Interpretations and Implications

Rorschach InkblotThere is one thing that bugs me about many atheists when they talk about religious issues. Well, perhaps there’s more than one thing, but the one on my mind right now is the casual disregard for “liberal” religious believers. I find this an odd stance. I have often come across statements like, “Yeah, but liberal Christians aren’t really Christians,” or, “How can you call yourself a Christian if you don’t even believe that the Bible is true?” And to repeat myself, these statements are coming from atheists. I’d like to discuss this for a little bit by explaining my own views on the situation and then move into a few words about tactics. This, then, is a post intended primarily for fellow atheists, although as usual, comments from anyone and everyone are welcome.

Picking One’s Battles

First off, like I always say, I have nothing against religion. I think it’s wrong, but I recognize that there likely is not a human on the face of the earth who has 100% correct beliefs. I also think that it is important to allow for the maximum breadth of beliefs—people should be allowed to believe whatever they want. I don’t advocate thought police. But at the same time, I think that there are beliefs which are damaging to society. For instance, dogmatic ideologies that are rigid and unyielding in the face of change, or time, or reality. Or beliefs which advocate death or harm (whether physical, psychological, emotional, or financial) to others. Ultimately I support the right to hold these beliefs (though I don’t support the right to act on them), but these are the sorts of beliefs against which I am most motivated to fight. I argue against religion as a whole because I think it is false and I think truth is important, but I reserve my most passionate tirades for those beliefs which cause real damage. At the end of the day, I would much rather have 100 religious people who are harmless and kind than 1 atheist who is cruel and selfish.1

Teleological Argument ComicI also no longer feel a need to enter intra-religious disputes anymore, except perhaps for my own morbid amusement. I don’t care to have an opinion on whether Calvinists are more correct than Arminians; or whether Catholics are right when they say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, or whether he only proceeds from the Father, as the Orthodox claim. I really couldn’t care less whether dispensationalism is right or wrong, or whether Orthodox Jews should or shouldn’t push elevator buttons on the Sabbath, or which caliph is the true successor of Mohammed, or any other points of doctrine. I’m an atheist—I don’t believe any of it is true. It seems to me like arguing about details of superhero comics. If you’re into that sort of thing, go right ahead, but it’s not a necessity for anyone who doesn’t believe that the claims are true to begin with.

A Question of Interpretation

So I’m baffled by these atheists who seem to give more weight to fundamentalist Christians (or believers of other religions, for that matter) by implicitly accepting that the literal interpretation of the Bible is the correct way of reading it. But there is no “correct” way to interpret a book. It all depends on context. When I’m reading literature, I might want to interpret the book as the author intended it to be read. However, if I’m an art critic, I might want to interpret it in terms of major themes of the book. If I’m an historian, I might want to look at the book as a product of a broader time period. If I’m religious, I might be searching it for divine inspiration. And if I’m a numerologist, I might just be circling every fourth letter to look for hidden messages. There are two points to pull from this: a) all literature is interpreted, and b) there is no “correct” way to interpret literature.

The Tortoise and the Hare

Turns out the tortoise and the hare actually existed.

So, what do liberal Christians do when reading the Bible if they don’t necessarily believe it is the inerrant, infallible word of God? Well, perhaps they read it much like you or I would read Aesop’s fables: We don’t interpret them literally, but we look for the underlying meaning or message behind the stories. Or perhaps they view it as an ongoing narrative of humanity’s search for the divine. These are not “wrong” ways to read the Bible. They are merely different ways, based on their different beliefs about God and Christianity and the world. And I see no reason for atheists to say, “Well, obviously the writers meant for it to be taken literally, so it makes the most sense for people to read it literally.” Regardless of whether this is in fact the case, why does an atheist feel it necessary to dictate how religious believers use their own religious texts? It seems more fitting to ask them how they use it, and then engage with them on that level. But maybe that might involve actually having to understand people first before making blanket statements about what they do or don’t believe. And we wouldn’t want that!

From Theory to Tactics

Believer Non-Jerk comicWhy am I making a big deal about what seems like such a small point? Well, because I believe it has very real implications. First, by implicitly accepting the literal view as the “correct” view, atheists immediately isolate potential allies. Here’s a newsflash: Many liberal religious believers are just as disgusted with young-earth creationists and Muslim extremists as we are! And even moreso, they might be in an even better position to have a dialogue with these people than complete outsiders to the faith.2 But when we whitewash our statements to lump moderates in with extremists, or we refuse to accept that there could be non-literal ways of reading religious books, we turn our backs on these people. They feel marginalized, and then not only have we lost a potential ally, but we also have less ability to dialogue with them on disputes that arise. Atheists and liberal believers can often have much in common, and it can be useful, from a merely strategic point of view, to acknowledge that.

