For a while, I was an enthusiastic participant in a particular suburban local-church series of Bible studies, but currently hesitate to continue to be so, or even show up anymore for them.
Not that I do not like studying the Bible, and especially not that I do not like talking about the Bible, notably when reading referenced passages within the Bible to others.
I still attend church services at that church, and tolerate Sunday-morning lecture sermons from one particular "I'm-the-boss" pastor who in effect was the one who had - albeit apologetically - squelched my eagerness and even willingness to further contribute my profuse Scriptural insights and rebuttals.
His "rationalization" (i.e. irrationalization?) or excuse was that I "was not letting others get their say in," but instead both "hogging the limited discussion time" and (by my frequent comments), "leading the discussion in a needlessly-judgmental way" which the non-judgmental-oriented (yet simultaneously reverse-judgmental-himself) pastor did not want the discussion led.
[ Reminds me of certain anti-Gingrich(?) RNC operatives wanting a non(?)-controversial, pro-homogays and anti-homogays, pro-abortion and anti-abortion, pro-feminist and anti-feminist, pro-evolution and pro-creationist, pro-Islamic and pro-Christian . . . piss-in-pop-and-poop-in-pudding . . . anti-Gingrich "big-tent;" to ALSO deceptively rein in (by pre-associative obligation) and retain pro-Gingrich-and-no-one-else voters - wrongly presuming [NOT assuming] that die-hard RINOs would desert the party if Newton Leroy Gingrich (and not windsniffing-moderate Willard Mitt Romney) was nominated the GOP 2012 presidential choice . . . and that die-hard Obominites would not be enticed enough into voting Republican in November of 2012 unless given a Gingrich-excluded, deceptively-waffling, entitlements-endangering, undependable Romney moderate as their allegedly-superior-to-Barack alternative.
That grievous error in mis-thinking is compounded by their absurd miscalculation against fervent-activist wild-about-Gingrich independents who they wrongly mis-believe will have no alternative by to reluctantly but supposedly jump on the compromising pro-choice-about-abortion, homogays-inclusive, Romney-moderate bandwagon . . . not even imagining the unthinkable possibility of them instead (in thoroughly-frustrated disgust) voting 3rd party, letting the chips fall where they will, and thus giving neither Romney nor Obama crucial votes in impartial neutrality.
If Mitt Romney - a H.W. Bush and Bob Dole and John McCain moderate - becomes the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, there is a chance that the GOP will lose the White House to Obama in November of 2012. On the other hand, if Newt Gingrich becomes the 2012 presidential nominee, there is a lesser chance that the GOP will lose the White House to Obama in November of 2012.
And with gain or loss of the White House comes substantial gain or loss of both Houses of Congress.
Along those lines, and according to both http://bareflash.tripod.com and http://videoclips12.tripod.com, who is worst?
Non-hypocritical, constantly anti-prostitution/non-wife-swapping, quasi-polygamous/harem-sheik-like, anti-homogay while religiously pro-preborn-human-life, faithful-to-Callista, man-with-a-plan Newt Gingrich . . .
. . . or instead:
purportedly-"christian", fake-"evangelical," falsely-"conservative" RINO-brown-nosed, cultic-mormon, abortion-choice-promoting/child-murders-conspiring, sickening-homogays-inclusive Mitt Romney
. . . or even:
pro-negroid-racism-propelled, homogay-"rites"-condoning, abortion-choice-supportive/child-murders-conspiring, pseudo-"christian"-while-quasi-muslim-brotherhood, Kenyan-not-Hawaiian-born-liar, Barack "Barry Soetoro" Hussein Obama? ]
Getting back to the other pastor within the church mentioned above, he had told me to "not talk about sexually-oriented passages in the Bible so much" (which is downright hypocritical, being that he allows his indecently-hairstyled loose-long-haired mopheaded wife to freely impose the sight of her loose-long-haired indecently-hairstyled mopheadness wherever and whenever in that church and in plain-view sight of congregants indigenous to the premises).
A similar situation of heavy-handed censorship recently occurred to a particular e-mailer who received similar criticism from a certain "Pete S." of Lavabit (an e-mail hoster) who has rather obviously targeted him for discriminatory exclusion - "not" (in his words) "because of the non-censorable content" of the e-mailer's e-mailed comments to others, but instead because of a few "contacts" who he said were sending objections instead to Lavabit (but not directly to the e-mailer personally) pertaining to the e-mailer e-mailing them material they clearly objected to.
