-Over 70% of Americans were for the war in Iraq before they were against it.
-Almost 60% of Americans approved of torture in the guise of “enhanced interrogation techniques”.
-67% of Americans think Global Warming is not a threat in their lifetime.
-40% of Americans believe man was created by God less than 10,000 years ago.
-over 50% of Americans believe it’s fine for teachers to lead prayers in school.
-1 in 5 Americans still believe President Obama is a Muslim
-4 in 10 Americans still think the ACA contains Death Panels.
-As late as 2007 41% of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was involved in 911 and almost half believed he had WMD.
-In 1999 1 in 5 Americans were sure the Sun revolved around the Earth.
-In 2006 over 75% of Americans could name two of the seven dwarfs but less than 25% could name 2 Supreme Court Justices.
-63% of young Americans can’t find Iraq on a map and 90% can’t find Afghanistan.
-37% of Americans in a Gallup poll mislabeled where America was on a map.
-Only 40% of Americans can name the three branches of government but 60% of Americans can name the Three Stooges.
-About 1 in 3 Americans think freedom of religion does not apply to religions that are not “mainstream”.
-Half of Americans don’t know Christianity came from Judaism.
-1 in 4 Americans think we won our independence from another country other than England.
-30% of Americans can’t remember what year 9/11 occurred.

No wonder why

-Americans consistently identify themselves as about 20% liberal and 40% conservative.

191
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2ndClassCitizenPundit
Member

I graduated high school in a very… reactionary… town. For reference, it proudly bills itslef as “the birthplace of the KKK” for that state (which is not in the south).

Over half of my graduating class did not believe that African Americans were human. We had a few black students, and one of them was in our graduating class. During the procession down the center of the auditorium to our seats at the graduation ceremony, we were supposed to walk down in two pairs, four people abreast.

I was fairly near the front of the line, but when I walked down the aisle, there was only two of us. I was the only one in our class who would allow themselves to be seen by our families to be walking down the aisle next to her.

This was in the early 1980’s.

Today I face, constantly, people assuming that I am not a real human being. My emotions are not real. My opinions are irrelevant.

That is one of the reasons I have come to this site, from HP, and why I have chosen a different user name than what was used there.

Popular opinion be damned. Opinion matters very little. Facts matter first and foremost.

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ghsts
Member

KQuark and choicelady- I thought my act of contrition belonged here because I was schooled, and in case Curley Jo or Shemp where bouncing around out there. It is a fun fact those of us with several degrees behind our glasses can often miss the boat. My perception of Signing Statements as being top ten in the dirty tricks book was left over from gw and a single statement from President Obama at a press conference. Taking your advice and links I read them, all of them available online. Many of the gw ones pick up mid-sentence so I’m still left guessing on the full content. They still suck but at least I only needed the puke bucket for bush and reagan. Keep up good works as POV Elementary!

See Short explanation:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33667.pdf

http://www.coherentbabble.com/listBHOall.htm

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Memorandum-on-Presidential-Signing-Statements

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KevenSeven
Member

What? You trying to stroke my ego?

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texliberal
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texliberal
david p canada
Member
david p canada

Adonai, regarding your comment on the past, present, and future existing simultaneously.

I’m at the age where I think I have to fart, but I’ve already farted, and in reality I’ve shit my pants.

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BigDogMom
Member
BigDogMom

@Mr. Penner – PLEASE!!!

(ROFL!)

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ADONAI
Member

Bravo, my friend.

Well done indeed.

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ADONAI
Member

I dunno how to judge intelligence.

On a standard scale, Stephen Hawking’s I.Q. is over 200.

Mine is 180. Can I solve an abstract problem quickly? Yes. Can I beat a 9th grader on a math quiz? No.

Of course, Hawking always said that people who go on about their I.Q. are losers. So obviously the smartest man alive also feels that stupid is as stupid does.

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Chernynkaya
Member

I can attest that IQ measurements are a practically useless and crude form of measuring “intelligence.” For one thing, emotional intelligence is probably a much more practical way to measure success in life–including work. I have a high IQ and it hasn’t helped me one bit. It hasn’t given me motivation, or persistence, or even understanding. It is only a kind of baseline–necessary maybe but definitely insufficient.

Years ago, as part of my work, I participated in a brain mapping series of tests. It turns out the left side of my brain is pea-sized, while my right side is overblown. Therefore, I cannot balance my checkbook. It was suggested I spend a portion of every day doing math exercises. I never did, and hate Sudoku.

