Sunday, June 29, 2008

Old Memories Resurface - If only I knew then what I know now

When I was around 9 or 10 (I think), my younger sister and I would go over to our friend's house. We had plenty of them throughout our neighborhood. The house we went to this particular day, was a small family of three. In a predominantly Utah Mormon neighborhood, this was nearly unheard of as most families had at least three children. I digress.

Her playroom was the entire downstairs den/living room area. She had an esay-bake oven, Barbies and one of those play-kitchen things from Fisher-Price. The three of us were playing fine on our own. Her dad came downstairs to see what we were up to and asked to join in.

This man was creepy to me. His skin wasn't smooth and looked greasy, or oily. Dark brown hair and large, 80s eyeglasses. From what I remember, he sounded like a very soft-spoken man. Now, he sounds like a pedophile. I know that's a generalization just based on tone of voice; maybe I've watched too many episodes of Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit.

That day, when he joined in our play, he laid his hands on us, holding on longer than was comfortable, going over my torso. I think the same thing happened to our friend and my sister. I was so uncomfortable there and I think my sister was, too. We left that day and never went back.

I hadn't thought of that little girl until recently. I have no idea how old she is now (maybe early-mid twenties) or if they even still live in that house. From the television shows and programs I've watched in the last ten years or so, it makes me wonder how terrified she must have been. There's something inside that tells me he molested her throughout her entire time at home. I see her as some skinny, blonde hair, sunken eyed girl. I see her with low self-esteem and self-worth. I see a frightened girl.

I wish I'd said something about it to my parents after my sister and I returned home. Maybe something would have been done.

ETA: I've never told this to anyone. Those of you on CafeMom are the first. I don't know if/when I'll ever tell my husband. But, it hasn't affected my life a lot; I pushed it to the back of my head and forgot about it... until now.

Friday, June 20, 2008

American Girl

I recently came across this site again and seeing the ad for the latest one reminded me of the one I used to have.

Who remembers reading the American Girl books as a child? I remember mine. I had the four-book set for Samantha, the girl from 1904. I loved those books and wanted my own doll so badly!! My mom never got me one, though. I don't know where my books are anymore; I do have my younger sister's books -- she had Felicity. They're currently in my daughter's room.

Samantha doll and her books.

Felicity doll and her books.

Am I cheesy for wanting to get my books back? What about finally getting the doll?

I'm trying to find the right one for my daughter, but I'm not sure which one to pick. Then again, she's not even two years old yet.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pissed Off

We've been saving money from our paychecks since January so that we have money to move with. At some point, we stopped using my husband's paycheck (his bring-home is about half what it should be); this affected our savings plan. We needed to use some of the saved money to replace my rear brakes. Okay, cool, technically a moving cost as we need a vehicle safe enough to transport two adults and two children under the age of 2 years old. And then other shit happened and we had to transfer more money from our move fund account (my own personal savings account; not joint with my husband) to take care of that. I get monthly money from two sources (one of which is a VA Compensation check as I qualified for a 10% disability upon getting out of the Navy.. a minimum of 10% is all that's needed to get VA Compensation). One of these sources is automatically deposited into my savings account; the other is transferred from my checking.

Anyway, last week, we had $2,475 saved out of the $3,500 we need (we're essentially moving two different houses-worth of stuff) for moving trucks, gas, motel night stay as well as food and water. We're going to go as minimalist as possible. We're also planning on having a yard sale in late July. I'm just hoping people stop by and buy stuff; all of the proceeds from that yard sale are going directly to our moving fund. Oh, how much do we have in there now? Well, after having to transfer about $300 to checking for some things that came up (oh, like the fact that I've needed a new prescription for my eyes for the last two years; kinda need to be able to see well to ensure the safety of the afore mentioned adults and infants), we're down to $1,900. Yeah, we MOVE August 21 (we can't stay longer; my husband will be released from the Navy the day before and we're in military housing; once you're out, you're out and cannot occupy that space anymore). The one source we were using I'd only planned on using twice, as it's supposed to go to something else. Now, we HAVE to use it for our move. I'm pissed as hell that it's come to that, but we don't have any other choice.

