Hang With Friends

Location: Earth
Members: 884
Latest Activity: 1 hour ago

Come on in, pull up a chair!

Picture yourself spending some time with congenial friends, sharing your lives and pictures from your cell phones." They're curious about that cool game, song, movie, camping trip, art show, or other event that fascinated you. You talk about all kinds of stuff, poetry, styles, personal achievements, relationships, and bad days. You can share your inner child, and laugh together. They sympathetically listen to your feelings about serious topics like politics or climate change, even when they don't agree.

Personal validation comes from paying attention to one another, giving more than you get. Everyone respects you and themselves, despite our amazing range of personal tastes and interests. They'll tell you they don't agree with an idea or behavior without implying you're a bad person or somehow deficient. It's an "I'm OK, You're OK" kind of fellowship, where nobody tries to make himself look better by picking on somebody else.

Nobody here is into mind games. A discussion started with a loaded guilt-throwing question will be deleted.

This group is not intended to compete with other groups on topics they cover but to "fill in the cracks." Whenever a discussion dwells at length on a topic for which there's an existing group, we urge you to provide members a link to that group to continue along their tangent.

A comment is a shout-out, which will get lost in a few days, because the comment wall is just a random stack.

Please start a discussion to share stories, photos, and videos. Replies will pop up in your "latest activity" and a conversation can develop from the feelings and thoughts you contributed. Groups are built on discussions.

Discussion Forum

Bible Belt Atheist (New York Times)

Started by Loren Miller on Thursday. 0 Replies

The following showed up in my YouTube feed this morning, and I decided to have a look.  Turns out, the New York Times has given us a reasonably even-handed look at a good friend of ours, being one Jerry DeWitt, former bible-thumper and now a pretty…Continue

Tags: Bible Belt, atheist, Jerry DeWitt

How would you respond?

Started by Christina Scribner. Last reply by Christina Scribner Apr 10. 5 Replies

So, this morning, I was at my local coffee shop as I am most weekdays between bus runs. I do the editing on my husband's books so I had my laptop with me. My wallpaper is a picture I found online sometime back of a double helix with the word atheist…Continue

The Fake Christian Busybody Show (Andrew Bradley)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Plinius Apr 9. 1 Reply

It seems as though there was a Gay Pride parade in some town somewhere and a Christian commentator, herein known as The Activist Mommy, apparently got her panties so in a bunch about it that she had to fire up her video camera and record a…Continue

Tags: gay, pride, The Activist Mommy, Andrew Bradley, America's Best Christian

America Held Hostage: Day 436 (MisterDeity)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 9. 1 Reply

Now that Sinclair Broadcasting has stated their position regarding fake news and its threat to our democracy, Mister Deity's Brian Dalton has decided to throw his $0.02 worth in as well ... though I don't quite think his presentation was really what…Continue

Tags: fake news, Deity, Mister, Broadcasting, Sinclair

Guns: Both Sides Now (Betty Bowers)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Christina Scribner Apr 3. 3 Replies

Oh, NO!  The gun debate has gotten so heated that it has Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, TALKING TO HERSELF!  Apparently, one of her has had a stroke or a serious breakdown in cognitive skills, as she does little more than parrot the NRA's…Continue

Tags: NRA, guns, America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers

how dogma pollutes discourse (qualiasoup & theramintrees)

Started by Loren Miller Apr 3. 0 Replies

"The Lord is our God; the Lord is One." "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me." "There is no god but Allah, and Mohamed is his prophet." Assertions, taught as fact, but without any form of corroborative…Continue

Tags: dogma, QualiaSoup, TheraminTrees

Comment Wall


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Comment by Randall Smith on November 14, 2017 at 7:06am

I don't mind the questions and comments (Joan and Chris). I'm happy to share my experiences.

The "botany" part (Chris), I don't understand. Like I said, I would have liked to see more of rural China, but so be it. The temples, etc., were part of the package--just a wee bit too much for my atheistic taste. I refrained from taking tons of photos of religious places and things.

