General Question

shorty's avatar

What does the cross mean to you?

Asked by shorty (244points) March 17th, 2008 from iPhone
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

61 Answers

benkreeger's avatar

Anybody else sick of these questions?

iSteve's avatar

I can’t help thinking about an archaic form of slow torturous death.

jrpowell's avatar

Agnostic. I don’t roll with Jesus. God is a farce. Please thump your bible elsewhere.

cwilbur's avatar

@benkreeger: yup. Flag it as spam or stupid.

jrpowell's avatar

I already flagged it…..

“I will thump my own bible. I already drilled a hole in it.” For the reason.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

yeah, there’s a lot of these questions, but they have the right to ask them and you have no right to flag them as “stupid” b/c of your sole opinion.

the cross is a symbol of a very slow, painful death.

nailed. dead. risen.

upyours's avatar

if you guys dont like the question why not just move on you the one looking inside I dont like some question here it means I dont have to pay the price for my own sins they are payed in full

benkreeger's avatar

@upyours: Wha…?

cwilbur's avatar

@ishotthesheriff: on the contrary, I have as much right to consider the question stupid (although in this case I consider it closer to spam) as shorty has to ask it.

@upyours: I flag it because I want to encourage questions that I consider worthy of Fluther discussion and discourage questions that are just proselytizing and trolling.

jrpowell's avatar

Shut up and dance.

iceblu's avatar

@johnpowell nice1

@cwilbur agreed

upyours's avatar

so your the fluther police and you flag every dumb question

jrpowell's avatar


Yeah.. The ones I come across.

benkreeger's avatar

@upyours: That’s kinda the idea.

cwilbur's avatar

@upyours: Everyone is the fluther police, and everyone can flag questions that he or she considers dumb. That’s why they have that “Flag this question” link.

If you don’t like that, there are many other websites.

upyours's avatar

I think you just hate anyone that does not think or believe like you

benkreeger's avatar

@upyours: Who said anything about hate?

iceblu's avatar

Van Halen – Dance the Night Away

@upyours Up Yours, how can you speak for someones beliefs, you don’t know anything. Maybe he does believe and hes just sick of the question like everyone else. People like you that don’t use the search or another resources, shouldn’t be here. Or maybe you should go with the other guy and move to

cwilbur's avatar

@upyours: if I hated shorty because I disagree with her, I’d be flagging all of her questions as stupid or spam. Instead, I just flag the ones that are thinly- (or not so thinly-) veiled proselytizing, because I don’t think that a question she’s not willing to discuss is appropriate for Fluther.

jrpowell's avatar

So lets get this straight. You pushing your religion on us is just as stupid as us pushing our disbelieve in god. Both are stupid. We should just agree that a Popsicle rocks on a warm day.

Besafe's avatar

@ the anti gods

I would expect your mockery impresses few other than those who share your fear of any rational discussion of God, Jesus or the Cross. Since this is the Easter season it would seem to me that an open discussion about the cross and how one integrates the reality of Jesus rising from the dead into their life would be of benifit. If your anti god – just don’t participate. Your continous dumping on any one who wishes to discuss these topics should be addressed by the moderators. If this is to be a godless anti god group – then state so in the rules. It seems you really do want this to be a fourm where people are not free to express their spiritual beliefs in a creator God who sent His son to provide a way for you to live forever in heaven rather than hell.—In short you are limiting our free expression of our beliefs and that is just wrong!

I really wonder what it is you fear. So what if a few Christians discuss the cross—how does that hurt you when you have the choice of not entering into the thread.

benkreeger's avatar

@johnpowell: Unfortunately, it’s cold and miserable here. But I’ll still take a popsicle. :)

And I’m not anti-God. I’m anti-proselytizing.

upyours's avatar

I just see you guys jump all over someone that ask anything about their beleif in Jesus she ask about the cross not can I pray for you soul

benkreeger's avatar

There are good, legitimate topics on Fluther about religion. Topics like this just keep piling up as copies of one another, and they’re nothing more than bible-thumping. Fluther should not be monopolized by countless, identical proselytizing ‘questions.’

