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Author Topic: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain  (Read 393229 times)

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2006, 02:35:26 PM »

The fight scene was interesting in only I did not really understand it's point.  It looked to me they where having fun until Ennis got mad, which is very common.  Teasing is the same, it is all fun until someone gets hurt.  But it was important to the end scenes, so that is understood.

Hi Doug -  I actually had some questions about the way this is portrayed as well, at first it looks as if Ennis is trying to play along with Jack (after Jack lassos him with the rope) but it quickly seems to turn more serious.  IMO this is because Ennis feels bad about leaving the mountain, and he can't pretend to be happy or even have one last joyful time with Jack.  He is too much distressed.  The punch is explained a little more in the written story -- Ennis (in the motel) tries to explain to Jack that he had an older brother who always beat him up, so Ennis had to develop an instinct to fight back so his brother would leave him alone.  But the truth is, it was probably because Ennis was feeling more pain than he could bear at that moment, and Jack was the cause of it, although Jack hitting Ennis (the bloody nose) was an accident.  Jack hit Ennis first (bloody nose) then Ennis punched Jack, hard, no accident.

I hope that is not too confusing!

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The Ennis sick scene was confusing to me, why he was throwing up is a mystery.  If he was so saddened I would have thought he would have been crying uncontrollably instead. 

The story explains this better than the movie.  It says after driving less than a mile, Ennis had to pull to the side of the road, felt like his guts were being pulled from him hand over hand a foot at a time, tried to vomit but nothing came up. " He felt as bad as he had ever felt and it took a long time for the feeling to wear off."

This is due to parting from Jack.  He explains to Jack in the motel (in the story, not the movie) it took him a year to realize he got sick because he never should have let Jack out of his sight.

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I really felt bad that both him and Jack felt it was necessary to cover by taking innocent wives.  And it had no other option be to be hard for all involved.  I know that a great many men take wives in the hope that they will somehow change them.  All it does is make them even more isolated from their own beings.   But that is true to reality, and if that was the point it came across clear.

Another thing true to reality is the bone crushing poverty these two was dealing with.  Jack was trapped by it and so was Ennis only in different ways. 

I had great hope that they would find a way to be together, but having been in these kind of places myself, I also know that is not necessary the outcome.  It would have been nice. 

Jacks death, Ennis in his room, to the end scene hurt me greatly.  It brought back a flood of memories, of pain, of loss, and hopelessness. Of cleaning out my own lovers closet, of going through his things, of struggling to say good bye.  And missing him so very terribly at times, Christmas his favorite time of year is especially hard.  I wanted so badly to hug Ennis and cry with him. Yes, the tears are flowing down my checks again... damn...   

Ok, I am back...  It was truly overwhelming for me, and I had to search out for some comfort.  Therefore, I ended here.  Only the living need comfort, I know that Jack is gone forever, never again will Ennis lay eyes upon him, or touch him, smell his being, or experience his consciousness.  Ennis must learn that loosing Jake is just as bad of death as the death he so fears for himself. Ennis must learn to trust others and find love and happiness where he can, there is no other option but overwhelming loneliness, waste of life, and love.  There is nothing to fear about death, it is simply non-existence of a conscious mind.

Hopefully I have given something to think about, but remember all is just my humble opinion.

Thanks for being here. 

Brokeback got us good!
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2006, 02:47:26 PM »

Actually, to the extent religion comes up in BBM, I think the movie tends toward a slightly negative view (which I found refreshing!).  It really jumped out at me when Ennis dismissed the idea of going to the church social by sneering, "that fire & brimstone crowd."  I thought it was a subtle, yet brave reminder that traditional religion can be offensive and threatening to gay people (and others who don't fit their idea of "normal and correct").  And when Jack said he didn't know what the pentecost was, even though his mother was such a strong believer in it, to me that signaled that Jack has no interest in religion.  And let's not forget that icky comment by the minister who performs the wedding of Ennis and Alma!  Not exactly a positive portrayal of a man of the cloth.

The non-religious or anti-religious aspects of the film are, as I said, quite subtle.  But how rare is it for the heros of a film to be portrayed in that light?  I really appreciate that Ang/Larry/Diana expected us to identify with and love Jack and Ennis, yet they made them explicitly non-god-fearing.  To me, it's another way they were unusually respectful of the intelligence and maturity of the audience.

