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Old 12-16-2009, 10:38 PM   #1
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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Default Atheists and Agnostics Gather Here... (Part 2)

Calling all non-theists!!

Let's chat. Let's talk about how being an atheist impacts our life.

Let's talk. There are threads for all sorts of beliefs in SCS... so here's one for atheists to chat!

This thread is a continuation of the older thread:
Atheists and Agnostics Gather Here...

NOTE - Copied from old thread.

Christian Bashing

As most of you know, despite the fact that atheists and agnostics have left other Biblically based/Christian Chit-Chat threads alone, we are being watched. Not only that... but, there are certain people who are just waiting to pounce on any post even toeing the line of the TOS. So, please... keep discussions focused on a topic or issue, not on any person.

However, I have to say that whole point of having an atheist thread was to celebrate what it means to be an atheist. The whole point of an agnostic thread is to "learn" and discover, to gather knowledge (in regards to reliion). An atheist is someone who does not believe in God. An agnostic is someone who is examining all of the information BOTH FOR AND AGAINST religion(s) and/or deities. So, for those lurking and expecting to see nothing but pro-Christian sentiments, you are clearly going to see something that offends you. If you have a problem with a position you see, then start a new thread and bring up your issue. Atheists have run-ins with individual Christians every day. Atheists run into theists every day. It should surprise no one that we will be discussing how these run-ins effect our lives.

The Bible thread talks about how wonderful the Bible is and how true it is. We are going to be discussing the opposite.
The Bible thread, and several other threads, presume that Christianity is the best approach to life.
We will be posing the opposite assertion.
The Bible thread posters congratulate each other on life and accomplishments, church callings, prayers, and other milestones.
We will be doing the same here.
That said, there are a number of incidents, in the Biblical threads, that paint non-believers in a less than flattering light. There's a presumption that those who don't believe are missing out or misguided. It should surprise no theist that we will be discussing the opposing statement: that theists are misguided. Theists make the presumption that atheists/agnostics are "lost". We are going to address this, probably over-and-over again, amongst atheists/agnosics. Just as you celebrate your faith as theists: we will be celebrating our freedom as atheists/agnostics.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:26 AM   #2
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Just subscribing to the new thread
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:14 AM   #3
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If I believe in Santa then am I still an atheist?

Morning y'all
and here I go doing something a little tacky but since it helps a lot of people I'm okay with that

Here is a link to my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer page. I walked a few years ago just before my older son turned one. I'm doing it again this July just before he turns 5! My how time flies.

If any of you are looking for a charity to gift this holiday or perhaps for the new year I'd greatly appreciate it if you consider donating to my cause. All the money goes into the program. We pay separate registration fees to pay for food and support for the walk is volunteer based. I chose this particular charity because they don't just send money to scientists LOL. Money goes towards education, patient support in the way of meals and transport to appointments, research, and so much more.

Thanks for letting me get this out there. I really enjoy reading from you all and getting to know you.

http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/...nal&fr_id=1950
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:31 AM   #4
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V - good luck on your fund raising!

------------

I've been following this blog by the guy who wrote "Parenting Beyond Belief", and I thought this post was very interesting. It's about how he ended up using the Santa myth to encourage skeptical and critical thinking in his children. Since this is pretty much the approach I've taken, I like the article

Here's the link: http://parentingbeyondbelief.com/blog/?p=3507

-------------

I think I blew the Santa myth for my 7-yo daughter. She wanted to eat a chocolate orange and I told her they were for Christmas stockings... So now she knows Santa doesn't fill the stockings, mom does. My 10-yo son still hasn't asked if Santa is real, but I think my daughter will be this year.
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:51 AM   #5
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If I believe in Santa then am I still an atheist?

Morning y'all
and here I go doing something a little tacky but since it helps a lot of people I'm okay with that

Here is a link to my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer page. I walked a few years ago just before my older son turned one. I'm doing it again this July just before he turns 5! My how time flies.

