A first note: ha, I'm glad I wrote this. I'm learning a lot.

Oh hell. Curses, blast, insert-expletive-here. Pirate4Him, I didn't get the message across: I did not mean "right" as in "correct" but right as in politically right-wing. I meant that Christians should be fiscally left wing, and support social programs and other government assistance to people.

The thing in quotes was an asinine pun I've heard from atheists. Please note the sarcastic condemnation after it. Other than the fanatic types and some misguided ideas, I LIKE Christianity (even if I disagree with some parts of it.)

Anyway, on a less cordial note... I disagree that God gave them "chances" to change. Let's use a little parable. You watch a certain TV show. I hate this show, and wish you would stop. I write in a book (that I give to other people) that you should change. However, I do not inform YOU. Should I come to your house and yell at you for not changing?

I imagine there were many that hated lepers, believing the disease to be a punishment from God, but we'll overlook that. I wasn't targeting the treatment of lepers specifically. I was just trying to make a point: the Bible, despite preaching love for all, also preaches decidely UNloving actions.

I fail to see the link between preventing an unwanted pregnancy from happening in the first place and ending a pregnancy once it has all ready started. And saying more condom use will actually INcrease the amount of pregnancies? Are you SURE you stand by that statement?

Anyway... I was not aware of Moses's connection with divorce laws. But when Jesus supposedly restricted divorce to adultery it BECAME a tradition in the Bible. And so Christian Conservatives are obliged to oppose most divorces since Jesus "only allows it for victims of adultery."

Doesn't that make an interesting precedent? Moses was a prophet from God, as I understand it. And yet Jesus came along later and contradicted him. Hmm. So the pinnacle of your faith disagreed with a prophet from the Old Testament.

As a side note: The left hand thing wasn't a big deal. I just don't like it because I'm a lefty in hands and in politics.

And as always, gay marriage. "They can't reproduce," you say. And thus should people too old to conceive or with sexual troubles should be banned from marriage?

You say gay marriage is unnatural? Sure, just like electricity, writing, mining metal, building houses... none of THOSE things are natural.

Anyway, Vayerly, you make sense. (Yes, that was what I was trying to convey.) Even without radically opposing Biblical values, you can still follow Jesus's example by standing up against injustice. Does that work as an argument?

Annie, you're basically the kind of Christian that I think should be running the show in churches: sticks to important values, but is still open, accepting and reasonable. May peace and joy follow you.

And Sunflower... that maintenance of tradition from the Dead Sea Scrolls is pretty impressive. But even more so, inconvenient for one of my arguments. It also makes sense: the perceived word of God is not stuff to be changed lightly! The errors must have been tiny and rare, at least in the Hebrew version (I don't know how closely the New Testament has followed that mold.)

On a happy note, Sunflower: huzzah, a compatriot in Buddy Theism! All Joeists (the various personalities in my head) cheer in unision.

On to the chapter, comrades!

Looking back, I've noticed a real negative feel going through my whole work here. (It appears that conservative Christian types and myself disagree sometimes. Shocking, eh?)

I had this idea in mind from the start, but it was pirate4Him who really triggered this thought in me: a chapter about what I support in Christianity. She said,

"So, you're saying that Christians are wrong, pretty much,"

I believe every religion (including my own) to be partly "wrong." When it comes to God, no human has enough understanding to claim, "I know the Truth." I think the Creator will accept most things, so no religion is any more or less wrong than any other. I'm sure as hell not superior to Christians because I think differently!

I know lot's of liberal, kind, intelligent Christians. My family is Catholic. Many of my friends, also Catholics. Another of my friends, a devout Christian who's a bit unsure of denomination. Probably my closest friend in the world for about 7 or 8 years is a Mormon. My aunt and her wife go to the United Church of Canada.

As I've told many people, I don't believe that ALL the Bible is a new definition of "holy crap." There are things in the Bible that I'd kill or die to protect: things like pacifism, love for all human kind, and the wonderful example of Jesus.

He was completely tolerant, accepting and loving. To EVERYONE! Despite mutterings from other "prophets," Jesus was an early feminist who allowed women into positions of great importance in His ministry. He wanted every person to be happy in Heaven, no matter who they were.

My ex-priest at the church I attend. (For my friends in the choir there and the music they make) had a great riff about Jesus's deeds. He proclaimed joy to the sorrowful, freedom to the captives, equality to the oppressed, and the ideal of God's love to everybody. One hell of a message. (No pun intended.)

The Bible proclaims that the gates of Heaven are open to all ethnicities. There IS a fairly big "if" attached (renouncing your old religion and turning Christian) but it's a step in the right direction, especially for the time it was written in.

The Bible says to care for the poor, to assist widows and orphans, raises kindness and charity above power and birth. Simple, honest faith is prized as well: we must "become like little children," to enter Heaven.

Christian people have often failed to follow the high ideals set out here. They've defended to the death some of the pointless ones. But they've also championed some of the most beautiful:

Many Christian sects are pacifists who renounce the way of violence and hatred to find solutions. War is condemned as a distasteful option by even the most fanatic denominations. (There have been grave errors against this ideal, but let's be charitable and leave the past IN the past, eh?)

And speaking of charity... the Christian faith has done a laudable job of carrying out that call. Food banks, overseas aid, homeless shelters, suicide prevention, the list goes on and on. For all the harm you lot have done, you've done some great good to make up for it.

Your faith may technically reject karma, but I think your good deeds and bad ones are coming close to balance. Just accept as the rule above all something from your own Bible: "Do unto others as you'd have done to you." Then we can all get along without any leftover tension. Sound good?

I don't love this name for God, but may the Peace of the... Lord be with you all.