Discussion in 'The Red Room' started by Nova, Feb 6, 2013.
It all comes out in the wash!
Wow, good for her! It's a shame that her folks won't have anything to do with her now, as she obviously loves and misses them very much, but they were harmful to her intellectual and emotional growth, and if they choose to take their hateful ideology over the love of their daughter, so be it. She's much better off. Still, that had to be a hell of a decision, and I hope she finds much happiness on the road ahead. May the younger generation of that family see the same light.
Westboro Baptist Church may be the one thing "Lefties" & "Righties" both share a mutual LOATHING of.
This is the nature of the evil that is extreme fundamentalism, in whatever religion: "There can be no other interpretation of the Bible, so those implications that flow from the 'official' interpretation are necessarily absolute Truth."
I did not come from a background that preached hate the way Westboro does. The worst I had to deal with was "Christians don't drink, Christians don't go to movies, Christians don't work on Sundays, Christians don't let their women work outside the home, Christians don't read any translation but King James, Christians don't..." And despite that, I can sympathize with Megan: It was a very slow and often painful experience to realize that much of what I had been taught was the opinions of people, one particular way of reading the Bible, rather than the Bible itself. And very often, it wasn't the way that flows the most naturally from the text, if you read it in the context of the thinking, the language, the customs and the culture of the times.
I went through years of doubts, because my opinions were so radical. I was never rejected by my family or my church (as I said, they had nothing in common with Westboro), but it was still very hard. Changing my opinion on eschatology was not all that big of a deal (I simply realized that there is not one word in the Bible that teaches, or even really implies, that there will be some kind of "rapture" of the Christians before the Tribulation), because one result of my thinking was to realize that that is an incredibly minor detail (even though I had been brought up to consider it as important as everything else--that's the way it is when everything is taught dogmatically).
What was hard was rethinking my belief on the nature of salvation, and the nature of faith. To me, faith was believing that Jesus was the Son of God who died and rose again to pay the price for our sins. Salvation was forgiveness os sins, so you can go to heaven. And it was all mixed together with the fear of hell: "If you don't do the right things, you will be rejected by God after all!"
As I learned what the Bible really teaches, though, I realized that faith was trusting and loving God, and accepting the salvation he offers. And especially, the salvation he offers is not "fire insurance" but a continuing process that, in the end, delivers us totally from sin. The reason we "do right things" is not to prevent God from getting upset with us and turning against us, but because that's the whole nature of our choice: If the salvation Jesus offers is the perspective of being delivered from sin, and we say "Yes" to that, then it is because we want to be delivered from sin. I realized that for years I had been persuaded I was a Christian, but had never once had that desire. I just wanted to "go to heaven" and escape the punishment for sin.
And if it was that hard for me to escape the legalism of my background, I can just imagine how hard it is for these girls to escape the incomparably greater legalism of their own background. Realizing that the interpretations you have always accepted might not be the only ones is very difficult, and when you will have your entire family turn against you if you realize that, it makes it even worse.
I'm very happy for these girls. It shows that even in Westboro, people can think if they choose to. It also shows what God can do even in the hearts of the most stubborn sinners. It is as hard for modern Pharisees to repent as it was 2000 years ago, but it still happens.
And that, too, is grace.
Wow. I'm floored. I watched a kind of documentary thing and I think she was the girl who worked the most with the host.
As a queer atheist, my Catholic upbringing has had some pretty damaging and lasting effects on me. I can't even imagine being brought up in such a hateful setting. She still seemed like a nice person despite her ignorant and hateful upbringing. I hope they both progress well and find some answers for themselves, hopefully ones that allow them to connect with humanity rather than distancing them. And I hope people meet them with compassion.
I think most sane people are not going to cheer people that picket the funerals of soldiers that died to protect their right to entertain their bigoted views.
Still, I have to ask--why dafuq does this family still live in the USA if they hate it so much and God hates Americans?
I'd really like to see her spend some time discussing theology with Matthew Vines.
