Atheist & Agnostics-Hi there!
domesticgoddess, in response to your question: yes, very much.
May I put in a word? I do not think this is where this type of conversation should be discussed. This is a Gone Raw forum Concerning mainly Food and Health.
Those of us who are Christians can go to Hallelujah Acres. Others to the many sights pertaining to what you believe.
As I understand it, this forum is for raw recipes and good health, with gardening and drying thrown in for spice.
I for one am glad this has been started. I have really no one to discuss this kind of stuff with and it is very good feeling to read the comments of others that feel the way I do.
beany I do not wish to be rude to you so try not to take this as being mean but if you do not like this conversation why are you reading and posting to it?
Why do you feel it is so wrong that we would want to discuss it. If we all (those of us that do feel this way)share common ways of seeing the world. and have created this thread. I dont understand why you wouldnt just avoid it if it upsets you.
Winona – You’ll find what you need, and don’t worry about what other people tell you that you “should” be doing, thinking, saying, believing, etc. You are AMAZING!
I figured Gone Raw was about raw recipes and Learning about how to take care of ones body which has been effected by so many chemicals. I thought learning about dehydrating and washing ones air with salt is good, also helping and learning from others who have a garden (which has to do with food)) is good. I dont think this forum was meant to be for discussions of this type, or of politics. I am very disappointed with those who are over raw to allow this to go on. Yes, these are posts that I don’t have to read, but as I said, they are not what this forum is suppose to be about.
However, this seems to be acceptable?_
beany writes, 1 hour ago: (100 posts)
(Topic: Other Stuff / CHRISTIANS: Please watch this video and tell me what you think…)
As a spiritual mother. I am saying walk very careful with the Holy Spirit right now. Be very wise._
Has anyone seen this movie? It’s pretty legnthy, so watch it only if you have time. And if you dont, just watch the beggining. It touches on this topic.
And Shgadwa, sorry, but it is preachiness like yours that actually led me to denounce my Christianity. And I am much happier without a religion. Why can’t you just state what you believe, respect everyone else’s beliefs and leave it alone, withought feeling like you have to change the beliefs of someone you dont agree with or like you have a constant point to prove? The fact that you are are so defensive might suggest that you have some doubts of your own. Just let it go sweetie. This is a topic no two people are going to completely agree on. You can debate it until you’re blue in the face and get all worked up and stressed out, or you can realize that we all are different and beautiful in our own way and be at peace.
I also believe that the “Hello Raw Christians!!!” thread did not become controversial, because none of us posted comments trying to disprove Christian beliefs.
Sadly, this whole thing could get out of hand. I would like those Christians out there to stop and pray. See what God is saying. All of us, Christians and non Christians have had there say. My opinion is for all of us to get back to why we joined up with Gone Raw in the first place.
like I said I am not trying to be mean and yes this is a raw food site. But when I saw the topic I thought ok there are people similar to me here and I could learn and feel accepted I guess. I am not always good at chooseing the right words to get my point across. I didnt go into the Christian ones becuase I do not feel I belong there or whatever and do not want to argue. I do tend to have a big mouth sometimes. so anyway I guess I was looking for friendships as well as food. Is that wrong?
Kandace posted the following earlier in this thread (9 hours prior to my posting here):
We are so pleased that Gone Raw can be an open space for a number of religions. There is a support topic for raw Christians here on Gone Raw: http://goneraw.com/forums/6/topics/2553. Please read over that forum to get a sense of what folks are attempting to do here on the raw athiest/agnostic support forum and do kindly allow them the same breathing room to support each other (this isnâ€™t the space to engage in an argument about Christianity vs. atheims/agnostic, nor would the raw Christian support area be). We thank you for your kind support of this.
She also recently pointed out on another thread that the “Other Stuff” category is OPEN to topics not raw related.
If I don’t like what’s on a TV channel, I change the channel or turn it off. If I don’t like what’s playing at the local theater, I don’t go. I don’t necessarily agree with some of the comments made on the recent religion / non religion posts. I read them to be better informed. If a posting seems offensive, I skip it.
Perhaps we can agree to disagree and still work together for the common good.
I love that we can talk about more than just food – life gets only so interesting thinking & talking & reading about what goes into my mouth :) heehee
I am sorry I did not realize this was more than what the name implys. Gone Raw.
