Thursday, 21 February 2013

07:52 – Well, yesterday I defended Joe Biden’s remarks on women defending themselves. Today, I’ll defend a list published by the University of Colorado of last-resort recommendations for women to defend themselves against rape. Conservative bloggers and commentators have been ripping into UC for suggesting that women who are about to be raped urinate or vomit to discourage the would-be rapist, suggesting the UC list should have instead focused on telling the women to fight back. UC actually offered good advice. A woman who fights back is much more likely to be beaten or killed, and will probably still be raped despite her resistance. If instead the woman urinates or vomits (and, I’d add, defecates), her would-be rapist is likely to walk away in disgust.

The new neighbors had the street parked up again last night, which is the fourth time in a couple of weeks. It’s worse than I’d feared. I was hoping it was something relatively innocuous, like getting together to watch a basketball game or have an orgy. But it’s worse than that. Much, much worse. One of our other neighbors told us what’s really going on. They’re having prayer meetings. Crap. There goes the neighborhood. Until now, with the sole exception of the fundies that live next door, the street has been pretty much secular. As far as I know, there aren’t even any other regular churchgoers, let alone evangelicals. Now we have Holy Rollers living just down the street from us.


98 thoughts on “Thursday, 21 February 2013”

  1. For a couple of years, this Protestant went to a college prep high school run by Jesuits. A movie we saw in religion class explained what a female should do if attacked by a rapist. The advice was to grab one of the rapists testicles and squeeze. I have know idea what this has to do with religion, but it sounds like good advice to me.

  2. I’ve heard it said that a good defensive action is to poke fingers in to the attacker’s eyes. They expect a punch in the groin, but not the eyes. Also, it’s said no one responds to a cry of “HELP!” but they are more likely to respond to a call of “FIRE!”

    I’ve also heard of women trying to fend off unwanted advances by saying they’re on the rag or are HIV positive.

  3. I guess another option is concealed carry. If your state doesn’t allow that then move somewhere that does. The lost taxes and spending will send a message.

  4. It’s actually a terrible idea.

    When I used to teach self-defense classes for college women, I emphasized that because men instinctively do not expect women to fight back, a woman would have exactly one chance to kill or disable a male attacker. Trying and failing enrages an attacker, and usually ends up with the woman being beaten badly or killed. And attempting to grab a would-be rapist by the balls is a very low percentage bet.

    In order of preference, I recommended:

    1. Don’t get yourself into potentially dangerous situations. If you must go somewhere that a rapist or mugger might lurk, go in company, with at least two other women or, ideally, with a man.

    2. If you are attacked, run like hell screaming for the nearest place where people are likely to be and to see/hear you.

    3. If you are grabbed, immediately vomit, piss, and shit, if possible on the attacker. Do not attempt otherwise to harm the attacker physically. It’ll just piss him off and he’ll hurt or kill you. In particular, don’t try to use pepper spray, mace, etc. That’s ineffective at driving off an attacker, but it really, really pisses him off.

    I did my best to make these girls understand that they are inherently prey, not predators. It’s simple biology. Sexual dimorphism is a bitch.

    One of the big problems was and still is that many women believe they’re the equal of any man, when obviously they’re not in the sense of physical size, strength, speed, and aggressiveness. So many women put themselves in dangerous situations simply because they think it’s shameful to act as though men are their superiors in any sense. I used to try to defuse that with my standard opening line in the first class, something like:

    “I’m 6’4″ tall. I weigh 240 pounds. I have a black belt in Shotokan karate. I always carry a .45 ACP Colt Combat Commander, and I shoot regularly in combat pistol competitions. And you know what I’d do if I were attacked? I’d run like hell.”

    Some of them thought about that and realized the point I was making, but I’m afraid many of them thought I was kidding.

  5. Light is an excellent deterrent. If a woman stays in a well lit area she’d be a lot safer. What about carrying a torch that produces very bright light, or something harmless in its unbroken state but when broken is an offensive weapon?

  6. Well, when Jasmine left for college, Kim was talking about buying her pepper spray. I sat down with Jas and told her the essentials, including the fact that pepper spray is pretty much worthless. (It works for cops because they have partners and lethal weapons to back up the pepper spray.)

    I told Jas that if she really wanted to carry something instead of pepper spray she should carry a can of Easy-Off oven cleaner. Pepper spray in the eyes is annoying. Easy-Off in the eyes will permanently blind someone in literally five seconds flat. Sodium hydroxide (lye, oven cleaner, drain opener, etc.) is a truly fearsome chemical.

  7. Well, I guess women would be well advised to carry oven cleaner. I suppose that wouldn’t be classed as an offensive weapon?

    I read all the time about tazers and pepper spray being ineffective. I don’t understand this, I’d likely be begging for mercy.

  8. Tasers and pepper spray are really intended for use by cops who want to get someone’s attention, but who have more serious weapons in reserve. Depending exclusively on either a taser or pepper spray for self-defense is a really dumb move, as a lot of people have found out.

    I was once, with my permission, maced in a demonstration. It’s not something you’d want to happen to you, but it in no way disabled me or prevented me from taking down the person who maced me. If I’d been a rapist and a woman had maced me, I’d be seriously pissed.

  9. Well, I guess women would be well advised to carry oven cleaner. I suppose that wouldn’t be classed as an offensive weapon?

    But officer, I was on my way home to clean my oven when this man attacked me.

  10. Okay, if a woman is found to have oven cleaner in her handbag is that going to be illegal? If she bought it an hour ago and was taking it home surely that would be okay, but if it was bought a month ago would that be legal?

  11. Okay, if a woman is found to have oven cleaner in her handbag is that going to be illegal? If she bought it an hour ago and was taking it home surely that would be okay, but if it was bought a month ago would that be legal?

    Indiana is pretty reasonable as far as self defense is concerned. The only way I can see someone getting in legal trouble with carrying around oven cleaner here is if they used it, and it wasn’t self defense.

    But then I seem to remember a woman in Texas who was charged with shooting an ex-boyfriend who stood outside her front door and repeatedly threatened to kill her. She had a restraining order against him. She shot him. I don’t think she violated any laws, possibly other than discharging a firearm in a municipality. I thought Texas law was more reasonable than that.

  12. Greg, you obviously have no idea of the variety of things women carry in their purses. A can of oven cleaner shouldn’t surprise anyone. Many women carry items that I can’t even identify, literally.

