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[P]
The religious revival in the US

By fluxrad in Op-Ed
Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:46:59 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

On a cold December night in Denver, a storm was brewing. The sky was clear, the stars visible to most even through the haze of the downtown lamp lights. But on the sidewalks, on the TV, and on the static of talk radio you knew a battle was about to be waged.


Denver Civic Ventures, a non-profit formed from a number of prominent Denver businesses, puts on the annual Parade Of Lights here, an event to celebrate Christmas and the holidays. What sparked the controversy this year is that no religious floats were allowed in the parade, sparking outcry from a number of Christian leaders and talk radio hosts. Combine that with the fact that Mayor John Hickenlooper had originally planned to nix the "Merry Christmas" display from Denver's City and County Building and you have a full fledged first amendment war on your hands.

To date, the issue has not been resolved. While religious floats have not been allowed in, Hickenlooper has reversed his position on the "Merry Christmas" lights on the City and County building due to a vast number of phone calls and emails sent in from people around the metro area. One wonders, however, if this story is really as simple as it appears. Is outrage over "the removal of Christ from Christmas" on city streets and public buildings simply disdain for the humbugery of city leaders or is it indicative of a deeper rift between progressives and their evangelical counterparts?

Certainly, an argument can be made that the people of Denver should be allowed to express viewpoints contrary to those of the Parade's promoters. More importantly, it is easily argued that since the Parade is a function of a non-governmental entity that the separation of church and state is clearly not an issue. However, the issue that cannot be avoided is the manner in which public ire is expressed. For example, while many radio hosts have called for the singing of carols on the parade route, others have called for outright boycotts of businesses involved with Denver Civic Ventures. Coming from someone living in the city, the overall feel of this issue is not that of people being simply disappointed in the lack of religion involved in this year's Christmas activities, but rather a concerted effort to force the city and the companies involved in the Parade of Lights to bow to pressure coming from the religious right.

Is this an example of political correctness gone too far, or do the above issues issues point to a theological resurgence in the United States? While taken by itself, one could certainly conclude that the people of Denver are simply attempting to rectify a PC blunder made by Denver Civic Ventures and, to a lesser extent, Mayor Hickenlooper. However, when viewed with other religious and moral trends taking place throughout the country, these events take on a different shape.

Case in point: The gay marriage issue. In February, President Bush called for a gay marriage amendment, altering the constitution to prohibit homosexual marriage in a uniform manner. And while amendments proposed in Congress by Senator Wayne Allard and Rep. Marilyn Musgrave were quickly struck down, similar provisions on state levels passed overwhelmingly. While having little to do with the "removal of Christ from Christmas," this continues point to a deeper set of questions being asked in the U.S. today. Homosexuality, separation of church and state, the "rightness" or "wrongness" of the current war in Iraq. These stories do serve to underscore the return to "fundamental moral values" coming about in present day America. Some would argue that more often than not, this is to the detriment of society.

In fact, these examples abound. In Pennsylvania a Dover-area school board recently voted to insert intelligent design into school biology classes, sparking the resignation of at least two school board members. While some argue this is simply an attempt to "balance" out the schools current evolutionary curriculum, they ignore the fact that the theory of intelligent design cannot be proven nor tested. In fact, curriculum of this nature only serves to undermine scientific principals being taught to young students.

And recently, with presidential candidates being denied communion, and even catholic parishioners being threatened spiritually because of secular voting practices, one has to wonder if this time the U.S is seeing an all out push towards a greater presence of religion in every arena. Indeed, one has to look no further than Mr. Bush's faith-based initiatives or the resurgence of "abstinence-only education" to find a battle being waged over how far, exactly, that presence should be extended.

But what does all this mean for America? Truth be told, no one can say for certain. Assuming this particular religious revival fades as others have, no irreversible processes will have been put into place and a reasonable divorce of religion and secularism will remain. To date, the worst consequence we've seen from a massive resurgence in piety was the prohibition of alcohol.

