Ancient history revisited (Part Two)…

Ancient history revisited (Part Two)…

On a separate blog, a very VERY long time ago, I posted this exploration into the foundation of Christianity and Jesus.

As I have no desire whatsoever to link this blog to that one, I will occasionally reproduce the content from one into the other.

Link to this? Dandy. Steal it? I will come after you. Ask questions? By all means. Rant? You can’t imagine how fast I will block you.

We begin…


March 25, 2008: Ok. So I think I need to further this discussion…

Me:
As I understand it, his basic teaching was that you could find the kingdom of heaven within yourself and to mistreat others was to mistreat yourself. People have misinterpreted what Jesus was saying:”If you believe what I believe, you’ll get there, too.” Instead they heard “Only through me.” Believe in Jesus and you’d be saved. It should have been “Believe in what Jesus is saying and you’ll save yourself.”

DF:
Not to start a major debate but Jesus very clearly said that he was the path to salvation. Now I’d argue that there are many paths but the Bible is pretty clear on the path of Jesus.

See, now, here’s where I have a problem.

Jesus was Jewish. The Jewish belief that you get to heaven on your own, by believing that’s where you’ll go, is something he taught. The trouble with the bible is that it was written hundreds of years after Jesus died. In Greek. Translated any number of times. It’s terribly hard for me to believe that what is written in the book is the exact thing Jesus said. After all, how many games of Telephone lead to an exact retelling of the original phrase.

Couple that with a change in languages (ancient Hebrew, the original Aramaic (not as ancient as the version in the original Old Testament) of the bible and then Greek, Latin, and finally English (King James), plus other modern languages), and you really can’t say for absolutely sure that what is written is exactly what Jesus said.

One version has the onus of a single individual as a representation of the only way to get to heaven, and the other indicates a philosophy that, if followed, will get you there.

I don’t personally think he said that he was the path to salvation. I really believe he said his way was the way to salvation. That’s two very different meanings muddied by millennia of individuals, many of whom had their own personal agendas to carry forward.

Remember: For both the Greeks and the Romans, very few humans made it to Mount Olympus to live with the Gods. The Jewish faith was vastly different: One God and a heaven to which all people had access; where it wasn’t necessary to have Priests intervene on their behalf and where they wouldn’t simply be consigned to the Afterworld (Hades).

It was a radical departure from what the vast majority of people believed then, and put the Priests on such shaky ground (who feared what would happen if enough people believed in Jesus’ version of the truth), that the threat was sufficient to have Jesus executed. They didn’t expect that their execution plan would backfire, but then it’s rare that people in power consider the power of the martyr. Have a look in the general direction of the Middle East (where all this theology developed) and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

My problem all along (and the root of many a debate in high school and beyond with some of my more fundamentalist Christian friends) has been that the Bible is an interpretation of history, much of it verbal and only later written down in a way that could be interpreted by present day speakers. And don’t even get me started on the Old Testament (Hebrew version or otherwise).

Wikipedia (sometimes questionable source that it is) provides an example of what I’m talking about here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramaic#Late_Old_Western_Aramaic

I note especially this comment about The Passion of the Christ:

“The 2004 film The Passion of the Christ is notable for its use of much dialogue in Aramaic only, specially reconstructed by a scholar, but not an Aramaic specialist, William Fulco. However, rather than basing his reconstruction on what is known of first-century Aramaic, he used the Aramaic of Daniel, fourth-century Syriac and Hebrew as the basis for his work.[10] Modern Aramaic speakers found the language stilted and unfamiliar.”

Just think for a moment: You’re familiar with Shakespeare. It’s written in English, right? But how many of the words and phrases he uses mean the same thing as today? Consider how many footnotes you find in the modern texts, and then think about this: We’re talking about a period of time that’s not even 500 years ago. Think how much language has changed and then think about a period of time 2,008 years ago, and you can get a better idea of my basic problem with the Bible.

Drifting way back to January 7th and 8th, 2006, where this current spiritual wandering of mine started, I see a lot of books that were recommended to me then that I didn’t have time to pull down and read. Most notable amongst these is the Bible itself. But which one? King James? Gideon? T. Jefferson?