  13. I read all the time about tazers and pepper spray being ineffective. I don’t understand this, I’d likely be begging for mercy.

    I definitely see your point, because I’d be the same way. We’re rational, law abiding citizens. When I was in fourth grade, I was bored out of my skull and read the Encyclopedia Britannica a lot. When criminals were in fourth grade, they too were bored out of their skulls, but they started fights on the playground.

  14. RBT wrote:

    “Greg, you obviously have no idea of the variety of things women carry in their purses. A can of oven cleaner shouldn’t surprise anyone. Many women carry items that I can’t even identify, literally.”

    Ah, the things that women carry in their handbags/purses. There is so much male lore tied up in this, almost as much lore as just what it is women spend so much time in the bathroom doing.

    I’ve seen into women’s purses and handbags a few times, I’m not that interested to be honest. Once a woman I was playing backgammon against asked me to get something from her handbag. When I expressed doubt about the idea she said with a laugh “Don’t worry Greg, there’s nothing in there you shouldn’t see”, which I took as meaning she wasn’t on the rag at that time. The very few times I have seen in women’s handbags everything’s been pretty obvious. I may not always know exactly what a thing is for but it’s usually obvious that it’s tissues, nail sizors, nail file, compact, lipstick, powders of various kinds, tampons, panty liners, etc. Pretty boring stuff.

  15. On the self-defense for women topic; I agree mostly with Bob’s recommendations but with the caveat that from what I’ve seen over forty years of mil-spec, cop and civvie observations in this regard, most women are fucking clueless. About their physical surroundings; their own behavior and dress as a possible factor; and their own vulnerability to various forms of attack. Most men are also clueless, but most men are not targets of sexual assault, either. With both genders, and here I rule out any other possibility once and for all, I find that they’re not likely to whip out their can of oven spray or a handgun in enough time to slow or stop an attack.

    The late Col. Cooper’s color-coded stages of alertness: most folks walk around (and drive around) in a state of Condition White. They should only be in that state when they’re asleep. Rest of the time, Condition Yellow, normally. If one is in a badly lit parking lot late at night heading to one’s cah after a hahd day at the office or leaving a restaurant or club or store, one should be in Condition Orange, especially if there are male persons in the vicinity. Have that damn can of oven cleaner out and ready.

    Condition Red is, of course, when said males are rushing toward you with or without weapons.

    I highly recommend Cooper’s little pamphlet “Principles of Personal Defense,” which is still in print and available at a cheap price.

  16. Yeah, right. I’ve seen what could only be torture instruments that would have been familiar to Torquemada. If you’re so familiar with the contents of women’s purses, describe to me (without looking it up) what an eyelash curler looks like. Or how an eyebrow plucker differs from standard tweezers/forceps.

  17. Yeah, I didn’t mention it in my comment, but I did tell Jas to carry the damned can in her hand if she was walking alone, particularly at night, in an area that was questionable in any way, including a simple absence of other people.

    And I agree that most people, particularly women, are pathetic when it comes to situational awareness.

  18. I’m lucky, or unlucky as the case may be, in that I was trained pretty good by Uncle in this regard, and then had that training reinforced considerably as a cop on the street. And I’m also not usually gonna be anyone’s target for anything.

    That said, I also avoid potentially crappy situations, and faced with a pending attack will also try to avoid that, if possible. If not, it’s on them.

    This may all change quite a bit if and WTSHTF here.

  19. Inducing evacuation of the colon, bladder or stomach doesn’t seem to be an incredibly easy thing to do on the fly. Perhaps it’s different when your well-being is at risk… I’ve never tried. Just pondering this idea, as I’ve never heard this technique before. Very interesting, though!

    As far as your neighbors are concerned, I absolutely agree the issue of over parking in the street needs to be addressed. I’m not quite sure how their religious affiliation is concerning to you or how it’s anyone’s business what they do in their own home.

  20. Oscar Pistorius better have a good defense attorney otherwise he will not have a leg to stand on.

  21. Inducing evacuation of the colon, bladder or stomach doesn’t seem to be an incredibly easy thing to do on the fly. Perhaps it’s different when your well-being is at risk… I’ve never tried. Just pondering this idea, as I’ve never heard this technique before. Very interesting, though!

    Yeah, whenever I suggested vomiting/pissing/shitting to drive off a rapist, at least one of the girls would object that no one could do that on command. I told them not to worry about it. If it ever happened, they’d have more trouble keeping all that stuff in than letting it out.

    As far as your neighbors are concerned, I absolutely agree the issue of over parking in the street needs to be addressed. I’m not quite sure how their religious affiliation is concerning to you or how it’s anyone’s business what they do in their own home.

    I don’t care what people do in the privacy of their own homes, but filling the street with cars makes it no longer something they’re doing in their own home. They’re inconveniencing their neighbors. And I dislike public displays of anything, most particularly including religion.

  22. And I agree that most people, particularly women, are pathetic when it comes to situational awareness.

    Of course most people particularly women are lacking when it comes to situational awareness. Situational awareness is a natural instinct for predators. If prey had situational awareness, they wouldn’t be prey. I’m not saying non-predators can’t learn it, they are naturally lacking in it.

    A mugger who’s any good at it will see potential targets as he walks down the street. It would be natural for him to think about places to hide to gain tactical advantage over his targets. So he’s going to be more inclined than anyone else to notice if there is already somebody in one of those spots.

  23. Actually, situational awareness is a characteristic of prey rather than predators, developed through eons of evolution. Prey animals that are not situationally aware tend to get eaten and not pass on their genes.

    By nature, women should be more situationally aware than men. That’s probably why they are also so good at gathering, while men are good at hunting (predating). That requires not general situational awareness, but the ability, once they’ve noticed prey, to focus on that prey, run it down, and kill it. Predators don’t much care about what going on around them in general.

  24. So, your new neighbors are holy rollers? If only someone with a modicum of scientific or engineering knowledge could think of a way to invoke fire-n-brimstone…

  25. Wouldn’t predatory animals need situational awareness to notice the prey? I’ve long associated what is called ADHD is actually Acute Situational Awareness, a left over from our hunting days, but since I don’t play a doctor on TV, I haven’t bothered with the thesis.

    Prey animals need it to survive, but so do the predators. One can’t eat, what one doesn’t see.