"Pete S." referred the e-mailer to an international outfit called Spamhaus [the German word: haus means: "house," and I wouldn't be surprised if they drove VW cars and used Apple/Mac computers] in the attempt to justify his condemnatory warnings to the e-mailer to henceforth:
(1) only respond back to those who first e-mail a message, and (more importantly, to "Pete S.')
(2) only first-time e-mail those who the e-mailer magically detects will not respond negatively so that criticism is never again sent (by cowards unwilling to personally let the e-mailer know that they want no more e-mails from him) instead to Lavabit, and "Pete S." in particular.
It's like saying: "Keep your religious expression to yourself and don't communicate it to anyone else unless anyone else first asks for it" - [even if anyone else does not know what or what not to ask for].
The obvious-but-non-admitted in-effect virtual censorship of "Pete S" of Lavabit is a matter of serious concern - not simply against one isolated e-mailer - but a whole host of e-mailers against which "Pete S." and other administrators like him satanically "quench the Spirit."
It reminds me of Der Fuehrer and his Nazi henchmen silencing all who were opposed to establishment of Aryan-racist Nationalist Socialism during the 30s and 40s.
Admittedly, the questionably-diabolical and argumentatively-subversive Spamhaus exaggerated the plight of non-restricted and non-limited spam which potentially(?) "could not only overwhelm individuals and businesses, but is usually adjudicated "illegal" (by whoever, whenever, wherever, and however).
Thankfully, not all e-mail hosters are as paranoid, issues-subversive, and nitpicky, but merely limit the daily number of exactly-repeated bulk e-mailed messages an e-mailer can e-mail (and thus never attain the threshold number of repeated e-mailed messages per time period which demonically-legalistic nitpickers misconstrue as constituting "spam").
Blessed case in point is the non-busy and highly-laudible e-mail service called: Fastmail, with G-Mail right behind it.
Consequently, in response to "Pete S." in effect stifling what the sane and sensible obviously consider (and perhaps even what filthy-mouthed-reviler malicious-slanderer Bill Maher would consider) "free speech," all e-mailers fearfully involved with Lavabit might hereafter preface all first-time e-mails to first-timers using Lavabit with the following disclaimer:
This communique is a beneficial general public service announcement sent without any motivation of malicious intimidation, cyberstalking, nor selective imposition against any at-large recipient receiving it.
If any recipient of this communique wants to receive no further messages from this source conveyed by this particular e-mail address, they have the option - but in no way the obligation nor responsibility - to indicate so by clicking on the Reply button above and typing in a request concordant with that intention.
Upon receiving that non-burdensome and convenient-enough opt-out request, the sender will do whatever is possible to accommodate and comply.
No recipient is under any responsibility nor obligation to read what is written below, but all are encouraged yet not required to click on the Reply button above to type in their request to receive no more e-mail from this specific e-mail address if that is their desire.
It should be noted that certain non-solicited but non-commercial, legally-allowable, first-time messages of reasonable cultural, social, and/or religious value and importance sent to and encountered by favored recipients are considered neither spam nor unlawful, although repeated communication transferred to anyone who has reasonably indicated desire for there to be no reasonably continued communication from the specific source objected to might understandably be considered harassment.
Then, if anyone thereafter complains to "Pete S.," and "Pete S." then freezes any e-mailer's Lavabit account so that the e-mailer cannot access Lavabit anymore nor send any more e-mails via it, the e-mailer can simply find a different e-mail hoster....with or without praying a curse of Christ upon "Pete S."
IF "Pete S." did freeze an e-mailer's account after the e-mailer had previously printed the above-stated disclaimer on his outgoing Lavabit e-mail, such would plainly (in fair and non-biased legal opinion) constitute unlawful discrimination against the e-mailer, for which the e-mailer could (if the e-mailer had enough time and money) perhaps-unsuccessfully sue him and Lavabit in court (although most e-mailers might rather not also sue Lavabit but only sue trouble-causer "Pete S") - and appeal it to a higher court if the lower court did not see it the e-mailer's way (which appeal would be even more expensive, for both parties).
Even though both "Pete S." and Lavabit are private-company entities which can concoct whatever corporate internal regulations and restrictions they want (in this land of free-enterprise liberty) and therefore cannot be forced to alter or adjust their sovereign-entity preferences, governmental civil-or-criminal-court-involved lawsuits against them would be complicated by the probability that both "Pete S.' and the Lavabit which he occupationally (and thus contractually) belongs to have previously consigned themselves to, and now continue to legally be subject to and operate under, various social-issues-affected parameters of the IRS and the federal Civil Rights Act (pertaining to no allowable discrimination because of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation concerning charges of reasonably-inferred or flagrantly-unlawful "intimidation" or "harassment" or "hate crimes").