If any of you are looking for a charity to gift this holiday or perhaps for the new year I'd greatly appreciate it if you consider donating to my cause. All the money goes into the program. We pay separate registration fees to pay for food and support for the walk is volunteer based. I chose this particular charity because they don't just send money to scientists LOL. Money goes towards education, patient support in the way of meals and transport to appointments, research, and so much more.

Thanks for letting me get this out there. I really enjoy reading from you all and getting to know you.

http://info.avonfoundation.org/site/...nal&fr_id=1950
Thanks Victoria for raising money for a worthy cause.

I believe in Santa. It is what we have in our hearts and shows with all the love we have for our family and friends.

We are visiting our DD's house for the Holidays and everyone will go to a church service on Christmas Eve on the base they live on I don't have a problem with that. I love Christmas music. But that doesn't mean one is not agnostic or atheist.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:01 AM   #6
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You are welcome Sammie, and thank you Alyson. It's near and dear to my heart unfortunately.

I was being a little snotty when I asked that Sammie I'm always surprised at the "Well WHAT do you believe in?" view I hear about when people find out someone is an atheist. Um I believe in respecting people and things, being kind, educated, funny, honest, open and happy. I believe that the Earth rotates around the sun and bacon goes with everything. I believe that if you put out positive intentions you get back positive. I believe that tattoos, piercings, hairstyles, clothes and cars do NOT make the man. I believe that if I am a good human I get what I deserve whether that is good or bad depends on the day. I've had crap and sheer joy in my life and it never once made me question my belief. I believe witnessing is akin to trying to sell me something I don't want to buy. I believe my boys are sometimes the funniest creatures on the planet. I just don't believe in one "true god".
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:04 AM   #7
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SAMMIE! Shame on you
Thank you so much. I'm am humbled by your continued support of my walk. And I'm ticked that you make me cry
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:26 PM   #8
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My two aunts keep sending me chain emails, and several of the notes involve religion or God in some way. The aunts aren't trying to convert me, they assume I believe. But the latest email begins with "God doesn't give you the people you want; He gives you the people you NEED... to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you into the person you were meant to be."
One of the reasons I'm not much of a believer is because I don't like the idea of a god who would purposely throw people into your life just to screw with you. It seems petty and mean. There have been crappy moments in life that changed me, but to think that pain was intentionally thrown in by someone is just awful. Couldn't I just have been made differently to start with, and been able to bypass the pain I learned so much from?
I keep debating whether or not to say something to my aunts, but don't want to give them heart attacks.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:32 PM   #9
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Oh- and I don't know if my kids, 11 and 9 still believe in Santa, but if they ask, I will tell them I honestly don't know. Maybe for those out there with so little, who need so much, maybe there really is a Santa Claus.
Today there was a story in the local area about a pair of men who buy houses to rehab and resell. They recently purchased two houses do this with. A family renting one of the houses would've been evicted and homeless. Instead, the buyers have arranged for the family to live in the one of the purchased houses as tenants, instead of reselling it for profit. For that family, these two men were Santa Clauses.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:02 PM   #10
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Is it ok if I still hang out with you all?
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:05 PM   #11
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Oh- and I don't know if my kids, 11 and 9 still believe in Santa, but if they ask, I will tell them I honestly don't know. Maybe for those out there with so little, who need so much, maybe there really is a Santa Claus.
Today there was a story in the local area about a pair of men who buy houses to rehab and resell. They recently purchased two houses do this with. A family renting one of the houses would've been evicted and homeless. Instead, the buyers have arranged for the family to live in the one of the purchased houses as tenants, instead of reselling it for profit. For that family, these two men were Santa Clauses.
Oh how absolutely lovely.

I think you all are right about Santa Claus, as was the wonderful newspaper editor who wrote the letter back to Virginia ages ago.

I think that spirit of hope and generosity is so beautiful. I guess it's like Shakespeare's a rose: by any other name, that kindness remains just as sweet.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:05 PM   #12
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Jane, it would be horiburple if you left "our" thread.
Is there a story behind your location?
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:10 PM   #13
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If anyone will know where to find this stamp it will be a bunch of atheists an agnostics.

