Phx The War Room: Open Forum

Discussion in 'SouthWest Region Discussion' started by wardenx, Jul 9, 2003.

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  1. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    PRINCESS I totally agree. Couldn't agree more. But it's what we have and I think, judging from persoanl experience in D.C., that there are still many honorable men and women in our Capitol who are trying to make just those changes you're talking about. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who are trying to make their own forms of change, not necessarily for the better. Plus, as was mentioned earlier, there are those factions that AREN'T voted in who have their grubby little hands in the soup and use their power and influence for their own motives. Now THAT gets me all riled up. They have no place in government decision-making.

    ZOO I think that, if people actually were to read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, they would find that we have lost much of what our founding fathers thought America should be. And, yes, I think we have, according to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, both the constitutional right to ammend the government should it prove faulty, and the revolutionary right to overthrow the government should it grow despotic.

    EDIT: Did any of you guys ever hear about how Texas was trying to seceede about five years ago? I have a friend who lives down there who was part of it and, according to him, they had backing form several foriegn governments for their banking and monetary system as well as a interim government already set up to begin the outsing of the US government already in place. It didn't get far. Our government squashed it quickly and made sure the people got pounded for it. Even though Texas is still the only state that I know of who maintains the right (as of their assumption into the union) to secede from the union any time they felt like it.
  2. Princess_Skywalker_ Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2002
    star 4
    Dunno if I necessarily agree with that.
    Too much government control and too high of taxes suck.
    And as for religion, it would be TERRIBLE to be forced to believe ONE WAY.
    I personally believe that the world would be a much better place if people were accepting and tolerant of different religions. You don't have to agree with them or believe in them, but just because they are different, doesn't mean you are right and they are wrong. People killing one another in the name of God is the biggest hypocrisy there is. I thought religion was to guide people, right and wrong, to show faith and love. I never understood how murder & intolerance & violence factored into that.

    And as for breaking away from the government, well maybe I am naive and have idealistic beliefs still, but I do feel that in this country, we COULD do that. Should we is another story. But I do believe we have freedom for the most part here.
  3. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    Actually, if ou look throughout the history of religion, it was really just a means by which certain groups were able to govern the "lesser" beings of their area. Much of the history of religion is about telling people what to believe and how to act. It wasn't until the Messianic Jews came into being that people actually began to espouse any real belief in tolerance of any kind. It was always "I'm right, your wrong and I have enough power to either make you follow my way or subjugate/destroy you."
  4. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    Princess, the funny thing I get out of the topic of religion in government, is when people tell me that our government was founded on the Christian faith. Well, I hate to tell them, but they deliberately left out any mention of any faith in making of the Constitution and little mention of any diety. And, in the Bill of Rights, we have the First Ammendment which guarantees the right to freedom of religion. I think you're right and the government should make no mention of any faith and it should not come into play in our decision making. A person can have their faith but they can also make decisions based on facts and evidence and make rational decisions without resorting to etherical beliefs that are different for everyone involved if you look close enough.
  5. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    The only truth in that is that was created by men of monotheistic faith... Because, yes ladies and gentlemen, there were Jews involved in the writing of the Constitution... Dutch ones, but they were still Jewish
  6. Princess_Skywalker_ Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2002
    star 4
    Believe me, I am not saying that the people that started this country were tolerant of other religions, just look at the Salem Witch Trials. We left to escape persecution and then burned people at the stake because we THOUGHT they were evil?? Hello!

    But hypocrisy has always gone hand in hand with religion in my opinion. I don't believe in any certain religion anymore. Sometimes I question whether I DO believe in a God. But I am extremely thankful that I am able to feel that way in this country. I am glad I am not FORCED to go along with a certain religion. That is one of the positive things about this country. Freedom of choice baby! :D
  7. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    Personally, I don't subscribe to any faith. I think they all have a great idea, but implementation lacks something to be desired. The root of the word for religion come from the latin word "religerie" (sp?) which means "to bind together again." Name me one religion that brings people together. They all may say what they want, but they all set up the basic problem with the "Us vs. Them" scenario. And that will never work to bring about peace.