I agree with that statement, actually most analysis on this board in almost all the threads is absent religion, even in symbolism and imagery tend toward mythology or secular symbolism (I did see one unfortunate reference to the camera making the sign of the cross -- ack) but most comments are religion-free.  IMO the written story and the film treat religion as nothing more than any of the other props -- something that would be there because it is unavoidable when a guy gets married, or in their social lives, almost no different than the fireworks display on the fourth of July.  The portrayal of religion in BBM is dispassionate and subtle, as gboo says.
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2006, 02:54:28 PM »

Hi Doug -  I actually had some questions about the way this is portrayed as well, at first it looks as if Ennis is trying to play along with Jack (after Jack lassos him with the rope) but it quickly seems to turn more serious.  IMO this is because Ennis feels bad about leaving the mountain, and he can't pretend to be happy or even have one last joyful time with Jack.  He is too much distressed.  The punch is explained a little more in the written story -- Ennis (in the motel) tries to explain to Jack that he had an older brother who always beat him up, so Ennis had to develop an instinct to fight back so his brother would leave him alone.  But the truth is, it was probably because Ennis was feeling more pain than he could bear at that moment, and Jack was the cause of it, although Jack hitting Ennis (the bloody nose) was an accident.  Jack hit Ennis first (bloody nose) then Ennis punched Jack, hard, no accident.

I hope that is not too confusing!


Excellent actually.  I just got up from reading the short story, it came in the mail today.  The big brother story adds a whole other dimension to Ennis.  The story of Jacks father added very big piece for me, it explained why he needed to be away so much better than what is in the movie.

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The Ennis sick scene was confusing to me, why he was throwing up is a mystery.  If he was so saddened I would have thought he would have been crying uncontrollably instead. 


The story explains this better than the movie.  It says after driving less than a mile, Ennis had to pull to the side of the road, felt like his guts were being pulled from him hand over hand a foot at a time, tried to vomit but nothing came up. " He felt as bad as he had ever felt and it took a long time for the feeling to wear off."

This is due to parting from Jack.  He explains to Jack in the motel (in the story, not the movie) it took him a year to realize he got sick because he never should have let Jack out of his sight.

Yes, I read that.  Which tells me that if the stigma was no there to stop these two lovers, it would have been them at a wedding in November.  Of course, that is just me wanting a happy ending... <grin>

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Brokeback got us good!

Boy did it ever! And still does at the most odd times.  Sometimes as I am milking, I find myself tearing up thinking about Ennis standing there... I still want to hug him and hold him, let those tears flood Ennis, and when it is over you will feel better. We will talk about regret and how choices are made.  Maybe then we can begin the healing... 
Reality contains no contradictions, for how can something be and not be at the same time? Visit Us on the NON-BELIEVERS Thread.

Offline gboo

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2006, 03:10:25 PM »
To follow up on my comment re: Ennis's line about "that fire & brimstone crowd," I think another reason it struck me so much is that Ennis is taking a defiant, f***-them attitude toward the religious mainstream, which apparently played a direct role in his life through Alma's involvement with it.  The fact that the very young Alma, Jr. says she wants Ennis to come home from a trip with Jack in time for a church function (picnic, I think -- I don't remember off the top of my head) also shows that Ennis's family life required him to be involved in church.  So here is Ennis, bucking expectations and expressing disdain for religion, an attitude that puts him at odds with mainstream society.  Yet he could never for an instant dream of taking a similar attitude toward his sexuality.  He could never think, let alone say, "screw everyone.  I don't care what people think.  I want to be with Jack and that's that." 

Maybe this is a function of Ennis's relationship with his father.  He can't bear to defy his father's very explicit warning about homosexuality.  But it doesn't seem that his parents forced any dogmatic religious views on him (he tells Jack, "my folks, they was methodist, indicating he doesn't consider himself methodist), so it's OK for him to be defiant about church.

sactopete

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2006, 03:19:17 PM »
the problem I have with that is that religion in ethical dilemmas can not decide based upon reality, it has to decide on tradition set forth by authority.  It also has to decide based upon interpretation, rather than knowledge, which leaves a whole lot of room for manipulation.

Well put Doug.  Not to mention that their sense of morality is based on reward and punishment.  I don’t call that morality, coercion is a better word.  Is there morality in duress?  Do you trust moral judgments made under threat? 

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That poison is that human consciousness is not the highest valve, but a god and afterlife is.  With that value system, it is easy to sacrifice the individual for the so called good of the group, especially if that individual is relegated to the enemy camp, or even not human.