    Not caring if you’re seen, is another thing altogether. That’s cojones.

  26. Anything physical directed against the holy rollers and/or their vehicles is likely to backfire in the form of accusations of persecution and the like. I’d stick to legal complaints with the local huckleberries and see if anything gets done first.

  27. But then I seem to remember a woman in Texas who was charged with shooting an ex-boyfriend who stood outside her front door and repeatedly threatened to kill her. She had a restraining order against him. She shot him. I don’t think she violated any laws, possibly other than discharging a firearm in a municipality. I thought Texas law was more reasonable than that.

    Do you remember when this was? The Great State of Texas has the Castle Doctrine which applies to your home, and your auto as of a couple of years ago. Basically if you are in fear for your life, you can shoot anyone on your property or while in your car. However, you can still be charged but one of our former District Attorneys used to say, “I would rather be judged by 12 than be carried by 6”. We had a famous case where a older guy shot and killed two men burglarizing his neighbors home while he was on the phone to 911 (the recording is chilling):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Horn_shooting_controversy

    BTW, the state legislature is debating open carry and school concealed carry. These may become legal in Texas also but I kinda doubt it. Right now the local school board decides if you can concealed carry on their campuses and we have a couple of small school districts where this is legal now.

  28. No, “situational awareness”, as the term is generally used, means being aware of what’s going on around you rather than just what you happen to be looking at or focusing on.

    For example, when my dad’s B-17 (the prey) was making an approach on a bombing run, the skies were full of BF-109’s and FW-190’s (the predators). It didn’t take any situational awareness for the German fighter pilots to notice the prey. Like most prey animals, B-17’s came in herds, specifically 5- and 10-mile long strings of bombers in combat boxes.

    You can bet, though, that the B-17 crewmen were situationally-aware, in spades. From the time they crossed into enemy airspace until they returned, if they returned, every B-17 crew member was constantly scanning the sky for German fighters. If you’ve ever heard recordings of the radio chatter from a B-17 group during a run, it’s just constant alerts to “Fuck-Wolfs at 12:00 o’clock high” and so on. There wasn’t, on the other hand, much radio chatter from the German fighter pilots. They simply picked out a B-17, focused on it and made their runs. They were the predators, so they didn’t need no steenking situational awareness.

    Until the day that P-51 fighter escorts showed up. Then the FWs and BFs became simultaneously predators and prey. And the Germans lost a shitload of fighters and fighter pilots to unnoticed P-51s.

    And much of that was the fault of the Luftwaffe high-command. When our escort fighters started shepherding the B-17s all the way to Berlin and back, orders came down from OKL telling the German fighter pilots to ignore American fighters. Not just not to go after American fighters, which of course would be any fighter pilot’s natural inclination, but to ignore them completely and focus exclusively on the B-17s.

  29. Sounds like the Holy Rollers have a home church that meets on Sundays and Wednesday nights. A lot of times home churches will also have a potluck dinner. The food is carb heavy and usually lots of casseroles and deserts. Oh man, now I am hungry.

    Hey, if the Rapture happens, be sure to grab on to those Holy Rollers and ride up with them. You really do not want to stay on this Earth after the Rapture, it is going to be tough, real tough.

  30. I disagree, Lynn. Earth with all the True Believers gone elsewhere sounds like heaven to me, and would even spare me the effort of identifying the need-to-believe gene and developing a lethal virus to attack it. To clarify: warmingists and socialists are just as much True Believers as the door-knocking bible-thumpers.

  31. BTW, on those massive DHS ammo purchases, my son’s Marine buddies are telling him that DHS is filling pods (half a container box) with the ammo, wrapping them with chains and dumping them all around the USA. Apparently people are looking for them and have found quite a few. They are not guarded, just way back in the outback.
    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/01/obama-administration-repositioning-homeland-security-ammunition-containers/

    I really do not know what to think about this. I see more and more signs that people are getting ready for a civil war in the USA. If a civil war happens, it will be bloody, very bloody.

  32. I disagree, Lynn. Earth with all the True Believers gone elsewhere sounds like heaven to me, and would even spare me the effort of identifying the need-to-believe gene and developing a lethal virus to attack it. To clarify: warmingists and socialists are just as much True Believers as the door-knocking bible-thumpers.

    After the Rapture, the forces of the Beast will be walking the Earth at the beginning of the 1,000 year war between good and evil. You might need an Abrams to get around. Read the book of Revelation sometime, it is downright scary and weird. Of course, it was written right before the Romans sacked Jerusalem and killed half of the two million population of Christians and Jews.

    BTW, I would change the word “socialists” to “utopians”. Not all utopians are socialists but they are all scary.

  33. And just to clarify further; all that Rapture stuff and holy roller fantasies come from way too much focus on one book in the Bible and a few passages here and there to the exclusion of everything else. It is like unto the snake-handling cults who read that one verse in Leviticus “Thou shalt take up serpents” and wham-bam, away they went! Or the infamous Jack Chick casting Catholic sinners into the Lake of Fire. And talking about the Death Cookie.

  34. I really do not know what to think about this. I see more and more signs that people are getting ready for a civil war in the USA. If a civil war happens, it will be bloody, very bloody.

    I’ve heard some reports of huge ammo purchases, but then I’ve also read this that makes them sound not so huge.

  35. We’ll be fighting in the streets, with our children at our feet…

    Geez, I hope not, but you guys are really starting to worry me. I’m too old for this shit.

  36. “I read all the time about tazers and pepper spray being ineffective. I don’t understand this, I’d likely be begging for mercy.”

    “I definitely see your point, because I’d be the same way. We’re rational, law abiding citizens.”

    Back when I taught statistics and logic, one of my favorite examples was this: Following a terrorist act, the police arrest everyone in the area, because they really don’t know who was responsible. Everyone claims to be innocent. Because the act was so horrible, the police start in on the beatings, demanding a confession. Finally someone cracks, and confesses to the crime. This is pretty clear evidence that they are innocent and should be released.

    The reasoning is what Dave alludes to above: People accustomed to violence, pain, etc. are more able to resist it that people who are not. You or I would probably feel disabled by pepper spray, but someone who fights regularly probably won’t be.

    – – – – –

    “The 1000 war between good and evil”

    I’m reading a fantasy book recommended by my son. Pretty well written, but depressing as hell. Basically, life isn’t a struggle between good and evil; it’s a choice between bad and worse. Sadly, it’s pretty much like reading history: despots being overthrown by would-be despots, while your average Joe gets trampled underfoot.

