Do We Really Have the Freedom to Choose?

(Harry Elliott) #83

“If you eat from the wrong tree, I’ll kill you.”

I’ve never been able to see why we insist on calling that freedom of choice.

(Allen Shepherd) #84

You misquote. He did not say that. He said, “If you eat, you will surely die.” He did not say he would kill them. Dying was a natural consequence of eating, it was not God killing.

My mom said, “Don’t touch the stove, it will burn you.” i touched it and got burned. She did not burn me.

By misquoting, you take the position of the serpent, who did the same. Watch out.

So, yes, they did have freedom of choice. And they took advantage of it, and ate, and as a result, died. Certainly it was not God handing them the fruit. So their death was the result of their own choice, even after they were warned. Certainly an act of will, even stubborn will. They were indeed free.

(jeremy) #85

well, i think monica lewinsky definitely threw herself at bill…she may have done it to advance her career, in addition to having a crush on him, but in any case, i think she was a bit naive…i remember seeing an interview where she says it was all consensual, and that she didn’t mean to hurt hillary…and keep in mind that nothing would have come of it without linda tripp’s involvement…and linda was an obviously desperate republican…furthermore, kenn star, another desperate republican, was out of control…nothing had come of whitewater, and he was just looking to justify his appointment…he ended up agreeing to let the independent counsel law expire, which tells you something…

i think gennifer flowers was also consensual…she couldn’t have been abused for 12 yrs…

paula jones may have been harassed…but her initial lawsuit was thrown out of court, so maybe not…it was only after bill was forced to lie under oath about monica that paula’s appeal got anywhere…but her $850,000.00 out of court settlement doesn’t necessarily imply anything…

if they “change their mind” specifically to win an election, like trump obviously did, i think there is the possibility that they’re just saying what they think they need to in order to win (especially when there’s so little evidence that they really believe in their new position)…with obama, he was already in office when he “changed his mind” about gay marriage…in reality, according to david axelrod, he’d already changed his mind, but didn’t think he could concede this point to his black constituents quite yet, although he was searching for ways to do so…this may have been a case of being prudent, until his constituents had had time to catch up to him…the point is, he wasn’t a sudden convert in order to bag votes…

i think i’m definitely right…saying trump is not an ideologue is euphemistic…it’s more accurate to say that he has no principles or morals…

allen, MANY people have noted that trump has been acting like a guilty man…if he truly has nothing to hide, he wouldn’t be trashing mueller and the justice department at every opportunity…but i think even you’ll see this soon with the stormy civil and cohen criminal cases…something going to erupt…

i think there was definitely collusion of some kind…why else have there been such massive denials about involvements with russians from everyone from trump jr to jeff sessions…there’s almost no-one in trump’s campaign who wasn’t seeing a russian…was this all just coincidence…i don’t think so…i think it’s good that the dems have sued…hopefully they’ll get the green light to go ahead with litigation…


He is an admitted sexual predator.

Others who have apparently done less have lost prestigious positions. He should be prosecuted. You’d want your daughter to work for this guy, @ajshep?

He should be incarcerated. Instead he pays off people to keep silent. He stifles their voices. Very Christlike.

(Harry Allen) #87

Thanks, @GeorgeTichy.

You said:

In response:

I don’t think I’ve seen @ajshep’s video. What’s its URL?



He calls us “fools,” “troublemakers,” and himself a “peaceful man.”

He does chastise himself for not having “the Spirit of Christ” towards us.

He says it’s amazing how differently we treat him when he is “softer” with us.

He says he wonders if he will see any of us in heaven, then laughs.

“If I show the folk on the Internet…they might say ‘I’m converted now.’”

Good point: “Let’s look to Jesus.”

(George Tichy) #89

Maybe being a sexual predator is not a condition @ajshep considers being criminal. If it’s a Republican doing it, especially the POTUS, maybe it’s OK, even if he is a “frequent grabber”…

Thanks for posting the link in response to @harryallen’s request.

Every time @ajshep starts boasting about his high moral principles and talking to us from the podium, we just need to remind ourselves what his consideration for us it. Is he here just playing a dirty game with us???


Can you imagine @ajshep’s outcry if Barack Obama had made the statement about “grabbing…” “forcing them,” “if you’re a star you can do anything you want”?

Can you imagine the “Family Values” Republican Party of the 1980’s political ads slamming Obama? What hypocrisy!

Trump’s supporters have denounced the “family values” of their party and are now “unequally yoked” to a politician who admits he has never had to ask for forgiveness.

Jerry Falwell would be fainting from shock–even though his own son has embraced Trump.

(Harry Allen) #91

Thanks, @ajshep.

You said:

In response:

Black people can’t be racist as long as racism’s sole functional form is white supremacy, since the first requirement for the practice of white supremacy is that one be white.