I am no expert on their particular brand of hate, but at a guess, they probably don't think there are any other countries God loves any more. Since in their mind, bad things happen to people and to countries because God is punishing them for their sin, and since bad things happen everywhere, to everyone, they almost certainly believe that God hates everyone (with themselves excepted, of course).
I would further guess that if they harp continually on the "God hates America" line, it's because they are in America and think that's their primary "missionfield." If they were in Canada, they would probably carry "God hates Canada" signs.
If they were in North Korea, however, it's a fair bet they would not carry "God hates North Korea signs." Or, at the very least, they would not carry them for long...
I doubt she has any serious theological training. When your "theology" is pretty much pure brainwashing where you are not allowed to think, you are hardly in a position to debate it seriously when you have broken with that only recently.
It would make much more sense for Matthew Vines to discuss theology with someone who has equal or superior training in Bible and theology, and does not share his ideas.
I'd say that's accurate. Those people are at least as brainwashed as any leftists, perhaps a hair more so.
actually, my thought was that it would be go for her to be exposed to someone who could thoughtfully articulate the opposite view oft he one she had before.
Not a debate, but a discussion. not for his benefit but for hers.
As for him, he's on record as coveting every opportunity to meet and experience sound intellectual challenges to his views that he might grow thereby.
But for the moment, he clearly and understandably articulates a position she's never been exposed to and it would do her good to be exposed to it.
And what of the opposing view? What happens when some of the fundie's arguments are irrefutable? I realize that LeftForge will howl and dance at the mere prospect of that, but it can happen.
speaking of fundies who try to stir shit up
There's virtually nothing regarding that subject in the bible that's irrefutable. In fact, virtually every major doctrine has thoughtful, well studied and wise people supporting opposing views.
I agree with most of Vines' conclusions and I don't think any of them even approach being irrefutable.
There's almost no such thing.
(and I only say "almost" out of respect for the idea Async or someone might point to a doctrine i hadn't considered. I suppose the existence of God would be an irrefutable Biblical position, but we'd be talking about very broad points)
EDIT: Picking my battles.
I agree. I wasn't asking "what happens when" as if to imply a certitude that it can happen, but rather proposing a hypothetical occurrence. If it turns out that a fundie ever does offer an irrefutable argument, what's the best response to that?
So it's your position that we should either blindly accept or blindly dismiss arguments based on who's making them? Yeah, that's not as bad as what fundies do. Not at all.
Blindly dismiss? No. Consider the source when mulling the validity of an argument? Of course.
yup... its gotten to a Sokar level of banality. liberals!!!111one!
I saw those two girls in the documentary "The most hated family in America" by the BBC Journalist Louis Theroux. It's a great film which you can watch free online. It shows just how crazy and hate filled the cult members were while even then the girls, while still members of the cult, were showing signs of not agree with their bigoted and hateful grandfather. Theroux does some great documentaries.
There is the full documentary on that link.
I'd be hesitant of assuming Megan hasn't been exposed to a wide range of religious arguments. It was in fact one discussion with a man outside the smily that she says started her change of mind, and that it was a common thing to try and refute outsiders arguments. She was living in a cult, but she was by no means cut off from the outside world.
Let me sum it up for you. There's still a whole lot of "Christians don't..." and not nearly enough "Christians do..." in fundamentalist churches.
Fearing God (in the ecclesiastical sense) and loving your neighbor is really all there is to it.
Sound like you've been paying attention to what Jesus taught, instead of listening to the legalism of the fundamentalists.
Fortunately, there is a lot of that going on in some parts of American Christianity, despite the many things that can be criticized in American churches.
That's where it all began for me as well. An extremely liberating experience!
I was most at home in Christianity when I believed that all you had to do was follow the two greatest commandments; love God, and love your neighbor, and by loving one you honored the other.
I think I remember her from the Louis Theroux documentaries. She seemed to be one of the more strident members, though probably a good person underneath.
Good for her.
I'd prefer that Matthew Vines talk to someone like Matt Moore.
Separate names with a comma.