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WFG Retired
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Posts posted by EKen132

  1. Ah, I meant it was the same sort of situation in that a pastor's religious politics were isolating some of the community from a more active role in the church, whether it be attending or donating money. And yeah, I think a pastor can most certainly be conservative (religously or politcally in general) and still not support corrupt conservative politicians or the war in Iraq. I think that's very possible.

  2. Yeah, and almost akin to a situation at our own church. The liberal leaning pastor is having a heck of a time raising some funds for a building project, but it's really no suprise sometimes, looking at his sermons. It's hard to feel compelled to give money when you have no foundation on the sacrifice it requires to be truly Christian. So when he starts talking about sacrifice in his sermons when we need money, but has never talked about it before... well there's no depth to it, and consequently, the pocket-books close.

  3. I'm a Chrisitian, but with more tolerant views than most of mainstream Chrisitianity. For example, I don't believe that homosexuals will go to hell if they are devout and good people, just for liking the same gender.

    I am pretty sure the standard Catholic view is that no devout and good homosexual person will go to hell just for liking the same gender.

    Now, I don't call myself christian anymore, and I despise those that believe in the literal meaning of the bible... no offense for anybody though.

    Perhaps a better way to phrase it would be "I despise when people take the bible literally," rather than "I despise people who take the bible literally." Unless of course you mean the former :blush: but that's a personal problem, haha. But I've found that I really don't hate people who do things that annoy me, I hate it when they do those things. So...

    Roman Catholic. I suppose devout may be used- I do go to Mass every day now. Indeed, as I contemplate my path in life I cannot help but gaze across the Tiber...

    So you're gonna be the Pope, eh? Seriously though, I applaud your decision, or if it's not a decision, then your ability to seriously focus on that option. It's a tough thing to do today.

  4. Well, I just ended my second scam bait today. It went fairly well, except I would've been more convincing had I given the person a phone number. Instead, I stalled on both sending him money and giving him a phone number, and maybe payed the price...

    +forged boarding pass and flight to Nigeria

    +maintained that I fled the United States on account of lawsuit threats from Greenpeace

    +got scammer to wait for me in an airport holding a sign that read "B4LLS"

    +signed all my letters "homie," developed my fake identity and pretentious vocabulary

    -almost, but didn't quite get reservations at Le Meridien, the most expensive hotel in Lagos, Nigeria... they would've cost over a grand US anyhow

    -ended in about two weeks and the man hates me now

    Take a look at all the pictures, browse our correspondence, and check out the nasty burn e-mail I sent him at the end. Altogether a hilarious hobby.

    EDIT: Well crap the word doc won't attach for some reason... Let me try something else

    EDIT: PM me for the correspondence. I promise it'll be worth it. Well, here's my final e-mail to him for now:


  5. Bobby you have inspired me. Observe the seeds I have planted for what is sure to be a great friendship:


    From Faith Johnson

    Dearest One,

    With Due Respect And Humanity, I was compelled to write to you under a

    humanitarian ground.

    My name is Faith Johnson. I was born in Baltimore, Maryland, I am married to

    Mr.Andrew Johnson director J.C Industries Cote d'Ivoire.We were married for

    36 years without a child. He died after a Cadiac Arteries Operation.And

    Recently, My Doctor told me that I would not last for the next six months

    due to my cancer problem (cancer of the lever and stroke).

    Before my husband died last year there is this sum $17 Million Dollars that

    he deposited with a

    Private Finance Company here In Ivory Coast. Presently this money is still

    in the Vault of the

    Company.Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to any good

    God fearing brother or sister that will utilize this fund the way I am going

    to instruct herein.

    I want somebody that will use this fund according to the desire of my

    late.husband to help Lessprivilaged people, orphanages,widows and

    propagating the word of God. I took this decision because I don’t have any

    child that will inherit this fund, And I don’t want in away where this money

    will be used in an unGodly way.

    This is why I am taking this decision to hand you over this Fund. I am not

    afraid of death hence I know where I am going.I want you to always remember

    me in your daily prayers because of my up coming Cancer Surgery.Write back

    as soon as possible any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing

    another person for this same purpose, Hoping to read from you asap.

