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Source: (consider it) Thread: Holy Fire
Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
How about the blessed Virgin's hymen remaining intact through Jesus' birth?

Er...no offense, but *what*?

I thought that "ever virgin" simply meant Mary didn't have sex. Unless the poor thing had a Caesarean [Eek!] , birthing Jesus was more of a miracle than I thought!

What parts of the Christian spectrum teach this, if I may ask?

I think the Roman Catholic Church used to teach it (as she was without sin the Genesis 3 passage about 'in pain you shall bring forth your children' doesn't apply to her). I have no idea whether it is still official Roman Catholic doctrine.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Boogie

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One doesn't need to have sex for the hymen to be stretched/broken.

The hymen already has an opening for menstrual fluid to pass through and in some women it's bigger than others. Use of tampons, horse riding etc are likely to stretch the hymen too. Some women are born with very little hymen tissue at all. No sex + normal birth are perfectly possible with the use of artificial insemination.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Enoch
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quote:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Made me wonder what other artifacts may have circulated. Holy crap!

Now that one, I haven't heard of.
Wonderful. That gets a [Overused]

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
on your bringing up of the the Presentation Feast I always considered it a great lie in the Church of the Truth and struggled with it -- I get its theological reasons but I could never understand celebrating something as fact that was clearly a lie. But I took it 2,000 years of wise people knew better than I and clearly coped with it, and I kept this to myself.

"Lie" means a known untruth told with the intent to deceive. I don't believe the writer of the PE believed it was false, nor the people who created the feast.

___
ETA: Thank you, Enoch. [Hot and Hormonal]

[ 18. April 2017, 04:27: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Anyuta
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As a cradle Orthodox, I'm pretty agnostic on the Holy Fire. I think it could be "the real deal", or a complete fake, or, most likely IMHO, something which is real, but generated by belief (I.e. no one is consciously and deliberately faking it, but they are doing things somehow to make it happen without realizing that they are). Don't ask me to elaborate on that last point, because I can't.

But someone early on in this thread brought up bringing home the fire, and that still takes place regularly. For Russians it's generally done following the Holy Thursday night service (which technically is the Holy Friday service.. ) Where the "12 gospels" are read (12 readings). Which happens to be one of my favorite services of the year. The Greeks do it following the Paschal midnight service. Anyhow, the tradition is that you bring home that flame (I have a little candle lantern that I use, so I'm not driving a care holding a lit candle), and then you make a cross over all doorways in the house (you can see the soot making the cross), and then light a lampada (icon light, usually oil) with it. I'm sure in the "old days" you re-lit your house fire with it, but few of us have a continually burning fireplace these days. What does this mean? its just a form of blessing of the home. I'm sure the more superstitious will say it keeps away evil spirits or something, but I just see it as a symbolic blessing to re-emphasize that this is a Christian home, and asking for God to look over it and protect it an the residents. (but I don't discount the "keeps away evil" entirely.. I'm just superstitious enough for that to be a "just in case").

oh, I think it's supposed to keep the Domovoi happy, too (example of dvueveriye: dualfaith, blending pre-Christian cultural practices and beliefs with Christian faith--common all over the world in one form or other, I'm sure).

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Enoch
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Anyuta, if the Holy Fire happens in Jerusalem at the moment of resurrection in the night of Easter Day, i.e. Saturday-Sunday ,even without the logistic difficulties of getting things lit from it from Jerusalem to parishes in Greece, Russia or in your case the USA, how does it get there by the night of the previous Thursday-Friday? That sounds even more miraculous.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Martin60
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Anyuta. No.

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Love wins

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Golden Key
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Anyuta--

quote:
Originally posted by Anyuta:
As a cradle Orthodox, I'm pretty agnostic on the Holy Fire. I think it could be "the real deal", or a complete fake, or, most likely IMHO, something which is real, but generated by belief (I.e. no one is consciously and deliberately faking it, but they are doing things somehow to make it happen without realizing that they are). Don't ask me to elaborate on that last point, because I can't.

Seems reasonable. I take a similar attitude towards people developing stigmata marks/holes in their hands. I can't see any good reason for God to put someone through that. (I read once of a disabled New York woman who had them. IIRC, she was already stuck in bed, anyway. Why inflict something else on her??) But maybe some people, who identify deeply with Jesus' suffering, can unconsciously bring it about in themselves.


quote:
oh, I think it's supposed to keep the Domovoi happy, too (example of dvueveriye: dualfaith, blending pre-Christian cultural practices and beliefs with Christian faith--common all over the world in one form or other, I'm sure).
Yes. I think you can tell what's important to individuals and cultures by what they keep when they take on a new religion. Deities become saints; sacred sites take a new focus; folk religious customs are relabeled as superstitions, but people still do them.

The sacred fire kept at Kildare by the goddess Brigid and her followers was taken over by St. Brigid and her followers. (I gather St. B was a real human being, though.)

When the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego, it was at the Tepeyac site sacred to the goddess Tonantzin. Some people think Tonantzin just took on new "clothes", so she could still take care of her people.

