Re: What a mess...
I believe in Allah, hanging homosexuals, gassing Jews and having multiple wives under the age of 14.
Does that really make me command your respect?
As a gay Christian (and, by what Paul said in one of his letters, also a Jew (or at least Hebrew) by default), actually it would - if you stick to your beliefs honestly (but being open to challenge and change if your beliefs are found to be wrong) then I do respect your views, and your right to hold them. Your opinion may call for my death, but I respect and uphold your right to that.
I believe in Jesus, the ultimate goodness of all mankind and when I drive, I dont put my trust in engineers to design it safe, I put my trust in Jesus instead. And I believe in Fairies, pixie dust, Unicorns, magic money trees, and magic thinking that says if we all just were to pray together, the world would become such a nicer place and we wouldst need a nuclear deterrent.
That wouldn't, firstly because of several inherent inconsistencies and second because anyone who tried to claim that obviously has no clue of who Jesus is or what He taught (again, open to challenge/change ie learning is another matter).
the ultimate goodness of all mankind
The Bible teaches that the heart is inherently dishonest, selfish, and a few other things as well - maybe even the word "evil" tossed around in there. When someone called Jesus "Good" He responded by saying "there are none that are good, only God the Father".
when I drive, I dont put my trust in engineers to design it safe, I put my trust in Jesus instead
No one who thinks or knows their Bible would ever do that. We have been given quite powerful brains to actually USE them, not to let them go to waste. We're told to test and prove anything we hear, ie to think and see if it's internally consistent and consistent with the Bible (anyone wanting to claim "contradictions" please show me a couple that can actually stand up to scrutiny!). I've had a couple of occasions of fore-warning while out riding where I've been saved due to taking heed, and I've also had a few times where I've had no obvious intervention at all - though they've usually been where I've been silly and have resulted in no major injury to me and only damage to my bike - ie my own damned fault for stupidly exceeding safety limits. I trust my Bible, and that basically says that I should train, practice, and do a good job as if I'm a child showing to my Father how good I've become at doing something He takes pride in me doing well, not some mentally handicapped person totally dependent on another (not saying that as a dig at the handicapped, but saying that those who think they should be depending on something outside themselves for every decision are handicapped)
And I believe in Fairies, pixie dust, Unicorns, magic money trees, and magic thinking
None of that is Biblical. In fact, to those claiming that if you're not rich you're not blessed, and therefore doing wrong and not in God's favour - Jesus promised His disciples "in this world you will have troubles" and "the world will hate you". Further we're told not to store up treasure on earth but to build it "in Heaven", for "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also". If we place our value on things in this world, then when the time comes to move on (say to go to a poorer country to make use of the skills you have eg in medicine), you'll be resistant to what Dad wants you to do, rather than dropping stuff and going. Or like some you'll be scared of losing it all.
if we all just were to pray together, the world would become such a nicer place and we wouldst need a nuclear deterrent.
Hey, you actually got something right! But not in the way you imagine. First, if we come together to pray, we're talking. But we're not talking to/at each other, we're seeking betterment for others. And while we wait, we hear what concerns others, and can start to actually think of ways to improve their lot as well as ours. Better if people keep prayers short (Jesus did say you don't need "many words" and not to keep "babbling like heathens" who think that by lots and lots of words they can somehow appease God - God actually wants His turn to speak as well y'know, and sometimes if you just shut up and listen... You wouldn't go to a Doctor and speak non-stop and excessively repetitively about your problems; you'd tell him where it hurts then let him advise you (unless you like various self-diagnoses materials, in which case your 10 minutes reading trumps his 10 years schooling any day!). Anyway getting together to properly pray for each others problems and shortcomings makes people friendlier and stronger as a group. Sure, you will get those who gossip, and those who will seek advantage. Dad has ways of taking care of them Himself though, and sometimes the greatest people later on are those who started as scumbags earlier - they're humbled by the memory of what they were, much more effective at helping others, and become great listeners and advisers.
I'll save my respect for a man who can code 50,000 lines of code, that does something real, and get the bugs out too, whilst managing a team as well.
If you don't change your principles with the seasons, then that's sometime I can respect. If you look at your principles from time to time to make sure you can still believe in them, rather than just "this book says" then I respect that more.
I've seen much in "Christianity" for me to have often dropped the label from myself, but I've seen nothing in the Bible or in Jesus to make me want to turn away from that.
I don't mind the Left coming up with visions of where they think society ought to go.
But please, never ever ever let them try and build it themselves.
Why not? I just need to look at the mess the "Right" have made of NZ over the last 9 years to see how "good" they are at building a society. Rich are richer, 2-income families are living in their cars. There are places where a household income of $70k/a is not enough to pay the rent, and you can't easily go elsewhere because there aren't the jobs elsewhere. The "Right" can be good at building their bank balance, but that only lasts so long. Stupid to own a large chain of supermarkets when most of us can't afford to eat. Stupid to own a dozen "investment properties" when they're sitting empty. The Left build things that last till the Right see they can monetize it. The Left build roads, the Right build banks.