I did a settlement for one of my indebted credit cards. The amount was just over $500, which was fine. My mother was kind enough to help out with 98% of it (the $500). I deposited it into the account being used to pay this card. They were supposed to take it on Monday; I checked yesterday and nothing was posted. I had to move even MORE money over to cover gas expenses. It's fucking bullshit. For those who are on my friends list, you can see the little savings ticker I've got. I'm serious about the message on there, but I won't ask for anything. Shit, even if I get sympathy, it's fine. I'm not asking for money; I just want to clarify that.

I AM NOT ASKING FOR MONEY.

I'm just venting.

--QUICK UPDATE (yeah I know, I just posted this--

I called the ERS Solutions who's taking care of the debt I owe on that particular credit card. The amount that was supposed to have been run was about $510 -- HE FORGOT TO FUCKING RUN MY CARD ON MONDAY!!! The woman I spoke to ran it instead. I am fucking LIVID. She said maybe he forgot due to the Father's Day holiday. I said, yeah, maybe, but he also has customers that he needs to fucking remember!! I spoke with him before getting off the phone. His son had apparently had a seizure. Okay, cool, sorry to hear about that, I really am. But, I was nearly unable to provide for my own child because of something that wasn't passed down to someone else. I shouldn't have had to call them. Don't they have reminders or something?! FUCK! Now I'm going to have to ask my mother for financial help again. She said she'd be willing to help out with that savings if we needed it; well, we fucking need it. I had to transfer $350 from our moving fund to cover other expenses. We are now down to $1,550. We need just under $2,000 to make it all up and make our goal of $3,500.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Montessori - Denver

I want to enroll my daughter once we move (and we both have stable jobs; husband, not daughter), but I'm having difficulty "impressing" my husband with Montessori. I think it's a wonderful choice for my daughter (and our next child, once we start trying for that one) before they start the 1st grade. He says he's not impressed with them and I'd like to do everything I can to show him why it's "better than 'regular' school..."

I'm asking that you please share your thoughts, input and experiences with Montessori. I'm kicking myself for not looking into it before I even had her 18 months ago.

Help please?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

FAQ: What is a Fluffy Bunny? (as it relates to new Pagans)

FAQ: What is a Fluffy Bunny?


This is a difficult question to answer, simply because there are many ideas regarding what constitutes a fluffy bunny. In this journal I hope to provide an overview of the different types of fluffy bunnies. If you feel that I've incorrectly defined or labelled a fluffy, please feel free to either post here or PM me so that I can update these definitions.


~Fluffy Bunny 1: The Beginner (A.K.A. the "Newbie")~

These are of the harmless sort, which do not deserve to be flammed or mocked. Only guided with patience, care, and attention. I'm sure many of us were of the "Newbie" variety. I most certainly was. A friend has provided a great definition for what constitutes a Newbie.

Quote:
"Fluffbunny" is a word that is used to berate those who are new or optimistic about their own interpretation of the Wiccan Rede. They believe that they can do no harm and be witches. This idealistic view is not within the tolerance of many "practiced" witches. Sadly, they have forgotten their own beginnings in the craft - or worse - never had that idealism.
I remember well the idealistic views that I began the craft with and the sadness when it proved beyond my capacity to keep it in the heat of warring witches.
The "fluffbunnies" will grow up all too soon. I miss the innocence.



The Newbies are open to information, and that's precisely why they've most likely come here. For correct information, for open discussion, for general or varying opinions and insight regarding anything from God/desses, to Herbs, to Elements, et cetera.



~Fluffy Bunny 2: The Pop Culture Bunny~

Those who have watched too many episodes of Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and/or Angel; seen The Craft too many times; have read Harry Potter, the Sweep Series, et cetera; and cannot seem to separate fictitious inventions from reality.