You’re not all wet, friend.  I admire your passion.  Don’t think for a second that I’m trying to be some sort of apologist. 

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But it also quite obvious they are denying that conflict.  That is like separating milk and water after they have been mixed, it is not possible, yet they seem to suggest that.  This demonstrates the power of the religion meme to be able to close off anything that is contradictory to it's existence.

I agree entirely.  Hey, that separation never makes any sense to me, but you hear people say they have a separate compartment in their heads for their faith.

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most think that parts of it are in error, the parts that they do not agree with, and the rest is absolutely truth.  Which I have to wonder how does one say "this passage is truth, I will live my life about it, and I will force that upon everyone else by law, and by tradition, and by social pressure" and the next one "this one does not apply to me, nor do I believe it?"

Welcome to Smorgasbord Christianity where you can pick and choose what to believe and ignore the rest.

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I just can not understand how all encompassing truth can be in a set of words that HAVE to be interpreted by authority figures to be understood.

Or that the best sources were written nearly a century after the actual events took place, and that all the source documents were copied by hand for over a thousand years.  You think error might have crept in?  Accidentally?  Deliberately?

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I know I am overly touchy on this subject, but I have first hand been dealt blow after blow from, so hopefully it is understandable.

Doug, you’re being mild mannered and well behaved compared to the flameouts that used to go on here.

Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2006, 07:27:48 PM »

Doug, you’re being mild mannered and well behaved compared to the flameouts that used to go on here.


I am mild mannered and well behaved the majority of the time.  Well, <evil grin>, I like to think so anyway.  <grrrrr> LOL!

When I first came to this forum I was reeling, and sadly one of the emotions I had unchecked was I wanted to kick some religious butt... justice for my beloved, if nothing else.  But as I have witnessed time and time again, all this does is create even more strife.  There is enough strife already, already so much hate and condemnation.  It took me a couple of days to get my bearings again, I am deeply sorry for that.  I am not a weak person, but this movie sure did put me in a tail spin. Excuses all...

Flaming is not the answer, especially against Christians that have taken the first step to understanding.  Only a fool would attack them and put them back into the enemy camp.  We need everyone, and lets face it, some Christians that can run shotgun for us would not hurt either.

Flaming is also irrational.  Let the others loose it by flaming, we need to show rationality, calmness, and compassion at all times.  While I lurk on the Christian thread, I will not be there flaming.  Maybe at some time I might post a little, but I would much rather they come here and read to see that we are human after all.  Flame if they have to... Just my opinion...

Take Care my friend.   

Reality contains no contradictions, for how can something be and not be at the same time? Visit Us on the NON-BELIEVERS Thread.

sactopete

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2006, 08:57:50 PM »
To follow up on my comment re: Ennis's line about "that fire & brimstone crowd," I think another reason it struck me so much is that Ennis is taking a defiant, f***-them attitude toward the religious mainstream, which apparently played a direct role in his life through Alma's involvement with it.  The fact that the very young Alma, Jr. says she wants Ennis to come home from a trip with Jack in time for a church function (picnic, I think -- I don't remember off the top of my head) also shows that Ennis's family life required him to be involved in church.  So here is Ennis, bucking expectations and expressing disdain for religion, an attitude that puts him at odds with mainstream society.

It could also be that Alma's church is a harsher Calvinist "Sinners in The Hands of an Angry God" sort while Ennis' Methodists are relatively less so.  You're right, as if shying away from social obligatioins isn't bad enough, divorce certainly would have caused rumors to fly in small town Wyoming.  Why go through all that and then stay?  It only made the tiny fish bowl that much smaller.  Even to this day, there are more people in the City of Sacramento than in the entire state of Wyoming. 

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Maybe this is a function of Ennis's relationship with his father.  He can't bear to defy his father's very explicit warning about homosexuality.  But it doesn't seem that his parents forced any dogmatic religious views on him (he tells Jack, "my folks, they was methodist, indicating he doesn't consider himself methodist), so it's OK for him to be defiant about church.

Or that the lesson learned from his father is that its tolerable as long as you're not caught.  But you'd think that would have led him to tolerate a greater involvment with Jake.  As per Doug's suggestion, Jake moving and hiring Ennis as a hand.

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2006, 09:21:25 PM »
sactopete -   Jack moving back to Wyoming, and hiring Ennis as a hand?

