May 19th, 2024

Arguing over religion has absolutely no point


By Lethbridge Herald on April 12, 2024.

LEAVE IT TO BEEBER
Al Beeber – managing editor

Some days I wonder if some people were just born with a chip on their shoulders. And why they don’t get some poly-filla to repair it instead of heaping their misery upon others.

As I get older I’m losing patience with – and respect for – those who feel they have a right to impose their beliefs and their will upon others without any consideration for other opinions, be they political, social or religious.

And from what I’ve witnessed in my life, some who get onto their pulpits and unleash their hostility upon others play the victim card when challenged.

(Of course, some will argue that being a columnist, I’m doing the same but I’m not demanding people agree with me on the opinions I express or  publicly demeaning those who disagree. I throw them out there and let people think what they may. Like every columnist.)

We see it on social media, we see it in letters and the Roasts and Toasts section. We see it on streets around the world with protests.

What we don’t see too often is respect for differing viewpoints. If the religious fervour of some was a pollutant, we’d all be choking on it.

It seems to me those espousing opinions on social causes or religious views can be at times really caustic, overbearing and downright intolerant.

And I don’t understand the need for it. I don’t see how some can go public with attacks on others and not expect pushback. I certainly get it and like every columnist expect it because that comes with the territory when we go public with an opinion. 

Religion, especially, is a hot button subject. People of all faiths have their own views and their own concept of a god. 

But even those who read the Bible see things differently in it. There’s no consensus when it comes to religious faith and there never will be. And I don’t see how one branch of Christianity or one faith period can legitimately dictate to others what truth allegedly is simply because what they believe is in some form of scripture, all of which were created at some point by human hands.

Until we die, we won’t actually know if an afterlife exists, we won’t know if heaven or hell is real. 

We can believe it all we want based upon whatever scripture we read or faith we have. But we won’t actually know so we have to rely on faith. 

So having a personal faith shouldn’t give people the initiative to disparage others who have different views. Who legitimately on this earth of billions of people and untold belief systems can say one religion is right, and others are wrong? 

Who knows for certain there is one god or any god from that matter? 

We don’t know. Pure and simple, we don’t. 

If there is a god, why didn’t that deity intervene when millions of Jews, along with homosexuals and others were being slaughtered by the Nazis? Why is there no intervention in Gaza right now? Why do young children die of horrible diseases despite the prayers of their families?

If a god exists, an atheist or agnostic would point out that surely there would be some type of intervention. And they could make a strong argument for their questions just like people of faith could make a strong argument for the existence of a god.

It’s really a no-win situation for all of us, regardless of what we believe. 

And beliefs are personal. We don’t have the right to tell others what to believe. Because we honestly can’t know what exists – or doesn’t after we die until we actually do expire. We can have all the faith or hopes in the world but that isn’t actual knowledge.

Religion through history has been the source of countless  and needless conflicts which have contributed nothing positive to humanity. 

And while people of faith have always, and will always, do good deeds to help their fellow human beings, which is certainly honourable and noble, all humans have the capacity – and obligation – to help each other. Regardless of faith, or lack of it.

 Today many of those conflicts are around sexuality, especially here in Alberta. And why? What does it matter who a person is attracted to, why does it matter how a person self-identifies? It’s not hurting me, it’s not hurting anyone else. It’s as personal as religious beliefs. 

Social justice warriors have their own religious fervour, as well and while we all – or should – want to help the needy and disadvantaged – like with religion, there has to be some type of balance entering the equation. How many people in our midst have put themselves into their personal conditions? And what obligation do they have to help society help themselves?

Because we personally fervently believe something, are our beliefs in the best interests of society as a whole? It’s a question all of us need to honestly ask ourselves.

We are all in this world together, regardless of colour, religion, sexuality, and perhaps our energies would best be served by making efforts to understand each other before we drop dead which will end all our personal campaigns on the trail of righteousness. 

Inevitably we all die, a reality which makes conflicts while alive a complete and utter waste of the limited and precious time we have on earth. 

We all can spend our energies better.

