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This is a much shorter version of my story. I wasn't raised in a particularly religious home but my parents belonged to a Methodist Church when I was young. Later, I joined the Mormon church when I decided to ask my wife to marry me. I tried to fit into the Mormon religion and I did get suckered in although I never felt like I really belonged. Through the course of several events, I became disillusioned with Mormon church teaching and reevaluated it. Some of what I discovered was shocking. Somehow, my marriage stayed in tact even though I no longer considered myself Mormon and my wife did consider herself to be Mormon. I respected her decision and she respected mine. In early 2021, she passed away and I still miss her a great deal. I don't know what the future holds, but my journey could very well take me many more places.

Comments

Of the formerly religious people, at what age did you abandon your faith?
RussRAB comments on Jun 16, 2020:
45 - It was a difficult time for a number of reasons. Religion got caught in the middle because it didn't fit with what was happening. I was a Mormon and people I knew who were not Mormon showed more compassion and caring than did Mormon family members. I will never forget telling a Bishop that non-Mormon people I knew just seemed to be better people overall and he agreed with me.
About today’s Supreme Court ruling...
RussRAB comments on Jun 15, 2020:
Did we really need to wait this long to believe these 3 were homophobic? I am somewhat surprised about Gorsuch and Roberts (but not at all unhappy). Perhaps they are evolving? Has any of the conservatives suggest they betrayed "their side"? I am very happy with this ruling today. It's long overdue.
Christian Conspiracist: Black Lives Matter and Antifa Leaders Must Be Executed | Beth Stoneburner | ...
RussRAB comments on Jun 14, 2020:
This would be murderous tyrant is the reason the Constitution was written. Limits are placed on the power of the executive branch in charge of enforcing laws to prevent the rights of the individual from being violated - like having them killed. Why American Pastors or Christians would want to listen to or follow someone with such anti-Christian opinions - kill your neighbor rather than love your neoghbor - is beyond my understanding. "Nothing says the love of Christ like calling for a fatwa on your imaginary enemies…" But then, this kind of attitude seems pervasive among certain Christian groups.
I so enjoy coming home to my front entrance area this year, and as the sun warms up now it smells ...
RussRAB comments on Jun 14, 2020:
I see the heliotrope, but I don't see the honeysuckle. Is it not in the picture? It looks wonderful very attractive and inviting. I like your use of the smaller stones.
Here is an interesting plant which has found a bed it really likes.
RussRAB comments on Jun 13, 2020:
They look like a plant I once tried growing from seed but had none germinate. I bought them under the name Standing Cypress, Ipomopsis rubra. The description said they were attractive to butterfllies and humming birds. It's a beautiful flower. https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ipru2
Religious Schools Promoting Gay Conversion Torture Are Getting Taxpayer Dollars | Hemant Mehta | ...
RussRAB comments on Jun 12, 2020:
Tax dollars should be pulled for two reasons. First, religious schools should not be supported with government tax dollars. It is a violation of the First Amendment. Second, conversion therapy is harmful and proven to be ineffective. https://www.livescience.com/37139-facts-about-gay-conversion-therapy.html This link provides a rather thorough overview of reparative therapy. https://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_changing.html
Evangelist Franklin Graham: Rainbow Flags Are “Offensive to Christians” | Beth Stoneburner | ...
RussRAB comments on Jun 11, 2020:
I find Franklin Graham's face and voice in the news offensive. Can we get it banned?
Wild gardening is more my style than prim and proper English gardening with everything labeled in ...
RussRAB comments on Jun 11, 2020:
I'd be afraid of leveling everything with the weed wacker. I do like the look of a more wild growing garden and yours is very attractive. I also love your irises. Do you know what their named?
An unassumed atheist
RussRAB comments on Jun 9, 2020:
Where do you live? I looked at your bio but the location is obscured. Is it somewhere that is safe to reveal disbelief? I ask because of your name. Ultimately, what you do or don't tell people is up to you. You are the one who has to live with your decision to reveal your disbelief. Only you know the people involved and how they may react. It can be something that is difficult if you believe revealing yourself to them with disappoint them or change your relationship with them. I suggest you take your time and try to sort through your feelings. If you think you might get a negative reaction, perhaps you could drop hints of whats on your mind to see what kind of reaction you get. The relationship you have with loved ones doesn't need to be about belief or disbelief. You have plenty of other things you can relate with them about. My father told the story of telling his mother he no longer believed. Her response surprised him when she essentially said she didn't believe in it either, but it was best not to talk to anyone about it.
Last week we had 4" of rain on wet ground followed by 3" 3 days later , lost my onions , squash and...
RussRAB comments on Jun 8, 2020:
The flowers are beautiful. They liked the rain.
And the old fool is the only one who does not see the irony of this?
RussRAB comments on Jun 8, 2020:
It will just mean that LDS Inc. will surpress all the racist teachings of Brigham Young and others (but especially Young) as if they never existed. No admission of Young's racism and no apology for past racist church policies. It has been the MO of the Mormon church for a very long time.
I seldom have to turn my compost pile thanks to these little bug eaters.
RussRAB comments on Jun 7, 2020:
I've seem opossum around my yard and in the neighborhood, but never raccoons. We had a time when a family of gray fox would roam near by. We heard them before we saw them. We haven't had any around for some time. No calls and no sightings.