What is worrisome, however, is that this time there appears to be a concerted effort on the part of the religious right, reinforced by the current theological resurgence, to make permanent changes where they should not be made. In fact, this time items on the table include religion in government, abortion, and a significant amount of US policy both foreign and domestic.

Which way the pendulum is going to swing no one has yet to determine, but one thing is clear: A battle is being waged.

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The religious revival in the US | 492 comments (476 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
Not Religion (2.00 / 7) (#4)
by scibtag on Sat Dec 04, 2004 at 11:51:24 PM EST

There is no reason that religion must include things like public parades or caroling. It doesn't need to include forcing other people to promote your religion either. This isn't a resurgence of religion, but more of a surge of intolerence. They feel that they are owed a parade simply because it has always been given to them.

wanting to participate is intolerance? (3.00 / 8) (#7)
by jsnow on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 02:03:26 AM EST

They feel that they are owed a parade simply because it has always been given to them.

It's not like it's their parade. The way I read the article, they just want to take part in it like everyone else, and they have a good reason to be disappointed when they're not allowed to.

Why shouldn't churches be able to participate in a community event? Aren't they part of the community? If they were demanding the removal of the Santa Claus float, that would be a whole different story, and you would be justified in your claims of Christian intollerance (which may exist elsewhere, as the rest of the article indicates, but I don't see it here).

[ Parent ]

no they wouldn't (2.00 / 2) (#22)
by LocalH on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 03:09:43 PM EST

Santa Claus is not Christ.

[ Parent ]
Sounds like you haven't been listening...(nt) (none / 0) (#306)
by mikelist on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:09:41 AM EST

(nt)

[ Parent ]
So I take it that you don't mind (none / 0) (#60)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 09:32:26 PM EST

that gays are banned from marching in the Saint Patrick's Day parade?

After all, they aren't "owed a parade" either.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

religions do and there are reasons.. (none / 1) (#376)
by jarv on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:12:17 PM EST

There are reasons why religions may include these things and that is if this behavior is *part* of the religion. Prostylization is most certainly part of the Christianity. A good argument is whether public funds should be used to fund parades with Christian themes.

[ Parent ]
And you feel (none / 1) (#402)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 08:36:03 AM EST

that it is your right to take away things from people and decide what is and is not part of their religion.

Interesting.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

re:intolerance (none / 1) (#475)
by Mycroft_VII on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 04:40:26 AM EST

Actually intolerance is what the persons wanting to put in a float are victums of, not guilty of. fwiw here is the wikipedia definition of Tolerance A tolerant policy would be to allow thier float and other religeous floats, esp since the constitution doesn't forbid religeon, it forbids laws on religeon. Also note I'm not a member of any religeon and would best be described as sceptical of the whole idea. Mycroft

[ Parent ]
Right issue, wrong problem (2.46 / 15) (#6)
by jd on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 01:46:58 AM EST

Is outrage over "the removal of Christ from Christmas" on city streets and public buildings simply disdain for the humbugery of city leaders or is it indicative of a deeper rift between progressives and their evangelical counterparts?

Nevermind Scrooge-like humbugs, modern christmas celebrations are a complete buggery of the underlying concepts. But that's neither here nor there.

First off, there should be no conflict between civil matters and religious matters. Any conflict that arises is the fault of the participants, not religion, not secularism.

The Constitution is read to state that the State cannot promote any religion. So? A "common carrier", like the postal system, doesn't promote the contents of what they carry, either. What's the big deal?

Well, part of the big deal is that certain denominations, namely Baptists and Catholics, claim ownership of both Christianity and religion. No other views, besides theirs, are tolerated. In consequence, since the State cannot claim "common carrier" status, with respect to religion, it end up having to ban them all.

Whose fault is that? The State's? To a degree - they've not exactly worked at building greater tolerence in the community. The Baptists & Catholics? To a degree - they're entitled to their views, the bigger problem is that they think we're obligated to listen.

