book.
  • Adam Daring ... 2013/04/25 03:06:00
    Adam
    +1
    My point about reflecting on your faith is exactly what you said: It Doesn't reflect at all. Tell me, should Atheists take a stand against atrocities commited by other Atheists? I think the answer is that it would be nice, but their status as an Atheist does not obligate them in any way. You may see a connection between the small church that I grew up with (I can't really call myself a church-person anymore) and a larger, more fundamentalist group, but to assume that the small and independent church sees these large, fundamentalist organizations as anything but profoundly alien is as great a misunderstanding of those churches as you experience when some fundie assumes that atheists have no moral compass. If you value people based on their decency instead of what they call their belief system, then you as an atheist have exactly the same responsibility to negate the power of those fundies as the small, decent church. That responsibility is not as a member of a religious persuasion, but as people of good moral character. Yes, people will judge moderate Christians based on the actions of the worst christians, but then again, people are judging Czech citizens based on the actions of Chechens. Thats not a good standard by which to assign blame.

    Just maybe, those small, unfortunately...
    My point about reflecting on your faith is exactly what you said: It Doesn't reflect at all. Tell me, should Atheists take a stand against atrocities commited by other Atheists? I think the answer is that it would be nice, but their status as an Atheist does not obligate them in any way. You may see a connection between the small church that I grew up with (I can't really call myself a church-person anymore) and a larger, more fundamentalist group, but to assume that the small and independent church sees these large, fundamentalist organizations as anything but profoundly alien is as great a misunderstanding of those churches as you experience when some fundie assumes that atheists have no moral compass. If you value people based on their decency instead of what they call their belief system, then you as an atheist have exactly the same responsibility to negate the power of those fundies as the small, decent church. That responsibility is not as a member of a religious persuasion, but as people of good moral character. Yes, people will judge moderate Christians based on the actions of the worst christians, but then again, people are judging Czech citizens based on the actions of Chechens. Thats not a good standard by which to assign blame.

    Just maybe, those small, unfortunately in the minority churches are doing EXACTLY what they should. Maybe attacking bigots would feel cathartic, but maybe it would also be a useless gesture. Maybe the place of the small, decent church is to lead by example, to show at the grassroots level who they are and what they stand for, to accept people in a spirit of love and tolerance and make that difference in their community. Maybe the path to a better world is not set by fiery rhetoric, but by convincing the brainwashed to follow a better path, one soup kitchen, gay marriage ceremony, and interfaith charity event at a time.
    (more)
  • Daring ... Adam 2013/04/25 05:19:21
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    +1
    Atheists are forced to defend themselves against attacks on Stalin and Pol Pot in nearly every debate. Even Hitler, a life long Catholic, is hurled at us! The difference is that Stalin did not kill FOR atheism. He in fact built a religion of state worship by twisting Marx's ideas into a totalitarian regime. Dogma is the problem, not his lack of belief. I accept his atheism and condemn his power grab.

    Small churches SHOULD be leading by example. They should be overturning the money changers, as Jesus did. They should be pointing out that Jesus was not judgemental of the maligned groups of his day. He hung out with tax collectors and whores. Jesus was not about power and money in this world. That is your message of faith that you should be carrying to the hypocrites. Cowering in your community church is un-Christ like as these pretenders ruin the good name of your savior.

    We are on the same side on this issue, moderate theists have just not joined the fight.
  • Adam Daring ... 2013/04/25 14:37:43
    Adam
    +1
    id argue that extremists don't generally hurt people FOR religion either. Extremism causes them to turn to religion for justification, not so much that religion creates extremists where there was none. When faith is a pervasive part of your life, it colors everything you do. Usually, its the inspiration to commit small acts of kindness. You would have done that small act of kindness anyways, but if your religious, that colors how you view that act. If you respond to political and socioeconomic factors with outrage and irrational violence, and you happen to call a god the most important thing in your life, then you are going to say that your violence is gods will. Thats a correlation. Its not a causation. People have always responded to real incentives a lot more then they respond to some abstract set of open ended philosophies. Go far back enough in an example of "Religious" hatred, and you will find that faith was not the proximal cause. Faiths with a central figurehead just make for a more discreet, self contained target.

    Im reminded of the outcry against the Muslim community for not condemning terrorism. The reality is of course that they do condemn it, constantly. Same is true with the moderate churches. Every time I look at some pro gay rights event, I look for the gro...
    id argue that extremists don't generally hurt people FOR religion either. Extremism causes them to turn to religion for justification, not so much that religion creates extremists where there was none. When faith is a pervasive part of your life, it colors everything you do. Usually, its the inspiration to commit small acts of kindness. You would have done that small act of kindness anyways, but if your religious, that colors how you view that act. If you respond to political and socioeconomic factors with outrage and irrational violence, and you happen to call a god the most important thing in your life, then you are going to say that your violence is gods will. Thats a correlation. Its not a causation. People have always responded to real incentives a lot more then they respond to some abstract set of open ended philosophies. Go far back enough in an example of "Religious" hatred, and you will find that faith was not the proximal cause. Faiths with a central figurehead just make for a more discreet, self contained target.