Hi beany – that’s why this particular forum is listed under the title “Other Stuff” (as emtpdmom also wrote above).
You can choose to read all of the other forums and avoid this one.
Wow, catching up on this has taken up my entire evening! Hi Winona and everyone, I avoid labels like the plague, I don’t know what I am, open to anything? So I guess agnostic is what I am. There has been so much said here so far, is there anything more emotional than religion?? I’m eternally curious and open but I struggle with my own negativity towards religion. I come from a Protestant family and I’m the only one who took a different path, although I find the church my family belongs to very open and loving, especially when it comes to homosexuality. That is the subject that most troubles me, like pianissima, the treatment of gay people by religion. I completely lose my cool which does not help anything! I’ve never felt comfortable in any type of church, although I’ve never tried out an Eastern religion seriously. I like many of the teachings of Buddhism but don’t know what to do with much of the formality and tradition. Like some others here I’ve found the writings of Eckart Tolle really interesting and helpful.
I’m finding it interesting to be a homeschooling Mom in a lifestyle that I believe is predominantly Christian. I’ve had trouble finding resources and websites that are not heavily Christian. In their defense, the Christian homeschooling families I’ve met have been lovely, I just have to look carefully at the materials I buy.
As for whether this discussion is appropriate on Gone Raw, I was under the impression Kandace and Ray have offered this space “Other Stuff” as a place for raw foodists to discuss other stuff. I’m so thankful for it!
what is in a name anyway
RAW raw food is food that hasnt been tampered with by heat or whatever
so really athiest is untampered with by religion
so yea we should be able to discuss it if we want to
we are RAW people with PURE RAW thoughts.and from what I can gather from the
food sites PURE is sometimes a personaly opinion itself
there are people who are not totally raw like me should I not be here until I am 100%
sorry folks arguing with christians that want to impose their way of thinking was not what I thought this discussion was going to be about.
Maybe christians should stay out of the conversation so we can talk about things we have in common
If you are a christian than good for you. you live your way I am not trying to stop you. I will live mine instead of complaining about that we would even talk about it just stop posting here and go on your way. leave us alone. if you want to read fine but let us have our space to
Blue_Eyes – I think many of us here have in common that we have had negative experiences with religion – either individuals or groups. I had a very close friend who converted to Christianity and proceeded to tell me that if I didn’t accept Jesus as my savior I would not be saved, guess that means going to hell. That fueled my aversion…but…last night I saw something very interesting on the Daily Show. The guest was the author of a book called The Big Sort http://www.amazon.com/Big-Sort-Clustering-Like-... and he talked about how the country is becoming more and more divided, people are sticking more and more with their own, whether it be race, religion, political affiliation. He was explaining why it’s not a healthy direction for the country. I’m finding this personally, I gravitate towards people like me, but I’m starting to look deeper at the “enemy camp” my ideological opposites, the other color states, however you want to look at it. People are so much more complicated than that. How are we ever going to move forward if we’re living separately? I’m just concerned that if we tell shgadwa to stay away, and only hang out with Christians we’ll just keep reinforcing our differences and never learn from each other. I understand why people get offended by efforts to convert them, I did, but I’ve also learned that some people do it out of a desire to help others, to share their happiness. If I remember correctly, shgadwa is 17, and is the same age as Queenfluff was when she was living a Christian lifestyle. He is young and curious and bound to go through many transformations on his journey as we all are. I just worry about putting up walls. I guess it depends on what Winona intended.
yes amysue that is true but sometimes you just want to have somewhere to go where you dont have to put up with it. I spend all day with all the “praise the lord” and my goodness they cant say anything without bringing god into it
and we are not involved in their discussion.
maybe I should not be posting I am still in a very angry state of mind of being lied to all my life.
and now I would just like some peace and peple yo talk to that dont condemn
Wow, you are guys are busy on here! I go out to a concert and so many interesting posts!:) I gotta keep up…too tired to post much right now but I will make a few comments.
Just in regards to beany’s confusion about why a thread like this is on GoneRaw – You will find on other raw forums too that this sort of “stuff” sort of find its way into all sorts of posts – in order to prevent the “hijacking” of threads (you know, when they drift way off course to something else – and lot of times completley unintentional religous debates where the Christians and the non-Christians are at each others throats) – a lot of forums will have sections like the “Other” section we have hear because often there are so many other life issues that intertwine (I am sure everyone will agree on that). Honestly, the religous debates go on on other raw forums too but instead of having an “other” thread they get mixed in with the food thread. I would rather have a separate thread for people to take their arguements too rather than have it mixed in with the food stuff. Wouldn’t you?