    The book of Revelation (which, yes, I have read) was written by someone who had eaten a few too many funny mushrooms. Vague images from a drug-dream, probably handed down orally before finally being written down, translated into another language. And now people try to map them onto modern day events? Sorry, but it’s really kind of crazy.

  37. Back when I taught statistics and logic, one of my favorite examples was this: Following a terrorist act, the police arrest everyone in the area, because they really don’t know who was responsible. Everyone claims to be innocent. Because the act was so horrible, the police start in on the beatings, demanding a confession. Finally someone cracks, and confesses to the crime. This is pretty clear evidence that they are innocent and should be released.

    Reminds me of the story where the cops arrest two people for the same crime, but they know only one is guilty. One falls asleep, the other is obviously nervous and can’t sleep. Which one is guilty?

    The guilty one is the one sleeping. He’s been evading capture since the did the crime, and he’s exausted by it. He’s caught, he can’t evade capture any more, so he sleeps. The obviously nervous has never been arrested before, and probably was innocently minding his own business when he got rounded up.

  38. “Sorry, but it’s really kind of crazy.”

    Agreed. It was probably written during the times of either Nero or Domitian when violent persecutions of Christians occurred. The Sack of Jerusalem happened in 70 AD, conducted by the son of Vespasian, Titus, a separate event but one which could most certainly have influenced the book.

    I also hope, with Bob, that we don’t actually have to get down to fighting in the street with our children at our feet, as I am even older than him, though not by much.

    Saw The Who at the old Boston Gahden back in the day, with Keith Moon collapsing over his drum kit fifteen minutes into the show. We got a rain check and they came back a few months later and were amazing. I think I may have told this anecdote before here, but memory is going along with everything else.

  39. It’s always funny, watching people map ancient fortunetelling to current events. First, because of course we are now living in the most important of all times. Second, because of the contortions needed to show that of course this quatrain (usually poorly translated into modern English) was talking about thus-and-so recent event and therefore something-or-other is sure to happen next.

    I about bust a gut some years ago, reading a modern interpretation of Nostradamn-i-ate-too-many-shrooms-us. Bush’s presidency: foretold! Economic decline: foretold! Rise of a dictator: uh, we’ll get back to you after we’ve figured out who it is.

  40. “The guilty one is the one sleeping. ”

    He’s also sleeping because he’s most likely a sociopath and doesn’t give a shit about anything in particular. Thus, no apprehension or anxiety.

  41. [Face palm]

    Harold Camping’s May 21st, 2011 prediction of a rapture is a terrible reference for what “fundies” believe.

    Then again, I am assuming that I know what you mean when you use the term “fundies”. For continuity sake, can you please define it for me?

  42. To me “fundie” is slang short for Fundamentalist, and that could be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan, whatever; one who believes strenuously in either his or her individual interpretation of the particular faith, or more likely, that of the group to which he or she belongs. They tend to gravitate toward strict literal interpretations of scriptural texts, favor apocalyptic renderings of human events whether past, present or future, and are hard on unbelievers. Generally, when I’ve used it here, it refers to certain groups of Protestants. But we have fundie Roman Catholics, too. And we’ve seen in modern times what fundie muslims can do and have done.

    If I’ve missed something here, feel free to jump on in.

  43. OFD says it well.

    Fundies are literalists. They take whatever parts of the bible, koran, etc. they approve of and ignore the contradictory parts or try to explain them away with ridiculous arguments. There’s a whole apologetics industry.

    Me: So your son disobeys you? Why don’t you stone him to death, as your so-called bible tells you?

    Fundie: That’s Old Testament, blah, blah, blah… New Testament supersedes some OT blah, blah blah…

    Me: Okay, if you admit the OT is wrong, why do you give it any credence at all? And if it’s wrong, how could it ever have been the word of your perfect god?

    It’s not worth wasting time arguing, because fundie apologists take whatever they’ve defined as the word of their god as absolute and indisputable. Evidence means nothing to them. Logic means nothing to them. They’re nutcases.

  44. OFD, you left out the ignorance which is practically a required aspect of fundamentalism. Fundies are likely well-versed on a few select verses of their particular holy book, but are ignorant of the historical context, translation issues, and even the un-select part of their particular holy book. And, speaking of translation issues, they’re married to their own particular version of their particular holy book. This isn’t much of an issue for Jews and Muslims, as they are taught the original language, but it’s a big, big issue for Christians. The odds of a Christian fundie being able to read period Latin are low, and the odds of him being able to read period Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic are very, very low.

    Another important aspect of most fundies is their fanaticism, using the jack-leg definition of fanatic: someone who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. I’m not sure it’s an intrinsic aspect of fundamentalism, but a lot of fundies manage to work their religion into every subject and protest when people object.

    Note also that, as above, their are plenty of fundamentalists who are not members of religions, as commonly defined. I’ve met plenty of Green fundies, for example, who take Silent Spring as holy writ and who simply will not rest until wretched man has been made One with Holy Nature. And I could detail the words and works of fundie socialists and progressives, but that would just get me pissed off.

  45. Oh, yeah. The one area where I disagree with OFD: “fundie muslim” is redundant. All muslims are fundie; if they’re not fundie, they’re not muslim.

    The so-called “moderate muslims” you’ll occasionally encounter in the US and other civilized countries aren’t really muslims at all, unless they’re actually fundies who are pretending otherwise. A “moderate muslim” is a contradiction in terms. If they’re a moderate muslim, they’re apostate and under sentence of death. Just ask any real muslim.

  46. Agreed with the above, both SteveF and Bob; I assumed the ignorance and fanaticism are givens with fundies, and yes they can be found, Legion, in fact, among Greens, progs, and socialists of whatever particular ideology.

  47. Thats a painfully tight box you’ve drawn up for the “fundies” of the world. Ignorance is alive and well indeed.

  48. Im as “fundie” as they come. A “nutcase”, if you will.

    As I suspected. Why not leave us adults in peace and just go off and play with your little fundie friends?