I refer back to that dubious but handy fountain of information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible#Bible_versions_and_translations

The recent uncovering of the apocryphal Gospel of Judas calls into even larger question the validity and truth of what people have come to understand: That Judas was the epitome of a traitor and the foundation of all that is wrong with the Jews in history – a fitting example of why they must be exterminated. If, instead, he’s viewed as the key to taking Jesus’ message to the wider population (by sacrificing his leader and himself because he was asked to rather than simply because he’d lost faith in the lessons and the man), how then are we to know that he actually committed suicide. The Priests saw no benefit in a public execution, but would they be above a hanging that would look as though Judas was guilty and repentant? Suppose you consider the possibility that he didn’t hang himself? Can we know for sure, just because the Bible tells us he committed suicide? Who’s really saying that? It couldn’t have been Judas and only Judas would know for sure. The rest is heresay.

The first time I really investigated this topic, I was in my first year of college, taking a cultural anthropology course. Way before I considered theatre as a career, I was convinced that Anthropology was The Thing for me. One of the books we read, Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches had a different interpretation of Jesus and what he meant to the Jews.

I’m coming to realize, after over 20 years of additional experience since reading the book, that there might have been a grain of truth to the postulation of Jesus as a military figure whose inability to win freedom for the Jews proved that he was not the Messiah and therefore a target for death, but that this doesn’t take into consideration the things Jesus might have taught his followers as a Rabbi. I need to go back and reread this book with my additional experience, but not before I sit down to read the Bible itself. I’m tempted to read the Jefferson Bible, but I suspect that won’t get me an understanding of what the majority of Christians believe. A recommendation about the best version is welcome, though. I’m gathering that King James is the most widely used version today, but I can’t say for sure that it’s the best version.

I find it vastly interesting that at the same time I’m ruminating on this subject, scientists have located a Gamma Ray burst sufficiently bright to be seen by the naked eye. From the NASA web site:

Never before has anything so far away come even close to naked-eye visibility. The explosion was so far away that it took its light 7,500,000,000 (7.5 billion) years to reach Earth! In fact, the explosion took place so long ago that Earth had not yet come into existence.

I can’t reconcile the Bible as absolute truth with these sorts of things. The two don’t make sense to me. Either science is One. Big. Lie. or the Bible has it wrong on some level. It’s in my nature to fall on the side of science.

Now I can believe that a man named Jesus lived, taught people as a Rabbi, and died on the cross 2008 years ago, give or take a day. I simply can’t take as absolute truth most of what the Bible has to say, unless I can take it in context. There are simply too many contradictions to take it as a whole, and if not taken as a whole, then the whole document comes into question. And if you can’t take the gospel as gospel, then the book raises more questions than it answers.

This is what I believe. Your mileage may vary.

I do love, however, that the Gamma burst noted above happened within 24 hours of Arthur C. Clarke’s death. Makes for a neat juxtaposition. At any moment the monolith will visit us and everything will become clear.

Any day now.

Comments from way back then:

Me:
I think Jesus was an extremely wise man, and that he certainly had a deeper spiritual connection to earth and heart and things that matter than most people of his time and place. I also believe that he would be appalled at how many people have suffered and died, and at how many crimes have been committed, in his name.

DF:

The trouble with the bible is that it was written hundreds of years after Jesus died.

Actually, the earliest gospels were written around 65AD, about 30 or so years after Jesus’ death and when a lot of his original followers were still around. The oldest surviving copies are from around 200AD, a big difference between being written 200 years later. I wouldn’t consider it a perfect account of history but the message about Christ being the son of god and being the savior is consistent.

You mentioned the King James version to read. The original is a crap translation but the New King James keeps the original language but cleans up the translation considerably. I prefer the New American Standard myself. A fellow Quaker prefers to read several translations at once. He said that they might differ on little things but where they all agree is where you can be pretty sure that is what the original author intended.

About Jesus being a military figure, I doubt that completely. Rome had a nasty habit of making examples of the opposition. If Jesus was leading an anti-Rome movement, all of his followers would have been rounded up and crucified, not just Jesus.

The Jewish faith was vastly different: One God and a heaven to which all people had access; where it wasn’t necessary to have Priests intervene on their behalf and where they wouldn’t simply be consigned to the Afterworld (Hades).