And yes, GoneRaw is yes,99% about the raw lifestyle – meaning the food part of it – recipes etc.
But alot of times when you do a major life change (and I think most of people who go raw will agree that it is not only your body that changes but the way you look at some things, your personality can change a bit, on and on) – alot of people change other thing in their lives when they do raw. Maybe they start looking at their religious believes differently – maybe they become less religious or maybe they become more. There is no wrong or right on this one. In my case, I became an atheist when I became a vegetarian. It was a long process -just like going veg. It was just time to change and get rid of the me that I was formed into when I was a kid – not the me I really wanted to be.
Another thing I will say is that I don’t seem to recall anyone complaining about the Raw Christian thread when it went up (not even us atheists) that it didn’t belong on here because it was a raw site – why is that thread OK and not ours? Is that meaning that Raw Christians are OK for the Raw lifestyle but not Raw Atheists? Not really fair.
I feel that often atheists are given an unfair deal because I still think that some people see the word “atheist” and they think “mean sinner” – like all atheists are these reckless, mean, hedonistic people who go and out do all “bad” things. Why can’t an atheist be a nice, moral person? I have always been a nice, moral person – when I was a Christian I was a nice, moral person and I still am as an atheist. Just that I have some new and different morals now. :)
amysue – For the purpose of this thread, we really arent putting up walls to Shgadwa. He seems like a smart guy. I was curious just like he was when was 17 (I remember asking my church youth group leader if we could have a class on what the atheist and satanist lifestyle were like – haha! that wasn’t too welcome! I had a book on witchcraft I was reading because I was curious about it – it got taken away!!) – When you are on “one side” (ie Christian) and haven’t experienced the “other side” – you want to know about it – mostly because you feel you can’t because it is “forbidden”.
I see that Shgadwa has started another thread to talk about what he interested in learning about atheism which is good. But for this thread here, the talk about how great God and Jesus are just isn’t what this thread is for – it was completely off topic. Us atheists aren’t on this thread here to explain it all to him – this is a support thread for us – but now he has a thread to learn what he wants. I don’t think he is wanting to become an atheist but wanting to know about – I can understand that!
BLUE EYES I knew what you mean on so many points you brought up. I was raised and still live in a state that is referred to as the “bible belt.” Much of the christianity here is of a fundamentalist swing. Very oppressive and hard lined. I went to graduate school a few hours away from where I lived and, due I think to the presence of all the universities, I met my first fellow agnostics and atheists. It was my experience that these people were not mainstream thinkers in many ways and that is how I was first introduced to alternative medicine, which led to macrobiotics and then raw food. Anyway, it was such a relief to find people like me that I decided to remain here when I graduated, even though it was the toughest market for my degree. My son and grandson live 3 hours away and as much as I want to be with them I could not tolerate living in that city again. It must be horrid working under the conditions you describe. It makes my heart ache to know you are dealing with that type of oppression and it is connected to your livelihood.
DANIEFON I too send out holiday cards. Why would I just assume that everyone is celebrating christmas and not hanukkah, kwanza, or the winter solstice?
I dropped by my son’s school to have lunch with him when he was in second grade to discover that his teacher was making the class engage in forced prayer before lunch. I discussed it with her and then reminded the principal it was illegal to do so and I didn’t want my son being forced to pray. The next day my son came home and told me the school had decided that he should stand in the hall while the “good children” said their prayers. I told the school if there was another incident I would bring suit and they reluctantly stopped the prayer. I had just moved into a new apartment and received at least 20 of those “Jesus loves you, burn in hell” letters so someone at the school had to give out my address. The parents of one of my child’s classmates transferred him to a private, religious school and felt it necessary to come to the school and tell the class their son would not be able to see his friends at school anymore because they didn’t want him around the “ungodly ones,” which is what my son’s classmates began calling him. I went to the school counselor and explained everything that had happened and wanted some assistance with how to deal with my son’s feelings. She told me she was one of the people who agreed he should be placed in the hallway during prayers. I asked her that as a counselor, if not a human being, did she ever consider how this decision would impact my son. She told I should expect it since we weren’t christians.