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ASmom
Member

Totally true. From another viewpoint, my 20-yo son has Aspergers Syndrome and a very high IQ. His doctors have commented and I totally agree that his high IQ has made his life much harder! Take characterists of the autism spectrum, add very high IQ and stir–you get a kid that will likely not be able to hold a job-EVER-unless he can find an employer who does not mind being argued with/questioned incessantly, an employee who overthinks everything, whose brain gets “stuck” on items that have little to nothing to do with what the final outcome needs to be, and certainly not in anything resembling a timely manner. No, a high IQ in and of itself, is not necessarily a good thing.

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PocketWatch
Member

ADONAI-

Somehow I have never equated measured intelligence (if that is what they are really measuring, after all… maybe a talent for taking tests?) with being smart or having that ephemeral quality of common sense.

My dad was HS graduate and a carpenter. He could literally design a house in his head and build it using no drawn plans. Always blew me away!

On the other hand, when I was in the military, one of my fellow instructors, who had a master’s in Electronic Engineering, couldn’t figure out how to use an electric can opener.

Point is, I believe we are all smart in some way, and way stupid in others, and it has nothing to do with native intelligence.

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Abbyrose86
Member

I am of the belief that intelligence and wisdom are impossible to really measure. Because what is intelligence?

While some people have the innate ability to ‘see things’ that others do not, or are able to perceive things that others do not, is that a mark of intelligence or is that something else.

Others have the ability to memorize or have a great ability to recall information quickly…is that intelligence or something else?

Some people can communicate beautifully and articulate their ideas in such a way, that there is no lack of understanding by others…is that intelligence?

Then there are those who can express through music, or with a canvass and some paint, or with a piece of clay their emotions and views on the world…is that a mark of intelligence?

And then there are others who can express things in mathematical format using ancient symbols…is THAT intelligence?

Or is intelligence the ability to do all that or only parts of that?

My question is what is intelligence?

On the other hand, some things are just plain stupid…such as not knowing where you country is on a globe OR trolling on Craigslist and listing yourself as a single lobbyist, and THEN posting a shirtless photo of yourself to someone you were flirting with on that forum…when you are a CONGRESSMAN…that is just stupid and IS easy to quantify! 🙂

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ADONAI
Member

Excellent points Abby.

Common sense can’t be taught.

It’s just common sense.

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Abbyrose86
Member

Sadly it doesn’t seem to be that common these days! 🙂

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ADONAI
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BigDogMom
Member
BigDogMom

@Abby-EXCELLENT POST!

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Abbyrose86
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BigDogMom
Member
BigDogMom

@PW-I once had an accounting clerk under me who held a MBA who would make the same mistake on a recurring journal entry every month, same entry, same mistake…I used to tell him that something is getting lost between his brain and the pen in his hand.

For years he was in the same position, was laid off, went back to school got his teaching cert….heard a couple of years ago he is now teaching at one of the Community Colleges, loves it and is doing quite well.

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Abbyrose86
Member

BDM…you just touched upon a great point…I think there are many who pursue certain pursuits in school…but don’t belong doing what they studied and end up making a mess of it…because that isn’t what their own innate abilities were suited for…I think that maybe why so many people are so miserable.

Not enough self reflection when determining their career aspirations, and simply looking at how much will the potential career pay.

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ADONAI
Member

The test I took was pretty standard. Like the one they use in MENSA.

Not a measure of total intelligence so much as how quickly you can solve a series of logic problems.

Really, to me, an I.Q. test doesn’t tell you that you’re smarter than someone. You just think differently and will arrive at the correct answer a little quicker than them.

But not always. Like I said, I’m horrible at math. Well, not horrible but if you saw me doing Geometry you wouldn’t think “we got a genius right here”.

I got a 1450 on my SAT back when the highest score possible was 1600, but it was because I aced the verbal. I sputtered toward the end on the math. My brother, conversely, is excellent at math but I am a far better problem solver in the abstract.

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PocketWatch
Member

ADONAI-

I took my SATs while either severely hung over or still in the bag… it was hard to tell.

I won’t relate what my score was!

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ADONAI
Member

HA!!!!!!!!!!!

Understood my friend 🙂

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david p canada
Member
david p canada

Don’t get me started with simple kitchen gadgets.

My wife keeps the cutlery away from me. Not for her well-being, but mine.

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ADONAI
Member

HA!!!!!!!!!