A member of a cat card club I belong to received a card showing four cats from behind looking out a snowy window with the saying, "O Come Let Us Ignore You". She is dying to get one. Has anyone seen it or know where it can be had? Surely at least one of our many atheists and agnostics has snapped that one up.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:13 PM   #14
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PS: Nice to hear from you again, Muddy Otter.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:58 PM   #15
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I'm always surprised at the "Well WHAT do you believe in?" view I hear about when people find out someone is an atheist. Um I believe in respecting people and things, being kind, educated, funny, honest, open and happy. I believe that the Earth rotates around the sun and bacon goes with everything. I believe that if you put out positive intentions you get back positive. I believe that tattoos, piercings, hairstyles, clothes and cars do NOT make the man. I believe that if I am a good human I get what I deserve whether that is good or bad depends on the day. I've had crap and sheer joy in my life and it never once made me question my belief. I believe witnessing is akin to trying to sell me something I don't want to buy. I believe my boys are sometimes the funniest creatures on the planet. I just don't believe in one "true god".
Sometimes I'll point out to a proselytizing Christian that they, too, are unbelievers. They don't believe in Vishnu, or Thor, or Ceridwen, or Ishtar. As has often been said, I just believe in one less god than they do.

I like your statement of beliefs, V
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:07 PM   #16
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I was starting to sound like those Kaiser Health care commercials LOL
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:30 PM   #17
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Jane, it would be horiburple if you left "our" thread.
Is there a story behind your location?
It's a bit of a weird story... I had a small tumor in my throat that Dr removed a couple of months ago. It evidently looked like a little alien eyeball on a stalk and fortunately was benign, thank <any diety you do or do not believe in>.

Anyway the painkillers they gave me after the surgery (which I very much appreciated, having woken up feeling as though the surgeon had spent a couple of hours putting cigarettes out in the back of my throat) kind of made me high as a kite. I'd logged on to post and, um, had a bit of trouble typing words in English.

Anyway, the burple dinosaurs were pretty awesome... I actually kind of miss them!
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:34 PM   #18
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If anyone will know where to find this stamp it will be a bunch of atheists an agnostics.

A member of a cat card club I belong to received a card showing four cats from behind looking out a snowy window with the saying, "O Come Let Us Ignore You". She is dying to get one. Has anyone seen it or know where it can be had? Surely at least one of our many atheists and agnostics has snapped that one up.
OK that's hilariously irreverent.

I can definitely see one of our cats signing up for that!

I have to admit it's nice to have a place where I can ask honest questions. I still do believe, but that doesn't mean I don't see the contradictions and wrestle with them.

It's very comforting to find friends who can understand that.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:05 PM   #19
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Anyway the painkillers they gave me after the surgery (which I very much appreciated, having woken up feeling as though the surgeon had spent a couple of hours putting cigarettes out in the back of my throat) kind of made me high as a kite. I'd logged on to post and, um, had a bit of trouble typing words in English.
But it was freaking hilarious, LOL.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:21 PM   #20
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OK that's hilariously irreverent.

I can definitely see one of our cats signing up for that!

I have to admit it's nice to have a place where I can ask honest questions. I still do believe, but that doesn't mean I don't see the contradictions and wrestle with them.

It's very comforting to find friends who can understand that.
Because life isn't about me believing the way that you do or even caring for that matter Life is about stopping and smelling the buperoses and enjoying the road that took you past them.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:53 PM   #21
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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But it was freaking hilarious, LOL.
It certainly was.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:35 AM   #22
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I went to lunch last week with a friend who has stage 4 breast cancer with tumors in her liver. The Drs are telling her she has about 9 months o live. I have not known her to be religious in any specific way. But at lunch, her eyes teared up and she asked:

"Do you think there is anything after I die? I can't stand the thought that this will be the end."

I didn't know what to say. I told her that it didn't matter what I think but whatever would bring comfort to her life right now is what she should believe. She wanted to believe that there is something after death and I think that if one is dying, that would be a thought that comes to mind. She didn't want this to be all there is. BTW, she is my age and expecting a grandchild in March. I want her to believe what will bring comfort in her remaining days. I would never have said anything at all that would have upset her as she is in a fragile state.