    God bless you as you listing to the voice of reasoning,


    Mrs Faith Johnson


    My dearest Faith Johnson:

    OK yeah that would be great if you would just totally straight up transfer that 17 mil lump sum to my checking account. Listen I'll save you the trouble, I'd technically really actually prefer it in cash. I've got some tankers going down to Nigeria. But say we pull a pit stop in Abidjan-- what I really need to know is where you're operating out of. I can have my men as far north as Yamousoukro by Friday, but unless the goods are coming cash, we're talking a little bit of a service charge for any sooner or any farther. Listen, I'm really excited to do business with you. I know just the man in Portugal, he actually does money management in Lisbon, but has done a little venture capitalist work of the humanitarian nature, if you catch my drift-- he could hook you up with widows and orphans like you wouldn't believe. We're really talking Morocco now, he's actually out of Tanger, but we're close, you know. Like this. I'll tell you what, I'll try and cut a deal with him. He has more than a few close contacts in Angola, believe it or not. They were into the big game industry, really made it when they got some investors from England and a word-of-mouth network like you or your grandmother wouldn't believe. But hey, that's a story for a different day. The point is, they came clean and heard the gospels and now they're off on the other side of the continent in Tanzania doing missionary work-- of all places Tanzania, can you believe it?! I was actually talking to one of them the other month, and he was saying the weather's really been brutal lately. That was the other month though, my buddy in Morocco was saying he's never seen more rain in his life. I'm like, have you ever heard of the Gulf Stream? Apparantly not. He may not be the brightest bulb in the tool shed, but he's got a heart of silver. Anyhow, I'm sorry, that's a story for a different day, the weather in North Africa is unbelievable though. Listen, enough small talk. I want to hear about the money. I'm saying I can have a fleet as far as San Pedro by Wednesday 2 am, if the weather isn't half as crazy as my pal in Morocco says it is. But let's give them 12 hours leeway, we're still talking Thursday noon and Friday by that time I hope to have some men in the capital. Where exactly is this money at? I don't need specifics; I wouldn't want to pique your suspicion, just let's throw down a city name and date on the table, and I'll get a real conversation going. You know, I have a good friend who actually bought half the Egyptian cotton crop earlier this year. What can I say, it's been a slow year in the land of the Nile and he's got pockets deeper than a silverback gorilla. Now he's not your born again type, but I have no doubt the fear of God is somewhere close to his heart; let me do a little talking with him, and we'll see if we can't make more clothes than the widowed population of central Africa will know what to do with, huh? You with me? Are you? Huh?

    Most sincerely yours truly,

    Roger Q. Pendleton III Esq.

  6. You know, I've actually been reading Dante's Divine Comedy recently, and the applications it's had to conversations on this board keep coming up. As a book, I would say that 99% of it is theologically sound in the sense that it gets the messages of Christianity across, or Dante at least put them in- whether or not the reader picks up on all of them is a different story. As a historically and scientifically accurate book, it fails; Dante confused many mythological and historical figures, and his science is obviously that of the middle ages, where their instruments and knowledge was much less than we have now. A lot of theory with meteorolgy and astronomy is pretty silly sounding to us. However, I can't critisize though, because in 700 years (if we aren't extinct) we'll think scientists at the beginning of the third millenium AD were silly too.

    Anyhow, reading this has been an incredible insight to the medieval Catholic Church. Dante does love to infuse the poem with his own personal views of the Catholic Church as religious successor the Roman Empire (and the Holy Roman Empire its political counterpart) and the "donation of Constantine" (ie the first time the church aquired real money) as the second fall of man (not literally, but he sure hated that little move). However, there is validity in knowing his opinion as it seems probably that it will at least to a degree it would accurately reflect the state of the church. Dante, in the first canticle of the Divine Comedy, places many religious figures in hell- popes and bishops included. This fact sheds an awakening light on the subject of clergy and the afterlife- many conservative Christians today would almost feel the clergy "immune" to hell, which is simply not the case. Although admittedly, the clergy abuse scandals of late (haha well they actually _happened_ decades ago...) have brought this idea back into the forefront. Also, Dante absolutely despises the fact that the church has tried to combine with government. He finds it disgusting and unnatural, and deals with it (I think) also in his treatise De Monarchia. Basically his view is that the more power the church gains politically and economically, the more is sways from its true purpose and God's intention for it. Although money for building churches, schools and funding charity is obviously fine, when individual clergymen acquire wealth, bad things happen. Dante is sure to give Simoniacs, that is, sellers of religious items and favors, their own ring in hell where their feet are roasted in flames, then they are dropped off an infinite rocky cliff. So now with my main points given, I'll just respond quickly to some comments.