Let's give religion a break just for a moment.
RussRAB comments on Jun 7, 2020:
I thought so at the time, but in retrospect, I think religion stifled my creativity and my personality. I felt I was living more by the numbers rather than any authenticity. After I left, I felt I had constructed a religious wall I lived behind and kept myself insulated by. If I gained anything, it was the contrast of what my life was before and what it was afterward. I should add .... I miss the singing.
According to my physics teacher, people who become atheists will be punished by God.
RussRAB comments on Jun 7, 2020:
Successful or stable conditions does not indicate any kind of intent which the explanation of a God implies. If you take a handful of sand and pebbles and gently blow on it, the smaller and less dense meterial blows away while the larger and denser material remain. Can we really say that the larger and denser items were a matter of intent? Or is it simply a matter of what remained under particular conditions? If other mathematical formulas applied to physical phenomenon wouldn't be stable and sustainable, they have had billions and perhap trillions of years to implode and disappear leaving behind that which is stable and sustainable. Unless we are able to identify the remnants of some unstable and unsuccessful phyical systems, we wouldn't know they ever existed, just as some extinct species that never fossilized would never be known. In my estimation, the idea that a God will punish nonbelievers is BS - an indication that God is a narcissist. Any God who expects blind faith in him - blind because God certainly doesn't leave any strong evidence of its existence - expects fear and ignorance from humans. Any God worth anything would respect that its creations have used the brains provided them and would respect that the lack of evidense God leaves of its existence would lead to an atheistic or agnostic conclusion. If God can't respect such a conclusion based on rational thought processes, then it is God who has the problem for expecting humans to not use their "God-given" brain and not the thinking human being.
Is Trump losing his Christian support?
RussRAB comments on Jun 5, 2020:
We see a number of religious leader who are really more political than religious - second generation individuals who inherited fortunes and reputations built by their fathers. Support for Trump by these individuals has not wavered, but their support of him may have caused their supporters to begin questioning them. https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlieporterfield/2020/04/15/liberty-university-student-files-class-action-suit-against-school-over-coronavirus-profiting/#73f93b2f5598 What I have read recently is that Trump's disapproval rating is higher than any US President at this point in his administration and that the loss of support comes from across the demographic spectrum - including evangelicals. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/04/us/politics/trump-polls-christians-evangelicals.html
My one Iris has finally bloomed.
RussRAB comments on Jun 4, 2020:
Ah! It's a somewhat rare Walking Iris or Apostle Iris. Home Depot and/or Lowe's in my area has carried them. https://plantcaretoday.com/walking-iris.html
Why Jesus is white (:
RussRAB comments on Jun 4, 2020:
Projection. We see depictions of Jesus morph as he is introduced to new cultures. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_appearance_of_Jesus
Angry Young Preacher: The Bible Says Gay People Should Be Executed (Humanely) | Hemant Mehta | ...
RussRAB comments on Jun 4, 2020:
Christians are duplicitous. On the one hand, they quote and advocate for punishments from Leviticus in the Old Testament and on the other they claim Jesus did away with all the old rules and old laws of fhe Old Testament. They don't want to give up shellfish or pork, they don't want to have to burn a bull to create a pleasing oder to their God, but they insist on implementing Old Testament sentences for gays and adulterers. Note that in the latter half of the article, Mr. Powell is reported as saying that adulters should also be killed (there goes a majority of TV evangelists) even though Jesus saved the life of the woman caught in the act of adultery by saying that whoever was without sin should cast the first stone. Powell obviously believes his sins should be forgiven based on what he reads from the New Testament, but also believes that the sins of others either can't or shouldn't be forgiven based on what he reads from the Old Testament. How convenient the the "perfect" word of God contains both sets of conflicting rules so Mr. Powell can extricate himself from punishment with one and condemn others with a death penalty using the other.
I knew Bunker Bitch was coming with this Lie about Friday Night.
RussRAB comments on Jun 3, 2020:
Why would the Secret Service need to escort Trump Bunker Bitch to the bunker just for an inspection? https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-was-whisked-away-to-an-underground-bunker-during-white-house-protests-report-says
How does your garden grow, hopefully it is fertile, full of sunshine and without too many weeds.
RussRAB comments on Jun 2, 2020:
Some people could take offense at this concept (not so much here, I would think) but I find it to be more of a comfort. The idea of being connected to everything and having some sort of commonality with all life and even the inanimate appeals to me. Becoming compost doesn't bother me in the least. 'Pushing up daisies' (I'd prefer they were irises) just means a part of my body gets to flower.
From Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy ([rep.
RussRAB comments on May 31, 2020:
I am curious if the definition of agnostic excludes those who believe that certain Gods do not exist. I identify myself as an agnostic but I disbelieve in certain Gods such as the God of the Bible. This God is contradictary and far to much like a projection of humans. At the same time, I don't rule out the existence of some kind of diety but doubt that it might be adequately described and defined through human means. To do so runs the risk of defining an imposter as God. The imposter may have miraculous abilities and knowledge far beyond our own, but this fact does not prove Godhood any more the greater knowledge and abilities of modern man make us Gods to those a millenia or two ago. So, if one is atheist to certain Gods, can we still claim to be agnostic on some God concept not defined or not definable?
