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Old May 1, 2012, 11:00 AM   #101
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Thread Ressurection...

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Originally Posted by imac/cheese View Post
I will agree that my relationship with god is a little one sided. I get a whole lot more out of it than he does. He gets the occasional praise from a fallen man and a whole lot of problems, complaints, and issues that I take to him. I, on the other hand, get guidance, forgiveness, wisdom, insight, friendship, comfort, reassurance, and love.

If you are seeking truth in Christianity, I have found that so often it all starts with obedience and a desire to truly get to know god's heart. The bible can help you out with both of those if you read it with those two goals in mind.
How do you know God demands obedience and how do you get inside God's heart?

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I have found that the arrogance of the atheists in these threads is often in direct proportion to the arrogance of the Christians in these threads.
Theism, Anti-theism tends to bring out the arrogance in human beings.

My Agnostic beliefs follow this general outline:
*God- solid maybe.
*If God, it expects adolation and worship- God I hope not. I'd expect more from a supreme being. This appears to be a ancient human premise.
*Spirits and continued consciousness after physical death- hopefully.
*God/Spirits involved in every detail of our life- undetermined, but if help is offered, most likely it is of a spiritual nature communicated in an indirect manner. I doubt winning the mega lottery is a gift from God (unless you planned it in your pre-life strategy sesson, see No.2 below). I know I'd include a lottery cash prize in my life planning.

Discussion points:

1. Specific nature of, rules, and punishments handed out by God- unknown but unlikely. I've always thought religious control and manipulation are not of God, but of our religious brethren here on Earth.
2. Spiritual intervention in physical events- unknown. I've always thought if you are at the wrong place at the wrong time, your dead. Some psychics seem to think spirits plan their lives out in advance, creating obstacles to learn from, and including their deaths to end the visit to Simulator Earth. According to them everything that happens is following a script. -undetermined.
3. Spiritual cheer leaders- It's possible as I feel something going on in the background. -undetermined.
4. Is there a religion who has it 100% right?- unknown. Based on my Christian upbringing and Bible studies, I feel pretty confident, Christians don't have it right. Although I know less of the Muslim religion, I don't believe they have it right either. Both seem to be elaborate fantasy's produced and controlled by men.
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Old May 2, 2012, 01:56 AM   #102
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Thread Ressurection...
Eeek, is it easter already even? Bother and damnation, where are my chocolate eggs.

Sigh, it was all a trick. My next holiday isn't until the Queen's Birthday weekend in early June. At least with winter drawing close I can snuggle up and stay warm. The bickering and backstabbing on MR, warms the cockles of me 'eart it does.

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Old May 2, 2012, 09:06 AM   #103
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Eeek, is it easter already even? Bother and damnation, where are my chocolate eggs.

Sigh, it was all a trick. My next holiday isn't until the Queen's Birthday weekend in early June. At least with winter drawing close I can snuggle up and stay warm. The bickering and backstabbing on MR, warms the cockles of me 'eart it does.

KGB
Show me a forum where there is no bickering, lol. Disagreements yes, but what's this about backstabbing? Don't go overboard.

Edit: I just got your "is it Easter" comment. Lol!
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Old May 2, 2012, 09:19 AM   #104
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Show me a forum where there is no bickering, lol. Disagreements yes, but what's this about backstabbing? Don't go overboard.
The "night of the long keyboards"?
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Old May 2, 2012, 09:33 AM   #105
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Old May 2, 2012, 10:11 AM   #106
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didn't realize it was a necro-thread. nvm
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Old May 8, 2012, 11:32 AM   #107
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Old May 8, 2012, 08:43 PM   #108
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The Bible is not something you can pick and choose from and then let humans fill in the rest. IT IS the divine, exact, perfect and unchangeable word of God.
So you are supposed to stone people to death for sartorial indiscretions, and kill every living thing in a given city for no particular reason? When do you find the time?
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Old May 8, 2012, 11:14 PM   #109
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The Bible is not something you can pick and choose from and then let humans fill in the rest. IT IS the divine, exact, perfect and unchangeable word of God.
Where's the wink that should be attached to this statement? Like this .
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Old Jun 4, 2012, 10:48 AM   #110
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Here is an outstanding video debate with Richard Dawkins. The questions asked about the morality of God (from the Bible) seem very hard to defend.

