Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

Freedom of Religion

What it seems is that our so-called “Freedom of Religion” applies only to the conservative view of religion. My faith teaches equality and love for all, but the Boy Scouts, who encourage me to do my duty to God, do not allow me to treat, as I should, a homosexual as a valuable and important part of my community. My “Duty to God” is defined by the Mormon or Roman Catholic church, not my own. Views on abortion, homosexual rights, and science are only moral or faith based if they correspond to the blighted world view of the religious right and snake handlers of the country.

Quakers have always been in the forefront of scientific research. On the whole, we believe that what God reveals to us about the universe is a better way to understand Him, never in conflict with His truth. However, I must allow my children to be exposed to the idiocy of creationism, at least in some states.


I do not buy the self-righteous bullshit of Billy Graham, Tammy Fay Baker, or Robert Schuller. God is not represented by hypocritical fakir’s in shiney suits on television, begging for money!!!

If God did not want me to use it and reason, why would he give me a brain?

God is not in the words of the bible. He is in the sacrifices and efforts of those who strive to show His love for others, and make the world a better place.

I’m ranting, and I know it. It’s been a generally bad day.

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The Bible is God’s Word. His Word is in the Bible. Do Quakers not have Bible’s? I thought Quakers recognized the Bible.

Quakers have bibles, and read them religiously, if I may make pun. We do not (most of us) believe that it is "God’s Word" in some infallible way. It is the history of a people as they valiantly struggled to understand their relationship to God. God is revealed through the bible, but he is revealed through the understanding and filter of those fallible men who wrote it.

If you believe the bible is literal truth, tell me, what was Joseph’s father’s name?

Joseph’s father’s name is Israel which was changed from Jacob, Israel means Prince of God. Jacob wrestled with the Angel of God, a Christophany and was named Israel as a result. Truth is quite literal, Jesus said that the Father is Spirit and Truth and we are to worship Him in Spirit and Truth. My view is that God is Truth and is the source of Truth, absolute Truth.

Wrong Joseph. Matthew 1:16 says Jacob was the father of Joseph, husband of Mary. Also that there were 42 generations Abraham to Christ. Luke 3:23 says that Joseph’s father was Heli, and quotes 56 generations between Christ and Abraham. Such conflicts are easy to spot throughout the bible. If you believe the bible is the literal word of God, you must also believe He is quite scatter-brained.

By the way, if you believe the literal truth of Biblical creation, which one do you believe? The one where God said "Behold, I give you every plant yielding seed which is on the face of all the earth and every tree with seed in it’s fruit" Genesis 1:29, or the one in Genesis 2:16 where he is forbidden to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

You are the smart one. You did not notice that I was not wrong, but I was not aware of which Joseph you meant. In the Old Testament there is a book named Genesis that tells about him.

Your supposed conflicts are not that at all as concerns the geneology in the New Testament, but since you don’t believe the Bible is trustworthy and you do not know anything anyway, I am not going to take the time to post it.

Both statements from Genesis are correct. Again, you only know enough about the Bible to impress people with what you don’t know.

I meant that you and I refered to different Joseph’s. You are right on the first.

I would like to know what machinations can turn one sequence of father/son links of 42 generations to an entirely different one of 56. I’m sure there is a rationalization, but I’m also sure that’s what it is.

I can cite page after page of instances where the bible contradicts itself or is just wrong. If you insist on literal truth, you lose the ability to get the actual truth from the bible.

Once I accepted it for what it is, I got far more spiritual value from it.

I am sure that you can recite page after page of contradictions. I am not going to present the explanation for the contradiction cited as you have already told me you know in advance it is a rationalization.

You know, if you expect to be fooled you will be. God’s Word is Truth and if you expect to be lied to you will be, by the machinizations of your mind, not the Mind of God.

Yes, there is absolute truth. God is not a liar and he is True. Jesus said that He is the True and Faithful witness. As far as literal versus whatever you think is in opposition to it, when I use the word literal, it may not mean the same thing to you. What do you mean by literal? There are two things, truth and lies, and that is it.