  49. A joke that makes some Church of Christ’ers, me included, laugh in sadness because we grew up in the church in the 1960s, 70s and 80s:

    A guy dies and goes to Heaven. St. Peter meets him at the gates and says “Let me take you on a tour”. They go journeying around, see everyone partying, singing praises to God and having a good time. By and by they get to a very quiet section of Heaven in the back. The guy asked why it is so quiet. St. Peter says “Shhh!, this is where the Church of Christ people are and they think that they are the only ones here”.

    Several Baptist preachers on the intertubes call Church of Christ churches cults. That is so sad that I just do not know where to begin.

    I worship with a large liberal XXXXX progressive Church of Christ here in the Land of Sugar. It is an amazing place to worship with my fellow Christians. The last 20 years has been a great ride and I am looking forward to the next 20 years. In fact, we are so progressive that they took our church off the list of Churches of Christ. Does not matter to me as each Church of Christ is a separate institution.

  50. It’s more fun to hang with the Catholics – at least they drink.

    “Whenever two or more Catholics get together there’s always a fifth.”

  51. Hmm. Until today, when I hit refresh, the page—after refreshing,—returned to where I left off reading. But now it either goes back to the beginning of comments or to my last post.

  52. It’s more fun to hang with the Catholics – at least they drink.

    “Whenever two or more Catholics get together there’s always a fifth.”

    Yeah, I’ve always gotten along fine with RCC folks, at least the normal ones like OFD. The Mel Gibson/Opus Dei ones are pretty scary, though.

  53. Even though some Europeans do eat horsemeat, apparently, it has been widely passed off as beef and included in prepared meals such as lasagna and sausage. The result is a near worldwide scandal, as the horsemeat-subsituted-as-beef has reached Asia. The meat apparently originates in Brazil.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/europe-horsemeat-scandal-spreads-to-asia/story-fn3dxix6-1226582346101

    A lot of people in the food industry do not think this is an accident.

  54. Hey OFD, I just wanted to say that I failed miserably in being RUTHLESS. We did throw out about ten pickup truck loads of stuff though. The last goes out tonight. And we did donate about 5 boxes of books to the library who took them with open arms. Probably straight to the dumpster in back. And goodwill has a bunch of clothing coming.

    My son says that the hoarding gene runs strong in our family. All his grandparents have extra houses for their excess XXXXX precious stuff. I absolutely refuse to do that.

  55. “Yeah, right. I’ve seen what could only be torture instruments that would have been familiar to Torquemada. If you’re so familiar with the contents of women’s purses, describe to me (without looking it up) what an eyelash curler looks like. Or how an eyebrow plucker differs from standard tweezers/forceps.”

    I didn’t say I was familiar with everything that might be in a woman’s handbag, just that a lot of it is kinda obvious.

  56. OFD wrote:

    “Anything physical directed against the holy rollers and/or their vehicles is likely to backfire in the form of accusations of persecution and the like. I’d stick to legal complaints with the local huckleberries and see if anything gets done first.”

    Geez, I mentioned the solution only a week ago. Y’all losing your memories?

    The father of a friend down in Melbourne had no luck with reasoning with the neighboring church about the noise they produced, so he left his lawn mower running just across the fence while they were having their Sunday service. They soon started co-operating.

    Do something that offends the fundies. Take the truck down to their house, park, turn on the stereo with some heavy metal at full blast and leave it there overnight.

  57. Lynn wrote:

    “The Great State of Texas has the Castle Doctrine which applies to your home, and your auto as of a couple of years ago. Basically if you are in fear for your life, you can shoot anyone on your property or while in your car.”

    There was a case here (in Melbourne I think) a few years back when a chap was breaking into someone’s home via the window. The owner had a gun and told the perp to freeze. The perp was shot, his guts was wrecked and he ended up having to have a colostomy. He claimed that he *did* stop, the home owner claimed that the perp rushed towards him after the warning. Who was telling the truth? It doesn’t really matter to me in this case.

    The case that did bother me was where a guy was on someone’s property, allegedly sheltering from the rain in the carport. He was shot, I don’t remember the outcome, but I do think that someone should be breaking in to your house to use a gun on them. Otherwise just call the cops.

  58. “Hey, if the Rapture happens, be sure to grab on to those Holy Rollers and ride up with them. You really do not want to stay on this Earth after the Rapture, it is going to be tough, real tough.”

    It’s too late. The Antichrist (aka Richard Dawkins) has already recruited Bob, Jerry C, PZ, DD and many others as his lieutenants.

  59. Lynn wrote:

    “Read the book of Revelation sometime, it is downright scary and weird. Of course, it was written right before the Romans sacked Jerusalem and killed half of the two million population of Christians and Jews.”

    Um, you mean 95 AD, didn’t you?

  60. OFD wrote:

    “And just to clarify further; all that Rapture stuff and holy roller fantasies come from way too much focus on one book in the Bible and a few passages here and there to the exclusion of everything else. It is like unto the snake-handling cults who read that one verse in Leviticus “Thou shalt take up serpents” and wham-bam, away they went! Or the infamous Jack Chick casting Catholic sinners into the Lake of Fire. And talking about the Death Cookie.”

    You’re partly right and partly wrong… 🙂

    I agree that people can focus on one small passage of the Bible, my favourite is “if your eye offends you (i.e. causes you to commit sin) pluck it out and throw it away. It is better to enter paradise with one eye than to be flung in to hell with both.” Same goes for the hands. I don’t see too many blind, handless fundies around so I guess they don’t take that literally.

    But Dave, the point where you’re dead wrong is the supposition that end times prophecy is based only on the book of Revelation. It pervades the OT book of Daniel, and other OT books, the Gospels, a number of Paul’s books, etc.

    Ah, Jack Chick, or J.T.C. as his comics were labeled. I’m sure I’ve still got some of those floating around somewhere. “This Was Your Life” was my favourite. He was weird even by your standards, but some of his stuff was okay.

  61. OFD wrote:

    “But we have fundie Roman Catholics…”

    Do charismatic Catholics count as fundies?

  62. Lynn wrote:

    “Several Baptist preachers on the intertubes call Church of Christ churches cults. That is so sad that I just do not know where to begin.”

    Lynn, from what I’ve read of you you’re just a Baptist who doesn’t realise it yet. I tried Googling C of C but there are too many of them, even in Wikipedia.

  63. RBT wrote:

    “Yeah, I’ve always gotten along fine with RCC folks, at least the normal ones like OFD. The Mel Gibson/Opus Dei ones are 100 molar nutcase loons, though.”