    Im reminded of the outcry against the Muslim community for not condemning terrorism. The reality is of course that they do condemn it, constantly. Same is true with the moderate churches. Every time I look at some pro gay rights event, I look for the group from the United Church of Christ waveing rainbow flags, and some of the most outraged responses to Christian extremism that I have seen has come from Christians. I don't know how many times I have heard the story of Christians walking by people in need on the way to church, and how decidedly unchristian that is, and I always hear this story from Christians. Christians ARE fighting extremism. They are doing so in the ways that they can, with the resources they have, and usually that doesnt grab attention. And in the spirit of praying in the closet, the majority of this fight is through individuals fighting extremism as individuals, not people trying to aggrandize themselves with a stated faith. over half the people in this country support gay marriage, and 80% are Christian (thats a vaugely remembered statistic, not a solid one). That leaves 30% of the nation as christian supporters, and I promise you that a lot of those vocal opponents of Christian fundementalism are themselves Christian. They just dont need to advertise that fact.
    (more)
  • Daring ... Adam 2013/04/26 03:17:09
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    Fair points. Thank you for the debate.
  • Adam Daring ... 2013/04/26 21:39:18
    Adam
    +1
    No problem, I think you raise some completely valid criticisms that more people should consider yourself. I also think that we are at that point where additional conversations would be beating a dead horse. Its kind of nice to actually get to that point without someone going nuts/blocking/invoking hitler/calling the other person scum, isn't it? Such an obscure rarity.
  • Daring ... Adam 2013/04/27 00:03:56
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    Unfortunately, true.
  • Lady Whitewolf 2013/04/21 12:46:37
    Lady Whitewolf
    +3
    IF god exists, he needs a good phychiatrist.
  • Mark In... Lady Wh... 2013/04/23 03:42:44
  • BHGOzzy 2013/04/21 07:27:31
    BHGOzzy
    +2
    He took a page right out of Scientology's playbook. If you can't beat em', be obnoxious and sue em
  • Daring ... BHGOzzy 2013/04/21 07:34:38
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    +2
    But is he Biblically in error?
  • BHGOzzy Daring ... 2013/04/21 07:36:11
    BHGOzzy
    +2
    For the OT? No.
  • Daring ... BHGOzzy 2013/04/21 13:25:07 (edited)
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    +3
    It is all one book. Christians can not take what they like out of the OT and toss the rest. Jesus said that not a tittle of the law would pass until all is fulfilled.
  • BHGOzzy Daring ... 2013/04/21 19:07:30
    BHGOzzy
    +2
    Here I thought the OT was a heavily edited translation from Hebrew of the Torah (The Hebrew holy book) while the NT was the later Christian additions to the religion before it split off to form its own sub-religion of the ancient Yahwest cult.
  • Mark In... Daring ... 2013/04/23 03:43:58 (edited)
    Mark In Irvine
    +1
    it is not all one book. the timid and cowering choose to hang onto the OT because it reinforces their idea that they are worthless bugs without freedom to make their own choices ...
  • Daring ... Mark In... 2013/04/23 05:53:28
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    +2
    You are crediting the sheep with that work of their shepherds. The OT is still attached not because the cowering sheep have chosen it. It is attached because the shepherds want the sheep cowering.
  • Mark In... Daring ... 2013/04/23 22:28:00
  • morris44 2013/04/21 04:00:45
    morris44
    +4
    Good post. Phelps quotes the bible, but bible followers say he is not representative of them. Why? Yet they are convinced that radical muslims represent all muslims?
  • Daring ... morris44 2013/04/21 05:30:52
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    +1
    They also hate homosexuals and believe them to be an abomination.
  • Queen B 2013/04/21 01:51:32
    Queen B
    +2
    It's highly likely that Fred Phelps is himself gay. Those with the strongest hatred of people that are gay could just be hiding in the closet with their own self-loathing. He's a hateful and disgusting creature whom I'm sure God wishes would just shut up already.
  • boognish989 2013/04/20 21:05:39
    boognish989
    +3
    he's wrong,biblically, because he's not taking his bigotry and hatred far enough.
  • Daring ... boognis... 2013/04/21 05:31:55
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    +1
    That is, in fact, true!
  • Swordfish 2013/04/20 18:45:56 (edited)
    Swordfish
    +1
    Fred Phelps is mentally insane. I have no doubt of this. He quite literally has a mental problem, and so do his followers. He's driven by an incestuous sex fetish and a creepy desire to be leader of a hated cult organization. That's why I'm not standing with him.
    *Edit: sorry for stealing your comment Mark. Didn't even see it there. I guess we have a bit of a psychic link going on, hm? ;D
  • Daring ... Swordfish 2013/04/21 05:35:45
    Daring Blasphemer BN-0
    +1
    What he is saying is right out of scripture. How do you justify your claim that he is insane? Is it because he can read?
  • Mark In Irvine 2013/04/20 17:59:45
    Mark In Irvine
    +4
    Phelps is an insane man, most likely driven by self-loathing based on repressed sexual interests. He is like the dangerous psychopath who seeks to kill what he hates in himself as a result of horrible upbringing by an ignorant, fanatical, insane personal background.

    Jesus gave us the example of unconditional love for his fellow man to the point of total personal sacrifice. Phelps is as far-removed from that belief as is conceivable. He is a devil.
  • Daring ... Mark In... 2013/04/21 05:38:59
  • Mark In... Daring ... 2013/04/22 20:14:32 (edited)
    Mark In Irvine
    +1
    If Jesus "fulfilled the law", as some say he did, what continuing effect does the OT "law" have , if any?

    As so many others have reminded us ad nauseum, if the "OT law" has continuing validity, why is the failure to enforce so many other "abominations" (consumption of shrimp, creation/wearing of mixed-fiber fabric) and admonitions (stone to death the woman who is not a virgin at marriage; stone to death the disrespectful son/daughter; stone to death the person who works on the Sabbath) not an issue with the biblical scholars? Or do you maintain that Jesus did NOT fulfill the OT law?

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