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Dennis Bremner

Well said Al, really Well said! Sadly you however have walked into a Den of Lions! It took guts to say it and I commend you! I have grown a new found respect for you. That endorsement unfortunatelu will be the “Pox” by those on the other side of the fence!
When it comes to religion I tend to mock as opposed to tolerate. Why? because it is literally 2 faced. If you believe in “do no harm” then do no harm. You do not need a book to tell you, if you are a good person, then do no harm comes natural. If you then interject religion into the “do no harm” there is always a group that gets harmed while they trumpet the group that they wish to help.
Hence why I scoff and attack those that need to “wash the feet” of the down and out and crucify their neighbor while doing it.Its a pet peave, for sure, but if you are killing the livelihood of others because you “choose to do no harm” where it exerts the most damage to a society, then you deserve to be more than just questioned.
Do no harm isn’t selective! To do no harm to ANYBODY is a tough thing to do, but Religion won’t put in the hard work to figure out how to do it. That is the coles notes version!
You said: What does it matter who a person is attracted to, why does it matter how a person self-identifies?
Personally I do not care who a person is attracted to, never did, never will. I do however care deeply about the “other gender” which is female. I have a loving wife who has stuck by my side through ordeals that most readers would have never tolerated. If you live with a chronic pain sufferer who refuses to take the right dose of drugs because they become a drug addict. Life is not good.
So when I see men, decide they are women, who at best were poor/average atheletes decide to bully and intimidate women in their own “sport” that crosses a line, that perhaps does not bother you, but it will not go without severe push back from me.
Have you ever wondered why men who identify as women don’t act like a woman? In fact if you point that out, they get offended! If you identify as a woman, act like a firefly on crack, then you are “a firefly on CRACK”!
Strangely, woman who believe they are men, do there utmost best to act like a man. We called them Butches (that is B..U…TCH) years ago. Of course that then gets you in conversations of “why should anyone have the right to define how you act”? Happens everyday, if you act like an A$$hole you are treated like one (I have first hand experience). If you act aloof, you are treated as a snob. If you conform to societies norms you blend in. Nutbars have no intention of fitting into society. There intention is to disrupt, so it is someone’s, anyone’s job to question the disruption of society because you choose not to fit in nor adhere to basic rules.
Does it matter how a person identifies. Unfortunately Al, I think you missed the mark on this one. If you misidentify a person and are fired from your job is that an important issue? I say yes because (reverting to point one) do no harm also applies to BOTH parties.
So as a famous celebrity suggests, if he identifies as a 2 spirited Penquin and you as a teacher refuse to acknowledge that and get fired, then yes, it does matter that this special interest group has “thought up about 140+ genders to far!
So, should a teacher or coach have to keep a list of the 30 players gender identities so he/she does not mis-identify? Should this “stupidity be tolerated and catered too? Only if you ignore “do no harm”!
Every nutbar out there believes “do no harm applies to them exclusively! So in puruit of self identifying, you hurt others…well thats just getting “even”! So I gotta protect myself first, screw the others, let them eat cake!
“If you identify as a 2 spirited Penquin, and want to be addressed as such, then you are imposing on my right, to “completely and utterly ignore your stupidity, nonconformity and fantasies”!

Last edited 1 month ago by Dennis Bremner
ewingbt

I agree with some of what you are stating Al . . . and there used to be a saying that you do not bring up religion, politics or sex at bars or social events because they can turn into heated arguments.
The Bible states we are not to argue about religion. There is much we do not know . . . but for those of us who believe, as is our right, we have seen the works of Christ and know he is real. One cannot in one hour or writing a book explain the whole Bible, or explain to you why evil is allowed to happen. but briefly allow me explain this as clearly in a short comment and then you will not hear me bring it up.
God didn’t allow the slaughter of the Jews, they are his chosen people. Evil such as this, sickness and disease, etc. are not from God. Adam and Eve had it all, dominion over the whole earth and were tricked into giving that power and dominion over to Satan and all his minions. Christ came to take back that power and dominion over lack, sickness and disease, evil, etc. by walking as a man to die on the cross so he could end up in Hell to fight and defeat Satan to take back that power and dominion stolen in the Garden of Eden for those who believe.
Man has a free choice to believe or not to believe! It is man who has turned his back on God and God is not punishing man with evil attacks on the Israelis which Satan knowing are God’s chosen people so he will always try to attack them or sickness or disease, etc.
It is very hard to explain this briefly, and I do not push my beliefs on anyone regarding my Christianity, not even my family. Some do not even know I am a Christian. I respect many of the other doctrines, because we are not to judge and we are to love our Christian brothers and sisters.
We will never be perfect and still make mistakes.
Our society has become fractured, with many separated into their little special interest groups, as our country has fractured . . . we all need to forgive and move on. There will always be differences of opinion, but the attacks right now have turned into threats. Society is sliding into the abyss!
I have had very good and frank discussions with those of differing opinions on politics and religion when face to face, often we would agree to disagree, but social media has destroyed communication and many will hide behind aliases and call them names and attack them with lies and falsehoods or state freely what they would never state face to face.
There are many benefits that computers, the world wide web, etc. have brought to our world, but as someone who grew up in a time where there were no cellphones, only landlines without answering machines (pre-voicemail) I believe tech destroyed our society socially, created more strife and conflict and took away our security. Hackers constantly steal from us, elections are now manipulated by social media from someone sitting on the other side of the world and cyber attacks are becoming more prevalent.
We all need something to believe in to keep our sanity in this world!
What you believe in is your choice, not mine . . . God gives us that free will to choose.
I will not comment on this further in respect of your letter and your choice!