Neither Christ nor Christianity belong to a couple of half-psychotic, half-drunk child-molesting denominations, no matter how much they think otherwise. The sooner other Christians put tolerence to one side and kick the shit out of those hell-bent on ruining religion for everyone else, the sooner we can all get back to believing we feel is right, without risk of anyone getting persecuted by anyone.

I see nothing wrong with religious themes in a display, where religion is appropriate. Denial and editing history are the very crimes that religious groups committed which resulted in persecution, and eventually in the US seperating church from state. How is repeating history, only secularly, going to help matters?

HOWEVER, if the State wishes to preserve truthfulness (or, at least, something that passes for it), then I think American displays, parades, and other Christmas festivities, should include direct and explicit references to St. Nicholas and King Wenceless, along with why they were important enough that most modern festivities derive not from Christian mythology but from the actions of these two figures alone.

Modern Christmas has nothing to do with Christianity. The birth of Christ probably wasn't even in winter. Most early stories place it somewhere in the March to July timeframe. Modern Christmas has much more to do with European history, such as the two figures above. Most of the gift-giving stuff actually comes from the Saturn worshippers of Roman times. (In fact, Christians have repeatedly attempted to ban the giving of gifts over Christmas, throughout British history, precisely because it was a pagan activity.)

So, sure, allow the Christians their floats and displays, but don't forget the other figures in the process. Have a "St. Nick" float, perhaps, or maybe a few Saturnian decorations. If one group has the right to be there, then let them all be there. If the Christians would fight to ban any, then free speech doesn't apply and Christian displays should likewise be banned.

Let Christianity get what it gives, rather than protecting them from their own malice. Maybe then the Baptists and Catholics will emerge into the present.

getting what they give. (1.50 / 2) (#131)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:09:19 PM EST

Let Christianity get what it gives, rather than protecting them from their own malice.

Okay. Let's extend that logic. By this standard, because some blacks are crack heads, they should all be thrown in prison and because some gays have transmitted AIDS they should all be quarantined.

Sure, let's judge the vast majority of the country for the actions of a few. That works.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Re: Right issue, wrong problem (none / 1) (#133)
by d4rkst4r on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:25:26 PM EST

First off, there should be no conflict between civil matters and religious matters. Any conflict that arises is the fault of the participants, not religion, not secularism.

If the Bible, God's word, states that something is wrong, and secular government says it is ok, there should not be any conflict?!?!?!? How do you come to that conclusion?

Well, part of the big deal is that certain denominations, namely Baptists and Catholics, claim ownership of both Christianity and religion.

Don't suppose you have any evidence for this claim, do you? I cannot speak for Catholics, but I do know that no such claim is made by Baptists. We uphold the authority of scripture; it is God's word, not something we made-up.

No other views, besides theirs, are tolerated.

Again, speaking only from a baptist perspective, what are we supposed to be tolerant of? God states in His word that murder is sin. Are we then supposed to say murder is OK?

Neither Christ nor Christianity belong to a couple of half-psychotic, half-drunk child-molesting denominations, no matter how much they think otherwise. The sooner other Christians put tolerence to one side and kick the shit out of those hell-bent on ruining religion for everyone else, the sooner we can all get back to believing we feel is right, without risk of anyone getting persecuted by anyone.

Who is hell-bent upon ruining religion for everyone else: those who uphold the authority of scripture, or those who claim the Bible does not mean what it clearly says, or is irrelevent? If the Bible is God's word (it is), it tells us that man is by nature sinful (it does), it tells us that the wages of sin is death and eternal seperation from God (it does), and it tells us that the only way we can get to heaven is by repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior (it does), then for us to preach anything else would make us liers. Those 'religions' that preach anything else are not doing anyone any favors. It may please people to be told that they are essentially good and that they will go to heaven, but if that is a lie (it is) then those who believe it will find themselves in hell for eternity. Seems to me that the ones 'ruinning' religion are those who lie and by their actions condemn others to hell.

