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by Gary Player

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  1. Date: 6/28/2013 2:47:00 AM
    Oh dear....I came here just to tell you that I answered your posts on my two poems, Flattery or Honesty, and Shame an Honor, and I got drawn in. I know...a lot of people who share your views will read what I've posted and say I'm delusional. There is a saying that goes something like this..."There are no atheists in foxholes." Chris...you asked for opinions...I gave mine. I believe them whole heartily. Don't let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch!

    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 7/4/2013 2:03:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    My brother is writing a thesis about how Atheism is really a religion of non-belief....the conundrum, the catch-22 of it all. Atheism can have its own hypocritical doctrines which are more extreme than some of the religions that the movement denounces. I am not a religionist, but I am definitely not an Atheist.
  1. Date: 6/28/2013 2:35:00 AM
    Chris..spiritual and religious are two different things. I agree with you on that. I do believe in absolutely truth. I see a bit of eastern religious mysticism or a bit of New Ageism in your comments. I have a better picture of what makes you tick. I don't believe in an eternal hell. It is NOT biblical and yes, it is not congruent of the concept of a loving God. "Hell" is an eternal separation from the source of life, God. Fire is a cleansing agent...so yes, there will be a cleansing....

    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 7/4/2013 2:05:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    *known -- don't worry, I fill these reply sections with typos too, and we obviously cannot edit the replies.
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 7/4/2013 2:00:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    History doesn't prove "Jesus Christ". History proves Yeshua ben Yosef Kristos(Joshua, son of Joseph), who could very well be the Christian Redeemer. But my belief is that Yeshua wouldn't have wanted these modern versions of the religion to be upheld in his name. If Yeshua was a mortal, alive today, he would be disgusted by the stale rituals, by the conditioned dogma and rituals.
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 7/4/2013 1:55:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    I have too many thoughts for these reply sections. I am wary of the New Age label. Wot does its definition even imply nowadays? I don't want to be know as a "New Age" person. I believe in evolution, in the sense that our mitochondrial DNA can be recorded to change via mutation. But this doesn't mean that I uphold the "monkey-to-human" theory. Nor can I prove it, even if Chimpanzees share 99% of our human DNA. I do merge science with spirituality. I believe this to be key. I do believe energy is eternal, and that the soul is comprised of energy. But this doesn't mean I believe a distinct, individual soul is eternal, because it can transform and become part of something else. Bah! I am not getting into that in these reply sections. I would need to fill hundreds of them when it comes to that topic.
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 7/4/2013 1:43:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Oh my. Hebrew isn't my background, but I might know more about it than the 'average' person. I believe the translations of the bible to be wrong. Very wrong in some parts. Archeological finds don't really prove the modern version of the bible to be true. If anything, these archeological finds show how untrue the modern bible is, how Christianity is a plagiarism of many pre-existing pagan mythologies and religions.
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 6/28/2013 2:48:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    OH DEAR...ABSOLUTE TRUTH...I did NOT proofread. SORRY Mr Perfect! ;)
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 6/28/2013 2:44:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    LAST...I promise! Just look at the leaders of all the world religions..No, I won't mention any..History PROVES the existence of man name Jesus Christ who was crucified because He "believed" his death would make atonement. JUST ON THAT ALONE, I love Him. Which other world religious leader...good and pious though some are, has gone that far because of love? There is no way ANYTHING can be proved, Chris, but belief in Christ, I'm talking about the GENUINE thing...not nominal stuff, can bring peace.
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 6/28/2013 2:41:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    LAST POST: Read others first...I do not believe in the immortality of the soul. It is a simple equation. God breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul Ruakh....is the Hebrew word for it. I believe that is part of your background. SO...upon death, the breath goes back to the Creator, man goes to dust, and death is a sleep...where there is no consciousness. What kind of a heaven would it be, if a mother is up there and sees her daughter ravaged by war, or rape. No heaven at all. That is why there is a resurrection., and "we who remain will be caught up in the clouds" with those who have been called to life.
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 6/28/2013 2:38:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    If you do not believe in the Bible, that makes this discussion all that more difficult, though archaeological finds do prove the authenticity of the Bible..that's another discussion. Energy....hmmmm...I don't buy that. I believe in the breath of life from a Supreme Being. Let's face it...evolution cannot be prove, neither can creationism, so...it takes faith on both side. I'd rather believe in a Master Designer who put this whole thing together. There is adaptation in creation, yes, but to come from monkeys? I want more for myself than that. So..why not believe in something that will give you hope for the future...a better life...a heaven?
  1. Date: 5/28/2013 6:20:00 AM
    So impressed here...I'm faving this.