Second, by implicitly accepting the literal point of view as the “correct” view, we give greater authority to fundamentalist believers. This seems to me like the opposite of what atheists are typically trying to do. I have heard many atheists state that their goal is to reduce the damage done by religion—but then why would they turn around and immediately imply that these damaging people are doing things right? Instead of saying, “You’re doing terrible things in the name of your religion, so drop your religion,” why not say, “You’re doing terrible things in the name of your religion, but look at how these other religious believers interpret this passage. See? You don’t have to do these terrible things to be religious!” This seems like a more straight-forward strategy. We are reducing the harm, and okay, so perhaps we still believe that the religion as a whole is incorrect, but as far as I’m concerned, that is the lesser of the two evils. Instead of trying to force everyone to make the jump from one extreme all the way to the other, why not encourage them to take baby steps toward a more correct and less damaging set of beliefs? By implicitly talking about things in black-and-white terms, you are only encouraging these fundamentalists who already see things in black and white. If you instead introduce them to the shades of grey, perhaps we can have more success at making the world a better place.

So why don’t more atheists take this strategy? I can only speculate, but from my own observation point, let me offer a few ideas. First, many atheists who have left religion themselves have come from fundamentalist beliefs. Since this is what they understand, this is how they engage with religious people. In some senses, it seems as though some of them simply replaced religion with atheism, without getting rid of the underlying black-and-white thinking that makes fundamentalists what they are. Second, giving credence only to literalist interpretations makes for better rhetoric. It’s much more forceful to say “Religion has caused wars and genocide, so it’s evil!” It’s much less compelling to say, “Well, some religious people have done pretty terrible things, but others live happy and peaceable lives.” The first statement rallies the troops; the second statement is more honest. Third, the simple, literal-only view is just easier. By doing this, atheists can argue with religious people without actually taking the time to understand the other person’s views first. Of course, such debate is no longer dialogue, but rather talking past each other. But doing so is easier. What seems like the more effective approach, though, would be to understand that “religion” encompasses a dizzying variety of viewpoints, and thus first to ask the person what they believe, and then engage with their actual beliefs rather than one’s own impression of their beliefs. Even if not more effective, it seems to be the more honest approach.

 

"Negative Black and White Thinking" by Tiffany Brook

"Negative Black and White Thinking" by Tiffany Brook

I say these things not to condemn atheists for generalizing or for contributing to the “culture war”. Certainly some atheists engage with religious people well, and others do not. (See how I didn’t generalize there!) But if one truly wants to effect change, it is first important to assess one’s priorities and goals, and then examine what strategies are most effective for achieving them. As I stated, my highest priority is damage control—reducing the amount of damage done to others—and then my secondary concern is correcting wrong beliefs (or at least, what I perceive to be wrong beliefs). Some atheists may have different priorities, and so their strategies will be and should be different. But for those who share these goals of mine, I think that it is important to be mindful of the fact that literalism is not the only way to interpret religious texts, nor is it the “correct” one. I believe it is important to be aware of the underlying implications upon which our statements rest, and to make sure that these line up with our goals. And then, of course, I think it is also important to get beyond simple rhetoric and shallow arguments and really engage with people on an individual level to understand what they believe, find common ground, and then work from there. I’m not trying to turn the atheist grizzly into a teddy bear; I’m only trying to help us more honest with the reality of the world out there so that we can be more effective in making the world a better place.

Notes:

  1. I’m not in any way saying that all religious people are harmless or kind or that all atheists are cruel and selfish. Both types fall into both camps. I’m merely saying that I place a higher emphasis on being a decent human being than on holding 100% correct beliefs. []
  2. Not always, but sometimes. []

16 responses to “Interpretations and Implications”

Gandy

Hey Jeff.

If a holy book was instead the road code we all used , that was supposed to help keep us all safe on the roads together.

Would you be suggesting its ok? that humans all get to decide for themselves , which parts were supposed to be read with a literal view, and which parts were to be read with a non literal view.

The way i see it , mixing the method of fact and fiction in these very serrious type books.Is was creates us lots of muddy water and higher possibility for lots of car crashes.