And being that an e-mailer using Lavabit has voluntarily allied himself with Lavabit e-mail-hosting, he already has (by default) likewise bound himself in complicit agreement to Lavabit's 'Terms of Service' which has indirectly (but in fact) put similar IRS and Civil-Right-Act constraint considerations on the e-mailer himself also.
The situation is similar to one in which an illegal-alien employee without a Social Security number who works for an employer with Social-Security affiliation automatically is also then obligated under the auspices of the Social Security system.
Government-registered religious institutions, such as churches and synagogues and mosques, seem to be free from such governmental social-issues-related "civil-rights" prohibitions with their 501(c)(3) Bonafide Occupational Qualification exemption.
However, Social-Security-committed church/synagogue/mosque administrators, boards, and wardens of religious-institution property, by acquiring and maintaining their tax-exempt IRS registration and classification, also have certain IRS-related constraints imposed on them, besides consigning themselves to other and more governmental restrictions by contractually affiliating with sewer, water, electric power, and other servicers providing utilities and whatever to their religion-institution buildings - which utility servicers are, of course, generally and likewise subject to similar IRS and Civil Rights parameters themselves affecting the speech and actions of both religious-institution personnel and Social-Security-committed contractors they employ concerning government-regulated social issues.
This leads right in to the topic subject of how small group discussion should be led, and what should be acceptable interpersonal dynamics of productive, lively, and beneficial group discussions.
The first type of scenario that comes into mind is where the leader and the led within a group know each other by name (as was the case in the GOP Republican-candidates-for-president Debates hosted by CNN & FOX), during which the group leader queries each of the led participants sequentially by name to sequentially respond to a particular (and preferably the same) question, comment, Biblical passage, or hopefully-contextual Scripturally-congruent elaboration or analysis or interpretations of the passage.
It is not in anyone's best interest within a small-group discussion for the moderator to ask: "Does anyone have anything to say?" because oftentimes the lamentable result is deplorably-uncomfortable-for-everyone "dead air" - necessitating the inept moderator or leader to beller on with his own opinion and elaboration on that.
It also helps for everyone - both leader and followers in a small group discussion - to like the subject matter being discussed.
In a Bible study group, the choice thing to discuss is sequentially-read Bible verses, perhaps on some topic or subject. But if the subject matter is not liked by everyone present, by most present, or even by one present . . . any of whom proceed to deviate off Bible-verse reading and discussion thereof into other diversions of whatever types . . . dissension and resultant silence by all might sadly begin to dampen spirits and participation until everyone, in forlorn and depressed disappointment, calls it quits.
What about "butting in?"
It is, of course, polite and courteous to let each participant (including the group leader) speak and finish what he has to say before anyone else begins speaking. A take-charge moderator or regimented group leader can convey that standard right at the start before any further discussion begins, informing group participants of the use of a comment-and-response timer (as happened during the network-media's 2012 GOP Presidential Debates).
In a non-regimented free-for-all discussion, how does one know when someone has said all they have to say, so someone else can take their turn and begin speaking? How much time is too much time for one person lively and enthusiastic person to talk? And express novel enlightening gems of Spirit-led insights, to the satanic chagrin of the jealous group leader or other similarly-jealous surrounding group members? How many seconds of silence have to elapse before someone else is expected to speak? And how is that expectation for someone else to speak indicated? A head nod? A name uttered? An inflammatory command for someone to "Shut UP! You've talked long enough for a while?"
What if someone, during their diatribe, audibly declares or proclaims something devilishly apostate . . . which remark should immediately be countered by someone or anyone as soon as possible while it is still in contextual reach before someone else breaks in or off on a different tangent - so that the heretical or apostate comment does not completely and forever go unchallenged?
In that situation, a truly-Spirit-led authentically-godly and courageous group leader could himself correct what is off-base, or at least leave it to some eager-to-jump-in truly-Spirit-led authentically-godly and courageous member of the group. In the case of a Bible study, he should promptly apply appropriate and applicable verses to contradict and neutralize the heretical exclamation.
Perfection in all situations is impossible to attain, and it isn't the end of the world to experience a certain degree and extent of communication mistakes and failure. Even brilliant and phenomenally-enlightening insights will never make it into recorded canonical Scripture.