A year earlier, I wrote a letter to the editor in response to an anti-choice letter. After the letter was published I started receiving these hang-up calls and wasn’t surprised by it. One day my son rushed to answered the phone. After he said hello I took the phone from him. A man was on the line telling my son that god would protect him even though he had a mother that believed in killing children.
If it weren’t illegal, I think I would have been burnt at the stake by now and in front of my son.
AMYSUE I can appreciate your statement that many christians may be motivated in their actions by a desire to “help” others. Maybe this type of scenario is where the adage “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” came from.
Prosyletizing, unless welcomed, is a sign of disrespect. It says that you are so wrong about a topic, which is of such importance it is considered sacred, and I am so superior to you that I am justified in forcing my beliefs on you because you don’t know any better. A few christians have posted on this thread and their comments were not offensive or combative. What Shgadwa was doing was assailing others and not trying to engage in an academic discussion for purposes of understanding. Yes, he is young and unwordly as all 17 year olds are. But he is the one who is putting up walls. This is one of the problems expressed by others on the thread. Christians often make non-christians feel that they don’t have the right to discuss their beliefs without being molested. Then christians proclaim themselves to be a persecuted group.
If it wasn’t so brutish, it would be comical that those professing an unbending faith are so easily threatened by the beliefs of others. I just don’t understand why there are so many instances of this kind of negative, oppressive behavior coming from people who proclaim to be followers of a man who did none of these things and was offended by those who did. It’s as if someone holding a contrary opinion is a direct, physical assault on them that warrants self defense. It is just mind boggling.
AZUL BLUE I really like that movie. I thought they did an excellent job explaining the foundation for christianity and other similar beliefs that are patterned after the sun god myth. I was telling a friend about the movie and how it related to so much of what we believe is actually contrived. We started watching it and I completely forgot about the part on religion because I accepted that as fact long ago. She completely freaked and then left in the middle of that portion, unwilling to even speak to me. I asked her about it later and told her I was sorry it bothered her so much. She said she couldn’t talk about it. She remained distant for a while and finally started talking to me again. I thought I had lost a friendship over it. Obviously, it had a significant impact although I don’t know what type.
DOMESTIC GODDESS I understand where you are coming from. The process of discovering there is no god is so painful. It was the hardest “breakup” I have ever had and it left me feeling alone in the world. It is exactly like the death of a loved one. I might comment more on this later but I have to go to work now. I just wanted you to know I think your feelings are perfectly normal. I struggled with that pain for almost 15 years but my experience has been it will eventually heal itself.
Wow! There is a lot of good stuff going on here. I had no idea! Too bad christians have acted in such hateful and defensive ways as if you are the problem! Meditating I am so sorry to hear about your son! I hope he knows that there are christians that are not hateful. I used to work with a witch that was a pretty nice person. She also had an understudy working in the same building. She once became very angry with my husband when he mentioned that he had repented to God for something. She told him he was good and had always been good and could not be bad adn did not have anything to repent for! She was very adamant about that! This was when we still lived in the Bible belt. Now that we are up north we do feel like a minority inour christian faith. I hope that I am still welcome here. I am not intending to convert anyone by posting here, nor am I trying to push anything on anyone. I am just commenting on my experience. I have been agnostic in the past as this is as I see it pretty much a core belief of every one at some point in thier life. I am sorry for posting here if someone is mad about that please let me know and I will blow!
amysue – No walls! No hate!
Christians often read their bibles according to what their uneducated preconcieved theologies say – then they try to make scripture fit in. The original scriptures are an ancient and beautiful set of documents based on the findings in the dead sea scrolls. There are many many wonderful things written in the history of our world that people conveniently forget to look at in their zeal to make sure everyone hears their religious “point of view”.
pulse – interesting story. it’s amazing that people can be so blinded by their views, that they can’t just live and let live. you’re welcome here, fyi!
mamamilk – i think i see what you’re saying. basically, people have preconcieved notions and beliefs, and they try to make what they read adapt to what they already believe.
meditating- WOW. your story floors me. The guidance counselor recommended kicking your son out of class during prayers, then told you that you should expect it because you’re not christian? I’m shocked that the other parents allow this! And hate mail? Dirty phone calls? Yipes!!
domestic goddess and meditating- I also have had a difficult time recovering after realizing there’s no god. it’s hard to feel like i’m on my own, but this has made me change for the better. i’m reaching out to nature to find peace. i’m meditating and reflecting on ways to improve my life, help others, and bring a smile to the face of everyone i meet.
meditating—Good Grief it is very scary (and sickening) when people who profess to be Christians can act so un-christian. I can just imagine JC harassing someone and being malicious toward them – like a bumper sticker “Who would Jesus bully?”
just as a disclaimer – I am not attacking Christians (or anyone else). I just can’t stand hypocrisy.