Did I say the right thing? I couldn't say that absolutely there is something wonderful waiting for you as I am not sure there is. She wants to be reunited wit past family that has died. I just don't think it works that way.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:39 AM   #23
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I think what you said was perfect.
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Old 12-19-2009, 08:44 AM   #24
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I think you did the right thing Sammie. If you were of a faith different from hers you may have said the exact same thing.

We can't know how we will feel when the time comes for each of us but I do know that when my daughter died I didn't start thinking about the ever after. Her body is buried in a cemetery a few miles away and that's it. Does that sound cold? It's the truth. I don't think her "spirit" is in heaven. I just don't. If it gave me comfort to think that maybe I would. But it doesn't. I'm sure your friend is questioning a lot past present and future. I would be honored to include her on my names list in July. If you would like me to or if you would like to ask her if I may PM me with her name and I'll be happy to include it on my placard.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:18 AM   #25
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Because life isn't about me believing the way that you do or even caring for that matter Life is about stopping and smelling the buperoses and enjoying the road that took you past them.
Not to mention the pain medication that made you hallucinate them!
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:23 AM   #26
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I went to lunch last week with a friend who has stage 4 breast cancer with tumors in her liver. The Drs are telling her she has about 9 months o live. I have not known her to be religious in any specific way. But at lunch, her eyes teared up and she asked:

"Do you think there is anything after I die? I can't stand the thought that this will be the end."

I didn't know what to say. I told her that it didn't matter what I think but whatever would bring comfort to her life right now is what she should believe. She wanted to believe that there is something after death and I think that if one is dying, that would be a thought that comes to mind. She didn't want this to be all there is. BTW, she is my age and expecting a grandchild in March. I want her to believe what will bring comfort in her remaining days. I would never have said anything at all that would have upset her as she is in a fragile state.

Did I say the right thing? I couldn't say that absolutely there is something wonderful waiting for you as I am not sure there is. She wants to be reunited wit past family that has died. I just don't think it works that way.
I think you said the right thing.

I think that, as one of the folks in my Al-Anon group once said, sometimes it's more important to be kind than to be right--or I'd add, to score a point at the expense of someone who's truly suffering.

My Dad (who was raised Jewish but had a real love/hate relationship with religion in general) used to talk a lot about the fact that the only thing we KNOW lives on after us is love. If we love another person, then that love becomes a part of them, and if the love we share with them helps them to love and show compassion to others, then all of us in the world today who love are truly keeping so many people we'll never even know alive in ways that we can never imagine, because the love they shared with someone carries on in our own ability to love and offer kindness to one another.

I always loved his outlook on that. It just seemed like a very wise and comforting view whether one has religious beliefs or not.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:33 AM   #27
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Oh my Mo you gots mad smarts! That is really sweet, and sentimental but also makes a lot of logical sense to me. I've talk to Wrose before about how I believe in ghosts and she asks how if I'm not religious. I think it's a play on the love thing. There is a part of a human that is so essentially THAT person that I feel remains long after their body. Not their spirit but their experiences, their emotions, personality, their core for lack of a better word that I think remains around and continues to exist.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:02 AM   #28
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Oh my Mo you gots mad smarts! That is really sweet, and sentimental but also makes a lot of logical sense to me. I've talk to Wrose before about how I believe in ghosts and she asks how if I'm not religious. I think it's a play on the love thing. There is a part of a human that is so essentially THAT person that I feel remains long after their body. Not their spirit but their experiences, their emotions, personality, their core for lack of a better word that I think remains around and continues to exist.
It does seem that religious beliefs are simply a sign of, not the reason for, the need most humans have to find other dimensions to our existence.

I have a "feeling" that there is a circle of life going on. Whether there is consciousness to that I do not know. It is almost entirely responsible for my distaste at the thought of being closed up in a metal box and lowered into the ground when I die. I want to get back into the circle of life. I have told my sister that I want her to take my body out into the woods or the outback and leave it for the animals. That is also inspired partially by the fact that I would like her to be able to get up at my memorial service and say, "Dingo ate moy sistah." Gotta leave em laughing.