Jeff

Hi Gandy,

I forgot this comment was here until just now. You had submitted it when I had accidentally published this post before I meant to! But I’ll respond to it now.

First off, I don’t think the analogy between a holy book and a book about driving rules is all that strong. Holy books are fairly notorious for being convoluted and ambiguous, whereas one hopes that the rules of the road will be laid out clearly.

But I wasn’t arguing that all interpretations are always okay. I was arguing that different contexts can warrant different interpretations. So when one is on the road, one needs to interpret the rules literally. But if a sociologist comes along and wants to look at how driving rules have changed as a function of societal beliefs about drunk driving, then they may interpret the rules as a reaction to historical events. Or hey, if an artist is looking for inspiration for lame cartoony illustrations, they may look in the drivers’ handbook for some good drawings. The point is that different contexts can produce different interpretations that are completely reasonable and that aren’t necessarily in conflict with each other.

With that said, I don’t think it’s at all clear that there is an established interpretive style when it comes to the context of religion. Different religious traditions throughout history have produced vastly different types of interpretations of holy books, and I don’t think there’s any meaningful way to say that one is “right” and another is “wrong”. That’s especially true because the holy books tend to be ambiguous, so that they can be interpreted in different ways. I suppose the only way to settle it would be to find out what way God wants us to interpret the text, but looking at history, that seems to be just as ambiguous.

Annoyed

Jeff,

I wanted to write this to you for a long time. I am getting more annoyed reading your posts on facebook then I am with reading the Christian’s favorite bible verses.

It seems to me and others that you’re on a personal vendetta of trying to convince yourself and others that your belief in no god is far better then someones belief in a god. Who really cares?

Your doing more propagating for your atheist belief then most Christians do for there belief.

I am now more sick of atheists then I am Christians!

Jeff

Hi “Annoyed”,

Well, while I sympathize with you about Christians who post Bible verses on Facebook all the time, I really don’t think I post about my atheism all that much. Out of the past 30 status updates that I’ve posted, only about 4 of them have had anything to do with religion or atheism. I will admit that the ten-part series on my blog here about “Contesting Christianity” kind of skewed that recently, but my normal distribution of atheism links vs. other links seems, to me anyway, not too bad.

Regardless, I have no “personal vendetta” here. I do believe that God probably does not exist, and I happen to place a high standard on truth. So I try to advocate what I believe to be the truth. I hardly think of that as something to be condemned. As for “Who really cares?” Well, I do. Religion has real effects on people’s lives (both positive and negative), and I would like at the very least to see the negative effects decreased. So I do what I can. And when the majority of my friends on Facebook are religious or had some sort of religious upbringing, Facebook is one of those ways of accessing the people with whom I wish to discuss these issues. If nobody on my Facebook list cared one way or the other about religion, I wouldn’t post my stuff there.

But like I said, the number of things I post about atheism seems to me to be fairly minimal. Nobody’s forcing you to read what I write, and if it really makes you “sick of atheists” then you can click the X in the corner of my status updates and tell Facebook not to show you anything I say anymore. Then you won’t have to go out of your way to post passive-aggressive comments on someone else’s blog about how annoyed you are while hiding behind the veil of anonymity. (Just calling it like it is.)

If you’d like to talk further about why I “propogate my atheist belief” and why I think discussing religion is important, I’d be happy to discuss it with you like reasonable people. But if you are just here to vent your frustrations without having anything meaningful to say, go do that on your own time.

Jeff

Gandy

Jeff said..”First off, I donโ€™t think the analogy between a holy book and a book about driving rules is all that strong. Holy books are fairly notorious for being convoluted and ambiguous, whereas one hopes that the rules of the road will be laid out clearly.”

Hi Jeff.Hope you are well friend.I never stopped thinking about you.I was just intent on giving you and others here a break from my outbursts.Due to me having respect that its your blog.So im going to try and keep some of my thoughts to myself a little more.So i dont need to feel any guilt about ruining it for others.

But seeing you reposted this post which i had already commented on.I might as well try my best to extend on what i was thinking.

Im no scholar,very far from it infact.But may i say it seems to me what you say here trys to suggest a road code should be considered far more important to be very precise and laid out clearly,than should holy books that are supposedly connected to matters of gaining “eternal life” and maybe? even some sort of hope of peace on earth.