Then, Doug, could you recite it for me? I’m quite curious- I’ve spent the last two months in a religious study course on the gospels, and have wondered about this contradiction.

But more so, can you actually give an explanation other than back and forth words which mean nothing? "If you expect to be fooled you will be…". That seems almost to be self-defeatism. Yea, unless you are already in the light, you won’t be unless you allow yourself to be blinded and brainwashed by it.

There are many interpretations of the truth, and God’s word. I do not believe that the God of the bible (any book), a God who for me teaches above all else Love, would be against anyone who sees his light, in any form. To say that others are being fooled by their own minds by looking for proof is to me depressing. It’s one of the many reasons I stayed away from religion for a long time.

Well, I became a Christian as an adult and was skeptical of organized religion and and even moreso now.

There are many interpretations of the Truth and there are many things presented as true that are not.

I am not sure if you are thae same person that does not believe God since your post says Tom and not Alan. We can deceive ourselves if we want to do so, that is part of human nature. We call it denial or dissociation and it operates in such a way that we can endure through a situation that is traumatic. In a way it is a depressing thought in view of a god that you cannot trust and you think is not as big as you are. Thinking is the key word here. What do you think on? In whom is your trust? Our minds are not infallible and reason serves a survival need for some, while in others it serves God. So if you are looking for proof all the time to prove God a liar and to prove your worst fears about the Bible, His Word to us becomes depressing.

I accept Jesus Christ as God the Son. As He said if you do not believe Him, then believe His works. If you can or have accept(ed) Him as Lord and Savior, then think that He accepted Scripture as True and from the Father.

Don’t believe me, take your whole self to Him and find out from Him. His intellect and His Mind are not matched in all of the Creation. You can trust Him.

The contradiction concerning Joseph, look into yourself. If you don’t trust the Bible, you won’t believe me anyway. Go on the internet putting in key words until you find it, or read up on it.

I am not sure if you are thae same person that does not believe God since your post says Tom and not Alan.

He is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.

I will leave to him to respond to your your message, if he can extract any semantic content from it.

And I do believe God.

I don’t believe you.

See, the question I asked was could you please explain it. It’s your argument, back it up please. The burden of proof is on you, once you advance an argument, to prove that argument. It is not my job to go and prove it for you. For that matter, I have looked this up. In Class. In various translations of the Bible. Online. Now I’d like your perspective, please.

Concerning your longer post in response to me… just… wow.

I have a hard time even making sense of the sentences you use here- perhaps it is because you are basically using circular logic? Or just not making a coherent arguement? could you try again to explain?

Let me try to answer some of the things that I did manage to pull from that.

I’m glad you approve of my trusting god. Because I do. Apparently, we trust him differently.

I’m confused as to why I should think he accepted scripture as true. Help me out here- most of the Gospels were written after he died. Paul, where much of the church traditions of today are drawn from, wrote it after he died, and for that matter, never talked to anyone who knew him when he was alive. Well, I take that back. Paul states that he went to Jersulam to meet with the "Pillars" I believe, who were Peter, Joseph, and I think John ( I apologize, I’ve forgotten Cor recently).

You want me to believe that Jesus approved of Scripture before it was written? I find it much more plausible that the scripture was written by man, who surely was influenced by God, and surely moved by God. But man, in any form, can make mistakes. Those who come later, as translators and interpreters, can make mistakes. It is our job to use our minds and our reason, which God gave us so that we may USE them, to figure out what the message behind the Bible.

My father presented a simple issue of the ancestry of Jesus. Could you please respond to it, to explain your side, or will you continue with your muttled replies?

I apologize for any spelling mistakes in there- I have a class to get to, and well, I didn’t want to leave anything out.

The alleged contradiction is something troubling you, not me. Similarly, I don’t need you to prove it to me and I don’t have to know if you have proved it one way or the other to yourself.

You wonder if you do not understand what I say because I may use circular reasoning or making a coherent argument? I don’t know why you do not understand what I am saying, in andswer to your question.

