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Everyone uses their own moral compasses

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Posted: Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 5:02 pm, Mon Dec 31, 2012.

Pastor Nolton is scared, scared that he is losing the control he has over his congregation, and religious followers in general.

And it's not just him. Every preacher who claims to know what God wants is condemning the nation for violating their interpretation of God's laws. It's allegedly what is leading to our "morally bankrupt culture."

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • David Diskin posted at 12:37 am on Mon, Dec 31, 2012.

    David Diskin Posts: 185

    With your alleged ability to read my mind, and tell me what my own responses are intended to convey, I'm not sure why I even write them.

    Yes, people can attend church and be motivated to do good things because of what they hear, or read in the bible. I don't think I ever suggested otherwise.

    The point of this piece is how we DETERMINE what is right and wrong. Let's focus on that.

    Is it biblical? Because God says so? Because our pastor tells us so? Or because we feel it in our hearts? My bet is on the latter.

  • Andy Crowder posted at 5:07 pm on Sun, Dec 30, 2012.

    Andy Crowder Posts: 245

    Kevin, you probably are not aware that most of us who identify as freethinkers come from religious backgrounds. Most of us are surrounded by kind, decent people of faith--some that we love, including our family members and close friends. Although we do not agree with their spiritual beliefs, it would be impossible for us to see these good folks as extremists. But there are lots and lots of extremists out there, even in our own town. They do not fight for dignity for all. Many churches in town openly preach falsehoods about the LGBT community, oppose nearly all civil rights efforts, and want to use legislation to force those of other faiths to abide by their own religious beliefs. Think how many churches relegate women to lesser status and oppose equal rights for the LGBT community. Quite a few. Some of these churches once preached against mixed race marriages and supported segregation. Good works by a church and its members are to be commended, but it does not erase the discrimination the church advocates.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 4:33 pm on Sun, Dec 30, 2012.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    No, the entire point of the letter was to diminish Christian teachings by saying they are irrelevant in today's society. Then in your response you go further and cast devote Christians in the most negative light you can. You could have easily used clear, logical thought to counter Frank Nolton's article, as I did.

    You just said people are doing good works out of their OWN positive motivations, while in your response to Robert everything negative they do is because of religion. This CLEARLY shows your double standard bias against anything religious.

    You say people are doing good works because of personal moral compasses but miss how much Biblical and (competent) church teachings has influenced them to DO these works. The very CORE of Christian action is based on treating every person like they are dear and precious to God, as the teaching linked below clearly demonstrates.


    Unfortunately we have people like the Westboro Church who are clear depictions of the worst of religion for people like you to hold up and say, see what religion does."

  • David Diskin posted at 1:49 pm on Sun, Dec 30, 2012.

    David Diskin Posts: 185

    "Interesting how Davi[d] also leavs out the MILIONS that are fed by religious "extremists". "

    No, Kevin. The entire point of the piece was that people are doing these things out of their own compassion and empathy, and not because they are being told to do so by their religious leaders or biblical texts.

    I think it's great that people are helping other people. Why would I ever argue against that?

    You're welcome to think whatever you like about "Freethinkers", but I'm happy to tell you that we DO recognize the possibility that a diety exists. We just have yet to see evidence of it, and therefore dismiss the idea until sufficient evidence is provided.

    But I fail to see what that has to do with this article, a response to a horrible thing that a Lodi pastor said.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:57 am on Sun, Dec 30, 2012.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    "And it's this life that is being affected by religious extremists every where we look. Children are taught that they are sinners, that they are going to hell. People are told they cannot marry. The list goes on, and I don't need to repeat it."

    Interesting how Davi also leavs out the MILIONS that are fed by religious "extremists". Millions who are clothed. Millions who are given shelter. David leaves out the religious "extremists" who fight for dignity for all. He also lumps those religious "Extremists" who sacrifice all they for fellow humans or open their heart, homes and lies to all of God's creation.

    The fact that David repeatedly lumps all religious "extremist" who are very good examples of compassionate humans" with the small group of extremists wholive only to hate tells me all I need to know about his "Free thinkers" group. A TRUE "free thinker" would recognize the very real posibility of there being a Diety who interacted with it's creation and not dismiss followers of that Diety as "extremists' who need to have their thinking "corrected".

  • David Diskin posted at 9:27 pm on Sat, Dec 29, 2012.

    David Diskin Posts: 185

    "David, if you are right and I'm wrong about the fact that God's word is true and that according to you its not; no harm no foul."

    Robert, the harm and foul is all around us and the damage has already been done.

    I understand that for you, the big payoff is the eternal afterlife. But I hope you realize that for me, and others like me, this life is all we have.

    And it's this life that is being affected by religious extremists every where we look. Children are taught that they are sinners, that they are going to hell. People are told they cannot marry. The list goes on, and I don't need to repeat it.

    If you're so convinced that an afterlife awaits you, please let us have this one life without the effects of religion. Then when we die, and presumably are sent to eternal damnation, you can have all of eternity to preach and bend laws to your favor.

  • Robert Jacobs posted at 5:01 pm on Sat, Dec 29, 2012.

    Robert Jacobs Posts: 298

    Poor David, He hasn't been enlightened, yet? Or he may never be. The things of God are "spiritually discerned" not figured out! The things of God are foolishness to those who do not believe.

    I was saved in 2002 at the age of 44, I'm 54 now. Before that, I was just like David.

    There wasn't big fireworks for me; but there was an understanding and a compression for the things of God through the bible you spoke of in your comments and revelation by God to me. You shouldn't comment about something you know nothing about, and I base this by your comments in this forum!

    We are under grace (not under law, which was the old testament) because Jesus paid the price we would "all" have to pay if he hadn't! Your comment about the old testament laws being in effect is simply NOT true, not in the way you commented. I could explain it to you but I won't do that.

    The mass shootings, homicides, suicides and all other human depravity is because of sin! Meaning there is no such thing as those people, we all contribute to sin its not something a "good human being" can catch (because there are no innocent or good human beings in the eyes of God. Which all that matters) rather its sin we all bring to the table. That isn't to say everyone is a terrible sinner and does the worst he can do or that human beings aren't capable of doing really good things. But we all have the capacity to sin and for some sin grievously!

    Your comments are so far from the truth I could literally write rebuttal for an hour but I won't do that I will simply say David, if you are right and I'm wrong about the fact that God's word is true and that according to you its not; no harm no foul.

    However, if I'm right about a righteous God who in fact has always been and always will be that he will pass judgment, and that the bible is his word, than you and people like you are in a whole of trouble. Unless of course God decides to enlighten and then save you.

    God bless you David...

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:25 am on Sat, Dec 29, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    David stated...But who is to say that the Bible is by any means a moral standard? Yes, God says so, and yes, Jesus redeemed us of our sins, but he also tells us that the laws of the Old Testament are still in play...

    Odd thing to say coming from a man who states he sees no evidence that god exists.. That would mean he thinks the bible is not the word of god. How can he possibly conclude that the bible is a moral standard as for him, its just another silly book that was written by man to control man.

    One might conclude a man that believes the bible is not evidence of god thinks pastors like Mr..Frank Norton are using the bible as a means to control people. with false authority.

    One might conclude that David is scared that people might actually believe the bible is anyway evidence of god.



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