I’m done with this topic.

iceblu's avatar

@Besafe I am not, and i don’t think these guys are either, you not seeing the point… I’m upset cause this question has been asked to many times….or a variation of it has been asked and answered. So why had more of the same? I want to learn about things, thats why i come here, and to help people. If fluther turns into this place with a whole bunch of repeats, then its never going to grow.

cwilbur's avatar

@Besafe: if what you want is a discussion of Christian topics, then ask them as a question, and be prepared for a discussion. Discussions necessarily include people who disagree and people who criticize. I suspect the vast majority of Flutherites would welcome, or at least ignore, an actual discussion, with multiple viewpoints, of religion. I’ve seen a few respectful ones happen in recent weeks, even.

But an honest attempt at discussion is not what I’m seeing here. I’m seeing leading questions that are being asked as a springboard for preaching at people. It’s not about being anti-God, it’s about not being willing to stand still while someone who is not open to discussion preaches at us.

iceblu's avatar

@cwilbur nicely said buddy

oneye1's avatar

the question was about the cross not about if we should be able to ask this kind of question so I think we should remember the cross but celebrate the resurrection

Besafe's avatar

In my opinion your reactions to anything God or anti evolution will be what limits the growth of fluther—you will drive away those with views that do not meet your narrow view of what is an acceptable discussioin. For those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus and consider the bible to be the word of God we would like to be able to discuss these topics on fluther without having to fear reprisial by those who do not share our faith. We see a number of threads that are repeats of other topics or themes that we are not interested in. I would hope you don’t see us getting upset over them – or even flagging them. In my case I just don’t bother even reading them if I see certin names. I would ask you to do the same – that way we who do wish to discuss our faith can do so without having to endure your anti god sermons.

shawcraw's avatar

Johnpowell is oh so right a popsicle on a summer day, yummies! Kick rocks bible thumpers!

iceblu's avatar

Why are you calling everyone anti-gods? I’m really confused… Please explain Pastor Besafe

cwilbur's avatar

@iceblu: he’s proclaiming that everyone who doesn’t share his view of the appropriateness of proselytizing is anti-God. Clearly, he’s not paying attention.

Besafe's avatar

How is it a leading question shorty asked a question – she hasn’t even responded. And I don’t see any one pushing the bible or any church theolgies. The first responses came from the same group that objects to anything posted about God. In fact it could be argured that you are the ones proselytizing and preaching.

Please just ignore things related to God and Christianity – it will make eveyones day a whole lot more peaceful and will allow us who want to participate in a positive way the freedom to do so.

I have concluded that I need to put a hazard warning on my questions and posts – something like “read at your own risk this message will contain referances to God and Christianity that you may view as proselytizing and bible thumping or may otherwise be hazardous to your desire to avoid these topics.”

kevbo's avatar

People, there’s nothing wrong with this question in terms of meeting Fluther standards. I’m no fan of proselytizing or leading questions (which this isn’t), but besafe, I am 100% with you on this one. If we’re that upset about repetitive questions, then lets also nail everyone who asks an iPhone question or a question about what girls want.

@benkreeger, who the hell are you to talk about repetition when you’ve only been here seven days? Why don’t you make some kind of contribution before you start swinging your dick around?

If you’re going to vent your ire on a question like this, just say what it means to you. “Nothing” is an appropriate answer. “A stupid myth” is an appropriate answer. Kneejerking into some anti-God rant really diminishes the quality of discourse on Fluther.