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david p canada
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david p canada

A certain poster “over there” claimed an IQ of 162, which is attained by only 1 in 250,000 persons.

Judging by this person’s other posts, he/she disguised it very, very well.

I believe it’s always wise to understate one’s abilities.

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ADONAI
Member

It was always just a number to me. It didn’t make me feel smarter knowing it.

It actually made me feel worse. That I was somehow underachieving.

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coffeegod
Member

Ignorance, from which one can completely recover, should be painful. Pain is how most humans learn. Unfortunately, rather than a sharp knife in the ass or hot poker in the eye, the pain of ignorance is delivered not to the ignorant but to the beings upon whom that ignorance is foisted. The pain felt by the ignorant is more akin to being pummeled during a pillow fight with toddlers.

I have met few truly stupid people. I have, however, met buttloads of ignorant people, a good portion of which were college educated. Ignorance takes root in an inflexible mind, the minds that breed the ‘my way or the highway’ mentality. We learn when our mind is able to bend to a new idea/way of thinking. Think about how many people are just unable to allow that switch to flip, lighting that bulb and proclaim loudly, “HOLY SHIT!” or words to that affect.

All one needs do to experience exactly how willfully ignorant we have become is google search for street smarts or view Jay Leno’s man on the street bit. Disgusting. To coin a phrase, “They don’t even realize they’re stupid.”

Mike Judge penned, produced and directed a little gem in 2006, “Idiocracy”. Give it a watch but be warned, it is one of the most frightening films you will ever view.

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jdmn17
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jdmn17

I have always told my kids there is a huge difference between smart and intelligent. I think there are a lot of people who have one or the other but not both.

I won’t bother with examples because I should not be the judge and jury.

I love the Holy Shit moment myself. I think like an engineer and an artist and it’s hard sometimes to shut one down so I can problem solve with the other. It’s not easy and I often look rather silly when the revelation comes and I get an eye roll from the person trying to impart the knowledge

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Buddy McCue
Member

FOX news viewers were always reminding us (“over there”) that more people watch FOX than any other news channel.

The fact that so many people believe things that are not true (the Death Panels, Obama being a Muslim, etc.) isn’t surprising.

Like I mentioned before, I work in a shop full of Rush-listeners, and I usually try to refrain from bringing up politics at all. But that morning when Mubarack resigned, and the protesters in Cairo were celebrating, I had a live feed on my computer screen at work.

One of my co-workers stepped into my office and looked at the screen.

“What’s going on?” he wanted to know. I explained briefly, while different scenes from Tahrir square were being shown. One of the scenes showed a tank with Egyptian flags on it.

My co-worker (an ex-Marine) noticed the tanks and asked what the military’s role was. I told him that mostly they were on the side of the people, while the police force was mostly pro-Mubarack. I mentioned the repressive police-state conditions that Egypt has been living under.

“I heard that’s what Obama’s doing too!” he said, “he’s recruiting young people through AmeriCorp to form a National Police Force so he can…”

I cut him off, laughing. I said, “Obama could never be a tyrant or a dictator!”

He demanded, “WHY NOT?”

I said, “He’s too wishy-washy!” and that made it alright. We laughed together. Apparently he was satisfied because I had insulted the “enemy” Obama.

I let it go at that, and we both returned to work.

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KillgoreTrout
Member

Tribalism at it’s finest!

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pfz
Member
pfz

Honestly Buddy if folks are so out of touch and simple that they believe that to begin with, trying to convince them otherwise is a waste of breath and time. I think you handled it the only way you could without being reduced to arguing with an idiot. I have an idiot in my family, I love him to death but my god when it comes to politics or anything related to Obama I wonder how he ties his shoes.

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Buddy McCue
Member

… but I didn’t feel too good about it…

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Abbyrose86
Member

Those numbers are very disturbing to say the least. I’ve read these stats before and they always boggle my mind and evoke many emotions.

AND we wonder WHY our nation has the problems it does!

I have to think more on this subject, before I can write a carefully crafted comment! Right now many thoughts are swirling and they are not coming into focus well.

However, suffice to say we have some serious work to do!

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Mightywoof
Member

This is a short survey repored by CBC in Dec. ’08:

4 questions were asked:

•Who is the head of state?
•How can Canada’s system of government best be described?
•Do Canadians elect the prime minister directly?
•Can the Governor General nix a prime minister’s request for a new election?

