2226 Annexation.

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The church Jo talks about is actually based on a real church where I’m from. I had several bad experiences with the members over the years. Getting told how, and why, you were going to hell wasn’t uncommon even into my college years. I heard they were under investigation for terrorist activity a few years ago. If it was true I couldn’t say, but it sounded true.


That’s the trouble with some religions. They effectively consume people to the point where said people believe religion can solve all problems. Christians, JWs, Creationists, they all fall under this category.

Plus maybe a few SJWs.

If we were talking about terrorists, yes, but we’re talking about religion here.

People have a powerful need to make sense of the world around them. Fill that need, then shape them to your will.

Even scientists are vulnerable to that human need to understand. On the one hand, it often is what gets them into science. On the other hand, it also can make them very receptive to whatever theory is currently popular and resistant to questioning the consensus of those around them. Or very clingy to their own pet theory with no real willingness to question what they’ve already decided is true even if it starts to fall apart. Because they can’t go back to not knowing what the answer is. Or risk a competing theory taking the lead because they sound uncertain while the competing theory is boldly proclaiming itself settled fact. Sometimes even to the point of falsifying data, ignoring divergent data, or openly lying to keep up the idea that they understand something others don’t.

I’ve seen some groups like that.

In my view- There are a lot of people, + a lot of groups, that try to be a “big fish in a small pond”, in- a D + D/role playing game group(s), in some religious group, in a high school’s PTA, + etc., because they can’t become a big noise anywhere else.
There was a cult-like, quasi-Judeo-Christian group at my college.
Most: religious-people, atheists, agnostics, + other types, avoided this group of people like mad, because we all knew that this group treated people like trash.

From what we saw, some groups had a big sign pointing to them, that said- “Must To Avoid”. Stuff like that.

(My real apologies to any quasi-Judeo-Christian groups that are out there.)

jesus christ.. i.. I just wanna hug jo till she pops. I can’t stand indoctrination in any form and this is why. it destroys lives, families, and everything else related.

Hope you don’t watch TV or read or listen to music or read this webtoon. Indoctrination is information and it’s pushing and pulling on us all. It’s the atmosphere of your intellectual life. Words like “cult” create a comfortable illusion that we are not immersed in influences all the time.

I value critical thinking highly. That’s not to say I am any good at it! The 5 Why’s are one of the few defenses I have against indoctrination.

My dad is kinda old fashioned, I guess you could say. Was so afraid I’d get teen pregnant that he even made me take volunteer training for a pro-life help center for primarily teen moms. The woman leading the group used to work in an abortion clinic, and had assisted with many in her time there. Short story is she realized that these fetuses were people and found God. We saw pictures, video, read stories, to horrify us into pro-life agenda. I was 18 at the time, but to volunteer you had to be 21+, just btw. My dad managed to get me an exception to receive the training without becoming a volunteer.

What got to me was when the teen, or whoever needed help, were convinced to keep the baby, and then they’d bring up the church. They’d start with a pamphlet, and say how the church was there to support them. Not financially tho, but they’d have food pantries, at least. I was never the most religious; went to church twice a year, that kind of deal. Looking back, I think that’s the moment I gave up on religion altogether. How can you justify imposing your beliefs on someone at their most utterly vulnerable. Young adults trying to make sense of the world, and find their place in it. Pregnant teen moms who are railroaded into having kids contraception would have likely prevented. People who go into rehab. People who can’t handle their grief, in Jo’s mom’s case. Cults TARGET vulnerable people, because a stable person doesn’t need their kind of support. Churches absolutely do it too.

The only difference between a church and a cult is the motivation, and that’s in the eye of the beholder.

Those terrible churches. Bring community to far flung areas. Have concern for their members. Help people who aren’t even members with finances when they’re sick. Show up to roof a house, or help with a busted pipe. Tell people they should endeavor to be like one who epitomized love and sacrifice. Yeah, can’t imagine how people have tolerated them all these years.

Churches functioned as community centers once upon a time. It really depends on the individual church these days.

The thing is, you don’t need religion to be a good person. You don’t need religion to come together as a community, and be there for your other fellow humans. I think most major religions have good lessons to learn, in the same way Greek/Roman mythology has many amazing stories, lessons and philosophies to teach all modern people, thousands of years later. Jesus walked among the poor and sick, showed love to those who needed it most. I very much respect that lesson. It’s not one that should be forgotten. It’s a lot harder to practice than just said. I just don’t think fear of Hell is a proper motivation to push society forward. Positive reinforcement is proven to be more effective longterm than negative reinforcement, tho every system has their pros and cons.

Churches do have a lot of lessons to teach about morality. But I couldn’t help but notice how much they fail to teach those lessons. I mean, some of the worst people I’ve met were “devout” churchgoers. They knew all the things that people should do to be decent people. They told others to do them. They just didn’t themselves.

I find it interesting that the Christian bible actually states anyone who “follows” Christ specifically to get into heaven won´t, nor will anyone attempting to avoid going somewhere else. Yet most of the motivation they tried to use was “or you’ll go to hell.” In many cases, they’d even say that right after talking about Jesus’ admonishments that only those who went with the intent of following him would make it.

My mother did not react well when I suggested that if she wanted me to be with her in the afterlife, she actually wanted me to not follow Jesus because it was pretty clear based on the motivation she thought would work to get me into heaven that she wasn’t going there. To be fair, it wasn’t a fair thing to say, really: she fundamentally couldn’t change her motivation specifically to avoid that admonishment. She would at best change which variant of what Jesus specifically said according to the bible would not work.