I posted earlier about why I thought Jack would not/could not move back to Wyoming - but are you saying that Jack would actually have the money for his own ranch (somehow paid out by LD -- if that were true)-- even if he could do that, I do not believe Ennis would be able to be on Jack's payroll, ever.  In their relationship Ennis has to feel that he is dominant.  He can't take a loan from Jack.  Worse, he could never be "paid" by Jack.

On another topic, I was thinking about how little religion has been mentioned in discussion comments in other threads (except to discuss Jack's mother the Pentecostal, Ennis and the church socials, etc.) but most people commenting in the threads have steered clear of discussing religion.  IMO that is because in our society it is presumed that if we are fans of Brokeback Mountain we must be anti-Christian.  We also must be anti- George Bush.  The other context religion has been mentioned is how friends or family refuse to see the movie due to religious beliefs.

Then the thread was started "Christians who love BBM"-- only recently -- almost seemed like a very brave thing for anybody to admit they are a Christian who loves BBM.

But then, should be no surprise, it turned out there were many and the last time I looked in there they were heavily discussing the Bible.

Not to ramble.  Boiled down, the point is Brokeback Mountain has challenged the rigid standpoint of Christianity, and that is a good thing.
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline Zadoc

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2006, 06:25:55 AM »

When I first came to this forum I was reeling, and sadly one of the emotions I had unchecked was I wanted to kick some religious butt... justice for my beloved, if nothing else.  But as I have witnessed time and time again, all this does is create even more strife.  There is enough strife already, already so much hate and condemnation. 

Flaming is not the answer, especially against Christians that have taken the first step to understanding.  Only a fool would attack them and put them back into the enemy camp.  We need everyone, and lets face it, some Christians that can run shotgun for us would not hurt either.

Flaming is also irrational.  Let the others loose it by flaming, we need to show rationality, calmness, and compassion at all times.  While I lurk on the Christian thread, I will not be there flaming.  Maybe at some time I might post a little, but I would much rather they come here and read to see that we are human after all. 


  Hello Doug,

  I'm the guy who wrote to you from Christians Who Love Brokeback asking you to elaborate on a post you'd made there wherein you'd stated you were feeling alot of anger towards 'Christians'.  And you did answer, which I was very grateful for.

  I feel very drawn to you brother, and although I am a non-denominational, unaffiliated Christian,
the most important thing to me in my life is the humanity I share with everybody else on this planet.
I don't care what their belief systems are, or whether they have one at all..., at core I believe all men are my brothers, and if my brother is in need of me....I'm there!   So when you say: "We need everyone, and lets face it, some Christians that can run shotgun for us would not hurt either"!, I want you to know that I would be happy to 'run shotgun' for you Doug. 

  The fact that you opened the flap of your tent to 'Christians who have taken steps toward understanding' inviting them to come visit 'to read and see that we are human after all' ... says so much about the kind of man that you are. 
  I do not, never have, never will, impose my spiritual beliefs upon no man, and don't want them doing that to me neither!  Whatever's going on in my 'soul', is between me and the infinitely unconditionally loving Supreme Being I believe in.........in other words as Jack tells Ennis about their relationship: "ain't nobody's business but ours".......and that's the last thing I'm going to say about that.

  The most important thing I want you to know that I'm ridin' right here beside you Man, and that I would be honored to remain there, for I have seen by all the things you have posted here, that you are a deeply caring, strong, sensitive, responsible, and thoughtful man.
 
  Sincerely,
  Zadoc
 

 
 

sactopete

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2006, 07:47:28 AM »
I posted earlier about why I thought Jack would not/could not move back to Wyoming - but are you saying that Jack would actually have the money for his own ranch (somehow paid out by LD -- if that were true)

Well Jack makes the boast that LD would pay him to send him away.  OTHO, there's Ennis' fantasy about Jack's short meeting with a tire iron.  So the posibilities are somewhere between them.  And IMO, Jack and Ennis are rarely truly honest with each other.  So I see the boast as just a boast.  I doubt he'd have gotten much if anything.  A payoff would have certainly meant relinquishing custody, so if he had any feelings at all for his kid, that would have been a tough choice.

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In their relationship Ennis has to feel that he is dominant.  He can't take a loan from Jack.  Worse, he could never be "paid" by Jack.

I'd hate to think Ennis would cut off his nose to spite his face, that he couldn't allow for being a paid contractor.  But I can definitely see your point.

