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Member since: Fri Sep 26, 2008, 09:18 PM
Number of posts: 7,882

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I am at the Contra Costa Watershed Symposium


Senator Steve Glazer is present. Things are just getting started, but it looks to be fascinating.

Cross post from A&A

For anyone who was watching but couldn't comment in the safe space.

The meaning of privilege

Where do you fall on the spectrum of belief?

Regardless of what our personal feelings are about belief, we all fall somewhere on the line. This is purely voluntary, and is not meant to be a call out, but more informative of the theological makeup of belief and non belief. It is flawed by nature and I'm going to limit it to 5 general options. If you don't feel it covers you please select other and write in what you feel and why.

Lamb sacrifice performed for man days before he was ejected onto freeway sign

The family of a man whose body landed on a freeway sign during a car crash says they performed a lamb sacrifice for him days earlier for protection from harm.

Richard Pananian, 20, of Burbank had been battling serious health issues but overcame them, said his cousin, Armen Kardashian. He would not say what the health issues were.

This time, his family wasn’t taking any chances and was determined to protect him, so they performed a matagh, or offering, on Oct. 25. Matagh is a tradition of the Armenian Church and often used to show appreciation to God for saving a life, asking for good health or for peace for deceased loved ones.


He was driving on southbound on the 5 Freeway just north of California 134 when his Ford Fiesta rear-ended a pickup truck and overturned, said Officer Edgar Figueroa, a California Highway Patrol spokesman. The CHP said Pananian was not wearing a seat belt.


Honestly the lamb part is the least unusual aspect of the story.

At a Berlin church, Muslim refugees converting in droves

An Iranian asylum-seeker wearing a Christian shirt waits to be baptized in the Trinity Church in Berlin, Aug. 30, 2015. He is one of hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers who have converted to Christianity at the evangelical Trinity Church in the leafy Berlin neighborhood. Most say true belief prompted their embrace of Christianity, but there’s no overlooking the fact that the decision will also greatly boost their chances of winning asylum by allowing them to claim they would face persecution if sent home. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Mohammed is now Martin — no longer Muslim, but Christian. Zonoobi, a carpenter from the Iranian city of Shiraz, arrived in Germany with his wife and two children five months ago. He is one of hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers who have converted to Christianity at the evangelical Trinity Church in a leafy Berlin neighborhood.

Like Zonoobi, most say true belief prompted their embrace of Christianity. But there's no overlooking the fact that the decision will also greatly boost their chances of winning asylum by allowing them to claim they would face persecution if sent home.

Martens recognizes that some convert in order to improve their chances of staying in Germany — but for the pastor motivation is unimportant. Many, he said, are so taken by the Christian message that it changes their lives. And he estimates that only about 10 percent of converts do not return to church after christening.

Being Christian alone does not help an applicant, and Chancellor Angela Merkel went out of her way this week to reiterate that Islam "belongs in Germany." But in Afghanistan and Iran, for example, conversion to Christianity by a Muslim could be punished by death or imprisonment, and it is therefore unlikely that Germany would deport converted Iranian and Afghan refugees back home.

There's always a catch.


Judges 19:22-29

Judges 19:22-29

Stories from the bible. Courtesy of Atheist Jack

DISCLAIMER Posted in the Atheists and Agnostics safehaven. Besides, it's just a bible story, if you're offended by the content you might be an anti-theist bigot.

How To Get Away With Bigotry In Just 3 Words: “It’s My Faith”

On Wednesday night, the city of Houston, Texas passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on, among other characteristics, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, sex, nationality, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, and military status. Given the sweeping nature of the measure, it will undoubtedly have real, positive effects for people who are marginalized or discriminated against simply because of who they are.

But in an irony too great to ignore, the parties of god find themselves as untouched as their ideal unmarried woman:
“The ordinance applies to businesses that serve the public, private employers, housing, city employment and city contracting. Religious institutions would be exempt.”

The act is growing tiresome. When Pope Francis flashes the slightest sign that he and by extension the Catholic Church may be softening on gay rights, for example, he is hailed as a progressive. In reality, he remains to the right of George W. Bush on gay issues. Or take his steadfast position against women’s ordination into the priesthood. Imagine a corporation that reserved executive positions for only men. It would be boycotted until it either changed the policy or went broke.


Never forget

That opposition to marriage equality was 100% religious based. And it came about in spite of religion, not with it's assistance.

There were theists who weren't against it, but religion in general is against it. Even Episcopalians who allow it wiin the church in america are defying their dogma and it's causing a split in the church, and in Africa the church is fighting against it.

Why Did God Create Atheists?

"There is a famous story told in Chassidic literature that addresses this very question. The Master teaches the student that God created everything in the world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.

One clever student asks “What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did God create them?”

The Master responds “God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all — the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs and act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that god commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness he can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right.”

“This means,” the Master continued “that when someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say ‘I pray that God will help you.’ Instead for the moment, you should become an atheist, imagine that there is no God who can help, and say ‘I will help you.’”

Tales of Hasidim Vol. 2 by Mar
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