Denial and editing history are the very crimes that religious groups committed which resulted in persecution, and eventually in the US seperating church from state. How is repeating history, only secularly, going to help matters?

Huh? Funny. The only efforts ever made to rewrite history have been made repeatedly, and proveably, by secularlists, not religious groups. As to the US Constitution and the Establishment Clause, I suggest you find and read a history book. Your claims are non-sense.

...Christian mythology...

What is 'Christian mythology'?

Let Christianity get what it gives, rather than protecting them from their own malice.

Wow. Where did you get this idea?

Maybe then the Baptists and Catholics will emerge into the present.

Right. Instead of upholding the word of God and telling man he is a sinner bound for hell if he does not repent, we should join the 'majority' in singing the praises of man while blindly heading to eternal damnation. Good plan!!

[ Parent ]

I'll bite (none / 1) (#151)
by hatshepsut on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:32:58 PM EST

If the Bible, God's word, states that something is wrong, and secular government says it is ok, there should not be any conflict?!?!?!?

Well, the bible says lots of things are OK that secular governments are pretty much against (like wrong-doers being punished by bystanders, having multiple wives/mistresses, that it is OK to beat your wife, commit treason etc. - as long as God says it is OK). Try using the "god told me it was OK" line in court sometime and see how far you get.

We uphold the authority of scripture; it is God's word, not something we made-up.

Which particular edition of "God's word" do you believe in? There are a number out there, all claiming to be god's word. Frankly, unless you read Aramaic, or possibly ancient Greek, I suspect you haven't read the "original bible", whatever that is, so whatever version of god's word you have been reading, has been filtered somewhere (at the very least through translation).

Again, speaking only from a baptist perspective, what are we supposed to be tolerant of?

How about tolerant of other people's beliefs? Or even other people in general? You can believe whatever you like, but your freedom of religion ends at my doorstep (or when you start telling me that I am damned for all time...you have every right to say it, but I don't have to listen).

Seems to me that the ones 'ruinning' religion are those who lie and by their actions condemn others to hell.

Not even touching on the rest of this paragraph, but I am master of my fate. I can make up my own mind about what I will believe...no one can condemn me to hell (even were I to believe in that). I don't need you, or anyone else to do me any favours and try to "save" me. I don't ask for it, I don't want it, and I will actively avoid it. Again, you may believe whatever you wish. You may even state your beliefs, but I don't have to listen. How about a little of "live and let live"?

The only efforts ever made to rewrite history have been made repeatedly, and proveably, by secularlists, not religious groups.

Incorrect. There has been plenty of history rewritten by both secularists and religious groups. Provably. Nobody is blameless.

Right. Instead of upholding the word of God and telling man he is a sinner bound for hell if he does not repent, we should join the 'majority' in singing the praises of man while blindly heading to eternal damnation. Good plan!!

Just don't try to force those who aren't interested and don't want to listen to proselytizing to sit and listen to you. Some of us are as uninterested in hearing about your repentance as you are in hearing "the praises of man".

Overall: please, please, please, just let people live their own lives in peace. If someone is interested in your religious teachings, they will probably ask about them. If they don't ask, they probably don't want to know. Is that really so hard?

[ Parent ]

Re: I'll bite. (none / 0) (#212)
by d4rkst4r on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:16:03 PM EST

Well, the bible says lots of things are OK that secular governments are pretty much against (like wrong-doers being punished by bystanders, having multiple wives/mistresses, that it is OK to beat your wife, commit treason etc. - as long as God says it is OK). Try using the "god told me it was OK" line in court sometime and see how far you get.

Would you care to cite something to support your claims? The Bible never says you can have multiple wives, never approves of wife-beating, does not authorize bystanders to execute punishment, and does not support treason. God never told us to commit any crime.

Which particular edition of "God's word" do you believe in? There are a number out there, all claiming to be god's word. Frankly, unless you read Aramaic, or possibly ancient Greek, I suspect you haven't read the "original bible", whatever that is, so whatever version of god's word you have been reading, has been filtered somewhere (at the very least through translation).