These are different from the people who have seen the magick in The Craft and who ask, "is there such a being as Man'al real?" Because this is an honest inquiry. The Pop Culture Bunny is the kind to see rituals used in Buffy, and attempt to replicate them exactly. Then going on to claim to others that they've opened a Hellmouth, and now a Sloggoth demon is after them.

The kind who want the drama they see on TV manifest in real life. They want that kind of Hollywood excitment in their life, so they try their hardest to replicate fiction. They weave worlds of dellusion around them, and refuse to acknowledge magick honestly does, and can do.




Fluffy Bunny 3: The Bad Historian (A.K.A. The "Poor Me!" Bunny)

These are different from the Beginner Types because the Bad Historian Bunny knows that Wicca is only about 60 years old, but continues to claim that it is thousands of years old. That Wiccans were persecuted during the Inquisition (rather than innocent Christians), that Wiccans were burned at Salem (no one was burned at Salem), and that the evil Christians are out to thwart Wicca at every turn. For this reason, they're also known as the "Poor Me!" bunnies.

This is the sort of Bunny that will wear "Never Again the Burning Times" buttons, and will hiss every time they pass a Church, and will "recall" countless lifetimes in which they were persecuted for witchcraft. These sorts of Bunnies are pretty stuck in their way, so all that one can really do is smile, nod, and carry on without any further thought.




~Fluffy Bunny 4: The White Light Bunny~


This is the "I only practice White Magick" form of Bunny. They generally believe that all of the magick they practice is "white" or "good," and either deny the existence of dark/black magick, or are hell-bent on opposing it.

Very seldom do they consider the intention of their "white-light-Glenda-type" of magick. Is it wrong to bind someone if they are a danger to themselves or others from doing harm? Usually not, but they will insist it is. Or they will continually try to heal and send energy to someone that really only prolongs a suffering existance when that individual has come to grips with mortality.



~Fluffy Bunny 5: The Anti-Fluffy~

These are the sorts of fluffies who make it their sole purpose in life to belittle and insult the fluffies. They condemn them at every chance. They're often bitter and highly arrogant, believing that they alone have the correct view of magick and philosophy and that Fluffies are only serving to cheapen magick.

I've seen some anti-fluffies who look like Nancy from The Craft. All in black, looking terribly goth (there's nothing wrong with gothic style, but anything done for the wrong reasons is not very dignified) and scary. Regardless of their rhetoric or the particulars of their rantings, the Anti-Fluffy is still a Bunny.



~Fluffy Bunny 6: The Blinded Bunny~

This is the kind of Bunny which strips basic necessities from a given practice or religion, watering it down, or altogether butchering it. As Asimis suggested: The type of Bunny who focuses solely on the Goddess, while ignoring the God altogether, then claiming that s/he is "balanced" and believes in the "balance" of the Universe. (Often goes well with Fluffy Bunny 4)

Or the kind who starts a Coven for the sole purpose of being High Priestess, and demanding veneration from the coven members.

Another kind of Blinded Bunny is the kind which believes that only heterosexuals can be Wiccan, because Wicca is a fertility religion, which stresses the ability to procreate. I don't know about you, but I've always heard of Wicca as being described as a "Nature-Oriented" religion rather than a "Fertility" religion.


~Conclusion~

In conclusion, one could begin to associate the word "fluffy" with "nonsense." Thus, a Fluffy Bunny, would one who is ridden with nonsensical and counter-productive opinions. Rarely does a Fluffy Bunny recognize that their opinions reflect reality just as poorly as everyone else's. They tend to carry the notorious "Witchier-Than-Thou" attitude. That, coupled with bad history, too much pop culture, or a hell-bent offence makes for an ugly combination.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Online Abbreviations for Parent Sites Deciphered!