All Jews had access to that god, not people in general. Despite the popularity of converting to Judiasm today, it wasn’t a religion into which you converted. Jews needed priests, hence the temples and the sacrificing. It wasn’t until after the Jewish rebellion in like 69AD when Rome destroyed all those temples that animal sacrifice and the pharases went away. That was the radical thing about Jesus – he was the one that said, “Hey, I’m the sacrifice. You don’t need the bulls any more.”

As for the comparison with Shakespere, while individual phrases have different meanings or have gone out of use, the overall characterization and plot of the plays is still there. Hamlet is still a prince of Denmark. Romeo and Juliette are still young lovers. MacBeth is still Scottish. Thus I find it hard to believe that even with translations and idioms, the central theme of Jesus being the son of god and a way to salvation is completely wrong.

Again, I don’t think that Jesus is the only way nor did he say that he was the ONLY way. But I think that he definitely is a way and said so himself.

(For the record, while I grew up in a fundamentalist church, I’m more deist these days as I can’t reconcile a “loving a forgiving” God condeming[sic] millions of people to death because they’ve done some honest soul searching and came up with a different answer than mainstream Christianity. I don’t believe that God is that petty about it.)

SC:
Um, all PEOPLE have access to G-d – Jews just have a specific path. You, as a non-Jew, have to find your own, as far as Judaism is concerned. I don’t know who told you what you believe, but s/he is dead wrong.

But if Jesus was Jewish, then he would have known that human sacrifice is one of the biggest non-nos in Judaism. We used to kill entire nations for that one.

CS:
There’s a pithy Dire Straits lyric: “Two men say they’re Jesus. One of them must be wrong.”

Yea. Like that. There’s a cacophany[sic] of voices out there. Who to listen to? There are a variety of Christian groups that would point to me and say that I’ve got it all wrong, and that I’ll likely burn in hell for it. Trouble is, if I sign up with any of them all the others will still condemn me. So you can’t win on those grounds. This is happening more and more even within my own denomination, heaven help us! My own brother-in-law has referred to those with the gall to disagree with him as “the apostate church.” Heh.

No, in the end we’re all left to our own devices. I suspect God wants it that way.

Me:
See, that’s the main reason why I like the folks in my congregation. The guy I was sitting next to on Sunday for the second service is a devout atheist, and he still got something good from the sermon. For us it’s far more about the community than the specific faith. Everyone has views and they might all be right. What I believe isn’t necessarily what you believe. Its that freedom to choose what you feel is right that’s so prized in UU faith.

As for me, I’m thoroughly enjoying this topic. Its rare to find a place where talking about religion is not taboo. I love this forum for just that reason.

JP:
For the best translations of the Bible (as opposed to The New Testament), your best choice would be an Artscroll version. There are some that have intralineal translations, so the translation is directly under the hebrew word(s) that are being translated.

Me:
The problem with that is that I believe the old testament even less than I do the new. Ironic, since I’m presently working on an opera that celebrates Noah’s ark…

JW:
As I’ve always said, the problem with conventional Christianity is that they’ve mistaken the messenger for the message.

I highly recommend the book “Misquoting Jesus” which is a great reference book of all the changes that scholars know got into the Bible along with when and how they got in. Some is translation error, some deliberate, and all of it is fascinating.

Me:
I’ve been meaning to pick that up, along with a copy of the Gospel of Judas. I think I need to make a book list out of this thread and make some real time to read the material.

SC:
One hole in your (&/or Xian) logic is that Jesus was NOT a threat to the priests. This is proven by the way the story has them disposing of him. If he were truly a threat, they could have simply tried/executed him on those grounds – thus destroying not only him, but his teaching. But he wasn’t, & they didn’t. If the story has any truth to it, it was that he was a threat to the Romans – who would never have executed anyone on behalf of a troublesome subjugated people – especially not Pilate, who had been sent to Jerusalem as a punishment. Rome used crucifixion for specific crimes – such as rebellion. But those writing the story had to throw blame from the Romans because they were the only realistic pool of converts for them, the Jews already having passed on the idea (& the circumstances of his supposed arrest/trial/etc. prove that the writers were completely unfamiliar w/Jewish law. Also, history has shown that we do not execute false messiahs – we’ve had them more times than just once).