To answer the question, it makes me think of how marginalized communities co-opt the symbols of their oppression. Like naming a record label “Death Row.” I wish I could think of more examples.

oneye1's avatar

the question was about the cross it has been made a Christian symbol its really a symbol of death and punishment so if the question was what’s the electric chair mean to you would you still be offended

cwilbur's avatar

@kevbo: it’s yet another proselytizing question, asked by one of the frequent proselytizers. And I’m entirely in favor of nailing the 257th question about the iPhone SDK from someone who doesn’t know what an SDK is and the 319th question about unrequited love.

Besafe's avatar

Thanks kevbo—and yes I will get back to you on the polarization of engineering – soon – grin

Angelina's avatar

Well, I clicked on this question because I was interested in seeing what various meanings people attributed to the cross.

The debate it sparked is interesting, too.

Like many powerful symbols, I think the cross can carry many meanings, some good and some bad depending on your viewpoint. Having grown up Catholic, the cross symbolizes for me the possibility and hope for redemption, and the strength to carry one’s burden and help others to carry their own.

Knowing some theology and some history, I’m not ignorant as to the ways in which the cross has been misused and why it could inspire feelings of fear and anger.

kevbo's avatar

@cwilbur- With respect, I know who is asking and am completely familiar with the tenor of that person’s arrival here. I’ve also noticed that this person has asked eight entirely innocuous, secular questions in the past week with no “surprise” biblical lesson tacked on to the end. I think many of the people, including those above, have gotten the message about what is and isn’t welcome and why and have changed their rhetoric to better fit the norm.

I would hope that those of you who are offended by the idea of being proselytized via this question would at least agree to the idea that there’s room for questions about religion and/or theology as a topic of interest, and that there are many respected contributors to Fluther who would probably enjoy discussion of theology as much as video games, sex, food, technology, and politics. Something like 90% of people worldwide believe in God or a god, so we really shouldn’t be surprised to see religious questions. Flagging every one of them as spam or dumb is nothing short of a tyranny of the minority and really speaks to one’s ignorance of what the vast majority of people have thought and believed throughout human history.

It’s time for those of us who have rightly taken offense at past bible thumping to take a chill pill until the next real problem question/er comes along.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Justice is the only meaning a cross has to me ^_^

Besafe's avatar

Once again kevbo, though he likely doesn’t share my (our) views, at least is rational and tolerant. I will admit and expect shorty, and others, will agree that some of our first questions/discussions were insensitive. We didn’t realize the audience included people with such strong anti god views. Over 80% of those in the US (based on recent polls) belive in God. It was our error to forget that 20% of those who read our posts would be opposed to belief in God.

“read beyond this at your own risk this message will contain referances to God and Christianity that you may view as proselytizing and bible thumping or may otherwise be hazardous to your desire to avoid these topics.”

I ask you to consider what my motive was. It was not to get you to join a church or even agree with my beliefs. In my case, the motive was to get people to seek the truth in the hope that you would come to understand the implications for you if there is a God and the bible is true. Those of us who do belive have a gunine (I know you won’t belive it) concern for you and feel complled to do what ever we can to help you avoid a fate much worse than death. I am not trying to bible thump you – just hope it will help you see the motive is not one of proselytizing etc. It is sort of like this anology—we are on an airplane which I know is about to fall from the sky but youy don’t. I know there are parchutes and try to give you one because I know we are about to have to jump from the plane. I may argue with you because I know without it you will come to a sudden realization of the law of gravity and other laws of physics – resulting in your death. My trying to give you the parchute in your view is proselytizing when in my view it is just trying to help you. Hopefully you can accept my motive.

cwilbur's avatar

@kevbo: I’m not an advocate of flagging every theological question as spam or dumb.

I am, however, an advocate of flagging questions that are little more than an opening for proselytizing as spam (because they’re advertising something I don’t want to buy) or as dumb (because, sheesh, haven’t the usual suspects learned that this doesn’t work yet?)

@Besafe: here’s a hint. Read some of the other threads I’ve posted in, and see if you can figure out what my religious beliefs really are. I know I’ve come out and said it before, but your responses to me in this post make it very clear that you’re just not paying attention. I am not anti-God; I am anti-proselytizing, anti-God-spamming, and anti-Bible thumping.

