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Pew Statistics: How USA Believers see their "Holy Books"

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posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 02:27 PM
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sk0rpi0n
@nenothtu... if your government executes a criminal, and then a few hours later, the criminal comes back to life and walks away, can you honestly say ''we killed this criminal?''. The same thing applies to Jesus. A ''crucifixion'' is an execution procedure that ends in death. The Jews may have had him 'crucified', but since he came back to life and went away (to return again), they did not exactly succeed in killing him, but boast that they did. So the ''crucifixion'' was nullified.


Yes. Dead is DEAD, so if the criminal is killed, he is dead, regardless of whether for whatever reason he is reanimated later.

As a poor analogy - a very poor one - I think of it in this manner: If I had a car, and I wrecked it, repair work after the fact will not change the fact that it was wrecked at one time. If it were wrecked badly enough that it would not run at all, then i repaired it and made it run again, that would not change the fact that at one time it was rendered inop.

So - dead is dead, regardless of subsequent events.

Now, IF (I'm dealing in a hypothetical here), Jesus had never really died, had gone into suspended animation or sneaked away or whatever it is that Muslims and some Hindus believe in the matter, that would still not "nullify" the crucifixion. Having nails driven into one's body and being hung up to die of asphyxiation is difficult to nullify, even when one can LATER say "oh, I'm all better now!". I have been stabbed twice, and can still recall each time in excruciating detail. the fact that I later healed doesn't in any way nullify the stabbings. Now true enough, I did not die, but the principles concerning reparations effecting nullification are the same.

It could, of course, have serious ramifications for some "Christian" doctrines, particularly the ones where they believe their god died and then somehow raised himself back up, but it in no way nullifies the pain, blood, and suffering of a crucifixion, which as I understand it was the sacrifice part of the ordeal. The Bible says "the life is in the blood", so the shedding of the blood was the crucial part, I would think. That's why the christians claim they are "covered by the blood of the Lamb".




posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 02:48 PM
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reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 



Exactly what parts are they not taking "literally"?

First of all, it's not "my" evidence...and if you are truly interested, you can go to PewForum yourself and look into the exact questions on the survey. But one doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the "preposterous" and illogical claims would be those least frequently "taken literally."



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by nenothtu
 


Yeah, personally, resurrection kinda undermines the value of that sacrifice. If you just come back, what did you really give up? It's not like you lost something in the process. If anything, we're the ones who got jipped because while havoc and discord are raging here on Earth, Jesus is sipping martinis in his shiny white robes on the ninth cloud. I don't really respect his sacrifice because he had the bank in his pocket the whole time. He had every ace you could ever hope for. It was just a really, really obscene protest demonstration. That's all it amounts to.
edit on 29-12-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 03:13 PM
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sk0rpi0n
nenothtu...

soul has to be added, or "returned" in the case of a ressurrection.
...and that is exactly what I said. God returned Jesus' soul and made him come back to life. Seeing that he is alive, why Jews are in error when they say they ''killed'' Jesus.


You seem to be getting stuck on the notion that dead is dead, regardless of what happens after the death is accomplished. What I'm going to have to do here in order to try to get the point across is to take a crash course in what Muslims think happens after death. So far, it's all very confusing to me, but the one thing that stands out is that they, in common with Christians, believe that "death" is not the end of being.

If, after death, some part of the self goes on, then what difference does it make if it goes back into the same body, or goes on a vacation waiting for The last Day and the Judgement? How does that nullify the initial death itself? In other words, if part of the self goes on, so that we are available to be judged, does that not nullify ALL deaths in your mind? Does that not nullify to you ANY death, so that we can never say that anyone was ever killed?

It's my understanding that Islam teaches heavily on the resurrection of not just the spirit, but the body as well. Now, if a person is resurrected in spirit AND body, does that not nullify every death, such that according to Islam we can never say truly that ANYONE ever died?



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 03:24 PM
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reply to post by nenothtu
 



If, after death, some part of the self goes on, then what difference does it make if it goes back into the same body, or goes on a vacation waiting for The last Day and the Judgement? How does that nullify the initial death itself? In other words, if part of the self goes on, so that we are available to be judged, does that not nullify ALL deaths in your mind? Does that not nullify to you ANY death, so that we can never say that anyone was ever killed?