Yesterday I dug up a very rare passion vine which a friend had grown for me from seed a year ago.
RussRAB comments on May 30, 2020:
Photo 4 is reslly a piece of art. Beautiful! Did something happen with photo 7? I see only 6.
there was a time in my life when I was able to have a truly bisexual relationship.
RussRAB comments on May 29, 2020:
Western cultures with histories dominated by Hebrew/Christian/Muslin influences have experienced long histories of sexual repression. Cultures without these religious influences have a much more diverse history of how sex is considered and expressed. Some cultures promoted homosexual relationships although these relationship were often considered between males with little or no mention of sex between females. Pre-Christian Greece was one such culture where sex between males was considered superior to sex between males and females because they considered males to be superior to females. Women were primarily to birth children to carry on the family name. Samoan and Tongan cultures were much less repressed sexually than were Western cultures. Sexuality could be considered to have been much more fluid in these cultures. Where same sex relationships were found to be accepted, a form of etequette developed defining what was and was not acceptable in the relationships. For example, the parameters of what constituted acceptable sexual behavior between males in pre-Christian Greece varied considerably from city to city. What was taboo in same sex relationships in Athens varied from what was acceptable in Sparta which differed from what was acceptable in Thebes. The short answer to your question is that I have no doubt that it would be possible to maintain a bisexual group which includes children and family. I have no doubt that such situations have occurred in the past. Such a situation would not be without problems, but then even the expectation of monogomous relationships have its share of problems. No situation involving human beings will ever be without jealousy to complicate things
Not everyone is aware of how easy it is to propagate baby plants of African Violets .
RussRAB comments on May 28, 2020:
I started a small collection of African Violets and related varieties last year. I haven't tried propagating yet, but I plan to when I can free up some space. My mom and grandma grew African Violets and mine remind me of them.
Is homosexuality a choice?
RussRAB comments on May 26, 2020:
The Hebrew/Christian/Muslim God has always had an issue with sex. As late as a century or so ago, the only legitimate reason for sex was producing babies. In early 20th century America, a woman could receive a reputation as a "loose woman" if she allowed her husband to have sex with her too often or if she admitted to enjoying sex with her husband. Good Christian womem just didn't do sex unless she wanted a baby. Anyone who wants sex for enjoyment or pleasure, had something wrong with them. Since gay sex doesn't produce babies, it must be lustful only and therefore a sin. Christians also claim that homosexuality is unnatural because it doesn't produce babies - never mind that hundreds and hundreds of animal species engage in same sex sexual behaviors including penetration. A few species have been documented to form long term same sex partnering which pair up for life. In the case of some bird species, a same sex pair has been observed to steal eggs from neighboring opposite sex pairs. Together, they incubate and rear the young just as any opposite sex pair. In terms of Christians insisting that being gay is a choice, they must believe that humans can only choose to sin. If not, then a significant part of their belief system falls apart. Individuals must be able to choose not to sin. Without choice, their God is unjust having created individuals who are predisposed to sin and do not choose it. If their God is not just, then their faith is moot.
A Memorial Day post: This is for "Poco I" Below is "Poco II" [youtu.be]
RussRAB comments on May 26, 2020:
A beautiful memorial. And two very good looking pups.
James Dobson Warns Democrats Will ‘Enslave’ Conservative Christians | Michael Stone
RussRAB comments on May 25, 2020:
Some of these SOB's just need to be locked away in straight jackets for their paranoid delusions. Of course my comment is rhetorical for those who might think that having a delusional Christian locked away is a fulfillment of Dobson's warning.
Yummy! Peaches, peaches, blackberries, grapes with a catbird nest hidden in there, more grapes and ...
RussRAB comments on May 25, 2020:
Looks like fun watching everything ripen.
FEED MY BIAS ! My history is bad.
RussRAB comments on May 25, 2020:
A favorite YouTube of mine is Neil DeGrass Tyson's "Naming Rights". https://youtu.be/fDAT98eEN5Q
Every morning Olaf begs for his food, then promptly lies down next to it and naps. 🤷‍♀️
RussRAB comments on May 25, 2020:
Just knowing food is available allows him to relax and go to sleep. 😴😪😴
Drumpf's religious hypocrisy...
RussRAB comments on May 24, 2020:
The first paragraph sums up Trump pretty well: "President Trump is a broken fire hose of lies. He’s a broken slot machine of lies. He’s a lie conveyor belt."
Hi Ya'll, I am relatively new to the site and am exploring different groups.
RussRAB comments on May 24, 2020:
It was a miniture poodle that sold us on small dogs. My spouse wanted a lap dog and she found a non- pedigreed dog that never grew past abou 3 pound. She was a 1 person dog and loved my wife - the rest of us she just tolerated.
I read in my local newspaper some Atheists are being blamed for burning down a church in ...
RussRAB comments on May 24, 2020:
There are a number of articles from 2 or 3 days ago reporting on the arson of this Mississppi church. The possible atheist connection was reported due to a symbol with an "A" in the middle of it next to a statement "Bet you stay home now you hypokrites" spray painted in the parking lot. Most articles I looked at reported the statement but not the synbol and did not mention anything about any atheist connection. Those that did mention it, only referred to a possible connection due to the synbol. The news outlets that mention a possible atheist connection were The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and News Talk WSIC. Anyone know anything about this last source? I didn't find much about them on their site.