And to Thomas, I sorta forget what that middle picture was. Sorry. 

Joan, some peanuts, watermelon served commonly as dessert. And I read "The Ugly American" years and years ago. From what I could tell, Chinese people really admire and want to copy American culture. And I think black is their favorite color!

A few words and photos regarding "relocation" due to new buildings and the 3 Gorges Dam project.

World view of the Chinese government running roughshod over the people in order to modernize, etc., was negative. Eminent domain is a priority over there. But, it works. The people are heavily compensated for being forced to move. New homes/apartments are built and lots of money is given to those relocated. They grumbled at first, but now seem happy with their lives much improved. Below is a photo of a 60 yr old grandmother who we "interviewed" about her life then and now.

I've also added a photo or two showing "new" cities (within the last 20 years). The last photo is of Shanghai (not "relocated")

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2017 at 10:46pm

Randy, I am truly sorry if I am pushy about hearing of your experiences in China. I would love to sit down and have a face to face conversation and compare notes. It seems China has changed a great deal since the early 1980s. I am sad to think you didn't see the surprise and excitement the Chinese of my time had; on the other hand, perhaps seeing "round-eyed, fair-skinned people may be common everyday events for them. I hope the "Rude American did not change their happy welcome. 

By the way, I hope you read "The Ugly American;" it is a reminder of our historical legacy of American pompousness, ineptitude, and unscrupulousness in Southeast Asia. Not a very honorable image to carry. 

I have another question, we had peanuts served at every meal, did you? 

And one more, I was in China in late summer and the streets were piled high with watermelon rinds. Trucks hauled the rinds away and yet the piles kept growing. It was an amazing sight. Did you see such a events?  

Comment by The Flying Atheist on November 13, 2017 at 8:22pm

I like your photos, Randy.  Thanks for sharing.  I can imagine that seeing temple after temple could become boring, if not irritating.  But I hope you had positive experiences with the people and the culture.  How's your cold doing?

Comment by Chris on November 13, 2017 at 8:10pm

Sorry If I'm picking on you Randall Smith.

Was the oblective of xploring of China botany?

The tour you took sound inappropriate for you goals.  It sounds as though you took a tour of  "exploring eastern religions" 

I don't thing Asians are anti-religious in an European dominance way.  It's a different phylosophy.   Perhaps if you continue your studies you will find methods of botany that may enlighten you.

Sorry, If I'm making too many assumptions.

Comment by Thomas Murray on November 13, 2017 at 2:58pm


The middle pix of the shrine with a mannequin (?) or mummy (?), is that the 14th Dalai Lama?

Comment by Randall Smith on November 13, 2017 at 8:28am

Regarding the posted photos: The first is a "monk student" I met when I was roaming the streets of Beijing. Nice young man.

The last photo is in a Buddhist temple with a guide on the right (a modern Buddhist) and two curious native Tibetians wondering what the heck the guide was talking about. 

The middle photo is of just another alter. 

Comment by Randall Smith on November 13, 2017 at 8:20am

Back to China and religion (sorry).

I'm not sure why Road Scholar deems it necessary to highlight religious places as prime tourist attractions. Despite China being "anti-religion", there are a lot of worshipers of the 3 main religions, especially Buddhism. We toured our fair share of temples and monasteries. Really, I was repulsed by the plethora of sites we attended and icons we "had to see". And there were great numbers of worshipers, especially in Lhasa. Of course, the Dalai Lama is banned there, but, if anything, that increases the devotion to him. Like Mecca, the masses come from all over to "pay homage" to their Buddha and exiled leader. (Hope I'm describing this properly.)

PS , Spud: those two students in my photo were from Xi'an, not Tibet. They were learning English (as do most students) and we got to "converse" with them--not easy!

Comment by Plinius on November 13, 2017 at 1:49am

Great music!

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2017 at 12:42am

Chris, this music is lovely, and with so many musical instruments unfamiliar to me. Thanks for sharing. 

Comment by Chris on November 12, 2017 at 10:31pm

I realize this is from Hong kong.


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