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IMO that is because in our society it is presumed that if we are fans of Brokeback Mountain we must be anti-Christian.  We also must be anti- George Bush.  The other context religion has been mentioned is how friends or family refuse to see the movie due to religious beliefs.

You know, there's no reason to make those assumptions.  America is an overwhelmingly Christian country.  Most people are raised in Christian households, therefore most GLBT people have Chrisian upbringings.  To get from this simple observation to the assumption that Brokeback Mountain fans are by definitioin anti-Christian requires a real stretch, and numerous further assumptions.  Of course the opposing conflict as you've described it is one defined and framed by conservatives, religious and political.  That's the first tactic of political warfare: define your strawman/enemy.  As we know, to be raised an atheist in this country is unusual, and it doesn't require one to be anti anything.  At least that's my experience. 

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Then the thread was started "Christians who love BBM"-- only recently -- almost seemed like a very brave thing for anybody to admit they are a Christian who loves BBM.

Started by Brian in response in part to some of the quite heavy flaming that Christianity was getting from others in numerous threads.  Brian wasn't the only "defender of the faith" so to speak either.  As I've said to Doug, these boards have been "reorganized" a couple of times and the older threads have been archived.  Don't take that as any kind of suggestion that any suppression of expression occured here.  Just a lot of heated BS, if you ask me.

I'm not sure its about bravery.  Brian wanted some space to discuss doctrine without skeptics lobbing sarcastic grenades.  No one has or ever had a problem with that.  I can't recall that the worst flamer ever tried to spoil his thread.  The big debates were restricted to the general topic threads.


sactopete

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #40 on: June 01, 2006, 08:05:58 AM »
IMO that is because in our society it is presumed that if we are fans of Brokeback Mountain we must be anti-Christian.  We also must be anti- George Bush.  The other context religion has been mentioned is how friends or family refuse to see the movie due to religious beliefs.

Tellyouwhat, I've posted several times in the past that its unfortunate that our country no longer listens to the religious left, that religion in America has a long history of being in the vanguard of social progress and collectivist economics.  So these assumptions you mention are new.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2006, 08:29:23 AM by sactopete »

Offline gboo

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2006, 09:23:36 AM »
IMO that is because in our society it is presumed that if we are fans of Brokeback Mountain we must be anti-Christian.  We also must be anti- George Bush.  The other context religion has been mentioned is how friends or family refuse to see the movie due to religious beliefs.

Tellyouwhat, I've posted several times in the past that its unfortunate that our country no longer listens to the religious left, that religion in America has a long history of being in the vanguard of social progress and collectivist economics.  So these assumptions you mention are new.

I think Tellyouwhat's observations reinforce your point that the religious left is pretty much overlooked.  When most people think Christian (I admit I'm among them), their first reaction is "right-wing," "dogmatic," "evangelizing," "homophobic," etc.  It's unfortunate, because you're right -- many Christians are not like that at all, and they have been on the frontlines of social justice movements.  But the "other kind of Christians" are so vocal and visible (and according to statistics I've read, so large in number) that they are now the face of Christianity.

Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #42 on: June 01, 2006, 09:26:32 AM »
  Hello Doug,

  I'm the guy who wrote to you from Christians Who Love Brokeback asking you to elaborate on a post you'd made there wherein you'd stated you were feeling alot of anger towards 'Christians'.  And you did answer, which I was very grateful for.

You are welcome.  I am a little disappointed that I did not get more of a come back, but that is ok. 

 
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I feel very drawn to you brother, and although I am a non-denominational, unaffiliated Christian,
the most important thing to me in my life is the humanity I share with everybody else on this planet.
I don't care what their belief systems are, or whether they have one at all..., at core I believe all men are my brothers, and if my brother is in need of me....I'm there!   So when you say: "We need everyone, and lets face it, some Christians that can run shotgun for us would not hurt either"!, I want you to know that I would be happy to 'run shotgun' for you Doug. 

Ok, here is your gun, you protect the left side, I will protect the right side...  The difference in our outlook is I do not believe all men are my brothers, because that has connotations of sacrifice for the good of my bother over the good of the individual. However, I am a firm believer that human consciousness is the highest value, and for that consciousness to experience the very best life, it requires us all treating each other like the highest value that we are.  I do not know if that will make sense to you, but anyway... 

 
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The fact that you opened the flap of your tent to 'Christians who have taken steps toward understanding' inviting them to come visit 'to read and see that we are human after all' ... says so much about the kind of man that you are. 