I have so many weeds in my garden that I cannot see the plants that are suppose to be there in the ...
RussRAB comments on May 23, 2020:
I have that same problem every year. It's grasses mostly in mine. @tinkercreek has the right idea.
Wild flowers i dont think we planted = weeds.
RussRAB comments on May 22, 2020:
Your "weeds" are beautiful. A nice bright yellow. I wouldn't pull them out. 😊
"Container variety" on every seed package.
RussRAB comments on May 22, 2020:
I have had some decent success with growing in pots. My soil is terribly hard and it can bake hard in the hot summers. I need to condition it with lots of organic material.
I have a friend who's parents are atheists (I met them at a Unitarian church) but he converted to ...
RussRAB comments on May 22, 2020:
I understood from my time studying biology that viruses were visible by electron microscopes. Regardless, we can't see atoms either, but we have plenty of ways of detecting facts to verify their existence and their configuration. Viruses are no different. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2772359/ I thought the reason you suspect your friend converted to Islam of interest. Michael Shermer in his book "How We Believe" examined a number of factors influencing the beliefs of individuals. One factor he wrote about ws the beliefs of parents; a person very often maintains the beliefs taught to them by their parents with an exception. If the parents have a difficult or hostile relationship with one another or with the child. Under these conditions, the offspring will change their belief system from their parents. Shermer noticed that offspring of believing parents would become nonbelievers at higher percentages when their relationships with parents were seen as unsatisfactory. I see no reason why the opposite wouldn't also be the case.
Texas Mayor Claims His Religious Beliefs Bar Women From Leading Public Prayer
RussRAB comments on May 22, 2020:
This kind of discrimination was bound to emerge with the religious freedom to discriminate against gays movement. The bias against gay people is not unique among religionists, and other minorities and disenfranchised people due to religious traditions would become targets for the social regression from religious conservatives and fundamentalists.
Jesus loves you.
RussRAB comments on May 21, 2020:
Jesus forgives you for all your sins yo relieve you of guilt for all the mistakes and missteps you have ever made in life. But, you can be reminded at any time (and at regular intervals) of the excruiating pain you cause Jesus dying on the cross due to your sins both past and current. In effect, one is expected to trade guilt for real events and misdeeds (some might say life lessons) for imagined guilt we can't ever do a thing about. Great system, right? Pins believers to the organization for any relief of their guilt only to have it dumped back on them with an extra dose, and the cycle repeats.
Old seeds! I'm pitching the sunflower seeds out in our habitat garden.
RussRAB comments on May 19, 2020:
The first seeds I ever planted when I was a teen were some very old seeds my mother had. Most did not germinate but a few did. Those that did the best were the old Nasturtium seeds. These are still one of my favorites. Judging from how sunflowers keep coming back in my garden, I'd think you are as likely as not to have some success.
Is it still a lie if you don't know it isn't true?
RussRAB comments on May 18, 2020:
Perhaps the difference is the reason for feeling certain that something is true. If someone has some valid evidence to support the certainty of somrthing that is believed but not completely accurate, then I wouldn't say it was a lie when additional evidence discovered demands a revision of the belief. I'm thinking of the progression of scientific discoveries which evolved over time. The structure of the atom for one went through numerous revisions as did the orbits of planets. I wouldn't call these interim models a lie simply because they were not completely correct. We might want to consider that our current understanding of various concept today could be considered lies because our understanding based on current evidence is not completely correct.
Your grossly incompetent president called Obama's presidency "grossly incompetent"...
RussRAB comments on May 17, 2020:
The one thing Trump can do very, very well - Projection. https://youtu.be/hrmAZlVXIb0
I wonder how many churches will close for good due to covid-19.
RussRAB comments on May 17, 2020:
There may be fewer than we might think since they are eligible for government stimulus loans. https://www.guidestone.org/NewsRoom/NewsReleases/2020/2020_03_27-COVID-Pandemic-Phase-III-Stimulus-Package
Is your yard private?
RussRAB comments on May 17, 2020:
Doesn't your city/town/county have noise ordinances? Blasting their services to be heard 2 blocks away sounds more than excessive to me - whether it's something I agree with or not.
What would you do/say if a Christian friend told you they're questioning their faith?
RussRAB comments on May 17, 2020:
I would start out reassuring my friend that I would remain their friend regardless what they decided. Then I would offer to be a listening ear and let him know if they wanted any resources, I could help with that. Losing one's faith can be a very difficult process since there are all sorts of underlying threats of torture, pain, and rejection. They will receive plenty of pressure to conform; they won't need me to be one more source of pressure. They need the freedom to figure out their own thoughts and feelings.
Does being an agnostic mean that you’re on the wall or you lack acceptance?
RussRAB comments on May 16, 2020:
The definition of words and terms in common usage don't necessarily mean what their root origins might indicate. Webster's or other similar sources might provide a brief definitio or basic meaning of the term, but lack some of the more nuanced or in depth meanings. You may want to read an article or two on the terms to get what one of these terms means to those who identify themselves as such.
Atheism is an absense of belief in god(s).