You're not grasping the point here. Jesus died, and then came back to life. That means he never actually lost anything. In fact, he upgraded from a Volkswagen to a freakin' Aston Martin. What exactly did he sacrifice in that exchange? What did he give up? He gave up his humanity. He gave up his connection to us as the human species. He severed his ties with the mortality and physicality of this world and in doing so, destroyed any chance of sharing anything but a memory with us. In fact, I would argue with the validity of his having experienced a human life at all. The only thing that gives life meaning is the exact thing he wants to eradicate: death. Without death, life would be taken for granted just as readily as we take clean water and oxygen for granted today.

I think he actually did us a disservice by trying to distance us from the reality of our existence. And I think we're all a bunch of ungrateful little brats to be so eagerly jumping on an opportunity to defy the laws of a world we have exploited so greedily and carelessly.
edit on 29-12-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 03:40 PM
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reply to post by OpinionatedB
 



What is your point?

Apparently I have the impossible task of getting you to answer a straightforward yes/no question.

You appear to judge me because I say that a person who practices something other than Christianity shouldn't be labeled as a Christian, just as I would say that a person who practices something other than Islam shouldn't be labeled as a Muslim. The fact that you're apparently afraid to answer with a simple yes or no would seem to imply that you agree with me and don't want to be seen as being hypocritical in your judgement.

Is a person who says that they are a Muslim, but claims that there are sixteen gods and that Mohammed was not a prophet, a Muslim? That's a simple yes or a no answer.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 03:44 PM
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wildtimes
reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 



I don't think any adult reader of the bible would make the mistake of thinking Jesus was literally a lamb.

Then why (oh, why?), would they believe in a man made from dirt,



I can only speak for myself here, since the Christians don't want my heretic ass in their clubhouse, but we are ALL fundamentally made from "dirt", and going even further back in the chain of custody, everything that we are was originally formed in some exploding star somewhere "out there", BEFORE it was dirt, so it's not that big of a leap for me.




a woman from his rib,



Every good sculptor knows that the best masterpieces of art start out with an armature...




a talking snake,



personally, I talk to dogs, cats, have talked to cattle and some "wild things", and oddly they seem to understand me - at least to the point where they know I'm seriously going to end them if they don't straighten up and leave me be. I'm just weird like that, though...




hell as a fiery brimstone perpetual place of torture (as described according to Dante, Milton, and multiple MORE ANCIENT mythologies), and so on and so forth?? It's just as absurd.



As nearly as I can tell, the fire and brimstone hell was made up by some folks who had a dual motivation - to scare the bejesus out of other folks into coming around to their way of thinking, and to flesh out an out of context quote from a parable in the Bible. To quote Jesus himself (also out of context - one good turn deserves another) "from the beginning, it was not so". For most of human history, the concept of hell was far different than the mythology the "church" has built up around that out of context quote. Now, to be fair, that fiery concept IS a pretty good one to scare the children with. It's pretty horrific. For me, however, I can only hope that if I've been bad, they are kind enough to send me to that place - the hell I conceive of is MUCH worse than just burning for ever.




What exactly DO you believe, sk0rp? Just that you need to kill Christianity and prove Islam correct?



I don't think that is his objective - if I did, I wouldn't even fool with responding to his posts, as neither of those objectives can ever be accomplished, nor can the converse of "killing Islam" or "proving Christianity correct". They are religions, and the nature of them doesn't lend itself very well to empirical proof. I think instead that what he is looking for is an answer, a piece of a puzzle that he is missing or thinks he may have overlooked.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 04:25 PM
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sk0rpi0n

I had accepted the Bible cover to cover, though I felt that there were some inconsistencies here and there, especially towards the end in Pauls books, where the line between man and God starts to blur. When I read the Koran,and figured it is not only consistent with the basic premise of the Bible, but also corrects the mistakes of the Bible. So what of it?


Approaching it from an Islamic perspective, you may have to consider parts of the Bible as "the Bible", the core, and other parts (particularly Paul's writings, and possibly John's as well), as "hadith", not part of the core Bible, but "commentary" instead. Then you would have to evaluate it as hadith are evaluated. Who is a strong commentator, who is a weak one, etc. I would think that in that evaluation, Paul would be a weak commentator (being a Roman citizen, never having met Jesus "in the flesh", coming from a background of jewish persecution of christians, etc - seems that there could be an agenda there). John's writings are more "mystical", and so far off the beaten path of the synoptic gospels that John may have to be evaluated in the same way.