I think deriding previous religious and folk beliefs is kind of like certain Anglo-Saxon words becoming Bad, after the Norman Conquest. (Hope I've got that right!) The winners, of course, are right. The losers are literally unspeakable.

IMHO, that all applies, whether or not a particular personage or practice is factual or real.

Once, I saw a travelogue about indigenous Latin Americans who kept their old ways. They were also Catholic, and asked God to forgive them for praying to their old deities "because we lost so much".

FWIW, YMMV.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Golden Key
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IMHO, Anyuta isn't saying that the holy fire in question makes it all over the world. She's talking about the practice, which I mentioned earlier and cited the short film "Phos", of taking fire home from your Ortho church.

Though I could understand someone believing that it was somehow the same fire, or all connected.

Not everyone wants/needs straight-line, no-frills, dull-in-the-light-of-day reason as a way of life. Personally, I need a good deal of mystery. It sounds like a couple of you are trying to talk Anyuta into the kind of reason I mentioned. Not sure that's good.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Ian Climacus

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
"Lie" means a known untruth told with the intent to deceive. I don't believe the writer of the PE believed it was false, nor the people who created the feast.

Neither do I. And thanks for picking me up on my use of the word "lie".

I'll bow out here... I mean no offence to those who believe in its truth, and as someone who has left the Orthodox Church, yet can go nowhere else, I'm probably not best placed to make comment.

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Martin60
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GK, it's reasonable how?

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Love wins

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Golden Key
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Martin--

If you mean what I said to Anyuta re her theory on the holy fire, it seems a sensible middle ground to take. I take similar positions on many things, though I usually hold them loosely. Remember: I take a "don't know" attitude toward most things, and have found it very freeing.

She doesn't know what happens or how, but thinks *something* happens and has a theory about it.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Martin60
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Golden Key, that sounds reasonable, but it isn't. At all. It's something else. There is nothing reasonable about it. Which is fine. It is a denial, suspension, refusal of reason and not with faith. Framed to appear reasonable. Like much art.

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Love wins

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Golden Key
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Martin--

quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Golden Key, that sounds reasonable, but it isn't. At all. It's something else. There is nothing reasonable about it. Which is fine. It is a denial, suspension, refusal of reason and not with faith. Framed to appear reasonable. Like much art.

I think perhaps we're differing on definitions, usage, and personal assumptions. You seem to be thinking in terms of strict, provable logic.

"Reasonable" has more than one definition.

--Oxford Dictionaries.

--Merriam-Webster (possibly closer to my usage than the OD link; especially see the sample sentences).

You might also consider "fuzzy logic" (Bucknell.edu, especially sections "Why Fuzzy Logic?" and "Introduction/Background").

And, of course, there's always Pascal's "The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing about".

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Martin60
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Nice Golden Key. That covers the power claiming, money making, patriarchal carnival - goodbye to meat - charitably I'm sure.

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Love wins

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Golden Key
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Martin--

Er...would you explain, please? If you're saying that I'm somehow making excuses for patriarchy, um, no. (That's the polite version of my answer. [Biased] ) And meat???

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Martin60
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It happens just before Easter. Like carnival in the Catholic world. Carne vale, "farewell to meat" in folk etymology.

It's all part of the circus that all religions put on. Shamanism.

Purely anthropological.

Like the hand magician at the wedding reception I was at on Tuesday.

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Love wins

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fletcher christian

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I'm not really getting the outrage aspect of this.

As far as I understand it, some bearded holy fella goes into the tomb of Jesus with a bunch of candles in his hand while everybody outside tries to contain the riot. Presumably somebody checks for matches and lighters then holy lad with super impressive beard enters, prays for a bit then pulls the lighter out of his special hiding place and lights up those sticks - or lights them off the lampadas in the tomb (surely they are left eternally lit?). Quick blessing, out the door, chaos ensues. Everybody's happy unless the Russians are the last in the queue to get lit up, in which case the whole thing falls into the disarray of an international incident that will take at least five decades and a church council to sort out.

I get that they are meant to magically light up themselves, but does it really matter? It is meant to be symbolic after all, no?

It reminds me a little bit of the time a westerner told me about their visit to India when the goddess Kali was having some kind of hissy fit they called a feast. Every temple dedicated to her had a big shindig and all the devotees said she would appear and everyone would see her. At one point during the whole thing a priestess appeared out of the temple and ran around the outside in slightly peculiar garb. Festivities continued until nightfall. The visitor asked where the goddess was and everyone had the same answer - 'Didn't you see her? She ran around the temple.' The 'reality' of it in the western sense just didn't feature.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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Martin60
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It's the claims fletch. Here in Purgatory. I don't mind a party. Hunting Easter bunny eggs with the kiddies in the garden with the caganer. But not hegemony through unchallengeable lies. I'll be encountering that tonight in more unchangeably self-deceived form as usual.

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Love wins

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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
If you mean what I said to Anyuta re her theory on the holy fire, it seems a sensible middle ground to take. I take similar positions on many things, though I usually hold them loosely.