Nope, I do not know Aramaic, or Hebrew, or Greek. Does it matter? No. What is important is what does the Bible say. Since we are fallible humans, it is likely that errors can creep into translations. So go to the language experts and see what they say. Use dictionaries to see what words mean. Learn the grammer rules to understand nuances in speech. None of this is any different then how we approach foreign languages, or even our native tongue. We only claim that the original autographs are the inspired word of God. Not the KJV, or NKJV, or ASB, or any of the many other translations. Can we be certain of the origins: with amazing certainty. We have over 24K extent manuscripts of the NT and many of the OT. The truth is: I have a greater certainty of knowing precisely what Jesus said while He was on earth then you have of confirming Socrates existed, much less what, if anything, he said.

How about tolerant of other people's beliefs? Or even other people in general? You can believe whatever you like, but your freedom of religion ends at my doorstep (or when you start telling me that I am damned for all time...you have every right to say it, but I don't have to listen).

I am not intolerant of other people. I have not met anyone in any church I have attended that expressed any intolerance of another person. But being tolerant of a person does not equate with being tolerant of their beliefs. Jesus was clear: the only way to heaven is through accepting Him as Lord and Savior. If I am a Christian and believe that the Bible is the Word of God, then I cannot say that Islam or any other 'religious' belief is OK. It does make a difference what you believe: accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior will get you to heaven, putting your faith in Islam will result in eternal damnation. But you are correct: you do have to right to ignore me.

Not even touching on the rest of this paragraph, but I am master of my fate. I can make up my own mind about what I will believe...no one can condemn me to hell (even were I to believe in that). I don't need you, or anyone else to do me any favours and try to "save" me. I don't ask for it, I don't want it, and I will actively avoid it. Again, you may believe whatever you wish. You may even state your beliefs, but I don't have to listen. How about a little of "live and let live"?

Are you master of your fate? Yes. If you reject Christ as your Savior, then you will have ensured yourself eternal damnation. I am not condemning you to anything. God, who does have the right to make those judgements, clearly states 'the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord'. Further He states 'that all have sinned a come short of the glory of God'. That includes me, you, and everyone else. We make the choice.

Incorrect. There has been plenty of history rewritten by both secularists and religious groups. Provably. Nobody is blameless.

You will, of course, have no problems providing a cite for that?

Just don't try to force those who aren't interested and don't want to listen to proselytizing to sit and listen to you. Some of us are as uninterested in hearing about your repentance as you are in hearing "the praises of man". Overall: please, please, please, just let people live their own lives in peace. If someone is interested in your religious teachings, they will probably ask about them. If they don't ask, they probably don't want to know. Is that really so hard?

This is pure nonsense. If I am walking down the highway the opposite direction you are travelling, and I know the bridge ahead is out but that you will not be able to see that enough in advance to avoid an accident, by your reasoning I should keep still 'because you may not want to hear it'. That is absurd. The real problem is that you want to do what you want without being answerable to anyone and believe, quite falsely, that if you can silence those who might show you you are mistaken, you will be OK. The truth is the bridge is out (we are sinners in need of salvation) and if any of us fail to turn around destruction awaits (hell / eternal damnation). God created us and He alone has the right to set the rules.

[ Parent ]

Third Bite (none / 0) (#248)
by black orchidness on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:42:37 PM EST

I don't know the bible well enough to refute your claim that the bible doesn't promote wife beating, etc, but I did find this punishment by bystanders. "Deuteronomy 22:13-21 concludes: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die..." Plus the bible is chock full of places where the death penalty is cited but who carries out the punishment is never specifically named. Doesn't that encourage people to take it upon themselves to punish others for "crimes" that aren't actually crimes but differences in belief systems?