As far as the death of Jesus goes, you may be able to view that as a means of making his core message stand out enough to be propelled to future generations, ensuring the propagation of his doctrines. Let's face it - Jesus was an obscure preacher in first century Palestine, one among many claimants to "messiahship" at a time the Jews were desperately seeking a messiah on political grounds. Since his message was not political, he was rejected by the majority, and without that spectacular death as a memorial, the message would probably have been lost in the mists of history. If that helps you sort it out, reconcile whatever you are trying to reconcile, then run with it. Since you are not a christian, there is no reason you should have to carry christian baggage regarding the resurrection, salvation, blood sacrifice, etc. Those are christian concepts, not anything for you to worry yourself over.

As Jesus said, "let the dead bury the dead."

I'm not here to shake your religion up. Just trying to help.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 04:51 PM
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adjensen

If a person claimed to be a Muslim, but rejected the whole "There is but one God and Mohammed is his prophet" bit and said "no, there are sixteen gods, and Mohammed was not a prophet", would you say that they are a Muslim? If not, you're on track to understanding why Mormons are not Christians. If you think that they are a Muslim, in spite of disagreeing with a foundational creed, then what is the point of saying that anyone is a Muslim? You might as well say that Christians, atheists and Hindus are all Muslims.



Islam teaches that Islam was before Mohammed was even a gleam in his mother's eye. It teaches that Adam was a Muslim, Abraham was a Muslim, Moses was a Muslim, and Jesus was a Muslim. Therefore, it teaches that Christians can be Muslims, too - the important bit is "tawheed" - the belief in One God. If one follows tawheed, then he can truthfully call himself a "Muslim", and no other Muslim (or anyone else) can dispute that.

Muslims believe that anyone can call themselves anything they like - God knows the truth of it, and they can call themselves "dolphins" if it helps them sleep at night.

As an example, I have been called a "Muslim who follows Christ as his prophet". Funny how Muslims didn't exclude me from THEIR club!

ETA:

This bit -



Congratulations, you've completely missed the point. This is not a matter of dogmatic differences that are of no consequence, this is a matter of someone practicing a completely different religion.


From my perspective, it IS mere dogmatic differences. Since Trinitarianism cannot be supported with Biblical references without stretching them all out of shape, it MUST be dogma - dogma made by men in the 4th century CE, long after actual events, and not existing before that time. From my perspective therefore, it is Trinitarians who are "practicing a completely different religion" - one NOT taught by Jesus.




edit on 2013/12/29 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 05:28 PM
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adjensen
reply to post by nenothtu
 


How am I excluding anyone by stating that a person who does not agree with a fundamental Christian creed is not a Christian? Show me where I've said that there is anything wrong with not being a Christian, or where I've said that non-Christians are "hell-bound."



the exclusion is right there in black and white - where you say "they are not Christians" if they do not follow your creed. There ARE other sorts of Christians beyond the "Nicene Christians", you know... or maybe you don't. If there were not, there would not have been a need to label "Nicene Christians" as such. There would simply be "Christians" and "not Christians", with no further labels necessary to specify brands of Christianity.

You're right however, in saying that you've not consigned anyone to hell. it is entirely possible that you believe people can get to heave apart from the intercession of Christ. I'm not sure, however, what sort of Christian that would make you. Even I, as a not-christian, believe there is one way to heaven, and that is through Christ. The creed you claim to adhere to suggests as much itself, where it says "Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. "

So do you follow that creed, or do you not?




All I've said is that the label "Christian" should not be applied to someone who practices a different religion, something that we apparently agree on, so I don't know what's with the criticism.



Yes, we Do agree on that - the only difference is in which is "practicing a different religion". Still, to be fair, "different" is not a value judgement - it only means "different", not necessarily "bad". I personally think "Christian" means "follower of Christ", rather than "follower of the Council of Nicea". Then again, I've abdicated the title for myself, since it has been co-opted by latecomers who outnumber me.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 05:44 PM
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AfterInfinity
reply to post by nenothtu
 


Yeah, personally, resurrection kinda undermines the value of that sacrifice. If you just come back, what did you really give up? It's not like you lost something in the process.



According to the story, he gave up a lot of blood and a lot of bother. I'm probably just not sure how drastic a sacrifice you would require. if suffering to the point of death isn't enough, I dunno what would be. I suppose the answer to that question is between you and whatever you want it to be.




If anything, we're the ones who got jipped because while havoc and discord are raging here on Earth, Jesus is sipping martinis



I prefer to think he drinks beer - martinis are SO pretentiously upper-class, and wine is just plain nasty.




in his shiny white robes on the ninth cloud.