biff

a chosen people?! unreal.

biff

and the negs – what a novel idea: write a book of laws purported to be written by god in order to control people; only, the book was written by a group…that ultimately separates itself such that they call themselves god’s chosen people. you second class folk have a hate on for yourselves, or what? chosen people – outrageous.

HaroldP

The “book” as we know it, the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God. The Holy Spirit (part of the Trinity) my friend! Not as you infer, a “group”.

What do you think the reason gave us His Word in the Holy Scriptures (Bible)? “Control” control of who, what, where and why?

CHRISTIANS are indeed the chosen people of God, we are all welcome, but there is a process established…..remember “Nicodemus”?

HaroldP

Hey Al, as the editor of the Lethbridge Herald as well as coming up through the ranks, I say, good on you… and as you come to the time of well deserved retirement, may it be rewarding and pleasant for you and your family.

I agree with most of your comments in your instant writting, and as well agree that there is conflict and misunderstanding with “religion(s)”. Al, religions aside, what is the important underlying issue is the RELATIONSHIP one has or does not have with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is indeed “the final answer”. We/I as Christians, will not stand (with good conscience) to hear outright blaspheny or mis-truths about our faith and about the Lord, Jesus Christ in particular.

Some of the “contributors” to the roast and toast and comments to letters to the editor are down right rude, bullyish and totally false. Also there are comments made by one person using several alias names to try bolster opinion(s) they are trying to assert. This is at times so obvious and somewhat entertaining.

There is no contest to the fact(s) that we live in a diverse society and our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ensures us of our right to religious freedoms and our participation or non participation therein. At issue is when, as earlier stated, rude, attacking and/or false assertions are made, I believe it important to correct the record and challenge the the individual(s) with the Truth, and hopefully expect the courtesy of their honest response….that doesn’t seem to happen to often.
I guess it it impossible to help someone hopelessly lost when they refuse to look at “the map” that is available to them to find themselves out of their lost state!

Dennis Bremner

You said :I guess it it impossible to help someone hopelessly lost when they refuse to look at “the map” that is available to them to find themselves out of their lost state!
Don’t you mean ” your map” and “your interpretaion”!
Righteous and preaching with personal interpretations and the intangible, tends to invoke a respone of rude, and tangibles!
Note no one is addressing Nazi’s or for that matter the more recent. Why do 2 year olds die of Cancer and 50 year old rapists, thieves, killers carry on in the real world? There is no answer to that is there.
I have 2 questions you WILL NOT address. Why is it we “wash the feet” of the addict, when you know those same feet when no more money to buy their drug of choice will revert to rob, mugging, pillage and violence against your neighbor? Take your time, I have lots, whether it be here or, in a room that is 500 degree C!
“DO NO HARM” what is it that “you people” do not understand about a simple phrase that solves the problem….ahhhh it needs Biblical theological interpretation so you can do just whatever the “hades” you want!

Last edited 1 month ago by Dennis Bremner
HaroldP

Hi Dennis, not “MY” map at all, and definetly “NOT MY INTERPRETATION”.

I will state it again Dennis, “If the Holy Bible and the Salvation by Jesus Christ is not true, we/I have not lived our/my life in vain, but a wholesome God fearing life, we/I have lost nothing, on the otherhand, if the Holy Bible and Salvation by Jesus Christ is TRUE, then those who did not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, have lost everything.”

Every man and woman has to make their decision. So simple and yet so difficult!