#
2WW - Two-week wait until time to take pregnancy test (approximately 14 days after ovulation)
a
AF - Aunt Flo (menstruation)
AI - Artificial Insemination
AMA - Advanced maternal age
AO - Anovulatory
AP - Adoption Process
AR - Assisted Reproduction
ART - Assisted Reproductive Technology
b
BBs - Breasts
BC - Birth Control
BCP - Birth Control Pills
BBT - Basal Body Temperature
BD - Baby Dance (baby making sex)
BF or BF'ing - Breastfeeding
BFN or BF0 - Big Fat Negative (home pregnancy test result)
BFP - Big Fat Positive (home pregnancy test result)
BIL - Brother-in-Law
BIO - The Nest Baby Community Bio
BM - Bowel Movement or Breast Milk
BOTB - Baby On The Brain (The Nest message board)
BRU - Babies R Us Store
BW or B/W - Blood Work
c
CB - Cycle Buddy
CBEFM - Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor
CD - Cycle day
CDs - Cloth Diapers
CF - Cervical fluid
CIO - Cry It Out
CL - Corpus Luteum
CM - Cervical Mucus
CNM - Certified Nurse Midwife
Colpo - Colposcopy
CP - Cervical position
CVS - Chorionic Villae Sampling
d
D&C - Dilation & Curettage
DD - Dear/Darling Daughter or Designated Driver
DC - Dear/Darling Child
D&E - Dilation & Evacuation
DH - Dear/Darling Husband
DI - Donor Insemination
DPO - Days past ovulation
DS - Dear/Darling Son
e
E2 - Estradiol
EBM - Expressed Breast Milk
EDD - Estimated Due Date
ENDO - Endometriosis
EPT - Early Pregnancy Test
ER - Emergency Room
ET - Embryo Transfer
EWCM - Egg White Cervical Mucus
f
FET - Frozen Embryo Transfer
FF or FF'ing - Formula Feeding
FM - Fertility Monitor
FWP - F* With Purpose (baby making sex)
FMU - First morning urine
FP - Follicular Phase
FRER - First Response Early Response
FSH - Follicle Stimulating Hormone
FTTA - Fertile Thoughts To All
g
GMA - Geriatric Maternal Age
GP - General Practitioner
h
HCG - Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
H&H - Happy and Healthy
HOM - High Order Multiples
HPT - Home Pregnancy Test
HRT - Hormone Replacement Therapy
HSC - Hysteroscopy
HSG - Hysterosalpingogram
i
IB - Implantation Bleeding
IC - Incompetent Cervix
IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome
ICSI - Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
IF - Infertility
IM - Intramuscular
IR- Insulin Resistant
IUI - Intra-uterine Insemination
IVF - In Vitro Fertilization
l
LAP - Laparoscopy
LH - Luteinizing Hormone
LMP - Last Menstrual Period
LP - Luteal phase
LPD - Luteal Phase Defect
m
MC - Miscarriage
MF - Male Factor Infertility
MS - Morning Sickness
n
NAK - Nursing at the Keyboard
NBR - Not Baby Related
NFO - Not Finding Out (gender)
NFP - Natural Family Planning
NIP - Nursing In Public
NP - Nurse Practitioner
NTD - Neural Tube Defect
NWT - New With Tag
o
O - Ovulation
OB - Obstetrician
OB/GYN - Obstetrician/Gynecologist
OC - Oral Contraceptives
OHSS - Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
OPK - Ovulation Predictor Kit
OPT - Ovulation Predictor Test
OTC - Over-the-counter
OV - Ovulation
OWT - Old Wives Tale
p
P4 - Progesterone
PA - Physician's Assistant
PC - Post-Coital (after sex)
PCO, PCOD - Polycystic Ovary Disease
PCOS (POS) - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
PCP - Primary Care Physician
PCT - Post-Coital Test
PG - Pregnancy or Pregnant
PI - Primary Infertility
PIAC - Pee In A cup
PID - Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
PIH - Pregnancy Induced Hypertension
PIT - Pitocin
PMS - Premenstrual Syndrome
PNV - Prenatal vitamin
POAS - Pee On A Stick
POMF - Pee on My Fingers
Pough - Pee+Cough
PROM - Premature Rupture of Membranes
PTL - Preterm labor
PZ - PregnantZilla (self-centered pregnant woman)
r
RE - Reproductive Endocrinologist
RPL - Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
RSA - Recurrent Spontaneous Abortion
s
S/A - Sperm/semen analysis
SAHD - Stay At Home Dad
SAHM - Stay At Home Mom
SAHW - Stay At Home Wife
SHG - Sonohysterogram
SI - Secondary Infertility
Sniss - Sneeze+pee
SonoHSG - Sonohysterogram
STD - Short Term Disability
t
TCOYF - Taking Charge of Your Fertility (book)
TL - Tubal Ligation
TMI - To Much Information
TR - Tubal Reversal
TRH - Thyroid Releasing Hormone
TSH - Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
TTA - Trying to Avoid
TTC - Trying To Conceive
u
UC - Unassisted Childbirth
US or u/s - Ultrasound
UTI - Urinary Tract Infection
v
V - Vasectomy
VBAC - Vaginal birth after caesarian
VR - Vasectomy Reversal
w
WAHM/D - Work at home mom/dad
WBC - White Blood Cells
WOHM/D - Work outside home mom/dad
WTEWE - What to Expect When You're Expecting (book)
y
YI - Yeast infection

