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VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 10   |   Release date: March 15, 2004

In This Issue
Ol' Dirty Bastard to Host Dove Awards
Just Stop Saying "Just"
Mom Thinks "Blog" A Euphemism For Sex
Pope's Comments Spark Controversy
Survey Results
March Church Sign of the Month

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What's the most frustrating conversation about religion you've ever had?
Survey results and user comments

Below are some of the votes and comments submitted by readers who took last month's survey.

Brian - Edinburgh, Scotland
Response: A conversation about Young Earth Creationism with an atheist. He was ruthless in showing the silliness of their arguments, merciless in attacking their reasoning. Only thing was, he didn't seem to accept that I wasn't a YECcie. He'd been told that was what Christians believe, leaving me lumped in with the nutters- er, people who have this belief.

Kevin - Lima, NY
Response: "Yeah, I believe in the Bible. Except I don't believe that Jesus is God and that he is the only way to the Father. Oh, that whole, 'I am the way the truth and the light...' part? That's just your interpretation of it. Other than that, I think what we believe is the same!"
THO's Response: Kevin, that's a lot more like a monologue than a conversation. We'll give you the benefit of the doubt, though; because there is sort of an implicit "Do you believe in the Bible?"

Daniel Devoe - Lincoln, NE
Response: One time I was a little mellowed out because I was having some problems with my parents. I was just sitting and thinking alone, all quite, when this guy walks up to me and says, "You know, whatever's going on, God is in control." Then I was all like, "Ah, arrggh, uhh" and making my arm all tense like I was trying to resist before I smacked him in the face real hard and said, "You're right. Sorry, man. I couldn't stop it." Then I walked away.

Nikki - Clanton, AL
Response: About the rapture, and using the same scripture to back it up, but using them in different ways.
THO's Response: Are you okay?!? You sound like you're having a stroke. You know, you can't just throw any ol' clauses together in any order and call it a sentence!

Don Key - Butte City, ID
Response: Is the word "ass" a bad word? After a great rendition of "What Child Is This?," members of my congregation sought to ban the song due to the inclusion of "ass" in the song. I was very frustrated. Why mess with a classic due to the slang meaning of the word "ass." Who ever heard of an ass sleeping unless it is an animal? Now some people will counter with the saying, "get your a** out of bed," but are they using the true meaning of the word "ass?" Boy this is frustrating. Why should we get rid of a totally good word that is included in the Holy Scriptures?
THO's Response: Yeah, no kidding! You have to admit, though, Don — between "ass," "babe," "incense," and "laid" that song does reek of sex and drugs a little.

Bill Wilson - Allentown, PA
Response: It has to be the "God won't give us any more than we can handle" bit. Well, I guess I can't handle more than a $21,000 a year middle management job, a studio apartment, and '91 Geo Metro.

Jones - Ohio
Response: Conversation? Look, I put tracts on every urinal in town. You want me to TALK to people, too? What are you, nuts?
THO's Response: Certainly not!! Don't talk! We can't emphasis this enough. Guys generally consider it socially unacceptable to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger while standing in front of urinals.

Jay Watson - Phoenix, AZ
Response: Someone was trying to tell me that the answer to the problem of evil is that this is the best of all possible worlds. Have you ever seen Rosie O'Donnell? This is NOT the best of all possible worlds!!

Kurt - Buffalo, NY
Response: The most difficult conversation I've encountered is when people say they are "married" to Jesus. What does that mean? Does that mean polygamy is correct if all these people are married to one person? Who proposed, was it Jesus? I don't understand, can someone clear this misconception?
THO's Response: Kurt, we'd be happy to clear this up for you. The concept of being "married" to Jesus is generally used by two groups of single Christians. The first group uses it when looking for a polite way to turn down a pursuer. It's basically an "I'm not interested!" and potentially has the added bonus of perceived spiritual health. More common, though, is the second group's use. This group, comprised mostly of homely females, uses the phrase "I'm married to Jesus" as a defense mechanism after having been turned down by all the boys they like. It's an attempt to make other people think they're single by choice, even though they really want a boyfriend.

Al Canada - Long Beach, CA
Response: I was speaking with an older gentleman regarding God's initial aims in relationship to the theory of the ongoing problem of primordial chaos when he asked me what I thought about Jesus.
THO's Response: Wait - which one of you was frustrated?

Kelly - Plymouth, MI
Non-believing friend: "I hate this 'Faith Based Ministry' idea."
Me: "Why?"
Non-believing friend: "Well, they're giving this money for the Baptists to have a soup kitchen for the homeless, when everyone knows they're only going to serve the ones who are Baptists."