  1. Date: 5/4/2013 12:42:00 PM
    This is a stunning and thoughtful poem and title says it all.I totally agree there are too many facades and 'prophets for profit' under the guise of religion.

  1. Date: 4/26/2013 7:44:00 PM
    Dear Chris, Have you ever been in the seminary? They don't talk like this. You've left my mind in shreds. Religion causes too many fights. Spirituality is kissin and huggin. I once told a guy I believed in a moral code, basic "do unto others," be kind, etc. He said who decides what the code is? As long as I know I AM NOT god we have a pretty good relationship (if not somewhat filmy). Call me anytime, but don't call me Yahweh. love, Kathy actually your writings are wise indeed.

  1. Date: 4/24/2013 3:07:00 PM
    Self evident truth. When you hear, it your soul cries a sigh of relief. Elaine

  1. Date: 4/17/2013 4:10:00 PM
    ---cont---‘you’d better do it if you don’t want to be spanked’ (although sometimes one can do atrocious things as often as one might wish, but it’s OK if one says he/she is sorry) --- There is much more to comment on in what you’ve written in your ‘prose’ as well as your ‘notes’ but this is getting long so I’ll stop soon... as a last comment, I also agree with what you say about “an individual secularist”...

  1. Date: 4/17/2013 4:09:00 PM
    --- cont--- I think that ‘humanist humanity’ (whatever that means – also ‘mutable’) is a sufficient basis for a ‘proper’ moral compass... either one does the ‘right thing’ because it is ‘rationally right’(humanism) or one does the ‘right’ thing because some (body or thing) dictates that behaviour and ...

  1. Date: 4/17/2013 4:08:00 PM
    Hullo Chris, Thank you for your extensive answer (below). I think I agree with (all or at least most of) what you’ve written. You state that “secularism is highly mutable and adaptable; always changing”. I think (I hope anyway) that this evolution is based on reasoning and (some sort of) objective reality with a large dose of ‘humanist humanity’ and not on ‘reasoning’ based on (blind) faith like the ‘other guys’...

  1. Date: 4/14/2013 2:58:00 PM
    Chris: I am definitely coming back to this one. A very insightful piece and well worth nitelligent discussions..... an age old argument... See you again soon. SuZ

    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 4/14/2013 10:52:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Suzanne, the argument is age-old, which sometimes makes me wonder why I even get into it....but then my hope for transcendence takes over, and I click "submit". I am glad if you want to come back to this plodding prose, though I am not too sure how much discussion will ensue on this post. Sometimes wot happens is, members of the fanatical right wait for a while before jumping in haha!
  1. Date: 4/13/2013 2:17:00 PM
    I am praying alongside you...