Hopefully, a fully conscious loving human... the pentacle of my ideal.  One who sees the cause and effect of the big picture as well as the nitty gritty of the detail. 
 
 
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I do not, never have, never will, impose my spiritual beliefs upon no man,

THAT, my friend, is all that I ask for.  I expect no more or less...  Now how do we get the rest of the religious community to respect freedom of religion?

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and don't want them doing that to me neither!  Whatever's going on in my 'soul', is between me and the infinitely unconditionally loving Supreme Being I believe in.........in other words as Jack tells Ennis about their relationship: "ain't nobody's business but ours".......and that's the last thing I'm going to say about that.

You know the founding fathers had a similar outlook, their ending decision was that god things was only between the man and his god.  Too bad that our history is being rewritten to reflect the opposite. 

 
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The most important thing I want you to know that I'm ridin' right here beside you Man, and that I would be honored to remain there, for I have seen by all the things you have posted here, that you are a deeply caring, strong, sensitive, responsible, and thoughtful man.


I am probably too sensitive...  the illusion of the atheist is they do not have compassion nor are sensitive, makes me want to go screaming into the night when I see that illusion of how heartless atheists are is presented as fact.  But the Christian right would not dare let the image of gays or atheists be caring, loving, sensitive, deserving of respect and compassion people, that would ruin their strangle hold on the purse...

A simple question for you, I really want to understand this.  By what criteria do you accept one passage of the bible is truth and the next one is not?  I know that Jefferson saw the miracles as false, and made his own bible without any of them.  I wished I could understand this.

Take Care.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2006, 10:06:29 AM by Doug2017 »
Reality contains no contradictions, for how can something be and not be at the same time? Visit Us on the NON-BELIEVERS Thread.

Offline quijote

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2006, 11:40:22 AM »
I'm one of those people that some folks would define as a non-believer and some folks would define as a believer.  I live in the most uncomfortable of worlds.  I understand everyone's arguments.  I mean, really understand them.

First, there is no doubt that humanist's are ethical, moral and value human beings; hence, their name.  While I might officially be Catholic I'm not an idiot.  And, I personally don't behave decently because I'm scared of anybody or anything.  I don't see anything Christian in obeying a golden rule because I'm scared to death of the consequences if I don't.  The Christian message is treat your neighbor as yourself because that neighbor is you.  That's a sprirtual message, not a punitive, judgmental,  loveless one.

Second, fundamentalist Christians are considered by people like me to be missing the whole point of the original Christian message.   They are sinning by making an idol of scripture while not doing justice to their fellow human beings, and are therefore not really Christian.  Wanting to be something is not enough to be it.  Jesus was about justice.  The letter of the law is always, ultimately a limitation on justice.  It certainly is a limitation on mercy, which we are also called to do.  This is my personal opinion.

Third, religious belief is based on mythological stories.  People like me know that a myth is not a lie.  Myths are greater truths.  I had a Christian teacher ask me once:  "Does Jesus have to actually have died on the cross then have been literally resurrected for the story to be True?"  That question changed my life.  Religions spring from mythological foundation.  That foundation is as true as anything we can know.  That's why a certain religion spreads like wildfire.  It speaks to the universal human condition.  It tells us a truth about ourselves and our place in the universe.  Unfortunately, the myth becomes literalized and its truth is lost.  But in its pristine form it is TRUE.  The Christian message, read mythologically,  is true to me and reflects my reality.  This is why I believe in it.

"Believers" like me think that myth and ritual are necessary to tie us to this existence.  They tell us where we are and where we are going, if anywhere.  Sacred rituals which speak to the contemporary world we live in and reflect the reality we know ground us and propel us through the stages in our lives.  They help us become authentic, mature human beings.  The lack of  ritual for young men in the modern world  is the reason so few today become men and seem so alienated.  They are missing the psychological and social process prompted by ritual. 

I think I am Christian, at least culturally.  (One person's heresy is another's orthodoxy.)  I respect atheists and agnostics and any other thinking person.  I have belief and passion for science.  My belief is that no Christian is required to ignore science or factual information.  No Christian is required to hate reason or non-believers.  A Christian can be a skeptic -- about all things.  As a mature "Christian" there are times when I belong on this thread of the forum because on that day I don't believe, or at least I make room for the idea that there is no divine.  On my rationalist days I come up against the brick wall of the limits of science and I remember personal experiences which unequivocally convince me of something called a divine.  I think I am a free-thinking Christian, which is not an oxymoron, and there are many more like me.  In the final analysis, the Truth is there are things we can and will never know and understand.  The Christian message doesn't contradict this.