    There, fixed that for you.

    It’s sad about Mel, I loved his acting in the Mad Max movies, especially Mad Max II. Pity he hit his head pretty badly in MMIII.

  64. Nope, not heading Baptist. I really like the Baptists and have many fine Baptist friends and relatives but I believe in open communion. My church is here:
    http://www.firstcolonychurch.org/
    I also prefer an acapella worship service but I do not view that as a salvation matter.

    My church is heading down the “community church” path very quickly. Probably in the next five years we will rename ourselves “First Colony Church” or something along those lines. We are a medium sized church with around 1,500 people attending each Sunday.

    I was raised in the Church of Christ. My middle brother converted to RCC when he got married 20+ years ago. They got married in a Catholic church so he had to promise to raise their kids RCC. And he has fulfilled that promise.

  65. Lynn wrote:

    “We did throw out about ten pickup truck loads of stuff though. The last goes out tonight. And we did donate about 5 boxes of books to the library who took them with open arms. Probably straight to the dumpster in back. And goodwill has a bunch of clothing coming.”

    Do the fembots know yet? If not, do you expect to survive? Do you enjoy sleeping under bridges?

  66. Yes, most of the trash was sanctioned by the fems. I gave up being RUTHLESS when they started following me to the curb to see what was in those trash bags. They took my carefully stacked pile of trash one night and ripped the whole thing apart. I was the only one who complained though. I mean, who is going to miss a 15 year old VHS tape of three Buffy episodes?

    Do you enjoy sleeping under bridges?

    I honestly do not know. And hope to never find out that exhilarating experience. Here in the Land of Sugar, the local constabulary grabs anyone hanging out under a bridge and drives them down to Houston to sleep under their bridges. We’ve got standards, standards I tell you, here in the Land of Sugar.

  67. Lynn,

    I don’t know any churches that practice closed communion, or even restricted communion. You have them there?

    Secondly, I was wondering about the denomination name.

    Okay, I give up. What’s acapella in this context?

    I dated a Catholic girl in the Eighties. She was okay but her father was a damn-the-Protestants-to-hell type Catholic. As far as I know she never told her father, who I never met, that I wasn’t Catholic. No way in the world would I sign the Catholic Marriage Agreement.

  68. “Hmm. Until today, when I hit refresh, the page—after refreshing,—returned to where I left off reading. But now it either goes back to the beginning of comments or to my last post.”

    Similar here. It is also disconcerting because it actually shows beginning, end and other sections before it finally stops… somewhere. Firefox 19 since yesterday.

  69. That’s one of the advantages of Life Up North: We don’t have the problem that Atlanta and Houston and San Francisco do of bums — er, the insane — er, the lazy-asses — er, the homeless-through-no-conceivable-fault-of-their-own accreting in our parks and such. The winter kills them, so we get at most a season’s worth of accumulation before the frost gets rid of them.

  70. Yes, I went to a RCC wedding with a Latin Mass in 2010? We were requested not to participate in the Eucharist unless we were Catholics in good standing. Please note that I am not criticizing the RCC or other churches who practice closed communion. I do not believe it to be a salvation issue. I just prefer open communion. And acapella singing. And a host of other non-salvation worship items that I grew up with and love dearly.

    Open Communion:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_communion

    Church of Christ:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churches_of_Christ

    Acapella is congregational singing without instrumental music.

  71. Beggars often stake out my favourite grocery store, asking if I have any spare change for them to get their fix^H^H^H groceries/bus fare home/something to eat. I *really* hate being lied to.

  72. I’ve been to a RC mass exactly once. It was a charismatic one (I was invited by a charismatic cow-orker) and when all the Catholics in good standing went forward for their wafer I did too but just asked for a “blessing”, since I don’t believe in trans-substitution. I could have had the wafer if I’d wanted to, no one was asking if I was Catholic. Nowadays I wouldn’t bother refusing it, who cares what the priest thinks, that wafer is just a wafer, a memorial.

    Ah, that’s what acapella means. Well, I like music, preferably piano and trumpet. Sounds like you’d make a good member of the Free Church of Scotland.

    Edit. That CofC stuff looks a bit scary. Be baptized. Be baptized *our* way or you’re not a Christian. Not so, I’m afraid.

  73. Lynn wrote:

    “Yes, most of the trash was sanctioned by the fems. I gave up being RUTHLESS when they started following me to the curb to see what was in those trash bags. They took my carefully stacked pile of trash one night and ripped the whole thing apart. I was the only one who complained though. I mean, who is going to miss a 15 year old VHS tape of three Buffy episodes?”

    I’ll be moving within six months and am busily chucking stuff. And I have no fembots to squeal about it. It’s heart-wrenching chucking some of that stuff, but I no longer use it and will never use it again. I’ll probably do this in several cuts: chuck some stuff and keep the rest. Go through the kept stuff again and chuck more, repeat, repeat, repeat.

    One of my friends would know how to deal with this. The only thing she kept from her daughter’s childhood was the ident band they attached at the hospital when she was born.

  74. My favorite “baptized our way” line was from some preacher I was amusedly listening to at a picnic or something. (It was a while ago, I’m tired, and anyway I’m a burnout.)

    1) You have to be baptized to get into Heaven.
    2) You have to be baptized our way to get into Heaven.
    3) There is only one baptism in Christianity.
    4) If you’ve been baptized before, you can’t be baptized again.
    5) If you received infant baptism, your parents did you a bad turn because there is no way for you to be saved. (His church baptized only adults, meaning age 14 and up I think.)

    The wonder wasn’t so much that his church apparently allowed non-members to attend — only people having been baptized the “right way” could be members — but that anybody at all sat through services which preached that they were damned and there wasn’t a thing they could do about it. (To be sure, I never attended that church’s service and am basing all of the above on what that one preacher said that one time, years ago. And keep in mind comments concerning burnoutitude.)

  75. The horsemeat scandle is clearly not an accident. The meat was purchased from one or more producers for inclusion in mass-market products: Pre-prepared lasagna, ravioli, and the like. The intermediate product delivered was supposed to be ground beef. Given that it’s pretty hard to confuse a horse with a cow, it is pretty clear that at least one company along the chain deliberately falsified their declaration.