Your motive may not be to proselytize, but you are certain you know the truth and you are trying to shove people in that direction. That’s proselytizing.

As I said in another thread (which you apparently didn’t read), a very wise woman said to me once, when I was experiencing spiritual doubts of my own, that doubt is the flip side of faith. I inherently distrust anyone who claims to know the answer and the solution, because it seems to me that if they don’t have any doubt, they don’t have a whole lot of faith either, and they’re probably trying to sell me something.

Which is why I welcome people who want to discuss and seek the truth, and reject people who tell me what the truth is—even if they couch that telling in the form of a leading question that pretends to invite discussion.

oneye1's avatar

@cwilbur what is the truth as you see it

kevbo's avatar

@besafe, I’m sure you understand the difference now, but that was proselytizing. Helping which is what most of us try to do would be to express your truth to someone who has brought up an applicable question.

@cwilbur, my comments beyond the first paragraph were intended for everyone. Sorry for not making that clear.

cwilbur's avatar

@kevbo, since I was an advocate of flagging this particular question as spam or dumb, I interpreted that as directed at me, and I thought I’d clarify.

@oneye1: there are a lot of aspects of the truth that I see, way too many to summarize in this text field. I’ve touched on several of them in several threads recently. The important thing is that I think the truth is big and complex, way too big and complex for any one person to claim to have complete ownership of.

And to clarify: the thing that makes the Bible-thumping questions so inappropriate, in my eyes, is that they’re not being asked because the querent genuinely wants to know the answer; they’re asked because the querent wants to find a way to encourage us to answer the question the same way he or she does.

Besafe's avatar

Yes I do see how some on fluther are, in my opinion, overly sensitive to the approach I took. BTW I have been dumped on when I responded to a question not jus tfor askng a question thought to be trolling. It causes two reactions 1. We who have faith in Christ have obviously caused them to mistrust our motives. 2. I wonder at the reasons for their fear of the topic(s) and inability to be tolerant.

I hope to learn more about the heart of some on fluther by reaid their questions and responses – that will allow me to understand how to craft posts that just might help them.

oneye1's avatar

@cwilbur I would like to hear your thoughts but I want push . I do not want to push my belief on anyone. See I think what I believe can only help one!

kevbo's avatar

@cwilbur, I would challenge you to change your reaction to these questions towards viewing them as an opportunity to make your case and articulate your beliefs and doubts instead of being critical of others’ beliefs and doubts (or seeming lack thereof). I think it’s a bit of a copout to be critical of others’ attempts at articulating their beliefs (or simply asking a question) and then exempting your own as “too many to list” and expecting others to refer to your previous posts.

Also, I still don’t see how this question is in any way bible thumping or leading or proselytizing. The question is asking your opinion of something. Why can’t you (or anyone else who’s shared your reaction) just state your opinion or move on to the next question?

How much would you like to bet that this question isn’t removed by moderators because it doesn’t cross the threshold as spam or dumb or something else? Would that be enough to convince you that it’s simply a question asking people’s views about an aspect of religion? Or do you claim to know better than the people who maintain this site what constitutes a flag-worthy question?

cwilbur's avatar

@kevbo, when the game’s rigged, I don’t play. When the person asking asks out of a desire for dialogue and discussion, it’s one thing. But I’ve seen enough of shorty’s shenanigans, including several private messages; I would have to see evidence a significant change of heart from her before I saw a question like this as anything except a leading question. I grew up with an extended family of bigoted, judgmental, and hypocritical evangelicals. I have an extremely low tolerance for being preached at, and I know all the plays in the playbook, because I’ve had most of them used on me before.