No one can tell me the rules of being Christian.  I have to make my own journey.  It's the nature of the beast.  I am my own priest.  No free human being can be otherwise.  All I know is that even if it weren't true that Jesus never said a word about homosexuality, never condemned it,  I could never disapprove of it when his whole message was God is love, and as entities made in that image we are expected to be similarly godlike - to love each other.  We are to treasure love, nurture it and make more of it.  If two men or two women are engaged in love, making a family, bringing compassion and generosity to each other, and in general being what human beings are meant to be to each other I am to respect them, love them and accept them.  They fit right into my beloved community.

I'd like to be here on non-believing days.  It's a place I can fit comfortably, authentically and honestly.  On other days, I could come here and authentically love all you mistaken, misdirected, lost non-believers. LOL



Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #44 on: June 01, 2006, 02:13:58 PM »
I'm one of those people that some folks would define as a non-believer and some folks would define as a believer.  I live in the most uncomfortable of worlds.  I understand everyone's arguments.  I mean, really understand them.

Welcome quijote!   I actually envy you... I really, really can not understand the believers position.  Perhaps someone such as you can spoon feed me until I get it? 

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First, there is no doubt that humanist's are ethical, moral and value human beings; hence, their name.  While I might officially be Catholic I'm not an idiot.  And, I personally don't behave decently because I'm scared of anybody or anything.  I don't see anything Christian in obeying a golden rule because I'm scared to death of the consequences if I don't.  The Christian message is treat your neighbor as yourself because that neighbor is you.  That's a sprirtual message, not a punitive, judgmental,  loveless one.
 

Can you define "spiritual message" how is that different than just a straight forward message?  or is it?

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Second, fundamentalist Christians are considered by people like me to be missing the whole point of the original Christian message.   They are sinning by making an idol of scripture while not doing justice to their fellow human beings, and are therefore not really Christian.  Wanting to be something is not enough to be it.  Jesus was about justice.  The letter of the law is always, ultimately a limitation on justice.  It certainly is a limitation on mercy, which we are also called to do.  This is my personal opinion.

One of my biggest faults is when I think Christian I see the Christian Right... Pat Roberson, Jerry Farwell, Fred Phelps...  I know there are others, but it seems to me they are condoning by their lack of protest against these monsters.  You see, according to them, it is you who is not a Christian.  Be that as it may...   This is where I get confused, what is the point of the original Christian message, how do I cull out the true message from the message that is poring out of radio and tv? 


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Third, religious belief is based on mythological stories.  People like me know that a myth is not a lie.  Myths are greater truths.  I had a Christian teacher ask me once:  "Does Jesus have to actually have died on the cross then have been literally resurrected for the story to be True?"  That question changed my life. 


This I just can not understand, how can something not true be Truth?   Is that not like saying something is not a fish is a fish?  Is not that irrational, where non-A is A?  How do you identify anything if law of identity does not mean anything?  No myth is not a lie, it is a made up story, Santa Clause is a myth... is it a lie, no if it told as just a story, but it is a lie if it told as the truth,  he does not exist in reality, so telling a kid that he had better behave because Santa will not give him any presents, well this is just plain manipulation, plain and simple in my mind... I am wrong? 

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Religions spring from mythological foundation.  That foundation is as true as anything we can know.  That's why a certain religion spreads like wildfire.  It speaks to the universal human condition.  It tells us a truth about ourselves and our place in the universe.  Unfortunately, the myth becomes literalized and its truth is lost.  But in its pristine form it is TRUE.  The Christian message, read mythologically,  is true to me and reflects my reality.  This is why I believe in it.
 

What does the words True and Truth mean to you?  To me they mean in reality are actual, yet I get the distinct feeling that is not what you mean?  I hope...   


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"Believers" like me think that myth and ritual are necessary to tie us to this existence. 

Why?  Just by existing are you not tied to this existence?  How much more tied can one be? 

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They tell us where we are and where we are going, if anywhere.  Sacred rituals which speak to the contemporary world we live in and reflect the reality we know ground us and propel us through the stages in our lives.  They help us become authentic, mature human beings. 


I find this very hard to understand.  How does a sacred ritual answer the questions of the comtemporary world and how to live in it? I have seen many of these rituals and they are completely unexplainable to me, and have no meaning in the contemporary world. 