    That said, I really don’t understand why the media is trying to blow this up into a scandal. Anyone who knows anything about food production knows that the system of declarations is largely trust-based, with only occasional, random checking to keep the honest people honest. Even if you aren’t acquainted with the details, a bit of reflection makes it obvious that it would be impossible to check every delivery of every intermediate product for every possible error or contamination.

    Horse meat instead of beef, typically in concentrations of about 1%. Ok, find out who snuck in a load of horsemeat. Punish them by cancelling a few important contracts. They’ll learn better or go out of business, problem solved. But really – this is just not a big deal.

    The press attempt to make this into a huge scandal just show that there is a current lack of interesting news…

    Of course, I think that a good horse steak is yummy.

    – – – – –

    On the subject of fundies, churches, and the like: the last church service I went to was with relatives last April. They are very religious, and would have been offended if we hadn’t gone with. My kids had never been to any sort of service before, so I figured it would be enlightening for them to see one.

    I found it really strange. After a pretty normal start, he switch to a high-pitched, quavery television-preacher voice: the unsaved are damned, doesn’t anyone want to come forward and be saved? This went on and on. But surely (ok, we were the weirdos) everyone in his little church of about 30 people is presumed to already be saved? Why did he do this? Since no one seemed to find it odd, I assume he does his television-preacher act every Sunday. How tiresome.

    Maybe because I hadn’t been in a church for 20 years, but I also found the multimedia presentation – Powerpoint to the extreme – that accompanyied the sermon to be bizarre. For those who go to church regularly: are multimedia sermons the new norm?

    My kids’ comments after the service: “man, they take that stuff *really* seriously”.

  76. The evening service at my ex-church in Canberra and the morning service (and, I assume, the evening service) of the church in Adelaide my family attend have PP presentations of songs. That’s about it. I don’t care for it but it’s what they do nowadays.

    Damn it, I haven’t been to a real fire and brimstone service in such a long time…

    As to horse meat, a bit more sampling would have discovered it years ago. You don’t have to do much sampling, which shows that people have got lazy and/or don’t know their statistics.

    I like horses and dogs so I’m not that happy with eating them myself but have no objections if others do. OTOH I love crocodile, and our national symbols the kangaroo and emu.

  77. “Hey OFD, I just wanted to say that I failed miserably in being RUTHLESS. We did throw out about ten pickup truck loads of stuff though. The last goes out tonight. And we did donate about 5 boxes of books to the library who took them with open arms. ”

    Looks to me like you did pretty good, but I don’t know how much you started with, of course. At our house before the last one I took out at least 300 bags of trash, rubbish, junk, etc., personally, in the dead of a snowy, icy winter, at the top of a steep curving driveway. It was loads of fun. Yet somehow those 300 bags appeared at our last house again and I had to get rid of them again. Now I find that the total is increasing at our new house and I have to become totally RUTHLESS again and throw this crap out as soon as it appears; easier now that daughter is never around and Mrs. OFD will be gone eight out of the next twelve weeks all over the country.

    “Um, you mean 95 AD, didn’t you?”

    There are roughly two schools of historical thought on the dating; the previous one was that it was written around 95 AD; current historians are saying it was closer to 70 AD, a process of analysis begun by the late Anglican Bishop J.A.T. Robinson, whose book I read back in the 80s “Redating the New Testament.” He was briefly popular in the Glorious Sixties with his book “Honest to God.” He and others now say that the Gospels, in general, and the Epistles, in particular, were written a lot closer to the time of the actual events than has hitherto been supposed and postulated.

    “Do charismatic Catholics count as fundies?”

    Not really. More so the schismatic sects of alleged uber-Catholics who believe, for example, that the popes since and including John XXIII, have been illegitimate usurpers. Mel’s dad would be in the group somewhat.

  78. I found it really strange. After a pretty normal start, he switch to a high-pitched, quavery television-preacher voice: the unsaved are damned, doesn’t anyone want to come forward and be saved? This went on and on. But surely (ok, we were the weirdos) everyone in his little church of about 30 people is presumed to already be saved? Why did he do this? Since no one seemed to find it odd, I assume he does his television-preacher act every Sunday. How tiresome.

    Run away very fast before they bring out the rattlesnakes. I wish that I was kidding.

    1) You have to be baptized to get into Heaven.
    2) You have to be baptized our way to get into Heaven.
    3) There is only one baptism in Christianity.
    4) If you’ve been baptized before, you can’t be baptized again.
    5) If you received infant baptism, your parents did you a bad turn because there is no way for you to be saved. (His church baptized only adults, meaning age 14 and up I think.)

    Oh my gosh. There is no scriptural basis for this. This is the “once saved, always saved” crowd gone bad. Real bad. And I just sinned for criticizing a fellow Christian.

    I fervently believe in Baptism by immersion at the age of knowing. The Didache ( http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-roberts.html ) says “And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.”

    In other words, be baptized as a sign of your faith. Christian baptism is a carryover from the yearly baptism practiced by Jewish zealots (Paul was one all his life). If you feel that your previous Baptism did not take then do it again. I know several people that have done this and felt renewed in their walk with the Lord. And if you want to be re-baptized yearly then do so. Or daily, your choice and your walk.

    Damn it, I haven’t been to a real fire and brimstone service in such a long time…

    I got enough of those in the 60s and 70s to last a lifetime seven times over. I believe in Heaven and Hell. I believe that Heaven is the presence of God. I believe that Hell is the absence of God. Dante’s Inferno is very good reading with zero scriptural basis.

    Maybe because I hadn’t been in a church for 20 years, but I also found the multimedia presentation – Powerpoint to the extreme – that accompanyied the sermon to be bizarre. For those who go to church regularly: are multimedia sermons the new norm?

    Yes. Churches appear to be the number one user of PowerPoint nowadays. I like it when they use it to put sheet music (words and notes) up there. My church has two 20 ft screens and many 60″ screens. But we have a 1200 seat auditorium and seeing is difficult in some places. I’ve been to churches with three 20″ screens. I think that Joel Osteen has a couple of 50 foot screens but his church seats 17,000 (former pro basketball arena).

    My preacher, Ronnie Norman, likes to show movie shorts as a part of his sermon sometimes. He showed a portion of “Les Miserables” recently as an example of God’s grace. It was OK, I can take it or leave it.