http://youtu.be/rqP_fjBkwxc
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Old Jun 4, 2012, 11:39 AM   #111
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As much as I would love to answer these questions, the atheists and agnostics who complain about how rude Christians are to them will come chiming in with some derogatory words for how "ignorant and stupid" I am for "believing in fairy tales." This thread is just bait for people like that and I am not going to bite.
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Old Jun 4, 2012, 12:22 PM   #112
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As much as I would love to answer these questions, the atheists and agnostics who complain about how rude Christians are to them will come chiming in with some derogatory words for how "ignorant and stupid" I am for "believing in fairy tales." This thread is just bait for people like that and I am not going to bite.
This is not bate, not a setup to "get" you. They are honest questions ment to discuss the possibilities. I'd ask that participants don't use derogatory or demeaning words . On the other hand, it holds no real traction for me and other disbelievers to quote scripture as a source of truth.

I tend to believe in spirituality in general non-specific terms. If you ever want to discuss it intelligently with me, ignore the agitators and make a stab at it.
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Old Jun 4, 2012, 01:31 PM   #113
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If you ever want to discuss it intelligently with me, ignore the agitators and make a stab at it.
Now you're just inciting violence.
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Old Jun 4, 2012, 03:51 PM   #114
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Now you're just inciting violence.
>chuckle<
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Old Jun 4, 2012, 11:45 PM   #115
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The trials of a couple in religous doubt: But, I'm a Good Mormon Wife- Salon.com

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When Sean replaced his temple garments — the sacred underwear he’d promised to wear day and night — with boxers, I couldn’t take it anymore
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 11:50 AM   #116
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As much as I would love to answer these questions, the atheists and agnostics who complain about how rude Christians are to them will come chiming in with some derogatory words for how "ignorant and stupid" I am for "believing in fairy tales." This thread is just bait for people like that and I am not going to bite.
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This is not bate, not a setup to "get" you. They are honest questions ment to discuss the possibilities. I'd ask that participants don't use derogatory or demeaning words . On the other hand, it holds no real traction for me and other disbelievers to quote scripture as a source of truth.

I tend to believe in spirituality in general non-specific terms. If you ever want to discuss it intelligently with me, ignore the agitators and make a stab at it.
"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14

Asking someone to discuss their Christian faith without their Bible OR their experiences (I have been told my experiences are craziness.) is like asking someone to explain how they get from Point A to Point B, a distance of 100 miles, in an hour and half, without a car.

This is exactly why I don't come to the PRSI anymore. (I saw this thread because I had been subscribed to it.) I got very discouraged because I tried to explain a few things that I believe as a Christian, but many here attacked me with a hatred that I found hard to stomach, while calling ME a hater. I refuse to subject myself to that any longer. I am respectful of those who don't share my faith, so it is hard for me to understand why they feel the need to be disrespectful to me.

However, some have been reasonable and polite enough, while not embracing my beliefs of course, to say that they appreciate my openness and willingness to discuss. Another value to posting here, as a Christian, is that even though I have not been able to necessarily "convince" others of anything, my faith has grown as a result.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 12:02 PM   #117
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"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14

Asking someone to discuss their Christian faith without their Bible OR their experiences (I have been told my experiences are craziness.) is like asking someone to explain how they get from Point A to Point B, a distance of 100 miles, in an hour and half, without a car.