One True Religion

Religious Tolerance.org <------- click for the link!horizontal rule

Quotations:

bullet"True religion is not about possessing the truth. No religion does that. It is rather an invitation into a journey that leads one toward the mystery of God. Idolatry is religion pretending that it has all the answers." Bishop J.S. Spong "Q&A on The Parliament of the World's Religions," weekly mailing, 2007-SEP-05.
bullet"...just because you don't bow on your knees and worship an idol or an invisible being, does not mean you are not a Satan worshiper. The worship of any other god (s) is the same thing. There are no other gods. They are demons and Satan is in control of them." From the website www.exposingsatanism.org
bullet"Yes, Christianity is the one true religion. That may sound awfully dogmatic and narrow-minded, but the simple truth is that Christianity is the only true religion. Jesus said that He alone was the way to the Father (John 14:6), that He alone revealed the Father (Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22). Christians do not go around saying Christianity is the only way because they are arrogant, narrow-minded, stupid, and judgmental. They do so because they believe what Jesus said." Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (CARM).

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How many religions are there in the world from which to locate the "true" one?

According to David Barrett and team, there are 19 major world religious groupings in the world which are subdivided into a total of about 10,000 distinct religions. Of the latter, there were 270 religions and para-religions which had over a half million adherents in the year 2000 CE. Within Christianity, they have identified 34,000 separate groups (denominations, sects, individual unaffiliated churches, para-church groups, etc) in the world. "Over half of them are independent churches that are not interested in linking with the big denominations." 1

Even considering a single religion, Christianity, within a single country, there are often thousands of individual "Christian confessions and denominations." For example, Barrett et al. states that there are:

bullet4,684 groups in the U.S.
bullet3,364 in South Africa.
bullet2,079 in Nigeria.
bullet1,581 in Brazil.
bullet1,327 in South-central Asia.

Among other English-speaking countries, there are:

bullet828 groups in the UK.
bullet469 in Canada.
bullet267 in Australia
bullet175 in New Zealand. 2

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Differences in the beliefs and practices of various faith groups:

Probably the one area where religions differ the most is over the nature of deity. Various groups teach Agnosticism, Animism, Atheism, Strong Atheism, Deism, Duotheism, Henotheism, Monism, Monotheism, Panentheism, Pantheism, Polytheism, the Trinity, and probably some others that we have missed. More details.