Maybe this helps explain why road codes have progressed pretty fast into safe books that have tended to be providing better safety.While faith books seem to most often remain stuck in the dire straits of theology,not “laid out clearly” in the first place,and being considered as “holy books”.And as such lacking in the ability to be allowed to be changed.All i can say is thinking about this from my experiences,to be honest id feel far more safer trying to dodge crazy drivers who followed crazy road codes,than try dealing with theists trying their best to make heads or tails of holy books that have continue to still confuse many theists for generation upon generation.

Best wishes for everything,to you and all your family and loved ones.

Jeff

Hey Gandy, glad to see you back!

You’re right that if the intention of holy books is to provide some sort of guide to gaining eternal life, then it would certainly be nice if they were more clear and straight-forward. But I guess part of the interpretation of texts has to do with what the purpose of the book itself is. With driving code books, the purpose is pretty clear. But with religious books, even the purpose is pretty hard to determine. The Bible has poetry, parables, visions, prophecies, proverbs, history, instruction, etc. all inside it. Does it even have a singular purpose? Doesn’t look like it. So if someone says that the overall purpose is to gain salvation, then they are going to view it in a very different light than someone who says that its purpose is to show the evolving views of the relationship between God and man. Neither one seems to be excluded as a potential purpose of the Bible.

But you’re absolutely right that religious texts tend to get “stuck” and aren’t allowed to be changed. (Of course, that doesn’t seem to have always been the case, considering the numerous changes to the Bible that have occurred over the centuries.) But if that’s the case, I think what I wrote in my blog article is even more relevant. If what we (as atheists) would like to see is religions that allow themselves to evolve and change according to the needs of the culture, then we should be encouraging moderate religious people who interpret Scripture in a less-than-literal sense! The only reason that these books have gotten stuck in theology is because religious people have decided that they must be interpreted as the literal, inspired, infallible, inerrant word of God. But that’s not the only way to do it by any means.

Anyway, once again, good to see you back, and best wishes to you too ๐Ÿ™‚

Gandy

“The only reason that these books have gotten stuck in theology is because religious people have decided that they must be interpreted as the literal, inspired, infallible, inerrant word of God. But thatโ€™s not the only way to do it by any means.”

But thats bound to happen when people promote it as word of God.

I understand your feelings about treating liberal Christians with kindness and respect Jeff.I really do.But in my opinion mostly what helps continue to uphold ancient law of “freedom of religion” today.Is the liberal faithful folk considering they are now a majority.And as such they now play a big in helping uphold faith abuses that are able to continue also.Government and authorities have their hands tied to do anything,for fear that faithful people will cry persecution.Yet some folks will continue to get persecuted by nasty faith abuses.That might be robbing them of the only life they ever had a chance to enjoy and make good.

At present the lives of people like myself have been used and wasted and forgotten as some type of congency,just so liberal folks get to keep their freedom of religion laws.

I understand liberal folk say they are kind and caring and follow a loving God.But it take action not mere words to help them prove it.

Until then i “personally” cannot agree with any honestly,that respect is either been earned or warrented.

But then guess im biased huh.For i was one of those born into faith abuses.But even if indeed heaven exists,it will never seem like being honestly any real heaven for me,if i must need to share it with these liberal christians you speak of.

I stayed away from your blog Jeff.Because of the ancient “tradition” exist that us humans should really be expected to show respect to these people.And those very “traditions” are what helps keep my family, and so many other peoples families “captive” in faith abuses that can waste their whole entire lives upom this earth.

And all this in aid of feelings of those who would have dreams of gaining “their own” eternal salvation. ๐Ÿ™

Gandy

While these faith abuse continue with these liberals taking no positive action toward doing anything about it.For me the word liberal christian seems like a kind of oxymoron.

What are they liberal about?.Liberal in extending the the ability for the world to hold onto faith + ancient laws of freedom of religion, that then does ALSO allow for some nasty people to continue to be involved faith abuses?.

Sorry i must then need to work hard to hammer hell out of faith.Because im a humanitarian and it seems “very wrong” that i dont atleast try and do something to help people in future to not need to suffer faith abuses.At present while liberal christians worldwide sit praying to God in churches, while taking no positive action to help bring about a final end to these faith abuses.

The best road that seems left openly available to me, seems to be fight extra hard for implementing more atheism.

Its not that i have any personal gripe against those who call themselves liberal christians Jeff.I like them.

I just dont like their hollow sounding words of love and kindness and caring and feeling sorry for what i experienced,that come coupled up with a lack of taking real action.And i wish these folk could understand that.Because i mean them no harm.