    EDIT: BTW, we can't ascribe intent to an institution such as a religion. The problem comes from the people in a religion, not from the tenets of any onee in particular. Interpretation of those tenets causes discent which has led to some of the atrocities throughout history. The intolerance people have towards others has little or nothing to do with their beliefs. It's fear that tears people apart. People are afraid of what is to become of them after they die or if anything happens at all. People who need to believe in something generally take great offense at having to question their faith. It shows them that maybe what they believe is wrong or incomplete. Not saying that everyone in any religion believes this, but that is they general bent of the average mentality. As Einstein once said, "Great spirits have ever encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." Sadly, the majority of people are mediocre at best.
  8. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    For me, the key has been not to focus on the larger entity, and deal w/ the smaller scale... I was fortunate enough to find a wonderfully, open and accepting community of people to share my journey of faith with. Not a place for someone to dictate to me how I should behave and what I should believe in, but a group of people who are willing to hear my thoughts and help me through my own voyage of self-discovery. For me faith is a very personal experience. Which is why everyone is so shocked to hear of my peculiar habits (like going to church, serving on boards and leading children's choir), but fatih is something that can only be truly understood by an individual. Though the place I choose to search for that definition is a church of a certain denomination, I do not follow the tenents of that denomination in many ways. One of the problems with "religion" is that it tries to pigeon hole large groups of people's beliefs into a nice little package. And that just does not work, at least it does not work for me, and many others I have come acros over the years.
  9. Princess_Skywalker_ Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2002
    star 4
    amen.

    Dogma really sums up my views on religion quite well. Although I also enjoyed Bruce Almighty in regards to a religious viewpoint. A little cheesy but cute.
  10. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    Amen, ZOO. Ones personal communion with God is just that, PERSONAL. No one can tell me what to believe or think. In an honest and open forum, you could talk about your beliefs with someone else and share for the betterment of boht parties. That way you can grow together and learn from one another. Isn't that what it's all about? Growing and becomming more than we were before? If we don't help each other and stop accusing each other of faults that only exist when compared to someone else, then how can we hope to make the world a better place? Just as a single smile makes the world better, if only by that little bit, so too could selfless compassion for each other help sow the seeds for a kinder, gentler world.

    Not that THAT is going to happen any time soon, if at all. But it's not about the destination, it's about the journey and how we get there.
  11. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    Guess what wardenx? It is happening... Right now... We just had 3 people dicussing views on religion and not one person tried to convert, subjugate or rile any of the other people... It's a wonderful thing :)

    Problem is, that we seem to lose brain cells in large groups. There's a saying that "you should never underestimate the stupidity of large groups" (I'm paraphrasing really, since I can't remember the real quote).
  12. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    wardenx your last post reminds me of a discussion we had in the RMFF a while back. It dealt w/ people's beliefs in an afterlife... I need to go dig that one back up

    Anyway, for me it's not about living my life based on a supposed punishment or reward after I am gone. What good does that do? I live for the things that I can here and now to make the lives of the people around me better, longer, richer whatever. When I'm gone, my immortality will come from the fact that I was able touch another life and make a difference. It's that moment when you can change the outcome of any scenario that will cause you to live on for eternity. Example: I advise and counsel my goddaughter during her turbulent relationship with her mother right now, and she is better able to understand where her mother is coming from and can then accept the things imposed upon her. Also, her mother is able to continue, not only her parenting role, but also a special relationship with her daughter that she may have lost if the animosity between them was allowed to grow and fester. I could die today and know that my actions in this situation has given them both something very precious that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. That in turn will give my goddaughter a foundation from which to build bridges w/ her own children someday... And the cycle just keeps on going.

    That's immortality to me :D

    Do you believe in an afterlife?
  13. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    I have many thoughts about life, death and what may follow. I'd have to say that I believe that all things are patterns of energy. Thoughts, matter, space... It's all energy. What distinguishes us is the ability to do just that and contemplate our mortality. If I am nothing more than a harmonious jumble of energy working together, then that includes thoughts. The Mind differs from the brain. What I consider ME is more than just a body. If I loose a finger, am I less of a person? If I lost both arms and both legs would I be less of a person? No, of course not. So who I am is more than these things. It is this something more that I believe in. I can't say what this is or that anything will happen when I die. What I do believe in is that death is the last great adventure you can have in this life and I intend to enjoy every minute of it. ;) Finding out what comes after will be a wonderful surprise. If I can, I'll let you know what I find when I get there. Deal? ;)
  14. jada_marnew Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 5
    ZOO,

    The afterlife, very testy subject. Do I believe in it? Yes. I believe in heaven and in hell. Do I think I'm going to heaven? Only by the grace of God will I be there. For me, it's not about what I do and yet it is. I find the more I know, the less I understand. So I hope and pray that what I believe it right.