Perhaps the next greatest range of beliefs are about the fate of people after death: whether there is simple annihilation, some form of energy-less existence as taught by the ancient Hebrews, Purgatory as taught by the Roman Catholic Church, Heaven or Paradise as taught by many religions, Hell which is also taught by many faiths, Limbo, reincarnation, transmigration of the soul, nirvana, an alternative world much like Earth, and probably some other places or states that we have missed.

There is also a great range of beliefs and practices among different religions over other theological beliefs, ritual, organization, family structure, personal sexual behavior, and other topics. For example, differences exist on matters such as: abortion access, adult celibacy, animal sacrifices. appearance factors (shaving, jewelry), birth control usage, calendar, clergy celibacy, clergy gender, clergy organization, meeting day, documentation, family power sharing, family types, gender of deities, homosexual rights, meeting place, nature of deities, nature of humanity, new year date, number of deities, origin of the universe, prayer, pre-marital sex, role of women, sacred texts, suicide, surgical modifications to the body, special clothing, symbols, etc. More details

To our knowledge, no two religions teach the same message or expect the same practices from their followers. One would be hard pressed to find two faith groups within the same religion which have identical teachings and practices. If a "true religion" exists, then it would probably have to be one or a few faith groups within one of the 10,000 religions. All of the other religions and faith groups would be in error.

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What do faith groups teach about their own status?

Most religious groups teach that their own beliefs and practices are the only true set, and that all other faith groups contain some degree of error. For example, the largest single faith group in the U.S., in Canada, and in the world is the Roman Catholic Church. According to the Times News Service, a year 2000 statement by the Church titled "Dominus Iesus" implies that "Churches such as the Church of England, where the apostolic succession of bishops from the time of St. Peter is disputed by Rome, and churches without bishops, are not considered 'proper' churches." Only the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches are "churches in the proper sense." They suffer from "defects." Dominus Iesus further states that religions other than Christianity are considered to be "gravely deficient." Their rituals can constitute "an obstacle to salvation" for their followers. 3,4

Other faith groups are either more inclusive or more exclusive than the Roman Catholic Church regarding the "truth" status of other faith groups.

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Which, then, is the true religion?

Because religions are so different, only one could be the "true religion." Perhaps none are. Within the "true religion" there may be more than one faith group that are sufficiently accurate in their beliefs and practices that all could qualify as "true." The problem is how to find out which religion and which faith groups have this status.

Some methods of determining the "true" religion are:

bulletConduct an opinion poll: Unfortunately, beliefs differ around the world:
bulletIn Saudi Arabia, the government claims that 100% of the population is Muslim. So there is probably a very high probability that a given citizen picked at random would firmly believe Islam is the true religion and that theirs is the true faith group.
bulletIndia is about 80% Hindu. There is a very high probability that any given citizen believes that their tradition with Hinduism is the true religion.
bulletThe U.S. is about 75% Christian. The population in the American "Bible belt" is significantly higher than that. There is a very high probability that any given citizen in South Carolina, for example, believes that their denomination within Christianity is the true religion.

It is obvious that one's personal beliefs about the true religion is largely a function of the country in which one happens to have been born, the area of that country, and the beliefs of one's parent(s):

bullet If Jerry Falwell had been born in Saudi Arabia of Muslim parents, and obtained his religious education in that country, there is a near certainty that he would be promoting Islam today.
bulletIf the late Sheikh Mohamed Mutwali al-Sharawilittle of Egypt, who was called "The Arab world's best known television preacher of the Holy Qur'an," had been born and raised by Southern Baptists in Dallas, TX, that he would almost certainly have promoted Christianity.
One's personal beliefs and the certainty with which one holds them is an unreliable measure of truth, because they are largely determined by one's culture and the faith of one's parents -- both largely accidents of birth. So, an opinion poll might show what peoples beliefs are. But it would not be helpful in locating the "true" faith group.
bulletPray to God 5 and ask to be enlightened. The founder of the Mormon movement, Joseph Smith, did precisely this. Mormons believe that God and Jesus Christ appeared to him side by side, and told him that none of the then existing Christian denominations were the true religion. He was instructed to create a new denomination to restore Christianity to its first century CE purity before it fell into heresy.

