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an American in Texas

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  1. Dear Dave, I believe the concept of Hell as a place of eternal torture is a much later construct (that is, later than Jesus). Jesus talks primarily of Gehenna, which was an actual place, and he's talking to Jews in Jerusalem. He does speak of Hades -- fewer times -- and is speaking of the abode or kingdom of the dead. The Gehenna talk is comparable to the dooms spoken of by the Prophets and seems to be a place of corporate or national destruction. You'll remember that Jerusalem was indeed burned and destroyed in A.D. 70, and I believe that is what he's speaking of . . . not of our present-
  2. And by the way, I often add: "If the fundamentalists are right, I'd rather be with the Mahatma in hell than in heaven with them and their god." Leigh
  3. DingoDave asked: "How many Christian parents are willing to show the fortitude to stand up to their religious leaders and to their god, and speak out in protest against this barbaric doctrine of eternal Hellfire for non-believers?" A surprising number, Dave, of whom I am one. Come hang out with the liberal Methodists for a while -- many of us believe in universal salvation, and in fact that is what is taught at my church. Like you, I am horrified by the idea that God -- anybody's God -- would tolerate the idea of His children suffering eternal, sadistic torture. Such a God would be unworth
  4. God is in Control said: "There is no telling how many individuals have come to know Christ as the result of one individual’s quest to silence the Gospel. " Not too many, I would venture. That's one of the many distressing things about this case . . . Here's why: Mr. P's presentation of the Gospel, such as it was, is tainted by his behavior in the classroom (unprofessional proselytizing) and afterwards (lying, attempting to intimidate Matthew, use of false quotations in his letter to the editor, failure to protest at his supporters' threats of violence). It really astonishes me that so ma
  5. Oh, I don't think Matthew has ANY "self-esteem" issues. This is a kid who was confident enough to wear a skirt to school to protest an unfair dress policy. He obviously has titanium cojones. Matthew started this whole ball rolling himself. And what you characterize as "cries for attention", I would say are brave stands on important issues. Well, the shorts thing maybe not so much, but apparently that was just a warm-up. What is "civilized" about overlooking illegal activities? It's hard to be more head-on that Matt has been. He's fortunate because he has a mother and father who w
  6. Well, I certainly admire your enthusiasm. Growing up in a Baptist church, I've experienced my own share of revivals, and they can be special times indeed. Here's something I think is a little amusing: on another forum, quite a while ago, I used the screen name OldBroad56. Perhaps we are related . . . Leigh
  7. For Bryan -- a philosopher talks about epistemology and science: http://www.evolutionvscreationism.info/Evo...Scientists.html In video #8, Dr. Barbara Forrest discusses epistemology. The discussion continues in videos #9 and #10. She speaks of case law and the Constitution, including Kitzmiller, in video #10. Dr. Forrest's curriculum vitae is available here: http://www2.selu.edu/Academics/Depts/HIPS/forrest.html By the way, this video series is an excellent intro to the creationism vs. evolution controversy. Leigh
  8. Bryan said :"So, with Leigh's excellent logic we can take science is based on faith and magically convert it to faith=science" Dragging in epistemology avails you nothing. (And yes, I know quite a lot about it; I had planned to enter seminary last year, and epistemology is a big topic in theology.) Your final point should stand alone. Bryan believes that science is based on faith. And that is simply not true. Faith is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." In the world of faith, our hearts, beliefs, and hopes are personal. They're part of a unique
  9. YAUG said: "Paul doesn't know what preaching is, his actions show that he probably never stepped in a church before. " Paul's churchgoing habits -- or lack thereof -- are none of our business. But I'm a churchgoer myself, brought up in the Southern Baptist church and now a faithful communicant of the United Methodist Church. And I can tell you, I've heard less hellfire and brimstone preached from many a pulpit (even in the Southern Baptist days) than Mr. P managed to cram into a class supposedly on U.S. history. Leigh
  10. Bryan, since you like logic, let me point out that your post is a good example of a fallacy of definition, in this case, an over-narrow definition. It is true that "murder is wrong" is a religious opinion. It is, however, not JUST a religious opinion. In fact, most religions and all secular law systems (at least those with which I have any familiarity) also define murder as a wrong. If "murder is wrong" were merely a religious opinion, unique to one sect or branch of Christianity (for example), then I would agree it should not be taught in public schools. But your false dilemma (teach o
  11. KearnyKard said: ". . . nonsensical dribble" I think you probably meant "nonsensical DRIVEL". (You seem to know a lot of big words, though your grasp on their meaning is a little tentative.) Be that as is may, your point is that Paul's postings to this board: 1) make no sense 2) have no relevance to the issue at hand and 3) have been a waste of his and our time. How to disagree? Let me count the ways . . . Paul's account of the situation has been well-presented and is substantiated by the evidence. His analysis of the meaning of the events has been concise and well-reasoned. It
  12. Bryan, please READ the definition you posted. Do you SEE any mention of cosmology, physics, or astronomy? The definition of history has been extended to cover non-written evidences of human culture. No reasonable person thinks current usage has been extended to cover cosmological events, long predating humanity. You can sometimes see the word used in the phrase "natural history", as in "Museum of Natural History". This usage dates back a few years and was intended to differentiate human history from geological and cosmological history. Nowadays, we all just call the latter two science.