This is exactly why I don't come to the PRSI anymore. (I saw this thread because I had been subscribed to it.) I got very discouraged because I tried to explain a few things that I believe as a Christian, but many here attacked me with a hatred that I found hard to stomach, while calling ME a hater. I refuse to subject myself to that any longer. I am respectful of those who don't share my faith, so it is hard for me to understand why they feel the need to be disrespectful to me.

However, some have been reasonable and polite enough, while not embracing my beliefs of course, to say that they appreciate my openness and willingness to discuss. Another value to posting here, as a Christian, is that even though I have not been able to necessarily "convince" others of anything, my faith has grown as a result.
Thanks for your input.

However, I'd disagree regarding the Corinthians quote. This sound very much like man-think. My reasoning is that if God is the smartest dude in the universe, surely he, if anyone could understand someone seeking the spirit but has not yet found it. It takes much more that being told what to believe. You have to feel it yourself.

If a child of God does not understand or is unable to see the Spirit of God, do we blame the child created by God or God for creating an imperfect child? I believe the journey is the important thing and that we will know what we need to know, when it's important to know.
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 10:04 AM   #118
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Thanks for your input.

However, I'd disagree regarding the Corinthians quote. This sound very much like man-think. My reasoning is that if God is the smartest dude in the universe, surely he, if anyone could understand someone seeking the spirit but has not yet found it. It takes much more that being told what to believe. You have to feel it yourself.

If a child of God does not understand or is unable to see the Spirit of God, do we blame the child created by God or God for creating an imperfect child? I believe the journey is the important thing and that we will know what we need to know, when it's important to know.
You are welcome.

You don't understand because you can't. And I don't believe that God is blaming anyone, nor are any of His followers supposed to. He is simply explaining to us why we will have the frustrations that we do when we exist in a world where we are always questioned, criticized, and sometimes hated. That particular scripture is a reminder to us to not let go of what we know to be true because others are not yet able to "get it."

Besides, none of us here, believers or unbelievers, get it all. God doesn't blame us for that. We are all imperfect. Yes, the journey is very important, and I also believe that we will know what we need to know when it is important to know it... hopefully!!!
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 10:54 AM   #119
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You are welcome.

You don't understand because you can't. :p And I don't believe that God is blaming anyone, nor are any of His followers supposed to. He is simply explaining to us why we will have the frustrations that we do when we exist in a world where we are always questioned, criticized, and sometimes hated. That particular scripture is a reminder to us to not let go of what we know to be true because others are not yet able to "get it."
Why can't I? Or are you saying none of us can? BTW hate is a two way street. You can be hated for believing or not believing. That's a human problem...

Take two neutral human beings, commonly called children and raise one in a religion-absent home and put the other in a devout Christian home. Now look at the documents given to the child in the devout home the pressure put upon them to conform. Which child will have a better understanding of God/Spiritual realm?

The answer is completely based upon the prejudices of the observer. I'd say that the child who is given free reign to explore their feelings might have more insight than one who is force fed a doctrine based on what adults are telling them they should believe. But that's me.

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Besides, none of us here, believers or unbelievers, get it all. God doesn't blame us for that. We are all imperfect. Yes, the journey is very important, and I also believe that we will know what we need to know when it is important to know it... hopefully!!!
Hey some common ground. BTW this is not an acknowledgement of the Bible God, just a philosophical discussion of possibilities. I'm repeating myself, but I'd go so far as to say that God does not expect us to believe what we read in a book just because we are expected to. It's more important the individual feel something, than conform just to fit in. After all this is faith, not proof. However some of the faithful tend to treat it as proof, are appalled and condemn others who don't see it like they do. It's important that non-conforming individuals not be ostracized, which they commonly are, while they explore the possibilities even if they reach no conclusions by the end of their physical lives. If the traditional God exists, I can't believe he'd approve of chip-on-their-shoulders theists with superiority complexes.