RussRAB comments on May 16, 2020:
I'm reminded of Bill Mahar's comment that atheism is a religious belief like abstinence is a sex position.
What I probably mistakenly call the tulip (now identified by RussRAB as a Dahlia Tree) tree has this...
RussRAB comments on May 15, 2020:
I had understood the Tulip Tree had leaves with the shape of tulips and a yellow and orange flower. I can't see the flowers or leaves in your photos well enough to recognize what yours might be. https://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/treedetail.cfm?itemID=930
Does anything about being in an atheist or agnostic social network provide comfort?
RussRAB comments on May 14, 2020:
As with most things in life, different people will get different things from a forum like this one. Nothing or no one compells you to participate. It is purely voluntary. For myself, I enjoy reading others opinions and I appreciate a place where I can express mine. Making a connection with others even with a remote site like one is satisfying to me. I understand that it may not be for others.
What are your thoughts about the "God of Gaps"?
RussRAB comments on May 13, 2020:
I think gaps well always exist. Consider the fossil record and transitional evolutionary species. Since Darwin first proposed the theory of evolution, tons of transitional fossil species have been discovered, but religious doubter's insist on transitional species between each of those discovered. We will never have a complete species geneology from the fossil record and those who insist on nothing less will always have gaps they think are exploitable. I find the situation terribly ironic. Those who insist on claiming God to fill in gaps within scientific explanations have no real proofs for what they want to fill the gaps with. The very real factual gaps within religious explanations are in fact huge chasms (if not complete phantons), and they do nothing substanial to try to close them with facts.
The Lily of the Valley, Convallaria majalis, is in flower in the garden now.
RussRAB comments on May 13, 2020:
How big of an area do they cover? That second photo looks like they go on forever.
What would you have done differently had you been god?
RussRAB comments on May 12, 2020:
I'd leave mental illness off the list, as well as a number of other debilitating and painful degenerative diseases. That's where I would start.
"All you have to do is look around you and see the beauty of god's creation!" It's like you've ...
RussRAB comments on May 11, 2020:
Christians refuse to acknowledge that their God is ultimately responsible for all the ugly, vile, putrid, and disgusting things within our world. Even if we allow the Devil (or disobedient, evil humans) to "corrupt" God's creation, God has created the possibility and the parameters of this corruption, and God has allowed it to be so. Under the Christian paradigm, God is ultimately responsible for all things that exist in the world.
Well my dalliance with the milk thistle is over.
RussRAB comments on May 11, 2020:
I can understand your interest in the plant. It is a beauty. Glennlab is correct in his comment.
Nice year for the Columbines we've scattered around our gardens:
RussRAB comments on May 11, 2020:
Those deep red columbine are something else. Beuatiful! I haven't seen all red ones before.
During the CBS Evening News this evening one commercial was that of an evangelical giving a camp ...
RussRAB comments on May 8, 2020:
Youtube videos are now riddled with commercials. For a while, the atheist/agnostic videos seemed to start out with a commercial for a Christian organization or religious themed group. I had wondered if this was planned or just a coincidence.
Took Meredith to the vet today.
RussRAB comments on May 8, 2020:
It's always a good thing when your dog likes his medicine. Trying to give them something they don't like can be really difficult. Pill pockets are the best for getting pills down a pooch.
Grown under the cover of some row cover to protect it from the frost that is still a regular threat ...
RussRAB comments on May 7, 2020:
That omlette sound tasty. I never appreciated asperagus until I was an adult. Now, I like the cooked or raw. Yum! I'm going to have to try them in an omlette.
I'm bragging a bit.
RussRAB comments on May 6, 2020:
Disasters do have a way of bringing out the very best or very worst of people. Glad to hear your family is among the very best. 😊
Attached is a picture of my tomato plants today.
RussRAB comments on May 4, 2020:
Wow! I've never seen tomato plant that tall.
Atheistic Chaplain-is their denial an example of religious discrimination? [navytimes.com]
RussRAB comments on May 4, 2020:
The US Constitution says in Article VI, Clause 3, "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." Barring this Chaplain on the basis of his lack of religious beliefs is denying his qualifications for an office under the US on a religious test. To me, it is a clear violation of the Constitution.
An Evangelical Christian (my classmate's friend) commented on a FB post I made about me being in ...
RussRAB comments on May 4, 2020:
According to mortality rates, abortion is still safer for women than pregnancy and childbirth. A fewer % of women die from having an abortion than from giving birth. I agree with you that no woman (or young girl) should be forced to carry a child to term before a certain point in her pregnancy. Late term abortions should be granted on a more limited basis and reserved for special cases. As for how young girls have given birth, a girl in African was documented to have given birth at age 9. Looking up the reference, I found the linked Wikipedia site that says the youngest girl to give birth was 5 years and 7 months. This was in Peru and the girl had a condition which jumpstared her puberty. She still needed to have a cesarian section to deliver the 5.9 pound baby. In some parts of the world where girls are married off very young and they become pregnant very young, the birthing process causes damage to the womans urethra and creates leakage between the urinary tract and the vagina. Girls that develop this condition typically develop a strong oder which at one time caused them to become outcasts from their communities. The fix is a relatively simple operation, but it isn't one that is readily available to girls in these less developed areas. Oprah Winfrey had a program at one time supporting western doctors addressing this condition in young African women and girls. She may still be supporting this program. Imo, Christians are disingenuous when they claim to be pro-life. Most of the conservative ones support the death penalty, and they support the party which opposes support for children and families going through hard times - when no work is available, or unwed mothers unable to earn enough to even support themselves. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_youngest_birth_mothers
Garden tour anyone?