Seriously? A "ninth cloud"? Ever tried to sit on a cloud? I did it once - had to have an airplane wrapped around me, though. Which cloud is "the ninth cloud"? From the right, or from the left?




I don't really respect his sacrifice because he had the bank in his pocket the whole time. He had every ace you could ever hope for. It was just a really, really obscene protest demonstration. That's all it amounts to.



That is, of course, your prerogative. I suppose it probably wasn't done for you, then.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by nenothtu
 



the exclusion is right there in black and white - where you say "they are not Christians" if they do not follow your creed. There ARE other sorts of Christians beyond the "Nicene Christians", you know... or maybe you don't.

Trust me, I am well acquainted with both ancient and modern offshoots of Christianity. My personal area of focus has long been the history of the early church, early church Fathers and the heresies of the First and Second Centuries. And, again, I am not saying anything about "right and wrong", all I am saying is that, for the past 1700 years, to be a Christian meant one who attested to the creeds, and just because there are now groups that reject the creeds and want to hijack the name "Christian" to seem more mainstream, we don't just redefine the word for their favour.


You're right however, in saying that you've not consigned anyone to hell. it is entirely possible that you believe people can get to heave apart from the intercession of Christ. I'm not sure, however, what sort of Christian that would make you.

I am a Catholic, so I believe that salvation comes through Christ, but that God is infinitely merciful and judgement is his, not mine, which is what the church teaches.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 06:02 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Granted.

I am NOT grasping that point, since it is not a point I need to grasp. When grasping points, which are sharp things, one should always be certain it is a point worthy of grasping, since sharp things often cause injury.

it is an eminently humanist point. I don't much like humans in general, since they are the ones who created this mess that you seem so dissatisfied with. It's kind of like my kid at a long ago Christmas - I gave him a spectacular present, and all he wanted to do was play with the wrapping paper, tear it up and make noise with it. that's what humans are like on this planet, and they want to somehow blame that on God. Whatever helps you sleep at night, man.

It's my understanding that Jesus did not "eradicate" death - he is alleged to have "conquered" it - there is a difference, and there is wisdom to be found in the search for that difference.

I personally have no fear of death, and oddly that gives life MORE meaning for me, rather than less. Facing down death gives a whole new flavor to life, and it seems to me to eliminate a lot of petty fears that hold some folks back from the full experience of life.

I dunno, man. To each his own.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 06:18 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Apparently, reading comprehension is not your strong suit.

Let me be clear... what someone calls them self is of no consequence to me....

No, I would not say they were not a Muslim....

What I WOULD say, is that Islam does not teach whatever they are trying to promote, if they just so happen to be trying to be promoting a teaching contrary to the teachings of Islam. (I do this nearly every day)

And guess what, I would prove it from the Holy Books and be done with it. (I also do this nearly every day)

But no, I am not like you....


edit on 29-12-2013 by OpinionatedB because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 06:29 PM
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reply to post by OpinionatedB
 



No, I would not say they were not a Muslim....

What I WOULD say, is that Islam does not teach whatever they are trying to promote, if they just so happen to be trying to be promoting a teaching contrary to the teachings of Islam.

So, by extension, you are saying that the term is meaningless, because in your world, a Mormon could preach "Islam" from the Book of Mormon, and even though he's wrong, he's still entitled to call himself a Muslim.

Where we differ is that I believe that words do have meaning, and the intentional perversion of them through distortion, redefinition, political correctness and universalism is one of the hallmarks of our failing society.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 06:39 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Just to be more clear, in my understanding, it is not what you call yourself that matters, it is what you would say Islam teaches that does...

And THAT, can be hashed out in debates with books... If they think they have a strong position, they can bring it on.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 07:00 PM
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adjensen

Where we differ is that I believe that words do have meaning, and the intentional perversion of them through distortion, redefinition, political correctness and universalism is one of the hallmarks of our failing society.


Do you mean "redefinition" sort of like this: -


adjensen
...

all I am saying is that, for the past 1700 years, to be a Christian meant one who attested to the creeds, and just because there are now groups that reject the creeds and want to hijack the name "Christian" to seem more mainstream, we don't just redefine the word for their favour.

...




I.E. - Taking a concept born 3 centuries after the facts, and using it as the cornerstone to create a new religion, then "redefining a term meaning "Followers of Christ" to mean " Followers of the Nicean Council" in this new religion?

THAT sort of "redefinition"?

Acts 11:26 says "The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch", and I would think that would be the original defining point, and a definition of a different people from 300 years later is a "redefinition".