Michael Gardner - Fremont, CA
Response: Trying to explain to my friends how me becoming a Christian was different from being a Taoist for one semester, a Hindu for one semester and an atheist for another. I mean the difference should be obvious: I stopped doing drugs!

Michael - Emory, VA
Response: Any conversation with a conservative, right-wing republican. They are too proud to realize how wrong they can be sometimes.
THO's Response: We're sorry, Michael, that's incorrect. "Any" conversation may indeed be frustrating, but wouldn't necessarily be about religion. Please try again.

Brenda - Boston, MA
Response: Any conversation I have had with someone with a "Purpose Driven Life." Usually, they go something like this:
Other Person: "Do you know what Rick Warren says about worship? It is not just something we do on Sunday. Doesn't he have great insight? Have you read his book? It is wonderful."
Me: "That's nice..." (and then I run away as quickly as possible so they can't hear me say "DUH").

Stu - Sisters, OR
Response: It takes place daily and it just drives me up the wall! You see, I have this little angel and a little devil perched on each of my shoulders. And when I am trying to have a spiritual discussion with someone, they start arguing so loudly that I can't hear what the person across from me is saying. Then I start arguing with the little angel 'cuz she's Armenian and I'm a Calvinist and then the little devil starts laughing and then the person across from me usually gets up and leaves or dials 911. It's so frustrating!

Dave - OK
Response: At Applebee's, this (intoxicated) rodeo clown told me that Jesus loved the rodeo and liked to get drunk. Then he told me that his life was like an episode of Quantum Leap. Then he told me he was Han Solo. Really.
THO's Response: Dave, you don't have to put adjectives in parenthesis.

Dan - Turlock, CA
Response: Take your pick:
1) "Well, that's what you say, but I read in 'Left Behind' that. . ."
2) "Well, that's what you say, but I read in 'The Da Vinci Code' that. . ."
3) "Well, that's what you say, but I read in my Christian Romance novel that. . ."
4) "Well, that's what you say, but I read in 'The Holy Observer' that. . ."
THO's Response: Hey now!

Jeremy - Newburgh, IN
Response: One time, on a message board, we were discussing original sin. And this guy, just out of the blue makes a post that says, "Well, I think Paul was wrong on his assertion of the human condition. I think man is basically good." Needless to say, he never posted on that thread again. After all, who in their right mind would say that Paul was wrong on something? That's like saying the Pope is right on something. It's obviously not gonna happen.

Ben Walker - Cincinnati, OH
Response: I was once speaking with my friendly neighborhood Mormons when elder Snow (real name) asked me if I was having a "good Sabbath" I tried to explain to him that it was Sunday, and that I was a Christian minister and not Jewish... he looked hurt, as though I had stomped on his puppy (looked to be a 19 year old elder... no sense understanding the meaning of the words used). This ridiculous conversation concluded with him assuring me that if I prayed in faith that I would "know it was true." It's true, with enough faithful prayer you too can experience a major scrambling of religious holy days. Thank you for the insight, elder Snow! I've further discovered that with enough prayer, every Friday is actually Ash Wednesday.
THO's Response: Man, you totally should've made every Friday be Christmas! Or one of the other no-work holy days.

Stew - Dayton, OH
Response: I was talking to a man once about allowing a girl to serve as a counselor at a camp. He said, "You know that she has tongue ring?" I said, "You mean hear tongue is pierced?" and he said, "Yes." I said, "What does that have to do with Jesus?" He said, "Well she can't be teaching Jesus at my camp with a hole in her tongue!" I just walked away scratching my head and saying, "huh...?"
THO's Response: Awh Stew, that would've been an awesome time to throw back one of those clever holiness jokes!

Alan Edmondson - San Anselmo, CA
Response: I once asked a friend who was going through a divorce to come to church with me, and he said he was really more interested in spiritual matters! (I am not making this up. He needed Jesus, not a church meeting.)

Adam Congdon - Rochester, NY
Response: Just today I had the "Jesus was a great teacher, I just don't think He was God" discussion. It continues to baffle me that people claim this statement to be true. If He was a great teacher and He said He was God then wouldn't He be God. If He isn't God then how good of a teacher was He? The frustration hit it's peak when my counterpart tried telling me that Buddha and Christ we're alive at the same time and Christ learned from Buddha. Yeah, right... so that would have made Buddha about 500 years old at this educational meeting with Christ. Oh well!

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