I believe a reasonable God would expect his intelligent children to thoroughly explore the possibilities and make a choice based on conviction (if they are able), not based on external pressure to conform. My impression is that most of the documents held up as the word of God are the result of the vivid human imaginations. Why think of it as anything else? If this is true, God really does not care what exact doctrine we believe in. It's possible we have a built in rudder that guides our actions, it's possible that the Earth Simulator is for learning, it's possible God does not micromanage our lives in any fashion, and it's possible the concept of God is so far removed from our ability to understand, it really makes no difference other than to try to live a good life and learn something along the way.
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 09:10 AM   #120
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Newsweek: The Forgotten Jesus
written by Andrew Sullivan. Online the article is called: "Christianity in Crisis". You should read this article, even if you are an Atheist.

Hijacking Jesus:
Joel Osteen:
Quote:
"God wants to increase you financially, by giving you promotions, fresh ideas, creativity...Think big. Think increased. Think abundance. Think more than enough."
Rick Santorum:
Quote:
"One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is... the dangers of contraception. It's not OK... to do things in the sexual realm that (are) counter to how things are supposed to be."
The single most important teaching of Jesus:
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Above all: give up power over others, because power, if it is to be effective, ultimately requires the threat of violence, and violence is incompatible with the total acceptance and love of all other human beings that is at the sacred heart of Jesus’ teaching.
I've been in this thread pinging mostly against organized Christianity. And whether I argue for or mostly against Jesus being the literal Son of God, this Newsweek/Daily Beast article, *if* it accurately portrays the person known as Jesus, illustrates someone who should be the figurative Son of God and it also illustrates the problem with organized religion: politicized faith. In a nutshell, religion, any religion that is organized around the premise of exerting coercive power over human beings has been corrupted by the mind of man. Besides the reported philosophy of Jesus, there is a very interesting description of Francis of Assisi who gave away everything he owned including his inheritance to live the humble life.

The article starts by describing Thomas Jefferson and the Jefferson Bible where he cut out the passages that he attributed to the actual teachings of Jesus, pulling out what he called the "diamonds in the dunghill", teachings he called "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which have ever been offered to man."

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What does it matter how strictly you proclaim your belief in various doctrines if you do not live as these doctrines demand? What is politics if not a dangerous temptation toward controlling others rather than reforming oneself? If we return to what Jesus actually asked us to do and to be—rather than the unknowable intricacies of what we believe he was—he actually emerges more powerfully and more purely.
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The crisis of Christianity is perhaps best captured in the new meaning of the word “secular.” It once meant belief in separating the spheres of faith and politics; it now means, for many, simply atheism. The ability to be faithful in a religious space and reasonable in a political one has atrophied before our eyes.
Jesus's Doctrine:
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What were those doctrines? Not the supernatural claims that, fused with politics and power, gave successive generations wars, inquisitions, pogroms, reformations, and counterreformations. Jesus’ doctrines were the practical commandments, the truly radical ideas that immediately leap out in the simple stories he told and which he exemplified in everything he did. Not simply love one another, but love your enemy and forgive those who harm you; give up all material wealth; love the ineffable Being behind all things, and know that this Being is actually your truest Father, in whose image you were made. Above all: give up power over others, because power, if it is to be effective, ultimately requires the threat of violence, and violence is incompatible with the total acceptance and love of all other human beings that is at the sacred heart of Jesus’ teaching. That’s why, in his final apolitical act, Jesus never defended his innocence at trial, never resisted his crucifixion, and even turned to those nailing his hands to the wood on the cross and forgave them, and loved them.
Jesus never spoke of homosexuality or abortion:
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The issues that Christianity obsesses over today simply do not appear in either Jefferson’s or the original New Testament. Jesus never spoke of homosexuality or abortion, and his only remarks on marriage were a condemnation of divorce (now commonplace among American Christians) and forgiveness for adultery. The family? He disowned his parents in public as a teen, and told his followers to abandon theirs if they wanted to follow him. Sex? He was a celibate who, along with his followers, anticipated an imminent End of the World where reproduction was completely irrelevant.
Organized Religion in Decline:
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Meanwhile, organized religion itself is in trouble. The Catholic Church’s hierarchy lost much of its authority over the American flock with the unilateral prohibition of the pill in 1968 by Pope Paul VI. But in the last decade, whatever shred of moral authority that remained has evaporated. The hierarchy was exposed as enabling, and then covering up, an international conspiracy to abuse and rape countless youths and children. I don’t know what greater indictment of a church’s authority there can be—except the refusal, even now, of the entire leadership to face their responsibility and resign. Instead, they obsess about others’ sex lives, about who is entitled to civil marriage, and about who pays for birth control in health insurance. Inequality, poverty, even the torture institutionalized by the government after 9/11: these issues attract far less of their public attention.
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As New York Times columnist Ross Douthat explores in his unsparing new book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, many suburban evangelicals embrace a gospel of prosperity, which teaches that living a Christian life will make you successful and rich. Others defend a rigid biblical literalism, adamantly wishing away a century and a half of scholarship that has clearly shown that the canonized Gospels were written decades after Jesus’ ministry, and are copies of copies of stories told by those with fallible memory. Still others insist that the earth is merely 6,000 years old—something we now know by the light of reason and science is simply untrue.