    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 4/14/2013 10:46:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    ....and you are absolutely enjoyable to pray with, my Love.
  1. Date: 4/13/2013 7:22:00 AM
    I could not find even one point with which I would disagree. What really bugs me about secularism is that you have many faiths, all claiming to be 'better than thou', while the whole lot of them are still under water and haven't even come up for air. love and hugs, catie :)

    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 4/14/2013 10:44:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Catie, were you referring to religion instead of secularism?("What really bugs me about secularism is that you have many faiths, all claiming to be 'better than thou'...." -- I could simply be misinterpreting that part. There are specific forms of secularism that can bug me -- it all depends. But overall, secularism doesn't bug me nearly as much as obsolete religious dogma). Either way, your "under water" analogy is great.
  1. Date: 4/12/2013 10:15:00 PM
    Nope ... there are no rants from over-zealous religious fellows ... yet! After reading this prose poem, I had to wash my eyes with Holy water ... which has been blessed by the Argentine Pope. : ) Im talking to God (Im talking again) and I feel better. If God is inside us, if we're God, if believing in something positive attracts good things ... well, it's nice to be a believer.

    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 4/13/2013 12:40:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    lol@Holy water -- Ruben, believe in wotever you want. Do you believe in truth, or do you believe in lies? Wot is truth anyway? Can truth boil-down to the mere perceptions of the individual?
    O. Avatar Ruben O.
    Date: 4/12/2013 10:24:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Love the last lines!
    O. Avatar Ruben O.
    Date: 4/12/2013 10:23:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    I still dont believe in the (blank) Moses related's tales ... I dissaprove the fear of doubt, the blinded-blind faith, the subjugation of the Abrahamic religions, the flying beings, the jumping angels, the devil and the hell ... however: Im a believer! : )
  1. Date: 4/12/2013 4:48:00 PM
    Your first stanza, that you are a spiritual being, I have sensed that from the very first introduction to your poetry, Chris.. you have fought against the tide many times, but I truly admire that you stand up for what and how you believe..I am not one who lives on blind faith..I remain open minded to all ideas, all possibilities, & truly wish the world could live and let live...everyone make their own choices..I like to think that all people are spiritually united, in ways we can't even imagine.

    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 4/13/2013 12:36:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Carrie, I believe that you are an intelligent and open-minded Christian -- something which is in dire need because since I don't see religion "going away" anytime soon, if religion is able to evolve at a faster rate via generations of more intelligent and open-minded members, this will only help humans to live more harmoniously with each other and the environment. I like the last part of your comment. I also believe that we are all spiritually linked/united in ways that our finite minds cannot even fully conceptualize.
  1. Date: 4/12/2013 2:53:00 PM
    Very nice... points well made and well taken (by me anyway)... I think 'secularism' means rejecting all forms of religious faith and worship. What you have described seems to do just that... I was wondering which part of 'secularism isn't the key', and what 'the key' is and whether it couldn't be incorporated into some sort of 'neo-secularism'... Terry (I hope this isn't construed as a 'rant')

    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 4/12/2013 11:58:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    *cont'd* -- Many religious people believe the secular objective to further separate church and state, to be a positive objective for everyone. While on the other hand, many fundamental far-right religious fanatics claim secularism to be eroding their right to religious belief and assembly, when in fact, over the last 40 years or more, humanist secularism has reinforced the rights of ALL civil liberties. An individual secularist might personally reject religious faith, but not the right to practice a faith, nor the right to express any opinions concerning faith, as well as the individual's right to not have religious scripture/dogma be forced upon him/her via institutionalized and cultural laws and values.
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner
    Date: 4/12/2013 11:46:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Hullo, Terry. I have known for a while that you are a clever guy. When you asked the question(s), I realized how I hadn't properly expressed myself in the footnotes. Just as there isn't a consensus on religious interpretations, there isn't a consensus on the interpretations of secularism, because as a concept, secularism is highly mutable and adaptable; always changing. One of the core objectives of humanist secularism is to further separate church and state, because when religion and politics merge, this turns out disastrous for all planetary life(on so many different levels). The merging of church and state is one of humanity's greatest follies. I am not sure if this damage can be undone in time to save the human species? I still have hope, even if humanity's chances look slim right now. Humanist secularism replaces laws of scripture with civil rights. If secularism can add to/replace the moral compass that religion supposedly instills, then secularism IS definitely the key.