Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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About Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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  • Birthday 03/13/1953

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    Jonathan Lobl

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    Apathetic Agnostic and Atheist
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    New York City (Jackson Hts. in Queens)

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  1. I think this is a simple enough impulse. The followers of each path want to feel Special and Unique and part of the Elite. Just like everybody else. If the others are calling their path religion -- the special path needs to be understood differently. As in, the chosen. Of course, they choose themselves.
  2. In this regard, I have no issues with Hobby Lobby. If the owners chooses not to open on Sundays, that is their choice. If a business owner wants to close shop on Thursdays, as a way of giving honor to the Mighty Thor, the government has nothing to say about it. It is up to the potential customers to decide whether or not to shop there. At the same time, if a Moon worshiping Pagan should choose not to operate a business on Monday; again, the government would have nothing to say about it.
  3. Of course. There would have been something different. We can't possibly know what, but it would have been something. Something different.
  4. I am not neutral in these matters, so I will declare my bias up front. I am an ordained minister of the Apathetic Agnostic Church. The church motto is -- "We don't know and we don't care.". Obviously, I don't think a religion needs God. In this case, a religious philosophy, as expressed in the motto. Now that that's out of the way: Thanks to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, No American judge is allowed to declare a church legal or illegal. What they can do is prohibit or restrict a specific practice; as being against the public welfare. For instance, only one Native American church is allowed the sacrament of Peyote. Old Kirby Hensley put a lot of effort into keeping government out of our churches. We should remember him fondly. When a government judge has the authority to decide what religions are lawful or unlawful -- or what churches -- we open the door to religious persecution. This is one door that I want to see closed and sealed for all time.
  5. I don't speak that much about the Eastern religions because I have less exposure to them. I have had some encounters with the Hare Krishna people. (International Society for Krishna Consciousness. -- ISCON) It's like talking with any other Fundamentalists. They focus on the Bhagavad Gita, but they also study the Upanishads. Not that it matters for now, I find some of their doctrine highly suspect. They work with the translation of their Guru. I read the translation from Christopher Isherwood. Very different. Yes. I read their Book. They express their ideology as "Bhakti Yoga." The yoga path of devotional love of God. Needless to say, their way of loving God is more pleasing to God than any other path for loving God. Their path has more spiritual benefit for the followers/ devotees than any other path. I can't speak to their lifestyle. They have been caught up in major child abuse scandals. I have attended some of their vegetarian feasts. A little sweet for my taste, but good.
  6. Over the years, I keep blundering across religious people, who insist that they do not have religion. Christians are not religious. They have a special relationship with God. Everybody else just has religion. And they are going to Hell. Muslims are not religious. They submit to the will of Allah. Of course, if you are in an Islam dominated country, It is best not to insult religion. Or the Prophet. Or the Koran. Non-Muslims are going to Hell. Strangely, Muslims have the only true religion, depending on who is doing the preaching. Orthodox Jews are not religious. They only follow God's Law. Buddhists are not religious. They only have a practice, which can help people of all religions. Or a philosophy, which can help people of all religions. I find myself wondering. What is it about religion that even the religious flee from the word? Of course, the Monotheists who are not religious, are certain that they have the right god. All the others are false.
  7. Continuing from another thread (No Religion): What is the difference between a religion, a philosophy, a practice and a church. I think this could be an interesting conversation.
  8. The wonderful world of what if: Without Biblical support for slavery, things might have been different. Without White Racist churches, things might have been different. Maybe not better. Possibly even worse. But different. The same for comedy, music and everything else. I don't know what we would have instead. We would have something. It would be different. It is the path not taken. I don't know what would have happened without Christian dominance. We will never know. I think it could have been better. I don't actually know. Well, I am Agnostic.
  9. You have gone silent. Are you still here?
  10. More than public land. Courthouse property. The place where the Law is administered. It's a power grab. The way they seized the money, for propaganda. The way they seized the Pledge, for propaganda. It's a sad thing to watch a culture get hijacked by one religion. Even sadder to put up with it's proponents deny having taken over. Cultural dominants need to be reminded that they are not the only voice. This is not making fun of Christianity. It is a response. What should not happen is for time to go by. Then the cultural dominants want to know -- "How come nobody complained at the time?".
  11. So much for mutual respect.
  12. That would be interesting. At that point, the established churches become a corrupt agent of a corrupt government. Opposition switches from ideology to politics. It would do wonders for Atheism. Of course, the new church power would go to their heads. I'm thinking of the military chaplain corps. And the prison chaplains. And the school chaplains. They will become drunk with power over their captive audiences.
  13. Monkeys that drink antifreeze get no mileage at all.
  14. That was actually my point. We have Jews and Christians and Muslims who are obviously practicing religion. People who will look you right in the eye -- and explain that everybody else has religion. They have a special relationship to God that is not religion. Buddhists play a similar game. They don't have a religion. They have a practice. A practice suitable for members of all religions. For the rest, if you care to thrash out the distinctions between a religion, a church, a philosophy and a practice -- that could be interesting. This thread is not the place for it.
  15. Yes. The church that preaches SUBMISSION. Your church. No, wait. That's another religion. The one you don't respect.