I think that middle ground of "it's not a conscious fraud, but I don't think it's a miracle" would be sensible where there is a plausible means by which the thing could happen without either fraud or divine intervention. Psychosomatic healings, speaking in tongues, prophecy and the like COULD be miraculous (and I think sometimes they are), but could also happen through sub-conscious suggestion (and I'm sure often do).

But spontaneous combustion isn't that sort of thing at all. Candles don't light themselves - no matter how fervently one prays for or expects them to - unless either there is some sort of trickery, or some sort of supernatural act. Assuming that there has to be a middle ground that avoids either of those explanations, without being able to say what that middle ground actually consists of, is not really a reasonable explanation.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Martin60
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How many sometimes out of never?

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Love wins

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Eliab
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Like witchcraft, I think it's rational to believe that miracles can and do happen, while giving no credit to any particular report of them.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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fletcher christian

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Posted by Martin60:
quote:

It's the claims fletch

It seems to me to be crucial then to establish what the claims are and who those claims are being made by. If those in the tomb say 'I was there in the tomb and the candles lit up right in front of me' then, yeah, I'm sure they did. If someone outside the tomb or on Facebook or youtube or SofF is saying 'Oh yeah, these candles are held in the tomb and magically light from the heat of Christ that comes down from heaven at this exact time and ignites all the candles without any interference whatsoever from any living person', then yeah, I probably wouldn't believe that. That would leave a question around the officialdoms 'economic' use of the truth, but I can understand that they don't have any great desire to burst anyones bubble on easter day.

All in all though, it honestly doesn't matter to me. The event in and of itself is miracle enough without having candles spontaneously combust. I'm sure the real miracle is all staring us right in the face and we choose not to see it - all those different Christians in the same room together and not killing each other. Now that's a miracle. But like I said, its a symbolic action. There they all are, complete with guard and a seal on the stone and in a flash of lightning the place fills with light that spreads so quickly and vigorously and I'm sure the apostles journey's did feel a bit like that in those early days. But there's plenty in the Gospels that is claimed and written of and I don't always understand it with an analytical western, scientific mind. I read it through a spiritual lens and I'm not doing that so that I can duck the hard question of whether or not they were liars.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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Martin60
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Eliab, how is it rational, whether white or black?

fletch. When someone is abusing power, selfishly exploiting ignorance, that's a lie. An opportunity costing lie.

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Love wins

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stonespring
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Do any of you think that the Russian Orthodox Patriarch, who receives the Holy Fire in Russia brought by plane from Jerusalem every year, believes that the miracle is actually, physically real (and not just spiritually or psychologically as some posit here)?
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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Eliab, how is it rational, whether white or black?

Because it is rational to believe that God exists.

If God exists, the possibility of miracles cannot be ruled out, since God, if he exists, might act in creation. There are sound theological systems that give reasons why he does. But as explicit miracles are rare, and false (or at least, dubious) reports of them are common, credulity towards every reported miracle is not rational.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Martin60
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So what proportion, what nature of claim should we be credulous of? Because God?

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Love wins

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Martin60
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And, er, leaving Jesus out of it of course, what rational reason is there for the existence of God?

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Love wins

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Martin--

Er...would you explain, please? If you're saying that I'm somehow making excuses for patriarchy, um, no. (That's the polite version of my answer. [Biased] ) And meat???

And f... no GK, of course you wouldn't. I love Pascal, his wager's all I've got with Jesus putting up the stake ...

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Love wins

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
Do any of you think that the Russian Orthodox Patriarch, who receives the Holy Fire in Russia brought by plane from Jerusalem every year, believes that the miracle is actually, physically real (and not just spiritually or psychologically as some posit here)?

I am not entirely certain the Russian Orthodox Patriarch is a Christian, or at least beyond the name. What he thinks about the Holy Fire ranks way down on the list of his many flaws.

quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
It happens just before Easter.

No. It happens AT Easter. Not before.

quote:
Like carnival in the Catholic world. Carne vale, "farewell to meat" in folk etymology.
Carnival happens just before Lent, not just before Easter. Unless you stretch the meaning of "just before" beyond recognition.

quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Golden Key, that sounds reasonable, but it isn't. At all.

I wish we had someone who could tell us what to believe, firmly and dogmatically, so we don't have to bother figuring things out for ourselves. Gee, who will fulfill this role for us?

[ 22. April 2017, 23:17: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Martin60
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Forty days, who's counting?

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Love wins

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mousethief

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For something that happens annually, 40 days is much to long to be considered "just before." It served your rhetorical purpose to conflate those two events but they just don't conflate. Nice try, but fail.

And really if you want to bash Lent you should at least start a thread dedicated to that purpose, like Gordon Cheng.

[ 23. April 2017, 00:25: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Martin60
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Steady on old girl. No Lent basher me. I've been locked in a bierkeller the last orgy before it and had to decline the most generous offers of a very attractive Deutches mädchen.

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Love wins

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mousethief

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I'll thank you not to call me a girl.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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I beg your pardon ma'am.

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Love wins

Posts: 16113 | From: More Corieltauvi than Dobunni now. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged



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