I just got this in email from another list I’m on…

I just got this in email from another list I’m on…

Snopes debunked this junk in 2006 here: https://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/capital.asp

DID YOU KNOW?

As you walk up the steps to the building which houses the U.S. Supreme Court you can see near the top of the building a carving of the world’s law givers. Each figure is facing toward the middle figure, who is seated and facing forward….it is Moses and he is holding the Ten Commandments!

DID YOU KNOW?
As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on the lower portion of each door.

DID YOU KNOW?
As you sit inside the courtroom, you can see the wall above where the Supreme Court judges sit. It is a display of the Ten Commandments.

DID YOU KNOW?
There are Bible verses etched in stone all over the Federal Buildings and Monuments in Washington, DC.

DID YOU KNOW?
James Madison, the fourth president, known as “The Father of Our Constitution” made the following statement: “We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

DID YOU KNOW?
Patrick Henry, that patriot and Founding Father of our country said: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists [sic] but by Christians, not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.

DID YOU KNOW?
Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher, whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777.

DID YOU KNOW?
Fifty-two of the 55 founders of the Constitution were members of the established orthodox churches in the colonies.

DID YOU KNOW?
Thomas Jefferson worried that the Courts would overstep their authority and instead of interpreting the law would begin making law .. an oligarchy … the rule of few over many.

DID YOU KNOW?
The very first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, said: “Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers.” How, then, have we gotten to the point that everything we have done for 220 years in this country is now suddenly wrong and unconstitutional?

Thank you so much Jerry

*HOW COULD 50 STATES BE WRONG?
Somewhere along the way, the Federal Courts and the Supreme Court have misinterpreted the U.S. Constitution. How could fifty States be wrong?

THIS IS VERY INTERESTING! Be sure to read the last two paragraphs. America’s founders did not intend for there to be a separation of God and state, as shown by the fact that all 50 states acknowledge God in their state constitutions:

Alabama 1901, Preamble.
We the people of the State of Alabama, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution …

Alaska 1956, Preamble.
We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land.

Arizona 1911, Preamble.
We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution…

Arkansas 1874, Preamble.
We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government…

California 1879, Preamble.
We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom.

Colorado 1876, Preamble.
We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe.

Connecticut 1818, Preamble.
The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy…

Delaware 1897, Preamble.
Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping [sic] and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences …

Florida 1885, Preamble.
We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty … establish this
Constitution…

Georgia 1777, Preamble.
We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution…

Hawaii 1959, Preamble.
We, the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine Guidance establish this Constitution.

Idaho 1889, Preamble.
We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings ..

Illinois 1870, Preamble.
We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.

Indiana 1851, Preamble.
We, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to chose our form of government.

Iowa 1857, Preamble.
We, the People of the State of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings .. establish this Constitution

Kansas 1859, Preamble.
We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges … establish this Constitution.

Kentucky 1891, Preamble.
We, the people of the Commonwealth of grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties…

Louisiana 1921, Preamble.
We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy.

Maine 1820, Preamble.
We the People of Maine .. acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler! of the Universe in affording us an opportunity … and imploring His aid and direction.

Maryland 1776, Preamble.
We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty…

Massachusetts 1780, Preamble.
We…the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe … in the course of His Providence, an opportunity .and [sic] devoutly imploring His direction …

Michigan 1908, Preamble.
We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom … establish this Constitution

Minnesota, 1857, Preamble.
We, the people of the State of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings

Mississippi 1890, Preamble. We, the people of Mississippi in convention
assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work.

Missouri 1845, Preamble.
We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness .. establish this Constitution ..

Montana 1889, Preamble.
We, the people of Montana, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty. establish this Constitution

Nebraska 1875, Preamble.
We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom .. establish this Constitution ..

Nevada 1864, Preamble.
We the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom establish this Constitution …

New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V.
Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.

New Jersey 1844, Preamble.
We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors ..

New Mexico 1911, Preamble.
We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of Liberty

New York 1846, Preamble.
We, the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings.

North Carolina 1868, Preamble.
We the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those.

