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What do loons get out of their looniness? - Elf M. Sternberg
What do loons get out of their looniness?

What's in it for him?
Hosted on Flickr!. Click to enlarge.
Okay, by now, with the Easter season come and gone, most of you have heard the riff about the definition of Christianity:
A cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father will let you live forever if you pretend to eat his flesh, drink his blood, and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that he put there a long time ago as punishment for all humanity because a rib-woman made from a dust-man was convinced by a talking snake to eat fruit from a magical tree.
As deliberately offensive as this accurate assesment may be worded, I have to wonder what believers like this guy get out of their lonely, abuse-filled ritual on public streetcorners. I mean, he just stands there once in a while, holding up this sign and waving at passersby. I mean, does he really think he's going to get anyone who's not already on board with his tribal message to sign up right there and then? I mean, come on: one out of every five self-identified Christian college-age kids thinks Sodom and Gomorrah were a married couple in the Bible. What's the point?

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Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: Yuki Kaijura, Materialize

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lionman From: lionman Date: May 3rd, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Alright, now I'm curious:

I mean, come on: one out of every five self-identified Christian college-age kids thinks Sodom and Gomorrah were a married couple in the Bible.

Do you have a source for that?
elfs From: elfs Date: May 3rd, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Americans get an 'F' in Religion, from USA Today.

By the way, I aced the quiz on the left hand side. The only one I missed was "Name the seven sacraments of Catholicism." I could only remember five.

And yes, the Kama Sutra is in fact a sacred text of Hinduism. It is the book that teaches one how to acheive kama, or passion, which is one of the four aims of Hindu life (the others being: success (artha), communal duty (dharma), and liberation from Earthly concerns (moksha)).
lionman From: lionman Date: May 3rd, 2007 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for citing your source! Very enlightening.

BTW, I scored 86. I missed one of the 7 sacraments (but I'm not Catholic, so I'm not overly worried.) And I missed part of the Ramadan question, as well as all of the Noble truths of Buddhism. So, I get a B, not an F, I guess. :-)
norincraft From: norincraft Date: May 3rd, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
This struck me as being a bit overly specific on the Christianity portions and I suspect you would have earned an even higher score if the religions were more evenly balanced in number and details of questions, included a fuller range (Paganism, Shamanism, Yazidi, etc) and normed across the whole US data set. Anyway, a 70 for me.
odd since, I don't even pretend to know much about religion. But I've managed to at least respect others for their religious views.

From: scyllacat Date: May 3rd, 2007 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not that it's relevant, but I always read that verse (in the picture) about the same as the Buddhist teaching that attachments (sin) to the world keeps us from reaching enlightenment (glory of God) -- basically true. So, it's less offensive to me than those that tell me that UNLESS I worship the Zombie Jesus I burn in HELLOMGWTF!

But there's nothing in Christianity, AFAIK, that says anything you do has to be effective. So, whether you're Fred Phelps or Billy Graham, as long as you're "preaching the Gospel" it doesn't matter how many people you freak out.

Norman Vincent Peale believed in positive thinking (sympathetic magick!) and miraculous results, and you see how no one ever talks about HIM anymore.
mothball_07 From: mothball_07 Date: May 3rd, 2007 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
slutdiary From: slutdiary Date: May 3rd, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
People like that relish feeling a sense of moral superiority, when they are superior in no other way. Give's 'em a warm fuzzy feeling when they go home and contemplate their stigmata.
kenshardik From: kenshardik Date: May 3rd, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

My Conclusion

"For all have sinned and fallen short..." well, then, guess I can stop trying so hard! Time for sodomy! Or at least some onanism!
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: May 3rd, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
He's doing it because it's a "sacrament" in his own religion.

I don't feel the need to ridicule it. Some people keep the signs of their faith on a a necklace, some nail it to their door, some wear it under their clothes, and some paint it on a sign to wave. But in the end, it's the same thing.
ibsulon From: ibsulon Date: May 3rd, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
As I was once *that guy* -- or close enough (dramas in the street with evangelism) -- we were told to think of Matt 5:12 when these things happened: "Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Further, you think of these individuals as people going to hell -- if anything you do can save one or two people from an eternity of torment, why worry about a little scorn?

(The problem being, of course, that the deity in question doesn't exist.)
gromm From: gromm Date: May 3rd, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
One of the ways that cults do their culty thing is by isolating the noobs from the rest of society, so that the cult has complete control of what the noobs learn, and thus believe.

I have a theory that JWs and baptists do a sort of "soft isolation". If you make it a requirement to annoy everyone around you with your preaching, pretty soon the only friends you have are those that belong to the church. With any luck, you convert one or two people along the way, and that's the stated goal of all the preaching. You get brownie points from God for conversions, so there's a reward built into the system.
srmalloy From: srmalloy Date: May 3rd, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
To see the stereotypical cult practice in this regard, there are very good examples that are easily examined -- military boot camp. The things that cults do to bring a new acolyte into the cult are the same things that the military does to recruits -- they isolate them from family and friends, breaking them down as individuals to rebuild them with new bonds to each other as part of the military that will be necessary in order for them to function as a unit.
gromm From: gromm Date: May 4th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 4th, 2007 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)
That's certainly how orthodox Judaism works. The kosher law (kashrut laws, technically) make sure that the followers of this practice cannot eat with non-followers - it is entirely prohibited. Add to that the three daily prayer times (which really get in the way of, well, anything you might be doing) and the "modesty" rules governing clothing, and you get a wall that separates the orthodox Jews from the rest of humanity visually, externally, and emotionally-internally.

It's saddest when someone who used to live a regular lifestyle gets sucked in by the comfort of this regimented lifestyle. My father went that route, while I was a young girl, dragging my mother and their (four) children with them. Not one of the children maintained that insane lifestyle, though. Only the zealous convert remained in it.
shunra From: shunra Date: May 4th, 2007 06:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry, the above was me - I must have logged out without noticing.
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