BTW - have you actually met a Mormon trying to preach Islam from the Book of Mormon, or is that just a red herring to try to misdirect the discussion? I've met Muslims trying to preach Islam from the pages of the Bible, but never a Mormon trying to preach Islam. If you HAVE, well, I guess it takes all kinds, doesn't it?




edit on 2013/12/29 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 07:15 PM
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reply to post by nenothtu
 



Acts 11:26 says "The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch", and I would think that would be the original defining point, and a definition of a different people from 300 years later is a "redefinition".

I do not believe that there is anything in the Nicene Creed that can conclusively be demonstrated not to have been practiced by the earliest Christians, and nothing that is contrary to scripture, though that is a discussion for another thread. The creed is a declaration of the beliefs of the Christian, and while it is certainly a clarification of them, it is not a redefinition. While the creed took time to develop, the church itself goes back to Christ and the Apostles directly, so Christians were the same, before and after the creed was written -- it is the church that made the creed, the creed did not make the church.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 07:43 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


It is much easier to say "Those people over there are not Christian, don't listen to them" than it is to explain, through the books, why your view is the correct one.

I am never one for the easy road, and the truth will always prevail. No matter what it may look like on the outside. I read that once, in a book.



posted on Dec, 29 2013 @ 08:08 PM
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adjensen
reply to post by nenothtu
 


I do not believe


Well, I guess it DOES sort of all boil down to belief, doesn't it?




that there is anything in the Nicene Creed that can conclusively be demonstrated not to have been practiced by the earliest Christians, and nothing that is contrary to scripture, though that is a discussion for another thread.


Yes, it IS hard to "prove" a negative, isn't it? That, of course, does not make it an automatic fact, however.

I see at least 3 contradictions of scripture in it, but you're right, this isn't the place for that discussion. If you want to start the thread, I'll stumble across it eventually, and we can continue the discussion there. The only bearing the Nicene Creed has on this thread is that it is a way that some particularly worldly and politically oriented "Christians" interpreted the Bible for their own ends, exiling the dissidents who didn't see it that way in order to solidify their political grasp on "the church". To take the quantum leap that it "defines Christian" is truly a leap of faith, and has the tendency to perform the modern equivalent of exile for dissidents now, such that those adhering to it can claim the dissidents are "not christians", no matter how scripturally sound their beliefs.

I guess that just goes to show that history really IS written by the victors.



The creed is a declaration of the beliefs of the Christian, and while it is certainly a clarification of them, it is not a redefinition. While the creed took time to develop, the church itself goes back to Christ and the Apostles directly, so Christians were the same, before and after the creed was written -- it is the church that made the creed, the creed did not make the church.



You say "clarification", I say "redefinition". You say "to-MAY-to", I say "to-MAH-to", but it is what it is, regardless of whatever label one wants to apply to it. if it cannot be supported by the Bible, then I cannot support it, regardless of how many others do. It's that whole "narrow gate" thing, I guess.

I think we are speaking of different "churches", as well. While "the church" Jesus raised was not made by the Creed, the church Constantine raised WAS, and went on to become the Catholic Church, which is why I'm not surprised that you hang onto the creed so tenaciously, even in defiance of biblical support.

Have you ever wondered why the Catholic church insists on "scripture AND tradition" (i.e. "dogma") to support it's claims, rather than scripture alone? it's because many of those dogmas and doctrines absolutely cannot be supported by what Jesus said, and are often contradicted thereby, so that the Catholic Church had to find other pillars to build itself on. "Tradition" is a handy hook for that, since once it hangs around for a few years, it automatically becomes "tradition", and therefore unassailable.

Now, before you get all huffy thinking Catholicism is under attack, I need to point out that a number of Protestant denominations are guilty of the same thing, having taken those same pillars from the Catholic Church during the Reformation. What's worse - for them - is that they can't very well point to Catholic tradition to support their doctrines, so they have to try and twist up the Bible into an even tighter knot in order to wring out of it what they want it to say. In that, those Protestants are "more guilty" of error than the Catholics are - if there is any guilt to be assigned at all.

ETA: I thank you for the lively and stimulating discussion, but I think it may be time now for me to bow out and stop derailing Wildtimes' thread, as that was not my intent, nor was getting into an argument. I've stated my case and spoke my piece, and there really isn't any need for me to simply keep chewing my tobacco over and over again. Nice talking to you, and I'm sure we'll cross again somewhere in the boards.






edit on 2013/12/29 by nenothtu because: (no reason given)



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