Why the abundance of Atheists?:

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All of which is to say something so obvious it is almost taboo: Christianity itself is in crisis. It seems no accident to me that so many Christians now embrace materialist self-help rather than ascetic self-denial—or that most Catholics, even regular churchgoers, have tuned out the hierarchy in embarrassment or disgust. Given this crisis, it is no surprise that the fastest-growing segment of belief among the young is atheism, which has leapt in popularity in the new millennium. Nor is it a shock that so many have turned away from organized Christianity and toward “spirituality,” co-opting or adapting the practices of meditation or yoga, or wandering as lapsed Catholics in an inquisitive spiritual desert. The thirst for God is still there. How could it not be, when the profoundest human questions—Why does the universe exist rather than nothing? How did humanity come to be on this remote blue speck of a planet? What happens to us after death?—remain as pressing and mysterious as they’ve always been?

That’s why polls show a huge majority of Americans still believing in a Higher Power. But the need for new questioning—of Christian institutions as well as ideas and priorities—is as real as the crisis is deep.
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 09:11 PM   #121
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This is a great quote:

"Praying is hilarious. Surely he knows what you want already? I just want to hear you say it! Beg! that's better. I'll think about it"
- Ricky Gervais
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 09:15 PM   #122
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This is a great quote
Ricky Gervais is a funny, and insightful guy.

But Karl Pilkington, is a national treasure.
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Old Sep 21, 2012, 09:22 PM   #123
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I've been known to state my feelings that Muslims in the Middle East have altered their religion with cultural inputs or the two (religion and culture) are intertwined. However it's just as fair to say the that modern Christianity is a product of religion and culture and in many cases far removed from the standards taught by Jesus evidenced by lack of empathy for those who are less well off, lack of tolerance, lack of forgiveness, the idea that those who are most righteous will be granted financial security and success in their lives. In both cases these are not a blanket assertions. Not all Muslims are bad and not all Christians are good. Not all Muslims are good and not all Christians are bad...
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Old Sep 21, 2012, 10:55 PM   #124
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I've been known to state my feelings that Muslims in the Middle East have altered their religion with cultural inputs or the two (religion and culture) are intertwined. However it's just as fair to say the that modern Christianity is a product of religion and culture and in many cases far removed from the standards taught by Jesus evidenced by lack of empathy for those who are less well off, lack of tolerance, lack of forgiveness, the idea that those who are most righteous will be granted financial security and success in their lives. In both cases these are not a blanket assertions. Not all Muslims are bad and not all Christians are good. Not all Muslims are good and not all Christians are bad...
Wow! Its as if you are describing.... people.
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Old Sep 22, 2012, 10:59 AM   #125
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Wow! Its as if you are describing.... people.
People?? Hmm, let me think...
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