Dennis Bremner

So, we have a band of Religious and the “subsidized” importing criminals into our downtown. How can I say criminals? Well when 90% of the “homeless” are addicted and, my 50 odd years exposed to the addict, I can say “criminal”!
So you completely understand the progression here are the steps
1) Addicts go where the money and drugs are
2) In 99.9999% of the cases that is in the Business downtown district.
3) Addicts then sleep in 99.9999% of the cases in public parks because using in a shelter is a no-no
4) Sleep, take drugs during the day, Steal take drugs during the night
5) Enter the Religious distorted approach- We must “treat them where they are”! At no time do they sit back and say “How can we exert DO NO HARM so it applies to everyone, why? -Too busy getting allocating foot pans to wash feet, -rack up Church points and get to the Highest Golden total to Pearly Gate free entry!
6) Social Services then move in because, well, the churches are serving the criminals downtown (note no church on the outskirts of town will take them) downtown and business men are toooo easy to destoruy. We placate the unwashed with “drop terms like “Lawlessness Committees” so it appears we want our downtown back, but we really don’t
7) Social Services on the Gov Paycheck roll in to fill every building they can to get a “piece of the pie”. When an addict commits a crime- He knows not what he does and shall be forrgiven because he has a “Disease”.
8) Things become very inviting to criminals, drug dealers and the addicts and they start to move in, in numbers
9) Crime skyrockets and some nutbar suggests “Housing is the answer” which is all that needed by Governments at Prov/Federal level.
10) Housing services now are baited into endless money. Council then ponders on redefining R1, R2 because the Prov/Fed money is just to enticing!
11) Now its time to “Spread the Harm” and Do no Harm, well thats a thing of the past, because the idea is to try to save the Downtown as it is slowly being destroyed! So to “share the Harm, housing groups then suggest any and every empty lot is fair game. So next is to announce 4 plexes in a neighborhood that is R1 and pays RI taxes and RI prices for the home because “Spreading the Harm” is the “Right and Holy thing to do”! You suddenly hear heavenly music and chanting of the Holy as this continues ibecause after all we are doing Gods work, right?. Churches race around with Foot Bowls to try to wash as many feet as possible ( dodging bankruptcy Auctioneers heading Downtown) so they continue to get the quota for “salvation”!. Cash will be raised for the “Foot Bath buses as they scurry about trying to wash more feet then the other religion (appearances matter)
12) Suddenly crime goes nuts in Residential areas, crime is still rampant in downtown and Churches are just a jammin the music out the door….Its all God’s work! Suddenly police force has to double but if yur dead, yur dead as a resident.
13) Suddenly people going bankrupt, downtown, housing prices drop and people are put in debt they cannot handle…suddenly we are in a Race for rhe most boarded houses which will be used as crack houses. Sherriffs will need 8 months of terror in the neighborhood before you are “blessed with a closed crack hoise! Note- Police will have trouble finding the criminals but if they follow the Churches Mercedes Van optioned with foot bath washers, and the rattling foot pans, they should find them!
14) The final Solution has been completed The Soutern Alberta Rehab Facility now “is” Lethbridge……singing in the background, “Savin lives and do no harm” are espoused from the pulpits and well everyone else is “screwed”
15) When you purposely contribute to the wrong decisions, decisions that can demonstrate failure across the globe, and you choose to mask those failures as successes.Then, actively seek support from Churches, who will now not speak the truth because of their earliest involvement, in “do no harm” then you make the deception and destruction complete!
My personal regret is not convincing the Inigenous that this is nothing more than Whitey profiting off of them again! 212 deaths in two years, 90% of which are Indigenous, and they still don’t get it!
And, “that is”the Reality and likely the Truth” which for some unknown reason, even the churches have abandoned!

Last edited 1 month ago by Dennis Bremner
BigBrit

Tying yourself in a self righteous knot once again.
You are doing exactly what Al’s editorial warned about.
You began fairly enough but then , as usual , you descend into a defence of the indefensible. You actually state “religion aside” and then, profess to know JC and state explicitly that it is that which is important. “The final answer”??? Try telling that to the faithful in the mountains of Bhutan, the depths of the Amazon jungle, the islanders of Rapa Nui etc etc. They are entitled to a belief as you are. Only difference is that you insist on being correct and saved and even cast intolerant barbs at others in the Christian fold.
Superior self righteousness personified.

HaroldP

BigBrit, sorry your comment(s) are so distant frrom the truth! I do not know if you reside in Lethbridge, but if you do, directly related to what you said about the Bhutanese, did you know that Lethbridge has the largest group of Bhutanese refugees in Canada? Did you know that the Bhutanese here in Lethbridge are on fire for Jesus Christ and they have a Christian Church established that is growing and growing as more Bhutanese arrive here? I happen to know personally one of their pastors and his testamony of being saved is amazing. You too BigBrit should consider: “Amazing Grace” my friend and the salvation after a dreadful life of sin, how John Newton was changed in his conversion to Christianity. If you refuse to believe John Newton’s testamony, perhaps you should dig a bit deeper and more contemporary and read “Cold-Case Christianity” written by Homocide detective Warner Wallace. For your information J. Warner Wallace was a devout athesist who rejected Christianity entirely. However his life changed and he accepted the Lord after his critical investigative study of the Christian faith, documents, testamonies, artifacts etc.