I saw movie a while ago (can't remember what) where in the Himalayas the deceased was ritually cut and dismembered, with the parts being tossed up in the air for the eagles or condors to swoop down and grab. That is the sort of thing that would give me comfort - a direct road back into the circle of life.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:56 AM   #29
neglecting the kids and housework
 
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I'm torn right now between cremation and ashes left in Monterey which leaves my kids nowhere concrete to visit if they choose or burial which I find almost breeds guilt, at least in my that that person is there waiting for a visit and I choose not to.

ANd I couldn't help but laugh at your dingo reference. Wasn't it an SNL skit or something? "The dingo ate my baby!" Must google.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:57 AM   #30
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I'm torn right now between cremation and ashes left in Monterey which leaves my kids nowhere concrete to visit if they choose or burial which I find almost breeds guilt, at least in my that that person is there waiting for a visit and I choose not to.

ANd I couldn't help but laugh at your dingo reference. Wasn't it an SNL skit or something? "The dingo ate my baby!" Must google.
Googled. Could have done without knowing that.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:30 AM   #31
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I'm torn right now between cremation and ashes left in Monterey which leaves my kids nowhere concrete to visit if they choose or burial which I find almost breeds guilt, at least in my that that person is there waiting for a visit and I choose not to.

ANd I couldn't help but laugh at your dingo reference. Wasn't it an SNL skit or something? "The dingo ate my baby!" Must google.
It was a line in a Meryl Streep movie. A Cry in the Wild, or something like that. It was one of the few Meryl Streep movies I did not care for, but the line has become iconic.
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:30 PM   #32
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I think you did the right thing Sammie. If you were of a faith different from hers you may have said the exact same thing.

We can't know how we will feel when the time comes for each of us but I do know that when my daughter died I didn't start thinking about the ever after. Her body is buried in a cemetery a few miles away and that's it. Does that sound cold? It's the truth. I don't think her "spirit" is in heaven. I just don't. If it gave me comfort to think that maybe I would. But it doesn't. I'm sure your friend is questioning a lot past present and future. I would be honored to include her on my names list in July. If you would like me to or if you would like to ask her if I may PM me with her name and I'll be happy to include it on my placard.
I am so sorry about your daughter Victoria. I think along the lines as you do. Mark and I have our headstones up with everything etched on them but the ending date. It was part of his parent’s plot that they bought many years ago. But we are both going to be cremated. The kids will have a place to go to if they choose afterwards....but we won't be there.

My SIL lost her 16 y/o son to an over dose of Tylenol and up to that point was a practicing Catholic. But after his death, she lost her feeling of any kind of faith or religion and also believes his body is where he was buried and that is the end. We just talked about it the other day. Some have said to her that God must have wanted him up with him and that statement makes her crazy. Me too actually.
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:36 PM   #33
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I am so sorry about your daughter Victoria. I think along the lines as you do. Mark and I have our headstones up with everything etched on them but the ending date. It was part of his parent’s plot that they bought many years ago. But we are both going to be cremated. The kids will have a place to go to if they choose afterwards....but we won't be there.

My SIL lost her 16 y/o son to an over dose of Tylenol and up to that point was a practicing Catholic. But after his death, she lost her feeling of any kind of faith or religion and also believes his body is where he was buried and that is the end. We just talked about it the other day. Some have said to her that God must have wanted him up with him and that statement makes her crazy. Me too actually.
Yeah those comments are really hurtful. Why would god want him up there instead of with his family? My DD was only 23 days so she obviously did nothing one way or another to "earn" it. In those cases I think people of faith are really selfish. They are saying those things to make themselves feel better.
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:05 PM   #34
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Yeah those comments are really hurtful. Why would god want him up there instead of with his family? My DD was only 23 days so she obviously did nothing one way or another to "earn" it. In those cases I think people of faith are really selfish. They are saying those things to make themselves feel better.
V and Sammie, I will never understand why people say such things. I agree that they're probably trying to comfort themselves, and not thinking of how it comes across, although I'm not entirely sure it's meant to be selfish. I think sometimes when people don't know what to say, they don't think about how what they say might come across. We certainly heard a lot of comments when we were going through fertility treatment that made me want to scream, but I knew the people well enough to know they meant no harm.