  13. YAUG said: "Doesnt paul, matt and strife know WE DONT CARE!!! " Apparently not. Perhaps if you didn't read KOTW, and didn't take the trouble to post, it might be more evident. But I suggest to you that you SHOULD care. You should care about the issue. You should examine the evidence carefully. You should weigh the issue, and try to decide what's right. It's our Constitution. It's our faith. It's our public schools. It's OUR COUNTRY. We should all care. Leigh Williams Austin, Texas
  14. Oldfart56, the vast majority of Christians are, at this season, observing Lent. Lententide is a time for penitential reflection and introspection. The spiritual disciplines of Lent are intended to help us learn to emulate Jesus and sacrifice our own will to the purpose of God. I realize that you are probably belong to a evangelical church of some kind, so your congregation doesn't observe Lent. But please be aware that for the majority of your co-religionists, a call for "revival" at this season sounds a liitle, well, odd. Leigh
  15. Bryan, you've been wrong so many times, in so many different ways (some of which I myself have pointed out), I just can't choose just one. Such an embarrassment of riches, don't you know. But your endless hair-splitting was, in retrospect, a pleasure compared to your current full-out insanity. Today alone you have declared: 1) that it's an objective truth that faith and science are equivalent ways of understanding reality 2) that in spite of extremely convincing audio evidence, Mr. P is innocent of proselytizing and then lying about that proselytizing Dial it down a notch, buddy. You
  16. Patriot, o ironically-named one . . . You are aware, are you not, that the moment you use the word "Kool-aid" you lose all credibility? No serious person says things like that. The only place you see the term used is on right- and left-wing rant sites. Amusingly enough, apparently one need only drink Kool-aid to become a wine-sipping liberal degenerate. Or a neonazi goon. Or an atheistic evilutionist Defeatocrat. Or a looney-tunes cretinist Rebooblican. It's a freakin' wonder drug! Too bad its magical powers can't turn you into a REAL patriot. Leigh
  17. Bryan said: "Paszkiewicz is correct about it. It's about an objective an observation as one could make." apparently in response to "Pasziewicz placed both creationism and evolution in the same category: faith-based beliefs." Okay, I checked back on this, because usually Bryan specializes in slicing and dicing some small point to death. Pettifogging is his forte. We're on a whole 'nother level here. Bryan, surely you don't mean to say that the theory of evolution, buttressed by thousands of published academic articles and evidence from multiple scientific disicplines including biology, ge
  18. Pbrown64, thank you for a thoughtful and wise post. I do wish more of our co-religionists could see this whole schemozzle for what it is -- not an attack Christianity, but a simple case of bad judgment (followed by worse judgment) on the part of one of our brothers. We Christians are indebted to the Constitution for a large part of the vitality of our institutional faiths. The separation of church and state works to our advantage by creating a climate in which free and non-coerced expressions of faith are possible . We have at least as big a stake in protecting the Constitution as our non-
  19. Bryan: "Fallacy of equivotion, Paul. You don't get to decide the sense in which other people use their words. " Once again you are mistaken, Bryan. It's foundational to the value of language to insist that people use the agreed-upon meaning of words. If everyone redefines what that meaning is, we end up with nonsensical statements which are devoid of any meaning at all. A person would be free to lie at will, and then deny the falsity of what he said. And his defenders would be free to assert that he didn't lie, when all the evidence clearly shows that he did. Oh . . . wait. That wou
  20. Yet Another Anonymous Guest (YAUG) said: "Well, I don't think you got the point! It is ironic how Matthew LaClair wanted to shut Paszkiewicz's mouth, so he won't talk about christianity, however, the plan of salvation is now on every newspaper and tv channel..of course some people will read it and ignore it, but some people will read it and will meditate on it. " In what wild dream do you imagine that Paszkiewicz's presentation of the plan of salvation will lead anyone to Christ? It's far, far more likely that anyone who reads of his exploits will conclude that he's typical of "Christians" -
  21. Daniella: "If all he wanted was just an apology then why would he bring this issue to the press before bringing it to the teacher himself," You are mistaken. Matthew met with the teacher, principal, and department head before anything was published about the issue. Daniella: "Mr Paszkiewicz should have been more careful with crossing that line of religion and school, but let's be realistic here people, Jesus christ is apart of history and is in our history books so obviuosly that line isnt pretty thick if you ask me." The courts of the United States do not agree with you here. Nor, for
  22. Strife: "Okay, this I couldn't help but laugh at a bit, simply because...yes, I'm aware that the soldier died. But the soldier is dead...what exactly would you have people do? I dare say he wouldn't really notice whether or not people were paying attention to his corpse." Sweetie, please don't say things like this. Yes, it's realistic, but it's also insensitive and disrespectful both to the soldier's memory and to his or her family, which one assumes is in the Kearny area. You're quite correct. The soldier will not notice. But everyone else will. There is little point in uselessly alien
  23. Bryan: "It's pretty funny you should say that while you're attacking Paszkiewicz in your own name." Bryan, the LaClairs called Paszkiewicz on proselytizing in the classroom, a clear violation of the law. It's false and inflammatory to call their well-justified actions an "attack." Bryan: "So, you understand Jesus' teachings, then? " Better than you do, obviously. Leigh Williams Austin, Texas
  24. Yet Another Unidentifiable Guest (YAUG): "Paszkiewicz has no abligation to defnd your son." You are mistaken. Every teacher has an obligation to stop bullying. Or so says the Austin Independent School District, which has a clear policy on this matter. Perhaps Kearny has no policy, as they in the past had no policy on religious proselytizing in the classroom. YAUG: "His job is to teach and not to be walking around as Matthew's body guard." Indeed. If he had taken his role more seriously, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Unfortunately, he was more interested in teaching religi
  25. Guest: "More delays. If it's such an air tight case why not file the lawsuit already? " It seems to me that the case is very solid. But as Paul has said, over and over, the Laclairs would prefer not to sue the Board. This latest event should be construed as a last-ditch attempt to persuade the Board to do the right thing. I have little confidence that they will, given their track record. But no one should complain that adequate notice was not given. Personally, I would like to see the case go to trial. I'd hope the case and the eventual verdict would have a chilling effect on those w
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