    Now, do I think anyone here (as in on this board) is going to hell? Let me put this as bluntly as possible Who the hell am I to say? I do ascribe to the teachings of the bible. Do I think it's foolproof? No. It's translated by people i.e. fools. I do believe in judge not lest ye be judged . And that is one thing I'll cram down the throats of every hypocritical christian I come across.

    I may not agree with what you or anyone else says. But I TRY not to judge. I emphasis try because I am human and therefore I do find myself in judgement and when I do I kick myself hard and hope it hurts. Such as if there were to be a person who say killed a bunch of people, was convicted, sentanced to death, went to whatever chamber screaming he or she was glad they killed the people, etc. I would probably think to myself "That person is going to hell."



    So, WARDENX, luminous beings are we?
  15. Master_R0nin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2002
    star 2
    So I see this topic that seems to have sprung wings and taken off. I read through all the posts (which is rather time consuming, I'm not exactly a fast reader, though I like to read), and discover that the latest topics is one of my favorites.

    Why? Because I believe differently then the great polarities (There is no afterlife, you die and that's it/There is a Heaven and a Hell as physical places, and you WILL go to one of them). Before I begin, yes, my belief is grounded in my religeous up-bringing, but the more I read the Bible, the more I believe it myself, as a true human, capable of forming my own opinions and beliefs.

    So what the hell happens when you die? Your heart stops beating. Shortly thereafter, brain functions stop. I'm no expert, so I can't list all the steps, but you get the picture. People cry, you end up in a hole in the ground (or crispified in a crematorium). You're dead. You know nothing.

    You continue to know nothing until one of two things happen. If by God's judgement you are chosen to live forever (will discuss how this conclusion is come to momentarily), all of the sudden, at an undetermined time ("Man knows not the day, nor the hour...") you will become conscious, your body anew, and you will rise from your grave (or urn, etc.), and join God in the clouds, for it is the Second Coming.

    I'll get back to what happens to those that are not chosen in a moment. The question of the moment, and all moments, for some; HOW does the Creator of all come to such a decision? Well, He made it already. Actually, His Son helped Him make it 2000 years ago (roughly, I know our Caesar calender is all messed up, meh). "All have sinned and fallen short of the mercy of God." NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY nothing that you DO on this planet, no great deed(s), etc., will get you into the party upstairs. By God's reckoning, you don't deserve it. He tried, but we screwed it up.

    His last ditch effort payed off. His son took our place for the eternal death (though being the Son of the Big Chief, he wasn't required to stay dead, just to feel the weight of the sins of every man, woman, and child that ever lived, and to feel the physical pain of torturous death.

    By that act, all that one person has to do is to accept the gift. God's Son died for us, so the gift is free. It is by accepting this gift, and realizing how gracious it is, that we will strive to better ourselves, and how we treat others. Bonus points in the test of life. So, obviously, the only way you can lose the gift is to not accept it.

    So what happens to those who don't accept it? Same process, all the way up to the Second Coming. Those people remain dead...for exactly 2000 years from the time the Second Coming occurs. For those that made it, those 2000 years will be spent on the biggest party in the universe. The Earth will be void of any life, save one. The Great Deceiver will be forced to wander the 3rd Rock for that time frame, stuck on the world that he corrupted, left to think about what he's done. At the end of the 2000 years, 3rd time's the charm. The entire city is packed up and moved into orbit around Earth. The ungrateful rise for the first time. They are shown all the times that they had to accept the gift, in other words, the biggest guilt trip ever laid, en masse. The Morning Star, being the idiot that he is, will try to make some sort of assault, but the entire world will be cleansed with fire, and global paradise will be restored, and stand for all eternity.

    Whew. That was long. But I enjoyed it, cause it's a darn fun thing for me to talk about.

    Now, I have a tendency to answer people's questions before they ask them:

    What about Hell? Hell is a place. It's where Lucy and his fallen angels hang out. It is NOT, however, a place of eternal torment. God's not cruel like that. He won't allow a situation like that to exist. He'll make sure you know you screwed up, but he won't keep reminding you for forever. You'll just sleep forever.

    Where do you get your crazy theories? You think that's
  16. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Say, did anyone read the article on consciousness/the soul/afterlife and Near-Death Experiences in the current Reader's Digest?
  17. Master_R0nin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2002
    star 2
    no, but I will check it out, thanks!
  18. wardenx Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2003
    star 3
    Yo, Master Ronin Thanks for the good word, there. I think we need more people who know about their chosen religion to speak up and share what their version of the truth is so that we can all grow wiser for it. Can't say that I believe what you believe, but I honor your beliefs and your adherance to them. I have a friend who is a Cathloic Appologetic and he has taught me more about the Cathloic faith than I ever thought existed. I want to keep learning about the various religions and delve deeper into the real meaning of faith.