Last edited 1 month ago by HaroldP
BigBrit

Must you really copy and paste an identical script from a letter correspondence in the Herald. I know several of the aforementioned Bhutanese , all sincere devoted Buddhists . Interestingly, they act as would a true follower of a Jesus, that is to say “love thy neighbour “ etc. without judgement of any sort. Too bad all so called Christians don’t act in that way.

BigBrit

… and do you know HP of the many who, having been raised Christian or who followed other faiths, rejected those practises and became devout Buddhists? I most certainly do. Compassionate , non judgemental , acceptance of all living things and no preaching.

Last edited 1 month ago by BigBrit
HaroldP

Individuals have choices, previously stated, there are many religions, take your pick, I choose to follow and believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour the Living Son of God the Father.

HaroldP

BigBrit, Wow, you are so misguided, the Bhutanese in Letbridge are the largest group of Bhutanese in Canada! Pastor Prakash is the local pastor here in Lethbridge. This, on fire, Christian Church is called “Win Back the World in Christ Church” (Bhutanese Napalese Christian Assemblies of Canada) THE BHUTANESE ARE NOT BUDDHISTS!!!

I am not cutting and paste any thing from the Lethbridge Herald.

It is crystal that you are misinformed/misguided/dead wrong in so many of your comments. Are you willing to chance that you are dead wrong about Jesus Christ as well? Will you at least browse J. Warner Wallace’s book, “Cold-Case Christianity”? How about it BigBrit?

BigBrit

Bhutan is a Buddhist country (85%) but those fleeing to Nepal and subsequently southern Alberta and beyond were indeed mostly Hindu. A correction is in order in that I should have referenced Hindu rather than Buddhist practitioners in this particular area.
That error changes nothing with regard the overall context of the “discussion”.

HaroldP

BigBrit, Actually the error changes everything in context of this instant discussion. BigBrit, you clearly stated that “I know several of the aforementioned Bhutanese , all sincere devoted Buddhists” Only when I challenged you on the correct faith of the Bhutanese and presented you the facts, did you admit your error without apology! This has happened many times when you try to promulgate incorrect information and I have caught you on it and corrected you. Now you are trying to infer that the Bhutanese are Hindu???? Really, like I truthfully and factually told you that the greatest population of Bhutanese in Canada are right here in Lethbridge, and they are NOT Buddhist, nor Hindu as you are suggesting, rather, born again Christians!!!! You may contact Pastor Prakash, Pastor of the Bhutanese Church here in Lethbridge at 587-425-5720 and I am sure he would be happy to confirm what I am reporting, and he would love to share his personal testimony on his faith in Jesus Christ.

BigBrit, why don’t you research real data, and facts and then determine how you will present, rather than spewing lies and deception? By the way, who do YOU say Jesus is?

Last edited 1 month ago by HaroldP
BigBrit

I offered a retraction and conceded that they (as in the Bhutanese /Nepali refugees) are not Buddhist but Hindu. Where you interpret that to mean that Bhutanese are Hindu is false. Why? Simply because as I stated, those fleeing Bhutan , were part of an early Nepalese diaspora living and practising their religion* in Bhutan, alongside 85% of ethnic Buddhist Bhutanese. * That religion was Hindu and the subsequent dispersal from Nepalese refugee camps meant the majority were followers of Hinduism.The Gorkha store in Lethbridge caters to many of these individuals alongside many other non Hindu customers. Gorkha in case you are not aware, is a district in Nepal whose official religion is Hindu. That some of these Lethbridge arrivals have converted to Christianity is just wonderful.
You have identical paragraphs in two comments to myself over the last week or so ( …”Amazing grace…artifacts etc.”) , hence “copy and paste”.
Regarding Jesus: To repeat from an earlier thread, not copied, Jesus was a human born somewhere around 2000 years ago. An extraordinary orator , teacher and humanist. And likely died because of his stand against the then authority. That he died because of his defiance , makes him worthy of deep admiration. But the Son of God? I do not accept that. That you do is fine by me and if you believe that “Christians are the chosen people” so
be it.

Beeber’s point is well taken indeed.

Last edited 1 month ago by BigBrit
ReallyReally

Without freedom of speech we wouldn’t know who the idiots are ?

HaroldP

Speaking of course for yourself right?

biff

you are not among the chosen ones – you have no say as you have no meaning…or is it that the new book is right and the old book is wrong?

HaroldP

The Holy Bible is Truth, Old Testament and New Testament. The Old Testament foretold of the coming Saviour, and the New Testament proclaims the Christ Jesus who came and fullfilled the law. “In the begining was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” John 1:1 (King James Bible) pretty plain to understand who Jesus Christ is by this scripture alone!

biff

haha!



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