  79. Looks to me like you did pretty good, but I don’t know how much you started with, of course. At our house before the last one I took out at least 300 bags of trash, rubbish, junk, etc., personally, in the dead of a snowy, icy winter, at the top of a steep curving driveway. It was loads of fun. Yet somehow those 300 bags appeared at our last house again and I had to get rid of them again. Now I find that the total is increasing at our new house and I have to become totally RUTHLESS again and throw this crap out as soon as it appears; easier now that daughter is never around and Mrs. OFD will be gone eight out of the next twelve weeks all over the country.

    Ah, sounds like the Hoarding gene is strong in your loved ones also.

    We gave our daughter two rooms in the new house, a sleeping room and a day room. Both are about 13′ x 13′. The day room has about 50 boxes in it right now. I am wondering what will happen with all that stuff.

  80. I forgot to mention that my study still has 20 boxes in it and I have about 10 boxes in our master and closet. So, I can say that the Hoarding gene is not weak in myself either.

  81. “Run away very fast before they bring out the rattlesnakes.”

    And the mason jars of strychnine. If you can’t avoid the latter, tell them to at least put an olive in it with a toothpick.

    And here “Gandalf” tells his little group of sinners that there will be no butter in Hell:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5evsxRdkJw

    If you have not seen “Cold Comfort Farm” and you kind of dig comedy set in England during, say, the Twenties, you won’t regret watching this; first time had me doubled up on the floor clutching my gut and weeping.

    I had the amazing experience of seeing Sir Ian McKellan in Boston at the Schubert Theater probably nearly thirty years ago doing his one-man show “Acting Shakespeare.” The theater was dark and a little spotlight came on above the small stage and then he cam running down the center aisle in black pants and white shirt and regaled us for two hours on Shakespeare. At some points I was again doubled up and in danger of a stroke from laughing so hard.

    Also, while I’m on the subject, if you like de Vere’s stuff and what’s been done with it, keep an eye out for “Looking for Richard,” starring Al Pacino as King Richard III. Really cool job.

    On Dante’s Inferno; that is our lovely Christian poet having his fun at the expense of his many enemies in and around Firenza back in the day, but with a serious note running underneath all through it; Hell is a very real place. Lordy, I had to read that and Purgatorio in the medieval Italian and Latin and present a paper on it at Yale 22 years ago on April Fools Day, and boy I felt like a damn fool doing that in front of major Renaissance and Dante scholars who spoke Italian and Latin fluently. But they patted me on the head and let me eat lunch with them. Oh, and also had to read the relevant Aeneid passages in the original Virgilian Latin. This was all by way of greasing the skids for me to go on to a doctoral program, which I eventually did, at wonderful Rutgers, yet another bastion of Bolshevism on the East Coast, and probably causing numerous colonial Dutch and English parsons to spin in their graves, Calvinist bastards that they were.

    In other nooz, just got six new racks loaded with servers which will run RHEL 6.3 but will OFD get to play with them? Doubtful now, as it looks like he is being “sent down,” to deal with mountains of crufty legacy junk with the other old farts which and who are all being sun-setted outta here this year. Stayed tuned, sportsfans.

  82. For those who go to church regularly: are multimedia sermons the new norm?

    At my church we present videos, some PowerPoint, song lyrics and scriptures on two large screens. We also present a live feed from the video cameras. This is the same feed that is being sent on a live broadcast (although we can switch it something else). We put scriptures on the bottom of the screen so they can be seen by the TV viewers and by the people in attendance.

    My job is that of the director and producer. It is a live broadcast and we have our own control room with the two dozen video monitors, two video switching consoles and two audio mixers. Plus the assorted source switcher (different from the main video switchers), sync generators and camera controllers.

    The cameras are operated by humans and as the director I provide the operators with instructions with the operators being responsible for focus and zoom, white balance and exposure control are controlled in the studio.

    It is the only live TV church broadcast in the area. We are on the air for 80 minutes every Sunday morning from 10:40 AM to 12:00 PM. It is a daunting task to coordinate 8 people (camera operators, audio, display overlays) and make it look decent. We do suffer warts once in awhile.

    I used to make fun of local TV broadcasters when they messed up. Now I have a whole lot of sympathy and understand why it happens. However, those people do it for a job, I just do it as a small source of some spending money.

  83. SteveF and Lynn wrote:

    ‘1) You have to be baptized to get into Heaven.
    2) You have to be baptized our way to get into Heaven.
    3) There is only one baptism in Christianity.
    4) If you’ve been baptized before, you can’t be baptized again.
    5) If you received infant baptism, your parents did you a bad turn because there is no way for you to be saved. (His church baptized only adults, meaning age 14 and up I think.)

    Oh my gosh. There is no scriptural basis for this. This is the “once saved, always saved” crowd gone bad. Real bad. And I just sinned for criticizing a fellow Christian.

    I fervently believe in Baptism by immersion at the age of knowing. The Didache ( http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-roberts.html ) says “And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.”’

    Lynn, I’m afraid you’re the one who’s wrong. There’s no link between SteveF’s points 1-5 and the once saved, always saved crowd. I’m one of them but completely reject all those points except perhaps point 3.

    Baptism by immersion, or any other method, is not part of becoming a Christian. One should, but it isn’t required. Nor is immersion required. There’s a good article on the subject by a famous Reformed (i.e. Calvinist) theologian whose name escapes me at the moment who knocks the legs out of the immersion only argument. Immersion is valid, but not the only way. In the meantime have a look at this:

    http://www.opc.org/new_horizons/NH00/0007b.html

  84. Well, one or the other of the various Christian denominations better get it right because….

    ….there is no butter in Hell.

  85. “there is no butter in Hell.”

    Of course there isn’t, no ice cream or snow balls, either. It would all melt from the heat. This seems fairly obvious. That is, if it wasn’t a work of fiction.

  86. And this is assuming, of course, that Hell is a place of incredible fire and heat and smoke. Maybe all the literary buggers and prophets got it wrong; human beings are notoriously fallible on such matters.

  87. Lynn, I’m afraid you’re the one who’s wrong. There’s no link between SteveF’s points 1-5 and the once saved, always saved crowd. I’m one of them but completely reject all those points except perhaps point 3.

    Baptism by immersion, or any other method, is not part of becoming a Christian. One should, but it isn’t required.

    Miles_Teg, I totally agree with you. Sorry for being so obtuse as I meant what you said.

    I meant that these 1 to 5 points were part of the “once lost, always lost” crowd. And yes, such a group of people exist.

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