RussRAB comments on May 2, 2020:
I just love your garden. I'll tour any time you want.
Woke up this morning like this - Lily was snoozing on my shoulder.
RussRAB comments on May 2, 2020:
How sweet. She obviously loves you.
The battle between the chipmunk tribe and the human continues: 😳🐱
RussRAB comments on May 2, 2020:
On no! They do make a mess. It's squirrels in my neighborhood. They don't dig much, but they do bury pecan nuts all over tne place. The sprouts have to be dug out and their tap root cut to get them out of tne garden. These pecans turn up in pots as well as all around the yard. None under the parent tree, but everywhere else,
This is why some Christian's are looked upon with such disdain.
RussRAB comments on May 1, 2020:
One could wonder if your coworker has some kind of perverse interest in other people's sex lives. You could have asked them if they often thought about (fantasized about?) the sex lives of those around them. You could have also illustrated how inappropriate their question about your possible sex life was by asking them something personal about their sex life. If they have the right to ask about yours, then certainly you have the right to ask about theirs. Of course, this happened at work where certain conduct is expected and the way you handled it was the most appropriate for that setting. In terms of Christian beliefs, the idea of live and let live doesn't really exist. God is as likely to punish everyone if even one sinner isn't kept in control. This is the nonsense reasoning behind blaming gays, feminists, and others certain Christian preachers don't approve of for natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados, and tsunamis. These perceived transgressions become a concern for their safety and curbing whatever the identified behavior is becomes their business. I doubt your coworker was concerned about you possibly having sex outside of marriage would cause the earth to shake, but at the same time, I can't think of another reason why they might believe your personal life was any of their concern unless it would somehow effect them adversely.
A Heart survives, and Purples arrive: I think I got a tainted load of mulch last year, for my ...
RussRAB comments on May 1, 2020:
Beautiful purples. Your iris is do dark. It's gorgeous. So are the rest of your flowers.
Our dogs are one way to organize the chapters of our lives.
RussRAB comments on Apr 27, 2020:
I wish we had such a complete history of our pet dogs. Sadly, a lot of our photographs were lot when we had a house fire in 2017.
Beautiful tiny things: I have had my little Saxafraga x geum ‘Dentata’ plants for several years...
RussRAB comments on Apr 26, 2020:
I think it's amazing just how much detail nature can fit on a tiny canvas. It's a gorgeous flower with lots of detail. And your camera skill is more than adequate. 😊
A Poll: Should President Trump resign due to his mishandling of the SARS-CoV-2 Crisis?
RussRAB comments on Apr 25, 2020:
There are plenty of reasons why Trump should resign; his mishandling and diseminating misinformation about this disease is the least of it.
I had been inspired by @Heidi68 to treat myself to an orchid and happy to say it loved its spot and ...
RussRAB comments on Apr 25, 2020:
Gorgeous flowers.
Texas wanted to secede
RussRAB comments on Apr 24, 2020:
What issue does Texas want to secede over now? Last I heard, they wanted to secede when Obama was president. I thought a lot of Texans were happy when Trump was voted in.
Took some more photos late this afternoon out in the garden.
RussRAB comments on Apr 24, 2020:
You have some beautiful flowers with lots of succulents. I particularly like your Mimulus. It reminds me of a wildflower from Southern California called Monkeyflower though yours have a much brighter color than what I recall seeing along hiking trails.
Has anyone ever raised a few chickens along with their garden and if so how did it work out for you?
RussRAB comments on Apr 21, 2020:
I have read that Guinea Hens will keep your garden bug free, but I would never have them. They are about as homely as a bird can be and they make a screeching noise that is awful.
I came home after having been away for two months.
RussRAB comments on Apr 21, 2020:
Can't believe someone would neglect your house plants like that. It's expensive to try to start over, but worth it if you had certain favorites. I'd have to start over if I was in your situation. I would be terribly disappointed to have to.
I had a group of friends in high school that I hung out with.
RussRAB comments on Apr 19, 2020:
What was important to you in your High School days is very likely quite different than what is important to you now.
It seems like with so many different beliefs and religions in the world it would be impractical if ...
RussRAB comments on Apr 18, 2020:
I found it extremely refrustrating to relate dissatisfying experiences (my own or of others) with a form of Christianity only to be be told that the form of Christianity was not the right one and I needed to conform to their version to receive the proper inspiration/blessings from God. It is particularly frustrating because all these versions say essentially the same thing - they have the correct belief to conform to in order to receive the full blessings of the Christian God and total dedication to their version allows you revelations from God about yourself and potentially about others. It is a way to blame personal dissatisfaction with certain concepts of a religion on someone who is not happy with the belief and to absolve the belief system of any responsibility for its failings.
Y'all my peach trees are covered in, well, peaches! Anyone have any suggestions on how to keep the ...