You said:

In response:

Again, is this startling new data to you? Or do you just not like hearing it said from the pulpit?

Isn’t it obvious that there is a race system?

If so, isn’t it clear that this other one you seem to imagine—in which Black people and white people can both practice racism—would quickly become racially incoherent?

If there wasn’t racism, like the kind I describe, sometimes white people would raise racism, as a subject, at inconvenient times, and Black people would go mute. That is, this would happen as often as the reverse does. Talking about racism at church potlucks would be as uncontroversial as talking about taxes.

If it’s not obvious that there is a race system, is it obvious that there ever was one?

If so, when was it?

How do we know it existed?

When did it cease?

Why did it cease?

Who made it cease?

With what was it replaced?

How do we know it was replaced and not just, say, “cloaked”? That is, a “cloaked” race system would still be a race system.

You said:

In response:

I suspect that you are misquoting me in order to make fun of what I’m saying. I do not mean to say that you’re a white supremacist. However, this is a very common racist (white supremacist) tactic; i.e., making fun of non-white people’s words, actions, appearances, neighborhoods, plans, etc.

What I said was this: If you’ve ever seen a cat chase, or play with, a mouse, it’s rarely confusing what is going on; i.e., who dominates.

In other words, much as in an instance of “cat & mouse play,” it’s clear who dominates, in an instance of racism, its clear who dominates.

You said:

In response:

I strongly wish that this were the case.

You said, to @JXLB:

In response:

I don’t have the time, or the interest, to unpack drivel like this.

The worst part is that these miseducated ideas are widely embraced by, perhaps, the majority of white people, here. They affirm false notions like these with a version of what I think they consider “pride,” but what is really, I suspect, a form of defensiveness; a gut-level understanding that it’s not even half-true.

Nothing comes to mind more, when I hear such blather, than the words of Frederick Douglass, speaking in Rochester NY, on July 5, 1852:

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy – a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.


(Allen Shepherd) #92

(Part of quote by Douglass, 1852)

My answer:

  1. He was invited to the WH by Lincoln and was his friend.
  2. The Civil War was fought to stop the problem he was speaking of.
  3. There were terrible things going on elsewhere that he was ignorant of
  4. And there were nations of savages that did just as badly or worse than the US

Are you kidding? I am not defensive about it. Do my words sound defensive? There is gay pride, black pride, why should not white people be proud of their contributions? They are many after all. But no, for you they must only experience shame. What’s wrong with you? We are human, just like you. Or is there something like hatred in your heart for the white race? I can’t figure it out.

You know, MLK day is celebrated in the US. A nation of predominantly white folk (at least now). So is the 4th, what Douglass spoke about. America has defended freedom in the world twice last century, and it would not have turned at as it did without that contribution.

Is America perfect? No. You have pointed out some of its imperfections. I do know of them.

But I want to say this about America: Mexicans would move here if they could, millions have crossed over, even taking great risk. So would the majority of Africans, I have lived there, I know.

Why is that? Because this is a freer place, and a better place for them and their children, even their black children than their own nation. And that is despite all the problems you have mentioned.

Obama won. Twice. Maybe that means something.

(Allen Shepherd) #93

Yes, but has he been charged? I agree he has gone after women, but have any changed him with rape or harassment? I don’t know of any indictments. But maybe you do.

I believe Bill C. was actually charged.

I think I would trust Donald more, but not much.

(Allen Shepherd) #94

Jeremy, come on. Bill and Obama are doing just what you accuse Trump of doing. Can’t you see it? They are all politicians. You don’t like Trump, but love the others two and will forgive their indiscretions or maneuverings.

Here in America (note this Harry A.), you are INNOCENT until proven guilty.

NO charges have been made, in fact many, even Dems, have said he is not the subject or whatever, of the investigation. Comey even told him that.

And it just may be that Trump denies those things because they are not true.

I read an interesting article that should be a warning. A panel was discussion what would happen if Trump were indicted and refused to take the perp walk. A long discussion.

This is a warning because he has not been charged yet, he has not been indicted, and no one has even come close to proving anything. And yet these folk are discussing something as if it were inevitable. That is a terrible thing, for you will be the next they will go after.

Look at the mob effect here. I am a pariah. i am wicked because I support conservative policies, even though I think Trump has character flaws. I am not living up to my calling etc. Clinton pays $850,000 and yet to compare him to Trump is, well, of limits.

You folk have revealed your biases as much as you aver I have mine. Be careful.

(Allen Shepherd) #95

Say Harry,

Have you seen any of those pictures of bodies that have had their arms and legs cut off with chainsaws, and then their heads cut off. I saw a picture of rows of such from Mexico. And a video of a teenage child having her head cut off. Same place.