That was the case in the Bible studies I was in. When the pastor himself, or one or another of the men in the Bible study group, blattered out some compassion-and-love-for-homogays or pro-feminist remark, I felt compelled to immediately correct that person with remedial Scriptural references . . . which got me that aforementioned criticism not merely from the pastor but also from complaining men whose feelings were hurt by the rebuff.
In any group discussion, the leader should have the open-minded and non-negativistic discernment plus brave and discerning savvy to favor the good and disfavor the evil within a group.
But when the leader himself is somewhat or sufficiently corrupt, or jealous of the quality and/or quantity of insights out of one or more of the group members, or demonically afraid that godly rebuke will drive both other group members and their precious donation money away - proper direction by that leader obviously cannot occur . . . being that he is in charge.
But, IF he genuinely, patiently, and humbly actually has 'the mind of Christ,' such wise leadership should be performed subtly and overtly, insistently yet gently and kindly, without being detectably insulting or rude.
What ultimately happens in the course of repeated group meetings is that - eventually - those group meetings are only populated by those who, as becomes evident over time, basically concur with each other, while dissenters (who not necessarily are violently or explicitly shunned and excluded) "get the message" that openly expressing their special lifeviews are not welcomed within that particular group . . . resulting in the dissenter or dissenters leaving that group to simply find and join a different group having concordant ideology and perspectives with themselves, or become leader of their own similar-enough-viewpoints group.
At first, I had thought that the recent news story of non-armed Trayvor getting shot to death by Zimmerman was a no-brainer, in terms of the just and fair result requiring murderous Zimmerman to be executed.
However, after listening to Zimmerman's brother tell his side of the story (and, in retrospect, having heard Zimmerman's dad also tell his) during a Piers Morgan interview last evening (Thursday, 29 March 2012), it instead looks like Zimmerman tried to comply with the 911 Dispatcher who told neighborhood-watchdog Zimmerman to not follow nor chase Trayvor. However, if seems that Zimmerman continued to "keep on eye" on Trayvor anyway.
What is new information is that [previously-raised-third-finger and tattooed] Trayvor [who perhaps had been a graffiti-sprayer] apparently took it upon himself to go to Zimmerman and both verbally and physically question and confront Zimmerman, resulting in a scared Zimmerman then angrily reacting to the arrogantly-belligerent Trayvor and shooting Trayvor in what could be considered (under the circumstances) an impulsive and presumptive fatal act of self-defense against a physically-assaultive and impudent Trayvor.
The Daily Caller has identified a second Twitter handle that was used by the late Trayvon Martin during the last weeks of 2011. Tweeting in December under the name “T33ZY_TAUGHT_M3,” Martin sent a message that read, “Plzz shoot da #mf dat lied 2 u!”
Perhaps Trayvor had even heard Zimmerman call Trayvor a "black" during Zimmerman's cellphone conversation with 911. Perhaps also Zimmerman did, after that, call indignant Trayvor a "goon" or "coon."
Whatever the case, I now understand the demonic motivation of some NBC, MSNBC, and other racist and divisive reporters and analysts, plus the usual cadre of nationally-recognized negroid-and-other racist agitators . . . mis-portraying Zimmerman as a mentally-impaired vigilante committing a homicidal racist "hate crime" (so termed in view of those who choose to use skin pigmentation as an excuse to be satanically malicious).
Obviously, the imaginary "Force" was not with hoodied Trayvor (although maybe he had pretended it was) - an out-of-place negroid kid loitering around as a suspicious peeper. In that case, there plainly was a proverbial "niggar in the woodpile" (as the somewhat-inflammatory expression goes).
"The case of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin is going to a grand jury, and yours truly will not speculate how it will turn out. A key consideration will undoubtedly be whether it was reasonable for Zimmerman to have started following Martin in the first place. If the grand jury does not think this action was reasonable, everything that happened thereafter is influenced by that initial act of instigation, and George Zimmerman is in trouble.
If, on the other hand, the grand jury concludes that Martin was justified in trying to see what this young man was doing wandering the neighborhood at 3:00 in the morning, it is likely that his subsequent actions will be considered reasonable as well – precluding additional factors in the case."
Admittedly, Zimmerman was not a bonafide police officer snooping around "checking doors" on a routine beat, and should have left potentially-lethal investigations up to fully-trained official policemen who knew what they were doing (but who themselves were perhaps reluctant to interfere with suspicious negros because of possible false charges of "racial profiling and harassment" from racist bigots with big mouths).