RussRAB comments on Apr 17, 2020:
Looks like you will be will stocked with peaches and blackberries. I'd love to see your irises when they open all the way.
Chilling in the garden with my two furry kids.
RussRAB comments on Apr 17, 2020:
Two tired pups relaxing in a very peaceful setting. You've done a great job with your garden.
This is from The Onion-satire TALLAHASSEE, FL—In a bold affirmation of faith during a time of ...
RussRAB comments on Apr 14, 2020:
I'm a bit surprised we haven't heard Christians complain about their exemption from the stay at home order. Christians might believe the government wants to infect them to kill off some and weaken others. The Christian pursecution complex of some believers is pervasive enough that they can find reasons they are being discriminated against by any provision.
My new crop of 'Wood Violets'.
RussRAB comments on Apr 14, 2020:
Do you have a close up of the flowers? I have a couple areas I like to have a ground cover like that, but the plants would need to be able to endure our hot summer temperatures.
My Bay Laurel is coming into flower now.
RussRAB comments on Apr 13, 2020:
Beautiful little flowers. Are they aromatic? I wonder because I imagine the leaves are.
Randy Rainbow does it again! [youtu.be]
RussRAB comments on Apr 13, 2020:
Hillarious!!! ROFLMAO!
My brother died from this pandemic on march 27 at 4:59 PM in Everet Washington.
RussRAB comments on Apr 12, 2020:
It appears you lived a good ways from your brother. Did you see each other often? Many things effect the greiving process - the relationship you had with the person, how often you saw one another, cultural aspects, etc. I see that you lived a ways away from your brother, you are in Idaho and he apparently lived in Everett, WA. Did you see each other often or speak to one another often? My experiences with my parents passing happened about 18 years apart. When my mother passed at 57 from breast cancer, my family lived nearby and the grief began almost immediately. Since we knew my mother was ill, I had made of point of visiting her regularly. By the time my father died, my family had moved out of state and I had much less contact with him. We knew he was also ill with pancreatic cancer, but distance prevented any kind of regular visits. The relationship with my father was also quite different than with my mother. When the news came that my father had died, it felt very distant - more like hanging up the phone from a long distant call. It didn't feel as real. Only when I attended his funeral and stayed at his home did it begin to feel he was truly gone and not just away on a trip. It took being in familiar places that he had been to feel his abscence and to begin to feel the loss from his death. I send you my condolences for the loss of your brother. Circumstances, whatever they may be, are likely responsible for you recognizing your grieving process. Please be considerate with yourself since the stages of grief do not follow a prescribed order. My guess is that you are grieving and not realizing that you are. Denial and anger are stages of the process but may not feel as if they are.
We may never un-do what Republican law makers are doing, and getting away with doing, during this ...
RussRAB comments on Apr 12, 2020:
I think it is a good time to restate that over half the cases of COVID-19 in South Korea occurred within one religion which told its followers that God would protect them from pestilence based on passages from the Bible. The real question as we contemplate whether or not to allow religious congregation to gather here in the US is just how many of the other half of South Korea's cases of infection were spread from members of this one religion which defied the directives not to congregate? Religious freedom is fine, but its practice should not be allowed to be the vector of contagion of a deadly disease within the greater community. Disallowing a religious group to congregate during an epidemic or pandemic does not alter anyone's right to believe in the religion of their choice.
The ferns are starting to unfurl.
RussRAB comments on Apr 12, 2020:
Your first photo appears almost moss-like in an extreme closeup. They are all spectacular photos.
My garden seems to have gone imperial this week, totally clothed in purple and gold.
RussRAB comments on Apr 11, 2020:
Beautiful set of plants and flowers.
I was raised as a Christian and only recently became an atheist.
RussRAB comments on Apr 10, 2020:
The question can be a difficult one. Ultimately, can we teach our children values without indoctrinating them into any particular belief system like a religion? It becomes even more complicated when your child has another significant adult figure who does believe and perhaps does expect indoctrination of the child into a particular religious tradition. When I first confronted this issue, my kids were much older in their teens and early adulthood. At some point, I realized that I wanted my kids to have the same freedom of choice that I had claimed for myself. If that meant they would follow the religious path we had set for them, then so be it. If they chose another, then I wasn't going to love them more or less because of it. Kids are individuals and as much as we might like to believe they are empty slate that we as parents can mold into whatever we want them to be, experience has taught me otherwise. I don't doubt that parenting does have significant influences, but it is also limited in important ways. My advice to you would be to teach your kids important lessons about who they are as unique individuals in this world and how to use their brains to sort out difficult problems and issues. As their parent, learn about their unique characteristics, their abilities and sensibilities, and love them and support them in who they are. Eventually, your kids will have the tools to make what they will of their own lives and they will make decisions about what they believe independent of whatever you or your husband may have taught them. I imagine this has been what you did? It's what most of us here have done since so many here report having been raised in religious homes with religious indoctrination. The challenge is for you to live and interact with your kids as authenically as possible and to teach them by this example that they are acceptable and valuable even when they make mistakes (they don't need someone else to die on a cross for them to make up for it). I wish you the best. Parenting may be the most difficult job to do well, and the rewards are not always as wonderful as you might hope for. This doesn't mean, however, that it isn't an important job or that your efforts won't be worthwhile.