North Dakota 1889, Preamble.
We, the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain…

Ohio 1852, Preamble.
We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common ..

Oklahoma 1907, Preamble.
Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty .. establish this ..

Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I. Section 2.
All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences..

Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble.
We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance. .

Rhode Island 1842, Preamble.
We the People of the State of Rhode Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing

South Carolina, 1778, Preamble.
We, the people of he State of South
Carolina. grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

South Dakota 1889, Preamble.
We, the people of South Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for our civil! and religious liberties .. establish this

Tennessee 1796, Art. XI.III.
That all men have a natural and indefensible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience…

Texas 1845, Preamble.
We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.

Utah 1896, Preamble.
Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution ..

Vermont 1777, Preamble.
Whereas all government ought to … enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man .

Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI
.. Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator .. can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other ..

Washington 1889, Preamble.
We the People of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution …

West Virginia 1872, Preamble.
Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia . reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God ..

Wisconsin 1848, Preamble.
We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility …

Wyoming 1890, Preamble.
We, the people of the State of Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties .. establish this Constitution …

After reviewing acknowledgments of God from all 50 state constitutions, one is faced with the prospect that maybe, just maybe, the ACLU and the out-of-control federal courts are wrong!

My response to the individual who posted this message to the list went like this:

And since when, precisely, did the word GOD become the sole possession of Christians?

Provide references, please. Inquiring minds want to know.

Regards,

me

This same list is responsible for promulgating some of the more heinous urban legends in the search for truth. When pointed out that Snopes.com had debunked nearly all (but perhaps one) of the urban legends in question, I was told that even if the messages were wrong, it was still good to circulate them, because they showed people cared about other people.

For pity’s sake, when did the circulation of lies become acceptable as a means for showing you care???

And I thought I was done ranting for the week.

Holy ****.

It truly saddens me that in all this time, so many people have so little understanding of the Religious Freedom part of this country’s founding. Why is it so easy to turn back and determine that the sole religion to which the founding fathers referred was Christian, and that all others may be excluded based on the religious upbringings of the founding fathers themselves?

We could argue the point for days that it’s because that’s what they were when the documents were written. I am no Atheist, but I still know the difference between a reference to God and a reference to Jesus Christ, and they are NOT the same thing. There are plenty of representatives of the Christian faith (in many denominations, not just Baptist), who would happily argue otherwise.

I could also argue that much of what has been said recently (as recently as yesterday) could be construed as fodder for neo-Fascists and neo-Nazis. It’s what keeps the KKK in business, and what makes it so very hard for folks to see a shared purpose to the organized government we call the United States of America.

What scares me most is that we aren’t all that far from the last Civil War, and the damage that could be done in the next could be considerably worse. And I don’t think it would take much to push some of these very public, governmentally sanctioned religious zealots over the edge.

I can hope for a little more moderation in the elections to come, but with our political swing so high to the right at the moment, it’s hard to imagine there will be a lot of change over the next two and a half years.

The best I can do right now, is be that voice in the wilderness. Maybe enough folks will hear me and be convinced. I can only hope…

I feel I should point out that believing that Jesus Christ is God is, more or less, the definition of Christianity. So try not to be too hard on those who want to argue that point. The problem is the way they do it.

And if you’ll indulge me for just a moment, here’s a little something from my faith tradition: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.”

There’s another one I prefer: “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Sadly, there are too many people in this world who worship a vengeful God, rather than a loving one. And for whom “An eye for an eye” is the watch phrase and excuse for so many actions.

For me, the Bible is not a guiding document to be taken in literal form. I can understand that some people feel that it is, and my only objection is in being forced to agree with that opinion. I simply can’t. Not the Old Testament (which is all I am supposed to believe), or the New.

I am so Unitarian in approach and belief, that I should be a paying member of our local congregation. That I haven’t followed up yet to visit and see what they do and how they feel is more a tribute to the sheer amount of stuff we have going on here during the weekend.

A time is coming, though, when I will decide it’s time to go for a visit. They aren’t that far away, and it would be a good thing for my daughter, who has many more questions than I can answer.

So, I am not averse to the experience. I simply object to being forced to agree with it or “suffer the consequences.”

Theme: Elation by Kaira.