It is not for me to approve you trusting in God or not. I was affirming your expression of trust, not approving of it.

Scripture includes the Old Testament and the New Testament. Jesus preached from the Old Testament. No problem about spelling, I understood.

Yes, we have reason and we have a mind and God expects us to use both. You are exactly on target, we are expected to figure out things in the Bible.

Yes, it troubles me, and clearly not you.

But that’s not my point!

You make this statement "Your supposed conflicts are not that at all as concerns the geneology in the New Testament." You claim that they are not contradictions.

I’ve asked you to explain why. I’ve almost pleaded with you. Please, explain why they are not. Don’t retreat to nonsense arguments to try and deflect it… just explain why they aren’t! I’m asking you, as a person who obviously believes they are not contradictions, to tell me why they are not.

Your response to me before was one of muddled sentences. Instead of answering my question or providing an argument… your response consists of well.. religious rhetoric.

You’ve also not responded to the issue of the Gospels not being written while God was alive. Why is it bad that I use my reason to determine that I find the writers of the gospels to be men, and men who can make mistakes. Because I’m wrong? why am I wrong?

Jesus was not born during the writing of the Old Testament.

Well, I just popped in and have to hurry. I did not understand what you were driving at I think.

Anyway, let me think about you asking my opinion. I did not quite understand you believe the Bible to be true.

My sentences were not muddled. If they were, why would you think I would muddle them on purpose?? What do you not understand and I will try and clarify it.

Jesus ascended into Heaven. People can make mistakes, no doubt. The New Testament canon is considered to be inspired by the Holy Spirit as is the Old Testament.

Okay, it is morning and this note is an answer to your question Dan.

The reason the geneologies are different for Heli and Joseph and Jacob and Joseph are as follows.

The one with Heli is translated from the Greek by the Authorized Version including son of which is not there in the Greek. They put that in and indicated it as not the original by italics. It is a sort of help. However, the geneology itself is important and technically Joseph is a "son of" Heli in that he is the son-in-law of Heli, with Heli being the Father of Mary. The geneology would not be important to us per se as we are not under the Law of Moses, of course. However, Israel was at the time. So, they kept geneologies. The seed of descendents was carried through the woman, the blood of the woman, that being Eve as the first and Messiah was to be the seed of Eve. The geneology is careful to have start to finish the essential links from Eve to God as Elohiym, the Three as Unity. What you are looking at is the geneology of Mary. In deference to Law it is presented with the male assigns if you will associated with the bloodline carrying the seed. The Protoevangelion of course is a big clue here.

The other geneology that says begat, meaning fathered, begins with Father Abraham. This is significant as well, for it was through Abraham’s seed, Isaac that the nation of Israel was called out of the nations to be those set aside to bring Salvation to the whole world, including the Gentiles at the right time. Notice that the geneology goes down through the males. There is a difference in the number of persons mentioned in the geneology because one is traced back to God Elohiym and the other begins at Abraham and ends with Joseph. Now, Jesus is of the root of Jesse, the Son of David as predicted. This is a thumbnail sketch and does not include all of the particulars, but it at least decides the supposed contradiction is nothing more for some people than something to try and shake believers in their faith. I cannot imagine what fun that is for people and it is a blatant attack on the Lord from some people and an honest basis for looking into the many things the Bible reveals to us on the other.

As far as the Old Testament and Jesus not having come to the earth as fully man and fully God has little bearing on the inerrancy of Scripture in a negative way. Please try and explain what you are trying to find out.

Okay, it is morning and this note is an answer to your question Dan. Dan? Was there a Dan here? Did I miss someone?

I will defer to Tom in discussing your genealogical issues.

A few comments, though.
"we are not under the Law of Moses, of course". This seems to be a convenient "out" for those who want to ignore the 600+ commandments of the Old Testiment. Which ones are we free to ignore? Who decides? Who gets to decide that we can ignore Exodus 35:2 but Leviticus 18:22 is written in stone for all time? Sounds like a whole lot of interpreting going on.