Can we be certain of the origins: with amazing certainty. We have over 24K extent manuscripts of the NT and many of the OT. The truth is: I have a greater certainty of knowing precisely what Jesus said while He was on earth then you have of confirming Socrates existed, much less what, if anything, he said.
Number of sources does not always equal authenticity. It's just as easy to make ten fake copies as it is to make one. And actually when you get right down to it, you can't prove anyone actually said anything because you weren't there to see/hear them write/say it, so how can you say that Jesus is easier to authenticate than Socrates?

But being tolerant of a person does not equate with being tolerant of their beliefs.
Oh really? So just how exactly do you 'tolerate' an atheist when you tell him/her that they're going to hell? Do you comfort yourself by saying, "you are alive, and on this planet, I recognize that fact, but you are going straight to hell because my god said so." You cannot separate a person from their beliefs. A person is their beliefs and you cannot separate the two to make yourself feel better about being a discriminating bigot.

In the end this whole god debate comes down to he said she said, but what the other person was trying to say is that tolerance is more important than whether or not we're going to hell. Hell is after death, we have to deal with intolerance, bigotry, discrimination, and just plain annoyance right now while we're living. If you really believe that we are going to hell then let us go there without you trying to convert us. Anyway, why should you care?

[ Parent ]

Re: Third Bite (none / 0) (#328)
by d4rkst4r on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:52:07 AM EST

I don't know the bible well enough to refute your claim that the bible doesn't promote wife beating, etc, but I did find this punishment by bystanders. "Deuteronomy 22:13-21 concludes: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die..." Plus the bible is chock full of places where the death penalty is cited but who carries out the punishment is never specifically named. Doesn't that encourage people to take it upon themselves to punish others for "crimes" that aren't actually crimes but differences in belief systems?

Had you read the passage you cite, you would have learned that she was to be stoned if her husband accused her of not being a virgin when they wed, and it was shown that she had not been. Sex outside of marriage is sin, and to remove the stain of sin from the young nation of Israel in this circumstance, her death was called for. But in no case was it by 'bystanders' as you suggest, but by the community members after a proper finding of guilt. Do you understand that he could have killed her without having to prove his claim prior to this law? The danger is in reading Old Testiment passages and reacting emotionally without understanding the context in which these laws were created.

Plus the bible is chock full of places where the death penalty is cited but who carries out the punishment is never specifically named. Doesn't that encourage people to take it upon themselves to punish others for "crimes" that aren't actually crimes but differences in belief systems?

Really? Care to cite any such instances? To answer you question, no, the Bible clearly does not encourage people to take it upon themselves to punish others. We are called to forgive all wrongs done to us. This is part of the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.

Number of sources does not always equal authenticity. It's just as easy to make ten fake copies as it is to make one.

True. But what I was attempting to point out is that we have thousands of different manuscripts between which we can compare and contrast and find translation errors. This is far different from having thousands of duplicates, which would certainly be of no value in determining what the original autographs said. My apologies for being unclear originally in this. I should have been more careful in my wording. Please forgive me.

And actually when you get right down to it, you can't prove anyone actually said anything because you weren't there to see/hear them write/say it, so how can you say that Jesus is easier to authenticate than Socrates?

Ah, sounds like splitting hairs. In the sense that I was not present, then I cannot bear first-hand witness to what was said. That is certainly true. But in the case where the speaker is no longer available and all we have is eye witnesses, then we can rightly claim to have proof of what was said. The proof is the eye witness reports. Some have suggested that eye witnesses are bad evidence. That is nonsense. There is nothing better then an eye witness. One must just be careful to determine the integrity of the witness, and hear what they say, not what we want them to say.

As to having more evidence to support our claims as to Jesus' words as opposed to Socrates existance: the earliest existant manuscript (of which only one exists) alledgedly written by Plato, that speaks of Socrates, was written 1000 years after Plato died. Yet no one, that I know of, doubts Plato's story regarding Socrates. And I am not trying to cast any doubts on the veracity of the story. I merely mention this to show that a double standard is used when it comes to the Bible. Despite all the evidence, and it is overwhelming, as to the authenticity of the Bible, people continue to attempt to dismiss it as myth. But with zero evidence to support the existance of Socrates, aside from one manuscript written 1000 years after the auther's death, they accept unquestioningly his existance. Does that make sense?