Who is Head of State

75% said either the Prime Minister or the Governor General – it’s the Queen

Describe the system of government

25% said a cooperative assembly and 17% said representative republic (those are the ones who watch too much American TV) – only 59% got Constitutional Monarchy correctly

Direct Election of Prime Minister

51% got it wrong and said yes

Can the GG refuse an election request

An astonishing 90% got this one right and said yes – it had been in the news a lot as this situation had just arisen

I’m still looking for stats on a more generalized level of knowledge

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Mightywoof
Member

those are really depressing stats KQ 🙁 – but it’s not just Americans – here are a few Canadians who are a few bricks short of a load

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4ml6pc5cyc&feature=related

I’l have a looksee to find some Cdn stats if I can

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Khirad
Member

But how do we know Kofi Annan isn’t a cocktail?

Is it really scientific if one of those guys was American?

And they do speak Ladino in Latin America to be a smartass. 😛

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audadvnc
Member
audadvnc

What are your opinions on recreational drugs? Not just any drugs, but the really nasty, addictive mood altering drugs that permanently warp your personality? Drugs that break up society into shards and scatter them to the winds?

Drugs that are delivered, not thru a crack pipe, the point of a needle or the hollow tube of a rolled up dollar bill, but by the radio or “news” television services?

Does it make any difference how you get your fix?

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liberallioness76
Member
liberallioness76

Frankly, that’s just plain embarrassing.

Maybe the TPers are on to something… let’s cut spending on the DOE so no American is even aware of how stupid this country has become and save ourselves a whole lot of humiliation over it.

Ignorance is bliss, after all.

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

How many Christians think Jesus was Jewish?

How many people think Jesus was crucified by the Jews?

I don’t know the answers but those were things I was or wasn’t taught in Sunday School.

I thought Jesus was a Christian all his life. And he was crucified by Jews. That was my “church” in a nutshell.

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escribacat
Member

jdm, Wasn’t there a sign at his crucifixion: King of the Jews? How did they explain that?

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

ecat. I actually recall that now! I never thought to ask. I got yelled at enough when I questioned them about Noah and the ark. I mean, no, I won’t start. It’s not my belief and I won’t go there at all. The point is I would always ask questions about things they taught that didn’t seem to make sense for my little inquisitive mind. I spent a lot of time at the library reading about stuff that made no sense. I didn’t get many answers until the late 60’s and more books started coming out providing alternate theories and explanations.

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PocketWatch
Member

jdm –

For a completely hilarious and strangely moving account, check this book out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamb:_The_Gospel_According_to_Biff,_Christ's_Childhood_Pal

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

PW, tonight for sure, it sounds great. I loved Life of Brian. Thought it hilarious. When I last had a evangelical christian g.f. we watched it and she pronounced it heresy. Then I offered her Mark Twain – Mysterious Stranger and Letters From Earth in exchange for reading Screwtape Letters. She thought Twain was certainly in hell. I hope so, I’d love to talk to him in spirit

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KillgoreTrout
Member

Life of Brian is a comedic masterpiece. One of the funniest movies ever made. And not that far from the truth.

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

I could do Monty Python every night for a month and not get bored

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PocketWatch
Member

jdm –

When anyone tells me to go to hell, I always say I’ll save them a seat by the fire.

Besides, I suspect the company will be a whole lot more interesting than the other place.

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ASmom
Member

I like that! I am going to use that one!

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

PW

Think of all the interesting people there instead of the vanilla ice cream of heaven. We think 31 Flavors was impressive. And it’s warmer there than heaven, ever seen the air temp at 40,000 feet? No thanks.

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coffeegod
Member

Not to mention, heaven will be full of ‘them’. Who needs eternity with that as a neighbor? Bleh.

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PocketWatch
Member

jdm –

I view Joshua bin Joseph (Jesus to most people) as a radical Jewish rabbi, equivalent to Martin Luther. He was disgusted with the commercialization of his faith, did something about it, and got himself killed in the process.

And, in fact, if all accounts are true, he probably set himself up to be killed to make a point. Judas didn’t betray him, he went and told the authorities where Josh could be found so a spectacle could happen. Read that part of the New Testament carefully with that in mind, and see what I mean.

What we all refer to as ‘religion’ are the trappings of sprituality, tools if you will, to get to a place that many spritual leaders have tried to get us to – a place of understanding and meaning. They may be all correct, or God may be living in a shelter in Santa Monica.

My stance is that I don’t know. No one knows. Therefore, I am an agnostic. I can admit I have no idea, really, and anyone that says they absolutely know is… well, I’ll leave it there.