    I don't think anyone will disagree that the Church lost/has lost its way - especially in the Middle Ages.

    As I absolutely believe about human nature in general, I don't think that one age is any better or worse than another. We are all people who are generally the same, and we make up a church that has been generally the same. I think a lot of your perception comes from a.) misunderstandings perpetuated by many public schools, like selling indulgences and b.) the fact that science in those days was so different from today, that the church's association with science made it appear just as silly. However, that is not to say the church was not corrupt; I do believe that many money, corruption, simoniacal, and inheritance issues were terrible then.

    The Church became so involved in politics and vise versa - it was just a bad situation.

    I would tend to agree. I have thought independently of Dante about the nature of Church and state, and I've really come to believe that society should focus more on a positive/negative feedback model. This is some strange stuff I've made up, but basically I think government should be in place to guarantee that man can follow his own ends as freely as possible and Church in place to follow God's ends as best as possible. If a society then fails to adhere to a morality (which non-religious as well can agree has disasterous consequences) then the society itself will bring about its own downfall, stemming from the 'negative feedback' of their actions. This sort of theory tends to work best tied in with small independent states. Now I'm really getting off topic.

    The Church could and would ruin people's lives - clear up to the King, so that their authority remained unchallenged.

    I think there's a pretty large misunderstanding here in thinking that the Catholic Church ruined Henry's life. Famously, Henry had six wives and broke away England from the Catholic Church. His first wife, Catherine of Aragon, was his dead brother's old widow. He sought an annulment for the marriage because she had only born him a son. When the Church said no, he broke away from the church. His second wife he falsely accused of treason, incest and some other BS so he could have her executed. Of course he was back in bed soon with one of Boleyn's ladies in waiting. She actually died of natural causes, so on to the marriage 4. After six months of marriage to #4, they had it annulled, and she claimed that in six months they had not slept together. Oh, and he gave her a castle and a large amount of real estate. Of couse, as soon as that was over, he was up and marrying #5, who he beheaded a few years later (but actually, she being in her teens and he being nearly 50 by now, she had done some screwing around outside of marriage... which means treason, because she's teh queen). #6 outlived him.

    Ah, Henry the VIII, what a beloved and virtuous old scumbag. I went through this nice little history lesson to dispell the rumor that this man, in any way, had his life ruined by the church. He was known for his audacious wield of power, and in no way would probably agree with his own statement. Obviously he payed no attention to the church; he broke a country away from it and started his own. In fact I'd even go so far as to say that he, on his death bed, might laugh at that statement.

    The Church at this point could easily have altered texts


    Then there are the old texts that survive

    Well if there aren't any huge differences between them, wouldn't that show the church did not alter them?

  7. OK in short stories, don't be so explicit. Now mind you, I've no degree in literature, and I've never actually written a short story, but I've got some idea of good literature.

    Like I said, don't be quite so explicit. The best short stories and poems are onions. There's an obvious layer, a symbol layer, and an even deeper layer of ideas. For instance, when the 'peon' says "It’s almost like crawling down the throat of a great beast," that quote hits the reader over the head with symbolism. I should be searching harder for a connection; if you really want to put that idea in dialogue, make more dialogue so it blends in better. I would say that the microwave "bell-toll for humanity" at the end is good though. However, the "we're no better than our ancestors" part immediately preceding that is a little too obvious. As much as I love the moral of the story, I feel I should have to search for it a bit harder.

    Now that's not to say the quote at the beginning is bad. In fact, I think that's a great thing to have, and I love the feeling of it. But understand that the reader should only be able to go back at the end and struggle a bit to tie together motifs from the story to find that message. As for the dialogue at the end, I agree with your opinion that it is hypocritical to scoff at the past- that humanity never truly changes, but perhaps the characters could state their feelings without exactly stating yours. They would be similar, but have them circle around what you're getting at. As a reader, I feel a bit cheated when the moral of the story is told to me by the main character as practically the last line.

    Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying your short story is bad in any way! I really liked it, but if you want to take it to the next level, I have given my suggestions. You definitely have talent, and a good amount of audacity; very few kids our age would ever even begin to write a short story. And I commend you for that! So keep at it!

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