Oh really? So just how exactly do you 'tolerate' an atheist when you tell him/her that they're going to hell? Do you comfort yourself by saying, "you are alive, and on this planet, I recognize that fact, but you are going straight to hell because my god said so." You cannot separate a person from their beliefs. A person is their beliefs and you cannot separate the two to make yourself feel better about being a discriminating bigot.

Huh? Belief != person. I hold beliefs. You hold beliefs. But neither of us are beliefs. An atheist is first, and foremost, a person just like you and me. Accepting, loving, tolerating a person does not equate with accepting, or tolerating their beliefs. As a person, your hypothetical atheist is, just like you and me, subject to sin, and headed to hell if they do not repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. If I fail to give that atheist the message of God's love for them, then I am guilty of lying to them. If the atheist decides to reject the message, that is their choice and they will fully pay the penalty for that choice.

In the end this whole god debate comes down to he said she said, but what the other person was trying to say is that tolerance is more important than whether or not we're going to hell. Hell is after death, we have to deal with intolerance, bigotry, discrimination, and just plain annoyance right now while we're living. If you really believe that we are going to hell then let us go there without you trying to convert us. Anyway, why should you care?

Sorry, but it does not come down to a he said/she said situation. The veracity of the Bible is proveable. God created you and me, and He alone has the right to determine what is, and what is not acceptable from us. Tolerance is not the important issue, although, if everyone did come to a saving knowledge of Christ, the issues that people scream tolerance is important to would not exist. This life, whether you live 50 years, or 200 years, is not what is important. Where you will spend eternity is. God will hold all of us accountable for what we have done, and those who have rejected Christ will spend eternity in hell. Physical death does not end our existance.

Where do you think intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination come from? They originate in the heart of man due to his sin nature. The only cure for intolerance, bigotry, discrimination, and all the host of man's inhumanity to man, is by repenting of his sins and accepting Christ as his Lord and Savior. We cannot make ourselves better, but Christ can and will, and has in millions upon millions of individuals around the world.

Why should I care? Because God cared enough for me that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. If the Creator of the universe loves me, an insignificant spec, so much that He would send His Son, who had no sin, to die for my sins that I might have eternal life, I have no choice: I am compelled by love to care, and preach, and, yes, to even see the message rejected by those who will do so.

[ Parent ]

The veracity of the Bible is proveable? (none / 0) (#332)
by Innocent Bystander on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 12:43:48 PM EST

Okay, motherfucker, I'm calling you out.

Prove the Bible is truth, absolute truth, from beginning to end, even when it contradicts itself.

And I'm not asking for the occasional historical citation showing that this guy lived, or that event happened.

I want PROOF.

Or are you bearing false witness?

Yours is the sin of Pride.
Mine is the sin of Wrath.

[ Parent ]

Given that.... (none / 0) (#389)
by jd on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 11:14:02 PM EST

They've completely failed to answer any of my points, preferring to argue over harder-to-prove stuff, I have to conclude that they're not interested in the veracity of anything, only in the promotion of their interpretation of those extracts they specifically feel are relevent, ignoring all elements of the Bible that disagree.

[ Parent ]
Re: Given that .... (none / 0) (#411)
by d4rkst4r on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:36:18 AM EST

They've completely failed to answer any of my points, preferring to argue over harder-to-prove stuff, I have to conclude that they're not interested in the veracity of anything, only in the promotion of their interpretation of those extracts they specifically feel are relevent, ignoring all elements of the Bible that disagree.

Assuming, perhaps falsely, that you are referring to me not responding: Please accept my apology. Until just a few minutes ago I had not seen your response. Thank you for taking the time and makeing the effort to respond. As you will note, I have responded and look forward to your response.