To be clear, I’m not trying to say that book was right about how to get to heaven. I’m not trying to say that heaven is necessarily where one wants to go. That’s just talking about what that book said was needed, versus what their supposed followers attempt to use.

According to said book, I’m also not going to heaven. I may have a better understanding of what the book said. I may be closer aligned to what said book called for. That doesn’t actually mean I’m close enough.

Also, while simply wanting to go to heaven may not be enough, I suspect decidedly wanting to not face the light of 49 solar equivalents of light may still also be an issue. This is regardless of whether heat radiation works th same there as on earth. One solar equivalent is far too bright, another 48 would not help that.

Religion is scary.

Though loosing my father to religion was not something I feared when my mother died. Try talking about a good and beneficient god to him, it is a fast way to loose a limb.

It is quite possible that many people have repressed the idea of death to the point that they cannot handle it when it happens. Life is not fair, death isn’t either. The Grim Reaper doesn’t have an agenda, he has a list. If you are on the list, you go; peacefully or kicking and screaming, but when you are called you gotta go.
Even for the Carnies, sooner or later the day is over and the carnival rides get turned off, and the fun stops. And everybody goes home. Er… to whom/whatever awaits.
So try to balance having fun with doing your work, or better: do like Jackie and do what you love for your work. Making money makes things easier but it won’t buy happiness. Make others happy and catch the contact high. Create joy but take the time to Enjoy what you have and where your are NOW, cause tomorrow is NOT promised. What is guaranteed is the Now.
(Hint: 2x cancer survivor. Spending time enjoying life, NOT spending time Nor energy worrying if it will come back And when.)

Kansas area…creepy religious cult…

…nod once if it was the Westboro Baptists.

…scratch your nose if they’re reading this right now and you don’t want to SAY it was the Westboro Baptists.

Westboro was/is one of the bigger, better funded ones. There are a jillion little storefront churches. They usually start as a schism from some other group. If the leadership is charismatic and they manage to raise a little money they grow into another little congregation. I can’t say that I am particularly religious these days but I can say that my religious experience was mostly benign. Many of the groups are pretty harmless but when they go they go deep.

With the combo of David Willis, the Cinema Snob, and Say Movienight Kevin, this coastal suburban recovering Catholic is learning a lot about others’ heartland fundamental upbringing. And now we add Kansans to the list.

To me, religion IS a joke. It’s a copout to a false consistency and it’s pretty sad that it has to be treated like a political tool in this country, especially during the height of election season.

I’m not particularly religious but I have no problem with the idea itself.
If your beliefs help you be a better person, that’s good.
If your beliefs let/make you believe that you already ARE a better person, you are taking religion in the wrong direction.

As a committed, conservative, fundamental Christian, I can only say “amen”. Even the Bible says not to think more highly of yourself as you ought, but to consider others as better than you.

Why would a cult want a library annexed?

Likely as a first step. This actually happened to the mall in my home town. Used to just be a normal mall, then the owner got into some financial trouble, and had to sell the mall. The city bought it, and the creepy methodist church in the area used the “Good Old Boy” system that permeates every level of government down here in Texas to get the votes to allow them to buy the mall. Now only “methodist friendly” stores are allowed, they decide what movies play in the theatre(The best theatre in town was a little private one in the mall that they told the guy to sell or just be kicked out), and they use all the little kiosk areas to tell people they have to go to their boring @$$ church or go to hell.It sucks.

Sounds like a constitutional violation to me.

Not really, sadly. The Bill of Rights only applies to the Federal government when you get down to it.

Not completely. Most amedments in the BoR apply to the states as well. They had to ratify them.

While the city might be able to use emminent domain to take the land and building, they 1) are required to pay a fair* price for it and 2) they’d have the building but not the books. So they can’t just take it over and turn it into a public library.

*Fair is usually assessed market. If there’s a boom under way (like in Austin area last year), then while you might get assessed value you probably wouldn’t get what you could theoretically sell it for.

So the parhocial local government can run the library to its “liking”, methinks.

I see a big parallel of right-wing nutjobs taking over Boards of Eds to eviscerate school syllabi.

I’m from New England, and left-wind nutjobs do the same thing out here. That’s why I went into IT after getting my History degree, because I knew wherever I went to teach I’d get fired for telling kids the truth.

It’s in the nature of a cult that once they bring you in there is an effort to isolate the members from anything that will challenge the groupthink. Rather than “the stupid” I would say that cults seek out the vulnerable. I’ve seen some quite bright people get drawn into groups with cult think. Once an intelligent person goes through the mental gymnastics needed to accept the cult’s premise they are often among the group’s staunchest members.

Yeah, I’m from Appalachia. Up in some of those mountains preachers have more control than anyone else. They get really spooky really fast and stay that way. I was raised religious and stayed that way for a time in my young life. After years of having walked away I went back to one of those old mountain churches for a funeral. They started talking about the end of the world and scream/crying praise god and I got the hell out of there. I’m sure there are people who find it comforting. I’m sure there are groups that the church has really been there for them. I’ve seen a few that even start out like that, but in the end I’ve only ever seen them turn into “Hand of God.” I would also like to point out how much I love the fact that this conversation is happening in God be with Brew, in the presence of a man who will probably as horrified as Alex.

Oh hey,I didnt know we were going to cover my childhood today!:D Representation! even when its horribly abused by “christian” cults and mothers who went slowly insane after the father died. Oddly specific situation honestly, but still, REPRESENTATION.

I was raised Catholic. Right now, I’m so heretical I’m surprised I don’t burst into flames when I have to go to church.

As it is, I just feel itchy at all the pointless rituals.

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