But i cannot put the feelings of those whom would like to feel respected,”infront” of all those whom do feel much continuing harm and abuse because of the ancient “traditions” of humans unwarrented respect of the faithful.

For i could simply not honestly claim to be an agnostic atheist humanitarian if i did so.

Gandy

If these liberal christians claim they do have a close relationship with almighty God.And indeed this God guides them.

Either almighty God seems to be nasty and uncaring about curing ongoing faith abuses.

Or else it seems this is just some more valid evidence that helps suggest it seem far more sensible that seems no God exists.

The bible might have it right that in time faithful folk would be disliked.But its not so much due to hate.Its due to thier lack of ability to get on with the job that humanity needs to be quickly dealing with Jeff.

I wish they could understand this.But they are stuck in the mode of dwelling on the “fame” and “charismatic” thoughts of the prophecy of one day becoming persecuted ,while not realizing it but actually being the persecutor themselves.

Sadly this also makes them their very own worst enemies.

Jeff

Gandy,

I understand what you’re saying here, and to a certain extent I agree. My post isn’t intended to be a defense of liberal Christianity or a voice of complete support for what they say/do. I agree with you that moderate/liberal Christians can and should be doing more to speak out against abuse and about the religious “crazies” out there. But I still hesitate to hold them responsible for stuff that they’re not doing. I’d rather hold abusive people responsible for abuse. I think if you talk to most liberal religious folks, they’ll tell you that they don’t agree with that stuff. But the difficulty is that they don’t really have much of a voice. Who gets the ratings on TV? Televangelists squaring off with outspoken atheists. The middle ground doesn’t get much air-time. But if we, as atheists, work to support moderate and liberal forms of religion (not complete support, of course, but at least acknowledging that they exist once in a while), then they may be more willing and more able to speak up against these things.

I don’t know. I might be wrong on this, I’ll give you that. Maybe they’re really keeping quiet because they don’t want to lose their own religious freedom or because they don’t have anything against religious abuse. But surely there has to be some religious people who are against religious abuse, right? It seems to me we could at least support those people. But if we want to do that, we have to acknowledge that they exist, and if they’re hesitant to speak up we need to help them do that, rather than grouping them in with the rest of the “crazy fundamentalists”. That’s doing the exact opposite of what we want.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Gandy. You have a unique perspective on the issue and I appreciate hearing from you. Let me know what you think about what I said.

Gandy

Jeff i went away yesterday and once again felt bad about simply being honest about the way i feel here on your blog.Im thinking this is partly due to it being a tradition to have respect of faithful folk,and partly due to me honestly wishing i could feel this respect is warrented.Because i agree with you,liberal faithful folk cause us no harm themselves.

But then many of us human didnt personally cause harm to Japanese when Japanese were bombed with nuclear weapons either.It was those that were directly involved that caused the harm.

But does this help free us other folk of all responsibility of this terrible harm that lasted for generations?.If it did free us other folk of all responsibility,then why did so many people who were not directly involved,bother speaking out against it publically?.Why did people take “action” and not rest or stop continually petitioning government and authorities until policy was finally changed?.Infact why do many christian even bother taking “action” to petition against right of gay folk to marry or right of abortion ,if non of these people are ever likely to get personally involved in gay marriage or abortions themselves?.

Jeff i dont think liberal christians mean to cause harm by not taking action about certian matters.I think its got far more to do with not wanting to be seen as rocking the wrong boats.A fear of upsetting some of their own kind (faithful), some who just so happen tend to be all for liking the “rights” to continuing faith abuses.

Jeff i would hope your family would understand i only mean to be completely honest about my feelings.Im quite sure your christian family are all extremely wonderful caring and kind loving people.I sense this by observing the way you are yourself!.And i dont come here with any intent to try and suggesting they are not so.

I merely air my feelings.And feel a real need to try to be completely honest.And just wonder if they do actually think about these matters in any great depth very often.And i wonder if respect of faith hasnt caused some liberal christians to fall into a type of deep slumber.Maybe the same type of deep slumber that saw Jesus,feel need to turn over the tables of money changers back in biblical times.

Sometimes we need to be prepared to make a stand.Even at grave fear of rocking other people boats.

Peace to you Jeff !