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The lack of  ritual for young men in the modern world  is the reason so few today become men and seem so alienated.  They are missing the psychological and social process prompted by ritual. 


I have to disagree, respectfully.  The reason that the young men in the modern world are so alienated is they are missing the psychological and social process of having real, available male role heroes who can teach the real world to them.  They have only movie stars, and other such irrational sources for their moral guidance.  They need men of honor, of integrity, of high moral standard in their lives, but as the world is now, those such people are consumed fighting to make enough to live.  These male model heroes need to be able to show them how the reality works, and what honor really is, even if that takes some tough love.  An example from the animal world, there was young juvenile male elephants that where killing other animals, raising hell with the young females hurting them.  They brought in some old males who put them in their place, and they became the nice young male elephants.  I really think our young men need the same thing.  Just my opinion... 

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I think I am Christian, at least culturally.  (One person's heresy is another's orthodoxy.)  I respect atheists and agnostics and any other thinking person.  I have belief and passion for science.  My belief is that no Christian is required to ignore science or factual information.  No Christian is required to hate reason or non-believers.  A Christian can be a skeptic -- about all things.  As a mature "Christian" there are times when I belong on this thread of the forum because on that day I don't believe, or at least I make room for the idea that there is no divine. 

You are welcome to this thread.  I guess to me that when one uses the term "Christian" they make a social contract of being bound by the bible and those that profess to represent it.  And that is a big part of my reaction to "Christian" anything.  I do not see divine in anything, but man do I see awe inspiring nature in everything. 

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On my rationalist days I come up against the brick wall of the limits of science

Such as?  I agree there are many limits of science, and I do not have a problem with saying "I do not know."  However, the idea of Divine Intervention is to label anything science says " I do not know" as god.  But that is irrational... if you do not know, you can not know it is god either...

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and I remember personal experiences which unequivocally convince me of something called a divine. 

Examples?  You do not need to answer, I know these things can be terrifically personal.

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I think I am a free-thinking Christian, which is not an oxymoron, and there are many more like me.  In the final analysis, the Truth is there are things we can and will never know and understand.  The Christian message doesn't contradict this.


How can Truth be things we can and will never know and understand?  How can you designate it as Truth when you admit not knowing?  Doesn't Truth have to be known as true to be truth?   This is a very big head scratcher for me...

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No one can tell me the rules of being Christian.  I have to make my own journey.  It's the nature of the beast.  I am my own priest.  No free human being can be otherwise. 


Same here, I am my own minister, this is my own journey.  I agree totally.

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All I know is that even if it weren't true that Jesus never said a word about homosexuality, never condemned it,  I could never disapprove of it when his whole message was God is love, and as entities made in that image we are expected to be similarly godlike - to love each other. 

I wished I could believe this.  But when I see the actions of the Christian Right, when I read the passages where Jesus preaches hate, murder, and god says he is evil, I have to conclude that even if I believed they existed, I would have to oppose them as being evil.  So my question to you is how do you rationalize these passages away?  By what criteria do you negate one passage and accept the next?

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We are to treasure love, nurture it and make more of it. 

Yes, that is my belief, so why do I not see the Christian community doing this?  When I read the Christian thread is all about Jesus this, God that, but very little of the actual in the trenches unconditional love.  I do not want the love of the Jesus or God I know, they are evil in goodie goodie clothing in my book. When I see people murdered in their name and they not do a thing about it, how can you trust them?  When nature unleashes all hell and they do nothing about it, how can you not condemn them?  Do we not condemn the man who stands by and does nothing while people die?  It all seems conditional on you believing first, convert, then we will accept you as one of us.  But, again, I am rather touchy on this subject, and may interject what is not there into it.  'tis the nature of the wounded...

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If two men or two women are engaged in love, making a family, bringing compassion and generosity to each other, and in general being what human beings are meant to be to each other I am to respect them, love them and accept them.  They fit right into my beloved community.


They sure belong in my beloved community to be sure.  This is the kind of world that I would love to be in. 

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I'd like to be here on non-believing days.  It's a place I can fit comfortably, authentically and honestly.  On other days, I could come here and authentically love all you mistaken, misdirected, lost non-believers. LOL

Well, you are always welcome, even if you are a mistaken, misdirected, lost believer.  <evil grin>
Reality contains no contradictions, for how can something be and not be at the same time? Visit Us on the NON-BELIEVERS Thread.