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coveark
Member
coveark

Reality is so hard to swallow………and surprise…….when you look carefully…..what twisted interpretations are spouted by ” those who know.”

Rather like those who feed off Fox news and quite frankly the media at large. They only hear the sound bites and let some commentator tell them what was said…. Pity.

Back to religion…….I was a little smarty pants in about 5Th or 6Th grade days……..I would question my friends……” would you rather be a Christian or a Jew??” Most had no idea….thus I would tell them, I would rather be a Jew because Jesus was a Jew.

Funny the things you recall….I had figured that out by myself. Perhaps not the whole picture but it seemed logical………besides…who knows what.

I no longer look to preachers or anyone else for my personal spiritual guidance.

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

Hi coveark

Nice to see you here instead of that other joint.

Hope you enjoy it. There are a number of stories here for basic information and a place to go if you need to dump what they call Huffpoo.

Otherwise wander around and say hi. There are a lot of people here from HP you might have seen back there.

Stay in touch

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

When I got my drivers license I started going to other churches I was amazed at the diversity of the same things from religion to religion. Most of it had little to do with goodness, more about sin.

The three churches I most was drawn to were Judaism, Quakers and Unitarians. The experience with the Jewish faith was the funniest in a way. The head rabbi was a neighbor and I knew his daughter well as a schoolmate. I was this little white blond dude and I drew lots of stares. After about three visits he took me aside and told me, very kindly, I might want to check out the Unitarians closer. It wasn’t so much he didn’t want me as he was concerned how it would go over in the “hood” if I wanted to convert. He was a very nice man who invited me often into his home and from his wife I learned to LOVE Yiddish delicacies. To this day a fresh pumpernickel or caraway rye bread sends me into orbit.

I look back on my childhood in total confusion. How, I still wonder, could this benevolent god I kept hearing about be so spiteful and exact such pain to his “children”? I was doomed to hell pretty young and as I’ve gotten older I finally decided that if I was going to hell and the people who were sending me to it were going to heaven I was going to have a lot more company of people like me than I ever would have in heaven.

I’m a pretty simple guy that way

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coffeegod
Member

C’mon over here and sit down on the recovering christians bench. There is always room for one more.

You want a coffee?

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

I’m a tea drinker but I don’t discriminate against the coffee crowd. I’m with you all the way

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coffeegod
Member

My mom quaffs tea as well. I’m well versed in ‘tea THEN water just off the boil’.

Successful baristas speak many languages.

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

It’s the just off boil most people don’t think about. If a teapot whistles then that must mean boiling hot. I turn it off for about five minutes then pour. Still hot. Good news. First sun tea of the year on the front porch today. Hooray! Of course winter’s a long way from being done with us but I guy can dream

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audadvnc
Member
audadvnc

I was fine with my church until I figured out, between the lines, what the Council of Nicea was all about – the co-opting of Christianity by the head of the Roman Empire.

‘Twas all downhill from there…

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coffeegod
Member

What is really scary about the whole bible thing is how much is left out, edited and just plain left on the cutting room floor.

How can you vote on the (alleged) word of God? Either it is or it isn’t, right?

And I want my holidays back, dammit. We had Yule long before it was taken over. * muttergrumblecurse *

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

Coffee

There is a great book I read once about each and every Christian holiday and it’s “theft” from the earth based religions. That included the days and the symbols. I still love Halloween and laugh at how it was hijacked.

I read several books about the “lost scriptures” and I have often wondered about the rest of the Dead Sea scrolls. What exactly in them?

We’ll never really know since I suspect most of them are in the hands of scholars who are on the side of the churches.

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david p canada
Member
david p canada

Well, if it is indeed the Word of God, I don’t think He’ll allow mere humans to muddy up His message.

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jdmn17
Member
jdmn17

Wow, I must have really not listened in Sunday School. I am always amazed at the level and depth of the people here regarding so many topics.

Me and church? Easy, go, get screamed and lectured at and told you are going to hell, then come out, smile and shake hands with the guy who just told you he was going to help send you away. Once I was old enough I made my peace with my higher power by watching the interaction of nature.

Watching a loon swim under my canoe in a shallow glassy still cove was the closest I ever felt to god except the two moments when my kids, wet and tiny were in my arms for the first time.

All that rigmarole about Councils and hierarchy, et al. It was just lost on me.

I read a book about the Borgian (sp?) popes – “The House of Borgia”? It was sickening indeed.

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