    Your version of the afterlife is interesting. I will neither confirm nor deny the validity of it because I haven't been there yet. ;) Not that I know of, anyway. LOL All I can say is, I'm looking forward to learning.
  19. EmprsHandMick Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2001
    star 4
    *Reads enough of the thread to get a general idea of whats going on and decides to get her Catholic-practicing-and-believeing behind out of the crossfire*
  20. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    Actually, I'd be interested in your perspective, Mick. Most of the Catholics I've heard from are of the lapsed variety... Don't think I've heard too much from the actual ones in a long time.
  21. EmprsHandMick Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2001
    star 4
    My perspective regarding which specific matters?

  22. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    Afterlife for one. Your feelings on religion as a whole and in specific for another.

    Like I said, most of my knowledge of Catholicism comes from growing up in a Catholic state and having lots of lapsed Catholics as friends. I would be really interested in what you had to say as a practicing Catholic.
  23. EmprsHandMick Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2001
    star 4
    Well, lets start with the afterlife. It tends to be the focus of Catholics that it is how you live, more than what you proclaim as your beliefs, that decides whether you wind up spending eternity with God or away from him. Fortuantly, we also have a chance to work off some of our less than wonderful actions even after death in Purgatory. That means that its not just a matter of remembering to get to confession often enough as some people like to claim it is when discussing my religion. I'm not about to say I have any idea what it will be like in Heaven, Hell or Purgatory... only that I know that I'd prefer to spend eternity with God's love than without it. I also make no claims to knowing who will and will not go to heaven, not my decision or business.
    As far as religion in general, I have some that have have more or less respect for. I do, however, think that religion can play a wonderful role in keeping a civilized society, if it is followed correctly (and no, I'm not saying it has to be my religion or even just one predominant one) The moral values religion gives to those raised in it or later introduced to it tends to help make life better for those involved in the society. I typically have no problem with discussing my beliefs, or listening to others beliefs (even if they are that religion is bad). About the only time I get offfended is when its suggested that those of us who follow a religion do so blindly nd haven't bothered to actually think things through logically and rationally
  24. PtrsonsZOO Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2001
    star 7
    On your last point, I have to agree whole heartedly. The educated believer is something I hold in the highest regard. Too many times a lot of people take the easy way out and don't invest enough time their search for faith to come to a real understanding about what it is that claim to believe in.

    Having spoken w/ you outside this arena about this I know you've gone through a similar process as myself, w/ a yet another similar result (returning to that which we were brought up with). I look at faith (in any form) as a journey, an experience by which we continue to grow and learn throughout our lives. Although a great deal of religion and its practices in the real world, cause me great consternation, the theoretical value of religion is one of great importance. I do think it teaches values and morals by which people can lead their lives, and it also offers comfort and solace for those in need, as well as inspiration at times.

    The main problem I have with religion, is its application in the real world. Too many times it is used for all the wrong reasons. My primary issue w/ Methodism (my faith of choice) at the moment is its amazingly stubborn nature when it comes to allowing its congregations to grow and learn, eventhough it is one of its main tenents, if only to keep a radical wing of the national organization from breaking off. But, as with most protestant groups and other faiths as well, there exists a group of so-called fundamentalists who wish to bring things back into the dark ages for the sake of "Family Values." However, every sect of religion has this same problem; Mormons, Islam, Judaism, Hindu, Buddist, etc..

    It is my belief that if every religious group would ascribe to their own theoretical tenents, and not make up reasons to violate those tenents, we would see what religion was dedicated to in the first place; greater understanding of one's self and their place in the universe and a little piece of harmony for each person.
  25. jada_marnew Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 5
    Mick and ZOO,

    Very well put and civilized! I agree that "religon" is used to pigeon hole people too many times into a code of behavior that is rigid and inflexible. One of the things I find is the more I know, the more I realize I don't know . However, I still keep learning.

    I'm going through the debate/arguement with several people in my church who have taken ALL martial arts and lumped them into a box and called it demonic. PHOOEEEY! (I know WARDENX will have something to say about that one.) I keep reminding them that each individual has to work out their own faith (i.e. their own set of "guidelines"). For me, the way I view martial arts and practice martial arts doesn't interfere with my faith. There are somethings that do interfere with my faith so I simply do not use them or practice them.

    Have to go to work or this might be even more eloquent! ;)
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