I don't know, maybe if someone thinks exactly as the believer does, it might come across as sharing comfort. But one would have to be pretty oblivious to say that to a nonbeliever.

Sammie, I'm so sad to hear about your friend, and so sad to hear about her losing her son as she did.

I've always had a hard time with that 'everything happens for a reason' brand of consolation, as though faith should somehow mean we can or even should step directly past the anguish of a terrible loss and accept that the person we've lost has gone to a 'better place.' I guess I don't know enough to say whether or not everything happens according to some sort of divine plan. That's just too far beyond my grasp. I think sometimes things happen and it's just random and horrible and can only be borne and endured, and never fully understood. I guess I've always felt that my job wasn't to dismiss anguish as serving some sort of greater 'purpose,' but rather to see the suffering of others and do all I can to bring healing and peace wherever possible.

I think that whatever meaning there might be lies not in the random cruelty of terrible losses, but in the terrible humanity of the struggle to endure, and in all the ways we reach out to one another in compassion, love and hope. If that doesn't or can't transcend claims that only a single religion, or single denomination or interpretation can sanctify that quiet kindness or give it meaning, I would have a hard time believing in a God who would dismiss that goodness because those who share it with their fellow man don't attend the 'right' church.
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:47 PM   #35
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You know, way back in the 70s, Notre Dame had a great football team. It was the late 70s and I was in Atlanta at Georgia Tech. I went with a bunch of friends to the Notre Dame/Georgia Tech football game.

Notre Dame was ranked #1 when they showed up. They were bragging that God made Notre Dame #1.

So - when "lowly" Georgia Tech beat them, when the polls came out the next day, we said,

God made Notre Dame #1, Georgia Tech made them #7.
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Old 12-25-2009, 06:30 AM   #36
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I wanted to pop in and say Merry Christmas! My 4 year old was up at 5:30 this morning tearing into presents like a wild woman. My 1 year old just looked confused and tried to eat the paper.

I'd love to hear what you're up to today!
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Old 12-25-2009, 07:00 AM   #37
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[QUOTE=krystie lee;15765107]I wanted to pop in and say Merry Christmas! My 4 year old was up at 5:30 this morning tearing into presents like a wild woman. My 1 year old just looked confused and tried to eat the paper.

Well, over-ate, of course. We had a beautiful locally smoked ham for christmas eve dinner. There were so many desserts that many haven't been tasted yet.

Today it will be a bounty of leftovers, fun and games, and a copy of the new Night at the Smithsonian from a christmas stocking.
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Old 12-25-2009, 08:31 AM   #38
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You know, way back in the 70s, Notre Dame had a great football team. It was the late 70s and I was in Atlanta at Georgia Tech. I went with a bunch of friends to the Notre Dame/Georgia Tech football game.

Notre Dame was ranked #1 when they showed up. They were bragging that God made Notre Dame #1.

So - when "lowly" Georgia Tech beat them, when the polls came out the next day, we said,

God made Notre Dame #1, Georgia Tech made them #7.

LMAO!!!!!
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Old 12-25-2009, 08:46 AM   #39
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If anyone will know where to find this stamp it will be a bunch of atheists an agnostics.

A member of a cat card club I belong to received a card showing four cats from behind looking out a snowy window with the saying, "O Come Let Us Ignore You". She is dying to get one. Has anyone seen it or know where it can be had? Surely at least one of our many atheists and agnostics has snapped that one up.
Too late for this year, but is this what you're looking for?
https://rubbercottage.com/index.php?...chk=1&Itemid=1

I found it at a stamp convention, got it for a cat loving friend, then needed to go find it for myself. LOL!

(and if anyone makes a card with it that looks wonderful without taking 1000 hours to make, please let me know ... )
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Old 12-25-2009, 08:53 AM   #40
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LMAO!!!!!
Hi Madge! Your name at the top of EEC is what pulled me into this thread. Hope your workin day is peaceful and there's a great meal and good company waiting for you later.

Off soon to DFF's to see her new grandbaby, yuck it up and eat too much.
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