The Protoevangelion of course is a big clue here The Protoevangelion of St. James dates from approximately AD 150. Historically it should be noted that the Protoevangelion was rejected outright by the Council of Nicea. It’s nice to use it to support yourself, but even the very early christians rejected it.

I will leave to others how Luke could have neglected to note he was tracing a maternal descent rather than paternal, when it was so important to identify it that way, and also how he obviously knew to use the term son-in-law in one place, but not in another.

It is interesting, though, that given that geneaology there were only 11 generations between Abraham and Noah, and 20 to Adam. A whole lot of history got compressed into approximately 1000 years.

You just want to argue. I was replying to your son. Sorry if I got the name wrong. You really should be familiar with what you are talking about before inserting an answer to something not even addressed to you. I was answering your son, not you.

"You really should be familiar with what you are talking about before inserting an answer to something not even addressed to you."

Actually, my doctoral work was in the area of medieval studies, and my doctoral seminars were in the area of theology and early christian religion, so I do know what I am talking about. My doctoral work was with the Jesuits at Fordham University, who are rather strict about intellectual honesty and academic rigor, which is one of the reasons I object to the self-referential, pseudo-theological garbage you throw around.

What’s your excuse?

Impressive Mr. Intellectually strict and honest. You are still wrong and don’t know what you are talking about.

And if I cite facts to prove you wrong again, will you hold your breath, lie on your back and kick your feet?

It seems to be the epitome of your discussion style.

I think you need to work on the use of personal pronouns a little. You are the one who is wrong all of the time and hold your breath, lie on your back, and kick your feet.

It seems to be the epitome of your discussion style. Can you see the difference? Then again it could be you have such enmeshed boundaries with people you get confused if you are you or you are me. I hope this helps. :)

"I think you need to work on the use of personal pronouns a little. You are the one who is wrong all of the time and hold your breath, lie on your back, and kick your feet."

Whenever I have presented you with an argument, I have given you facts to back myself up. Your response is never more than "You’re Wrong" or "That’s not True" with no support. Your idea of discussion is to repeat yourself over and over again until people give up in disgust.

I have much more intellectually stimulating discussions with 10 year old cubscouts, who have at least had enough of an education to think and ask questions, rather than arguing from blind authority. Most of them have even advanced past the “I’m rubber you’re glue” taunt.

Doug/Jack, since you seem to answer me more, care to explain the Protoevangelion point more? With rational arguements, not ad hominum attacks (which is, btw, all you do, that and red herrings. Any public speaking or discussion class will teach you those don’t work).

This happens to be Mr. Folsom’s youngest son. Of 14 years old in fact. I happen to find your views appalling mr. doug. I do not walk into my church(meeting house), thinking that the entire bible is true. How can it possibly be true that Noah managed to get so many animals onto his single ship in under a week. I do not believe that giant goliaths ever existed that could be killed with a single stone to the forehead. I do however, believe in the theory of the bible. Some of the things in the bible were geared in the right direction and could possibly be true. I do believe in god, i do believe that jesus was the son of god/is god. But i can’t stand thinking that things in the bible could ever possibly be true. Nor do i think that being preached to by someone standing by an altar talking at the TOP of his lungs will ever get me in touch with god.

ps: Don’t wish to start an argument. Just wanted to state my views. Also, try replying to a question not avoiding it, it could help once in a while.

Hi Ed, Tom, and Alan

Thanks for the feedback.

Extend to you and your the best wishes for this Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow. May God richly bless you all.

You to have a great Thanksgiving!

__\May God richly bless you all.\__

With children like these, he already has.

You know, I came across the answer to your question if you are still interested. It can be found reading THE EXPLANATION by the BLESSED THEOPHYLACT of THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW, chapter one–concerning the geneology of Christ. (This is published by I won’t reproduce it here, as it is an entire chapter that goes through line by line all of the begats and explanations of differences.

I realize I am more than a day late and a dollar short in finding your conversation, but perhaps someone will still see this and find it more enlightening than the discussion above. Good luck on your spiritual journeys.

In Christ,

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