This method appears to be unreliable. When people pray to God for enlightenment, most seem to conclude that their own religion and faith group is the true one. If people could access the will of God on this matter, then a vast majority of the world's population -- the folks who pray -- would realize that their faith group was not the true one. They would gradually migrate to the true religion. There would eventually be only one religion and one tradition within that religion left standing. Otherwise, people would be rejecting the will of God. All the other 11,000 religions and their tens of thousands of denominations or traditions would be phased out.

The OCRT, the group that sponsors this web site, conducted a pilot study to determine whether a person can assess the will of God through prayer. We used a controversial topic: whether God favors same-sex marriage for homosexuals and some bisexuals. The answer that we found was that people appear to be unable to assess the will of God through prayer.
bulletCommunication from God: God could initiate a direct communication to humanity. In order to be convincing, it would have to be totally unambiguous, clear and convincing. One example might be for God to rearrange a few thousand stars to spell out in the evening sky the name of the true religion. Unfortunately, at least within the Judeo-Christian traditions, God seems to be progressively withdrawing from humanity. He walked in person with Adam and Eve. Later, he only appeared in rare occasions as at Mount Sinai. Still later, he communicated with humans only through prophets. Most Christians believe that Jesus Christ is God and walked among humans in first century CE Palestine. However, he was seen by only a miniscule percentage of the human race. Now, access to God is through prayer.

Unless God were to take the initiative, it appears that there is no way for humans to determine which religion is "true."

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Editorial comments:

Note: The following are personal musings and are perhaps biased and lacking in objectivity.

There is often great wisdom in comic strips. In 1976, Charles Schultz had Snoopy write a book on theology called: "Has it ever occurred to you that you might be wrong?" In 1980, he had Linus ask his Sunday School teacher the exact same question. 7

Imagine the results if more people in the world realized the simple fact that there are over 11,000 religions in the world and that it is impossible with our present knowledge to find out which is the "true" one. An inevitable corollary to this belief would be that they would develop a degree of doubt that their religion is the only "true" one. People might be less inclined to oppress, discriminate against, murder or commit mass murder and genocide against people of other faiths such as has happened during the past decade in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Cyprus, Nigeria, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia, the U.S. etc.

Imagine the results if more people accepted their religion as the best faith for them, but at the same time recognized that there are other religions which teach about other deities, other systems of morality, other religious practices, etc. Yet almost all of them motivate people to lead better lives. There might be fewer people willing to defend their particular religion by oppressing or killing followers of other religions and spiritual paths.

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If you disagree with some of the points raised in this essay, please consider donating an essay that we may be able to publish in the visitor essay section of this web site.

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Related essays in this web site:

bullet

Religious makeup of each country

bullet

Which is the "true" Christian church?

bullet

Religions of the world

bullet

Other spiritual paths, ethical groups, etc.

bullet

How Christians view non-Christian religions

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References used:

  1. David B. Barrett, et al., "World Christian Encyclopedia : A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World," Oxford University Press, (2001).Read reviews or order this book

  2. Ibid, "Global survey of 270 religions and parareligions with over 500,000 adherents in AD 2000, listed alphabetically by name," Volume 2, Table 7-4, Page 5 to 7.
  3. "Other churches have defects, Catholics say." The Times News Service, London. 2000-SEP-5
  4. Joseph Cardinal Retzinger, "Dominus Iesus on the unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and the church," Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. See: http://www.vatican.va/
  5. In this essay, the author uses the term "God" to refer to whatever deity an individual believes in. In this context, God may be male or female or neither; single or multiple.
  6. "Sheikh Mohamed Mutwali al-Sharawi," at: http://almashriq.hiof.no/