I was going back and forth this morning with one of my face book friends - I don't really know him but he apparently graduated high school with my brother - on that social network I think we all tend to pick up internet acquaintances through friends, interests - I even have a small posse of Julia Lesters on my list simply because we share the same name.. He has strong religious views and we've had some back and forth - I find other points of view interesting but generally don't indulge with either AA people or those of the born again/charismatic religions. I've found in the past they tend to have one opinion - and it's not yours. This particular person pretty much has been given a list by god and his friends letting him know who's on the list for heaven and who is not. I am not and of course, he is. That does not bother me, I find it amusing that someone can consign me to the fiery pits of hell from Face book and even better yet tell everyone exactly what opinions god and Jesus hold about everything. He will often tell me I'm going to hell and then turn around and tell me Jesus said that, not him. As far as I know there are no deities with a face book page of their own so you'll have to draw your own conclusions. But not an issue - he is delightful in his skirting the issue responses and I find it an intellectual challenge to ferret out various psalms to fire back at him. But today I unfriended him, not because I'm going to hell and he's in charge of the list, but because he told me he'd been redeemed by Our Lord and Savior and that I cannot abide by. If you boil down what makes me the maddest about organized religion it would be that concept. Not that I think a person should not be forgiven, not by any means. But the idea that you can do terrible, dark awful things and come to a god, seek forgiveness in your heart and go do it again. And again that I cannot stomach. Think about it - that concept of forgiveness for sins is what destroyed thousands of children in the Catholic Church. The priests raped children, went to confession, got a soul cleaning and off we went again. Do you remember that evangelist years ago that had gotten caught with the prostitute and went on national TV,crying and carrying on - guess what! - according to him god forgave him. He forgave him again too when he got caught again. Eventually the drop in rating and donations showed that perhaps god would forgive but those sitting at home watching with credit cards in hand were not so forgiving. Jim Baker would have been forgiven too had it not been for the embezzling and tax evasion. He too I believe claimed he had heard from god and had gotten the green light for the pearly gates. Reverend Jimmy Swaggart joked about killing gays, The very same pastor that was caught with a prostitute. twice. Not always, but a lot of people that have received redemption have done something that they need to be redeemed for. Think of all those that have been "saved" in prison, the cells are full of them - and it often plays a part in their bids for parole. I have no issues with forgiveness but if you do a bad thing - you need to pay for it. Those priests that so eagerly confessed to Our Lord and Savior were not so eager to confess to Our Police Department were they? Nor did they think any jail time was warranted. I mean they were already forgiven by our Lord, why do they need a trial? I find that redemption takes away personal responsibility for what you do. I do bad things sometimes, but I try to apologize and if I don't - if it was a bad thing on my end I'll surely pay for it in my next life. Because that's fair - if you kill someone now you don't get to advance and you suffer the next time around - and will continue til you figure it out and get it right. Given the list of people that are sure they're qualified for heaven - Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Baker, who was that one that was found with transvestite prostitutes again?? - no thank you! I'm hoping to share bench space with all those satanists - you know, Gandhi, Buddha, Qwan Yin to name a few.