I wouldn’t want to try to talk someone out of or into religious beliefs, and I know that there are plenty of wonderful people out there who are religious, but in my personal experience I have found many aspects of organized religion to be misogynistic and far from unconditionally loving.
Like Winona I am going to strive to live my life in peace and respect the lives and individual paths of others.
yes Winona, thats part of it. The other part is that our modern bible that is being read is often a ‘translation of a translation of a translation…’ from the historical documents and a lot gets misapplied and misinterpreted in translation. ; ) mix that with people interpreting it thru their personal lens. can be not so good. and when we really reflect and are honest with ourselve, i’m sure we all, being a product of our collective experiences, view everything through our personal prism.
yes, as was so violently exhibited in meditatings case, and as i mentioned before, the very thing proclaimed in religion is often nullified in ones actions. so with that said, i’m working on walking in love, true love (which my personal lens is exhibited in the true Jesus)- thinking AND acting on that may take a lifetime…. (and LOL greenghost for the bumpersticker idea)
In regards to what meditating said,
I am also very sorry to hear about your son. Also amazed that there was a school nowadays that still does (or did) that. They quit most of that long time ago.
One thing meditating said…. “Jesus loves you, burn in hell”
This REALLY makes me feel VERY sad. Very sad. I do not want to judge anyone but I will tell you with a humbled heart that someone who tells an atheist, or anyone who has fallen away, lost the faith, or are not saved (from a Christian perspective), that they should burn in hell, in my opinion, cannot be a true Christian. I have heard this before, not just by you. An atheist has a video on youtube entitles Hello angry Christians. In which, he says “I would like to thank all the angry born again Christians who have been writing me telling me how much they are looking forward to my eternal torment in the flames of hell.”
I am sorry and I hope no one will be angry at me for saying this (or even being on this thread) but that is VERY sad. As God (if God was real, I mean) would not wish anyone to be in hell, Christians should not wish anyone to be in hell and it is extremely sad for me to hear anything like this.
I hope all is well.
bq.meditatingâ€”Good Grief it is very scary (and sickening) when people who profess to be Christians can act so un-christian. I can just imagine JC harassing someone and being malicious toward them â€“ like a bumper sticker â€œWho would Jesus bully?â€
just as a disclaimer â€“ I am not attacking Christians (or anyone else). I just canâ€™t stand hypocrisy.
I 100% agree with you. Again, this is sad.
PULSE – My son and I both understand that all christians aren’t like the people I discussed in my previous post. At the time those things happened, our next door neighbor who is a devout christian, was and still is one of our closest friends and my son is now 27. We both adore her to this day and visit with her whenever we get the chance. She is a spiritual, fantastic person and she loves everyone. I know her beliefs and her heart. I am sure in her silent hours she grieves for my soul and that must hurt her. I wish there was a way to reassure her that I am not going to hell, but there isn’t.
There was a time I considered myself a devout christian and I can honestly say I never felt negative toward atheists. When I was 20 I worked in a radio station and learned one day our continuity director was an atheist. She was actually the first one I ever met. It was like a dangerous yet endangered animal just showed up in the office one day. I learned she was an atheist because she made an ugly christian joke. I was mortified to hear that and wondered why someone could possibly hate christians. I never openly professed my religious beliefs because, having attended catholic school and spending the summers with my fire and brimstone baptist grandmother, I knew that no good came from shoving religion down a person’s throat. I always saw being a christian as a private thing and that my duty was to be the best person I could be and that would be enough to attract people to god. I believed they would see that I had something special and they would want it too. Anyway, this lady I worked with, Pam, I befriended her and we became good friends. I would go home and kneel by my bed at night and ask god to help me find a way to show his love to her without running her off. Sometimes when I would pray for her I would cry because I was full of sorrow for her “condition.” I actually believed she was sent to me so I could help her. Despite our friendship, she knew how I felt and she never let up on the christian jokes. I would never push her but would sometime respond to her cruel jokes about christians. She seemed to hate them and I never understood why. She would tell me all these horrible things that they had done to her just because she wasn’t a christian.
