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20 Responses

  1. Gary says:

    This is a great summary of the church teaching on God’s Love that I was exposed to. The distortion, which defies even basic common sense, is so plain to see once one is no longer under the influence.

  2. Bernardo says:

    But there is no god so said discussion is moot.

  3. Caryn LeMur says:

    Love those CIA Enforcer sunglasses in the background!


    I worked in Washington DC… gosh… they look so familiar……

  4. Sabio Lantz says:

    3 Strategies to stop having others use “God” to manipulate/coerce people:

    (1) Argue Theology/Philosophy, show them what “God” is really like.
    (2) Argue from your own personal [mystical] experience, tell them what “God” is really like
    (3) Confront all God talk: disempower both their and your own bullshit

    Sure, come up with another, but I think it is clear how prevalent these three big patterns are. Everyone will add caveat to make their approach more nuanced, more subtle, more balanced, more sensitive. But really, I think it is really pretty simple.

  5. Gary says:

    Bernardo, Of course it’s not a moot discussion for those of us who still believe in God. And considering the impact of religion on society (good or bad) I would argue it is not a moot point for discussion period.

  6. Bernardo says:

    Gary, Just trying to save you some time discussing myths although some people still believe in Santa Claus and some people still talk about and watch movies and TV programs about the Greek gods. Of course there are the economic motives in all these discussions. Clerics without god would have no jobs and no jobs for those Chinese making Santa gifts, toys et al.. Ditto for the Hercules et al dolls and actors playing Zeus et al.. Gods and Capitalism indeed!!!

  7. Gary says:

    Bernardo, Your pompous arrogant rants really are cute. Of course you failed to even comprehend my point. Not surprising all things considered. Your arrogance is perhaps only exceeded by the profound ignorance you continue to display.

  8. Bernardo says:

    Arrogant? Because I don’t believe in your god? Or Allah or the other thousands of gods invented by humankind over the last 200,000 years?

  9. Melody says:

    This curious mix of love and fear, so familiar. I’ve been reading the lyrics of some of my formerly favorite gospel/worship songs and this idea is very much present in them as well. God loves us, but we’re also great sinners, selfish, unworthy, but we become worthy through Him. Of course, we do have to change for that to happen, yet God also loves us as we are…. It seems so muddled now: which is it?

    It makes me a bit sad and a bit angry as well, to remember how serious I took it all and how fragile my self-esteem was and how these songs on the one hand lifted me up , but on the other also kept me in a place of self-loathing. This idea of being inherently evil and never ever good enough and needing external forces to fix things has held me down for quite a while. One of the things I like the most about my deconversion is that I am not as dependent on external beings anymore, that I have more agency and potential than I previously assumed: it’s a relief 🙂

  10. Melody: “More agency and potential”. Yes!

    Bernardo: Seriously? You know you aren’t being accused of arrogance because of what you do or don’t believe. It’s arrogance to consider yourself a better person than, say, a believer, and that you have the right to ridicule them.

  11. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ David,

    I was reading this article in Vox about Shaun King controversy today where it said, “But is there any way to conclusively figure out who’s right, and whether King is black or biracial? Unfortunately, no — because the entire concept of race is arbitrary to begin with.”

    This made me think about this “God” post. “Race” and “God” are two abstractions used to divide us — or unite us against one-and-other. Just as this article said, and my comment above, to solve the divide, we can: (1) Argue about the definition of Race/God (2) Argue about identification in a religion/race (3) Or realize the fundamental problem of prejudice that sneaks into human-made abstractions like “race” and “God”.

    Persistent, aren’t I?

  12. Gary says:

    Exactly David!

  13. Thanks Gary!

    Sabio: Yes I’ve been following the Shaun King story. I agree about how we latch on to categories and labels and that often we use these to divide ourselves. The whole thing needs to be examined.

    I would like to remind my readers that just because I draw pictures of “God” and talk about “God” in my cartoons, etc., doesn’t mean I uphold a belief in THAT “God” I’m portraying.

  14. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ David,

    I just read the comment thread and saw the Bernardo-Gary flash: these two are such classics.

    But I was surprised to then read you address Bernardo (the religion-free of the two) saying,

    “Bernardo: Seriously? You know you aren’t being accused of arrogance because of what you do or don’t believe. It’s arrogance to consider yourself a better person than, say, a believer, and that you have the right to ridicule them.”

    As you know, just like you, I argue against both religious and religion-free people who try to say that right beliefs make one person a better person than another. And I know Bernardo can be very petulant — only topped by Gary. But as I read the thread, I did not see anything in Bernardo’s comments that hinted of what you said. Then I thought, was it this comment of Bernardo that angered David and made him back the fellow “God-talker” and mistypify the “Anti-God” commentor?

    “Clerics without god would have no jobs …” (Bernardo)

  15. Gary says:

    Ah the classic Sabio…as dishonest when he talks about me as he is when he talks to me.

    And Bernardo…in your haste to continue your mocking ridicule of any who believe, you still failed to grasp that this is not about the existence or lack of God, it is about the flawed church teaching on love. The fundamental church has done significant damage to countless millions by perverting the nature of love. THAT, is a topic worthy of discussion for the believer and non believer alike.

  16. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ David,

    You said,

    “I would like to remind my readers that just because I draw pictures of “God” and talk about “God” in my cartoons, etc., doesn’t mean I uphold a belief in THAT “God” I’m portraying.”

    Following you for all these years and watching the changes in your cartoons, watching the comments, reading your posts, and some person e-mails between us, I know you as a changing person with fluxing beliefs. I think I have even seen your God ideas change over the last six years — even after your Z-theory dream.

    But all of us have soupy brains (my phrase): we are not homogenous —we do not have one set of fixed beliefs or feelings. We are all a pile of contradictions. And sometimes, your old God ideas sneak into your post (not here though). You tend to side with some idea of a personal God and idealize that God as lovey-dovey — at other times (though far less) you are clearly “Atheish”. As you know, I am a former Christian and now religion free but I have mystical absorptive experiences that I treasure but which I connect with no god-talk now. I two am a pile of contradictions.

  17. Sabio Lantz says:

    Gary, you do a wonderful service to my arguments about God-talk fans. Your comments about “L O V E” just speak volumes about how little we need to value the words of those that bend over backwards to keep “God” in their righteous jargon.

  18. Gary says:

    No Sabio…the word love has meaning in both our world views. And in both, the nature of it is harmed by the type of teaching David illustrates in this post. And in spite of your condescending representation of me, it is clear you don’t have a fucking clue what I really believe. It is you who does a wonderful service to my comments I’m afraid. Even though they were and are completely devoid of what you call “God talk” and certainly displayed no hint of bending over backwards to keep “God” in my religious jargon, you once again seek to malign me by falsely representing me.

    Same old same old Sabio.

  19. Bernardo says:

    Ridicule Gary and other believers in mythical gods? No, just pointing out the economics of myths, cartoons, and paying for blog commentaries.

  20. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Bernardo,
    I agree, you didn’t do anything that Gary nor David accused you of.