Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Someone...Anyone...Please Confirm My Sanity!!

Reporting from Secaucus, NJ....everything is anything but sane!

I am attending a hazmat training seminar and things have taken quite an interesting twist. Tonight several out-of-towners, including the instructor and yours truly, have met for cocktails and dinner. The dinner conversation included a heated discussion with the the instructor on politcs and religion. When he got distracted, others put him back on track just to see what would be discussed next. Most of it involved religious history, but not all of it. He was so sure of his convictions. I acknowledged that we all are limited to our experiences and for that reason our knowledge suffers from many limitations. I also stated that I prefer to be naive in my determination that all people should be given the benefit of the doubt that their actions are based on a desire for a greater good for mankind....however skewed that that may occasionally be. he agreed with me on these points. A few points that bothered me were:

1. The US is on the verge of a civil war. (I was asked if I even followed the news...to which I replied that I generally do not watch Rush Limbaugh....neither did my instructor.)

2. All practicing Muslims (yes, men, women & children....were indeed at war with infidels. They may not admit it because their primary contention is not to attack unless they know they can win. Their numbers are growing, so it won't be long)

3. Mary Magdeline really was a whore.

4. Puritans were Dutch (I know they were English as one of my ancesters escaped persecution in England, became a Planter in Plymouth in the early 1630's and followed the teaching of his friend, John Lothropp....I am sane on this point :)

5. Catholc origins are found in mythrils (my problem here maybe my lack of ability to spell the word in my search engine...I have tried all possible conbinations and this is the only version Yahoo! has turned up anything.)

6. Jesus was a man who became a Savior, but he is not a deity. God was just an agent within him. To this point I suggest that based on such terms that God was within us all....to which he suggested only those who are saved....to which I suggested to everyone whether or not they understood such terms as saved or unsaved (this dialogue has nothing to do with my thoughts...I was just curious about the instructor's thoughts).

There was more, but I just can't wrap my head around most of it. I got the feeling that I was one of the first to question some of his research...including the correctness of his direct translation of the bible from Hebrew....my point here was..word for word translation aside, it is difficult to gain knowledge of common connotations a couple thousand years later.

My ending thought is that maybe I should keep my thoughts to myself....but it began so innocentley. I had no idea of the twists that one comment would take....so much for my general conviction of avoiding topics on politics and religion.

6 comments:

Dave Moulton said...

Hi Lisa,
I will confirm that you are as sane as I am, and for a crazy person I am pretty damn sane.

There is a buzz phrase popular today; “Think outside the box” and we are encouraged to do so. People like you and I we think outside the box when it comes to God and religion. I will go so far as to say that many of the problems in the World today are caused by people stuck in their various religious boxes.

I would particularly like to give a big “Amen Sister” to your comment #6. I like to think that when JC said “I am the Son of God” what he really meant was we are all sons, or children of God.

After all, isn’t everything we see around us, every living thing and creature including ourselves, God manifest? A palm tree here in Charleston looks pretty much the same to me as a palm tree in Baghdad. So how come we have different Gods?

If we are all children of God, then JC’s statement that “The only way to the Father is through the Son” takes on a whole different meaning. The only way to find God is though ourselves; to look within.

Some go to Tibet or India to find God; I say stay home, save your money, God is within you, wherever you’re at.

Don’t get me started.

David.

Consul-At-Arms said...

I hope this loon knows more (rather than just thinking he knows more) about hazmat than he does about world or religious history, to say nothing of current events.

1. The U.S. is on the verge of a congressional election. Not. A. Civil. War. Wishful thinking maybe? This guy a survivalist too?

2. There's some basis, from a purely theological point of view, for this, except that I'm not sure what he meant about "numbers growing." In the U.S.? The numbers of muslims in the U.S. is a constantly inflated (and unbelievable, if one thinks about it for more than a moment) figure that outfits like C.A.I.R. bandy about. Worldwide they could be maybe a billion, maybe more, maybe less. Every muslim? No. Many muslims? Sure. The majority of muslims? Probably not.

3. Don't know, but it's not really nice to call someone that. Does this guy know that 'cause he's a former customer or something?

4. The Puritans did spend some years exiled from in England and living in Holland, but that doesn't even technically make them Dutch by today's standards, let alone those of the 1600's.

5. Did he mean Mithraism perhaps? There are some similarities, particularly with ceremonials, but this guy's probably been reading too many paperback thrillers by novelists who are not themselves theologians.

6. This is a question answered differently by each Christian denomination, to say nothing of how other religions (such as Islam) characterize the historical Jesus.

Lisa said...

Thank you Consul-At-Arms and Dave for the sanity check.

Hooray...I really am sane! :)

The instructor did know hazmat with a passion. He just retired this past August from the Coast Guard and has spent a good bit of time in Seattle and Anchorage, AK where many of these thoughts were formed.

I did know I was right about the Puritans. One of my more direct ancestors is Henry Rowley who was a Planter in Plymouth in the early 1630's. Based on the fact he is not documented on any vessel and had close ties to John Lothropp...the general consensus is that he was a stowaway and that he probably one of 18 who escaped England after one of their "meetings" was stormed and 44 were thrown in Jail...including the Rev. John Lathrop/Lothroppe.

Consul-At-Arms said...

Happy to contribute to anyone's continued sanity.

Anonymous said...

Mithra, an ancient Persian god. One of many ancient deities that died and was latter resurrected. Most Christian notions, rituals and beliefs have seeming origins in the precedent middle eastern religions. The Roman soldiers even had alters to Mithra as far away from Persia as Vindolanda, a Roman garrison on Hadrians Wall separating ancient Britain from the Picts of Scotland.

Lisa said...

I did scan a few articles on Mithraism. Most discussed similarities with Christianity in general...none specificallly pointed to Catholicisn. The fading of this religion coincides nicely with the edict of Theodosius I in 394 which is a far more plausible explantion than collusion on the part of all Mithra leaders to create/convert to a new, better, different brand of christianity.