I was moving from church to church because at that time I hadn’t really questioned the existence of god, which I took for granted having been raised to believe, but couldn’t find a church where people seems to be walking the talk. I was disturbed by the hypocrisy I observed but hadn’t seen any instances where christians verbally attacked or were unkind to atheists. I think now it was because there weren’t many around or they were not revealing themselves as such. I was upset by the sermons I heard which seemed to diminish others who were not christians but I hadn’t made the connection yet as to the harm that caused or that it was actually a form of hate speech. I went to a pastor and discussed how concerned I was for Pam’s soul because she was a good person and it just couldn’t be possible that she would not be saved and go to hell and I was trying to figure out how to help her. I was told to stay away from her because there was a chance she was satan’s tool. Now this man did not say this to me in a screaming kind of insane preacher voice. He was very compassionate and seemed most concerned I was being led astray. I knew he had it all wrong and Pam remained my good friend and I was often surprised at what a good person she was. Besides, I was sure that atheists and whores were the kind of people I was suppose to hang around given what I understood about being a christian. (By church lady standards, Pam was a whore too so I was really doing the lord’s work. This sounds so bizarre to me now but this what I believed at the time.)
As my beliefs transitioned and I would mention my new beliefs to others occasionally, I came to understand exactly why Pam was so hostile toward christians. Like I said in a earlier post, I don’t hate christians but the overwhelming majority of experiences with them once they know you describe yourself as an atheist or agnostic were horrendous.
I try to understand where all this fear and loathing comes from. I was taught all good things flow from god and all evil is contrary to god. I wonder if the root of this is some screwed way of thinking that if someone doesn’t have god they can’t be good and they must be filled with what is bad. It is almost like being an atheist is the same thing as being a satanist. Like I said, I was surprised to discover Pam was normal, sweet, and had a kind heart. Initially, I did expect her to be vile in some way or wonder if I stood over her at the lunch table would I find a 666 stained into her scalp. But is that enough to explain how someone would react in such a way where they turned into the one thing that their beliefs are suppose to stop them from being – a judgmental, condemning, and hateful ass? Even if they are attracted to a religion so they can feel personally elevated with their own righteousness, wouldn’t they deep down want to be good people? I believe we would all rather be good people than bad people unless we have been so injured by the world we can no longer help ourselves. Where do you guys thinks this comes from?
I respond here, meditating, to your question ONLY because you asked. I hope not to offend anyone.
But you asked where this comes from. I say it comes (from a Christian perspective, again) from something that is not of God. I cannot understand how someone that wishes atheists to be in hell, can say that and be a Christian.
All I know, is that if Jesus was literally here, in person, he would not be like that and we are supposed to be like Jesus.
I think things like what you are talking about, comes from Satan. Because, whatever is not of God is of the devil. You can do with that whatever you want to do with that but it is an answer to your question and I hope that will be respected.
Again, I apologize if I had offended anyone here. I am sorry. I hope all is well.
Also note, if a question is asked, I will answer it. If you do not want it answered, then do not ask the question.
Basically, if the door is open, I will speak. If not, my back is against the wall.
Meditating, That’s the million dollar question.
shgadwa, i believe satan is real too, BUT we CANNOT negate personal responsibility!
i don’t claim to have the answers, but,
part of the answer i think is peoples personal fear and control issues as well as wanting to remain “pure” from what is considered bad in the world?? i believe fear is the root of much insanity.
meditating, Your one neighbor friend is a gift in your life – a good friend. Maybe people are like that because they’re wanting something (in this case to see people “saved”?) so bad that one acts these ways that are contrary to the desire they have. (kind of like the jilted lover acts when they think the one they love is rejecting them?).
I wish people didn’t act like asses in the name of religion or nonreligion, but alas, there are people hurling insults, blowing themselves up and making videos…. i’ve come to a place in life that i can simply walk in love. i do not want to waste a minute of my time on earth with negative energy…. what the world needs now is love, sweet love. (remember that song?)