Or have you lived in an African country were there is only one political party? Where any criticism of the president can, well, lead to your disappearance? Where the press could not write as the NYT and the WaPo do, without being shut down, permanently and their presses confiscated? Ever lived in a place like that? I have.

Might lead to a bit of perspective.

(Sirje) #96

What would you think about a parent that punished his children by inflicting pain - the kind you’re talking about… As any parent knows, punishment is a teaching tool. By the time “the lake fire” comes on our scene, educating the unruly will be over. The only point to that kind of punishment is “pain for the sake of pain”. I don’t buy it.

(jeremy) #97

i think there’s no chance that absolutely everything is a nothing burger…why else did trump make up the fact that the june 16 trump tower meeting was about russian adoptions…it’s also very weird that the republican platform had watered down language over arming ukraine against russian aggression, and that so many trump people had secret meetings with russians which they denied until they couldn’t anymore…

and why isn’t trump doing something about russian’s meddling in american elections…obviously it’s because he’s planning on russia doing it again in 2018, because he knows it worked in 2016, and he can’t win in any other way…

sadly, though, russia’s involvement is so vast, it may not be provable, and it is possible that trump won’t be charged with collusion because mueller can’t prove it (i think he’ll definitely be charged with obstruction)…but if this happens, something else will get trump…the FBI raid of cohen is going to turn up something that even giuliani can’t undo…

at this point, i think trump is in the fight for his political survival, not to mention freedom from jail…if congress flips, the first order of business will be impeachment, followed by calls for incarceration (i can see it now: LOCK HIM UP, LOCK HIM UP)…trump’s only hope is enough die hard republicans in the senate putting the brakes on what a dem congress will definitely do, which he’s banking on russia to deliver for him…

(Elmer Cupino) #98

Once you have ascertained how children become “headstrong,” then you will know who needs the “firmer hand.” My clinical experience is the parents always need the firmer hand to prevent their children from developing into headstrong children.

(James J Londis) #99

Wow, confusing my comment about the “system” as you have is surprising, so let me clarify. You have to ask a black American whether she can be racist. In my thinking, anyone can be, but victims of oppression will want change to gain justice and respect. Oppressors want to sustain what “is” in order to maintain the system of oppression.
No culture on earth fully escapes some of these evils. Whites are not racists “whatever they do;” some whites are racists in their attitudes, in their policies, and in their votes. But not all, for certain.

Black Americans vote all the time for white candidates–even over black candidates–when they believe they are better for all and not just one group. White Americans do the same; hence, the Obama vote. What is now most challenging, going forward, is the hyper-partisanship defining our politics, both between parties and within parties. When Republican Bob Corker of TN endorses a democrat (former TN governor) for the Senate over a Republican Tea Party Candidate supportive of Trumps immigration agenda, you see something new. Many black voters worry about the deficit and debt just as white voters do. That’s an issue that can easily trump color when voting. Let’s get some nuance and sophistication in our thinking. As an Adventist, I guarantee that if you (white) choose to worship with your black brothers and sisters unannounced, you will get the welcome of your life. That does not always happen, believe me, when our black brothers and sisters choose to worship with us.


I think he’s doing what I’m doing, trying to sort out and integrate an impossibly complex psychological/social/spiritual situation, which is beyond the ability of any single human being to do, in my opinion.

We have to start where we are, and we can’t do it alone.

Of course, maybe the people who think I’m playing a dirty game are right…that thought is never far from my mind…

(George Tichy) #101

I would love to receive a Bible study teaching this idea. When I say Bible, I mean… Bible.
Is it possible?

(George Tichy) #102

You see, there are at least two kinds of Adventists. We should be OK with diversity. There are,

  1. Adventists who are based on Sola Scriptura. For us, if something is not in the Bible, it’s not part of our religious beliefs. When we see a teaching that is not supported by the Bible, we call it an heresy when someone tries to make it a religious doctrine/belief.

  2. Adventists who accept other sources as equal (sometimes even as superior) to the Bible (I call them Whiteists instead of adventists). Tey have no problem believing in religious ideas that are not supported by the Bible. These people often refer to us (the #1 class) as “infidels,” “liberals,” “apostates,” etc. Sometimes they ask why we don’t leave the Church (or even Spectrum).

In my opinion we all should start practicing tolerance & acceptance of each other. Personally I don’t have a problem with people accepting extra-Biblical sources to construct their beliefs. It’s their choice, though it automatically disqualifies them to calling themselves “Christian.” A “non-Biblical Christian” is nothing but an oxymoron. But it is still a belief system (like the Mormons, KW, etc)

I was raised as a #2, and did all those things until I was 30 y.o. Then I matured out of that and found out that considering the Bible an incomplete revelation of God’s truth and the Gospel was really nonsensical, and I chose to be a #1 Christian Adventist.

All a matter of choice: 1) Bible only, or, 2) Bible+ something else.