Conservative Columnist Max Boot Looks At History, Concludes Trump Is Worst President Ever.
RussRAB comments on Apr 8, 2020:
Why would we have expected anything much different from a guy who was clearly a con man and criminal, who touted his business successes while having filed for bankruptcy a half dozen times or more, and who had clear racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic, etc. issues while denying he had any of these tendencies. This was a man who had been involved in thousands of law suits becsuse he broke laws, refused to pay suppliers, employees, contractors, etc., and he was involved in a scam of nationwide proportions while he was a candidate. This scam involved suspected bribes in at least 2 states to halt investigations and possible prosecution. Trump's flawed character isn't any kind of mystery, and this flawed character he brought with him into the White House. No one who was paying attention is surprised Trump has earned the distinction as the worst President ever (the bigger surprise would be if he had done a decent job where he didn't rip off the country). What is a mystery is that so many Americans are fooled by him into thinking he is doing a decent job as President. But then, Trump does have the backing of a corrupt political party that is slowly and systematically dismantling our Democratic Republic.
Here’s my conundrum about Easter and Passover.
RussRAB comments on Apr 7, 2020:
How can we believe the Bible is inerrant when it tells the same stories but with different details? One version of Noah's story says animals were admitted 2 by 2, another that clean animals had 7 admitted. The 4 Gospels are also a good example. Each one contains some similar elements, but each one also contains details the others don't or that contradict one another. So the initial premise of biblical inerrancy is false and makes the rest of the discussion moot.
Near death experience
RussRAB comments on Apr 6, 2020:
Michael Shermer wrote that as space aliens entered the modern consciousness, aliens became more common in NDE's instead of religious figures. He wrote about his own experience of extreme physical stress and exhaustion where he perceived those around him as aliens. He says he could still recall his perceptions and his feelings from this experience as clearly as any of his other memories. On a more personal note, my late mother-in-law had a stroke in her mid sixties. It was serious enough that she was in the hospital for an extended period of time. While there, she experienced a number of hallucinations. One in particular seemed to stick with her through her recovery. She had experienced babies in the wall of her hospital room and had seen their faces and heard them. It became a bit of a joke after she came home because her experience seemed very real to her even after she stopped having hallucinations.
My first tulips this year, love the detail!
RussRAB comments on Apr 5, 2020:
They are beautiful. Tulips dont grow well in Texas where I live, and it is a disappointment.
I had lost faith and confidence on the unpresident of united states.
RussRAB comments on Apr 5, 2020:
Before the 2016 election, candidate Trump was a concern for Republican/conservative supporters and big campaign donors. Republican leaders reassured these donors that they would impeach Trump and remove him from office if they couldn't control him. Obviously, they are pleased enough with his performance to defend him when his corruption - multiple incidents of it - justifies his removal (and probably his imprisonment). It is the same reason that this morally bankrupt man finds some of his staunchest supporters amoung evangelicals and other religious conservatives; he gives them what they have wanted for a long time, and they coronate him their "chosen one" and the "most Godly President ever." Of course, all this means is that the US has more issues with its political health than any of us would care to admit. The sickness goes much deeper than just Trump, and he is as much a symptom like a pustule from chicken pox or small pox when the disease is much more pervasive underneath.
Madeline is 4 months old now.
RussRAB comments on Apr 4, 2020:
Sounds to me like you are doing OK. If she's responding even slowly, that is success. She's a cute pup.
Einsteins blossomed. I cut a bouquet for linda to take to her office.....
RussRAB comments on Mar 31, 2020:
I very much like the yellow and orange together and the small blue flowers add a beautiful accent. What are the blue ones?
More wildflowers.
RussRAB comments on Mar 31, 2020:
It's a pretty flower with lots of buds yet to open. It must be in bloom a long time. I'm wondering if the leaves are the dark green strap like leaves in the third photo. If so, the plant appears to resemble a Yucca as Cast1es said.
Truth at last
RussRAB comments on Mar 30, 2020:
I believe it coming from a Golden Retriever especially. I'd believe it from all the dogs we have shared our lives with too.
I just watched a good portion (forced myself) of ‘The River Church,’ in Tampa Fla, I wanted to ...
RussRAB comments on Mar 30, 2020:
Over half the cases of the nearly 10,000 cases of COVID-19 in South Korea were from members of a Christian sect that told their followers God would protect them from pestilence. Floowers were expected to attend multiple per week services where they were crowded together. Difficult to say how responsible the sect may have been for infecting other Koreans outside their sect. Another South Korean Pastor chastised Christians for staying home and claimed they should feel patriotic if the contracted the coronavirus. As you say, these people are "way out there".
This is perhaps the most famous medical plant of all time, though everyone may not recognize it ...
RussRAB comments on Mar 30, 2020:
Very interesting. I watched a Harry Potter marathon over the weekend while staying inside due to this coronavirus. The scene with the Mandrake plants had the roots looking like babies that screamed very loud although no one went mad (perhaps because of the ear plugs). I had thought the plant and the lore were creations of the author, but apparently not. Thanks for posting this.
Religion/Spirituality
RussRAB comments on Mar 29, 2020:
Thoughts and prayers are only appropriate when you are not able to anything. When you are able, thoughts and prayers are an insult indicating you could care less about whatever the issue is.