And the thing I’m critical of is not their beliefs, but the way they foist them on everyone else. I find the attempt repugnant; as noted, I believe it is flag-worthy, as both spam and stupid. This is why I don’t think my particular beliefs are relevant, and why I don’t think it’s a copout that I decline to discuss them here; the offensive thing is not the beliefs themselves, but the pushy way they’re being put forth. The principal reason I referred Besafe to my other posts is as evidence that I’m not anti-God but anti-Bible thumping.

And hey, if the moderators don’t think this question is worthy of removal, oh well. It’s spawned a lot of interesting discussion. I still think the question itself is spam and stupid, but removing it would involve removing a lot of this discussion, which has been interesting. It may also have positive results: maybe shorty and Besafe will start to have a better understanding about why people object to proselytizing, and not categorize people who object to it as “anti-God.”

And no, the fact that someone disagrees with me, even someone in authority, is not sufficient to convince me that I’m wrong. That’s called the argument from authority, and it’s one of the basic logical fallacies.

kevbo's avatar

@cwilbur- Okay, I get that you object to the asker and I can very much appreciate your explanation, but do you also object to the question? If so, how would you word it? How would a non-bible-thumping, non-proselytizing, religious person who was interested in discussion and dialogue better phrase a question on this topic?

Not that this thread has anything to do with the question anymore, but I would also point out that we haven’t heard boo from shorty as far as what the “real” answer is, so I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt on this that it’s not going to turn into a Sunday School lecture.

cwilbur's avatar

The question itself isn’t inherently objectionable, it’s just lacking in background and context.

I’d probably fill both of those in—something like “The cross is a central symbol in Christianity, but a lot of people are only nominally Christian, and many are not Christian at all. When you see someone wearing a cross pendant, what does that tell you?”

Or, if the goal is explicitly to kick off a discussion of Christian beliefs among Christians, make that explicit. “It seems to me that many Christians regard the symbol of the cross differently. If you consider yourself Christian, what does it mean to you, and why?”

Each of these invites discussion and aims it in a particular direction, but doesn’t have a foregone conclusion.

Angelina's avatar

Well, I think the question as it is presently crafted, “What does the cross mean to you?” invites discussion and doesn’t have a foregone conclusion at all, since it’s framed to invite personal responses. Someone could very well write, “It doesn’t mean anything to me,” or, “I find it to be an offensive symbol,” or, “It’s meaningful to me” and then elaborate further. I think if the question were framed differently, it would then be a leading question and could veer into dangerous territory. Aiming a question in a particular direction indicates a bias and as a result could result in a foregone conclusion.

In any case, this question has sparked interesting discussion. Most answers haven’t addressed the question directly, which is fascinating, because I suppose that means that people are less interested in the content of the question than they are in its implications.

cwilbur's avatar

@Angelina: in isolation, the question is reasonable, if vague. Unfortunately, those of us who have had the Bible thumped at us in private by shorty and company are unlikely to see it in isolation.

Angelina's avatar

@cwilbur: Got it. I’m not in-the-know enough, or familiar enough with any Flutherites in particular, to have been able to see that.

Poser's avatar

@cwilbur—Aren’t you merely proselytizing in the opposite direction? You rail against it from “bible-thumpers,” but jump on an otherwise valid and Fluther-worthy question.

NVOldGuy's avatar

Which cross?

shorty's avatar

The cross that Jesus died on for your sins

evolmiss's avatar

It means sacrifice.

Ron_C's avatar

The cross is a symbol of what happens when an empire has too much power and of the pain and humiliation they are willing to commit on their dissidents.

It is also a symbol of parental neglect and cruelty. I would never let them do that to my son.

Hibernate's avatar

Nice to see that there was such a chaos few years ago. But I have to love the staff for not taking the “flag as stupid” seriously :) Whoever was around then were kind and applied the freedom of speech :) [or something like that]

In any case the calvary means something to me but not the cross. Hundred of thousands died on a cross or endured even worse tortures. It’s a thing to just look up to it as an ultimate sacrifice but it’s not cool to just take the cross and not the whole calvary.

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