Jeff

Gandy, no need to feel back about being honest. I appreciate honesty! And we’re allowed to have a difference of opinion ๐Ÿ™‚

But while I certainly agree, once again, that moderates should be speaking up about these things more than they do, there are definitely cases where they do. You mention gay marriage and abortion, but these are issues that many whole denominations are okay with and sanction! For instance, here is a list of churches who support same-sex marriage and/or union. Certainly there should be more on the list, but these churches have explicitly come out and made a favourable statement on the matter. There are also some churches which support abortion or take a pro-choice stance. Again, there should be more who support it, but if we want more to do so, we should be commending those who already do support it.

So I understand what you’re saying, and you’re right to criticize the attitude of “not wanting to rock the boat.” But when churches or individuals do take a stand, I think that atheists should be supporting them (again, that support does not have to be support for everything they do). If we support the ones who come out and take a stand, we encourage others who might previously have been afraid to do so, to come out also.

Gandy

Hey Jeff sorry to confuse.I was not suggesting they dont take an interest in same-sex marriage and/or union and stuff.I was meaning if they can actively take such a public interest in these sort of things.And come forward so publically about it.When will they also be ready to rock the boat more,that at present still allows for many faith-abuses to continue.

I kinda like liberal Christians.I would feel absolutely no need at all to try and refrain from re-visiting your blog for weeks,if i didnt indeed have strong feelings of liking them,and not wanting to upset them or seem unkind.I purposely stay away from here sometimes so as to not allow myself to come here and keep being honest about some of the sorts of things that i do be honest about.

And the fact is when the liberal christians are those that unite and approach governments to help petition for change to laws/circumstances that are allowing for the continuation of faith abuse at present.Yes indeed they will become my hero’s.And help to set my family and many others families free, whom have been held captive within an abusive cult thusfar my whole entire life.Only the church folk can help make these sort of changes anytime soon.For it would be like business suicide for many of the general public whom might like to dare try to rocking to many boats, to dare to do so, without first also having support of these liberal church folk.

Until such time, there will be faith abuses in modern places in modern times even in places like the USA

http://www.youtube.com/results?hl=en&cr=countryNZ&q=exclusive%20brethren&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=w1&gl=NZ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50r0CnKq7_k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPpbmDDRm8M

Can you? find me some links showing united liberal churches all actively involved in approaching authorities helping set these captives free Jeff.Until they do, all these people will need to continue to fight a very LONG lonely battle.Even atheist cannot been seen to rock the boat,lest we be accused of persecution of faith.Will some of these seperated people find freedom anytime soon?,or will many of them die before that ever happens,like so many already have,having never ever had the chance to even see some loved ones again.Due to seperation and abuses sanctioned under this banner of freedom of religion.

Jeff maybe humans in the western world cannot expect people elsewhere to hurry up and change much,while it seems we often cannot even display such a good example ourselves.

Jeff

Gandy,

I think we seem to be agreeing for the most part with different words. I obviously agree wholeheartedly with you that these sorts of abuse need to be stopped. And I don’t think freedom of religion includes the freedom to abuse others. You mention that liberal churches should do more, but you also mention atheists should as well. I also agree with you there. It seems as though such situations are so far removed from most people’s experience (although unfortunately not from yours) that it’s not something that gets talked about frequently.

I don’t see this as an inherently religious issue, though. I don’t think liberal Christians are any more to blame for not stopping abuse than any other religious or non-religious people are. I am quite sure that if you asked them, most liberal Christians (heck, most Christians in general) would agree that this abuse needs to end; the problem is that it’s not an issue that comes up frequently enough. So I don’t think liberal Christians are “propping up” these practices in any way. They, along with the rest of the general public, are just either unaware of them or don’t know how to stop them. I see this as an issue that we all could do more to try and stop. I don’t think that religious people are especially to blame for it.

So in other words, I guess what I’m saying is that we should support anyone who stands up against this abuse, no matter what religious beliefs they themselves hold. There’s no need to condemn religious people for not doing so to any greater extent than we condemn everyone else for not doing so. Does that sound like something we can agree on?

Tom

Hi there!

I got on this page googling on rorschach. Very cool pic!!!

I want to print a big canvas with a rorschach, could you tell me where you got the pic from. Or if you have a large quality picture?

Thanks,

Tom
tge.damen@gmail .com

Jeff

Hi Tom,

To be honest, I don’t remember now where I got the image from. I often use Google image search to find images, so it is most likely from there. But where the original source was, I don’t really know. Doing a search just now, it seems as though I have the largest picture (so perhaps my original source is no longer available). So, my full-size version, 450×350, is here.

Hope that helps, and thanks for stopping by!

Jeff

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