I am very much interested in the veracity of the Bible. If it were not true, then I would be foolish to place my faith in God. But it is true, and that can be and has been shown many times. One need only honestly look. The problem is not that the Bible cannot be verified, but that sinful man does not want to face the fact he is answerable to God.



[ Parent ]

Re: The veracity of the Bible is proveable? (none / 1) (#403)
by d4rkst4r on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 08:41:22 AM EST

Prove the Bible is truth, absolute truth, from beginning to end, even when it contradicts itself.

Christ is risen. That single event by itself proves the veracity of the Bible. Your suggestion that there are contradictions in the Bible shows only your ignorance, arrogance, and pride.

I want PROOF

No, you do not want proof. If you did, you would have done some research and known your claims were baseless. What you want is to claim in your arrogance and ignorance that you are all-knowing and all-wise. You aren't. If you have a question about something you do not understand, then ask. If all you want to do is attempt to impress with your ignorance, don't bother.

Or are you bearing false witness?

Am I? The Bible says God created everything, and an examination of reality proves He did. The only way I could be bearing false witness would be if that were not true.

Yours is the sin of Pride. Mine is the sin of Wrath.

Now who is bearing false witness? Please show me my words that indicate that I have sinned through Pride.



[ Parent ]

Eye witnesses ARE lousy sources of info. (none / 0) (#476)
by Mycroft_VII on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 04:58:22 AM EST

Minor nit, but eyewitnesses ARE very fallible, much for the reasons you then imediately stated. They are subjective and fall prey to thier own desires and interpretations and foilbles, not to mention the subset that activly misrepresent the truth. Think about someone who saw a stage magician, or is currently falling for a con-artist? Those are two eye-witnesses yet niegther can tell you what's really going on. Consider the effect of strong emotion on reason and perception. Some compensation for these factors can be done, if you know the eye-witnesses well enough, but when they are approx 2k years dead it's a nearly useless endevour. Mycroft

[ Parent ]
A rebuttal to your rebuttal (2.50 / 2) (#205)
by jd on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:41:34 PM EST

If the Bible, God's word, states that something is wrong, and secular government says it is ok, there should not be any conflict?!?!?!? How do you come to that conclusion?

Most of the Bible is NOT God's word. It is a mix of people's words, people's histories and politics of the time. If we accept Jesus to be the Son of God, and Peter to be the rock on which the Church is to be built, then everything Paul says which contradicts either/both of them is plain wrong.

I accept the Bible, but to me, that means I accept three "truths". First, "love thy god", second, "love thy neighbor" and third, "judge not, lest ye be judged". (The third is given by Jesus outright and is reported in a vision by Peter in Acts.)

Indeed, before you make claims as to what God likes or doesn't like, I do strongly suggest you review that vision, and the quotes attributed to Jesus that relate to it.

Don't suppose you have any evidence for this claim, do you? I cannot speak for Catholics, but I do know that no such claim is made by Baptists. We uphold the authority of scripture; it is God's word, not something we made-up.

Whose scripture? The one St. Paul approved? The Gnostic gospels? Those recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls? There are no less than FIVE versions of Genesis, besides the TWO in the Old Testament. If you look at the International Bibles, you will see keys to some of the more common translations of the Bible, which are often very different.

For you to declare yourself as following the one, true scripture, you must (by definition) claim the authority to know which one is true.

Again, speaking only from a baptist perspective, what are we supposed to be tolerant of? God states in His word that murder is sin. Are we then supposed to say murder is OK?

Try: Whosoever breaketh these commandments shall be stoned to death. (Page following the 10 Commandments, in most editions.)

Are we supposed to believe that you only follow those bits of God's Word that you happen to believe in? Or that God's Word changes with time? Actually, there are some very good reasons for believing God's Word DOES change with time. If that is true, though, then following God's Word for then has no bearing on whether you follow God's Word now.

Who is hell-bent upon ruining religion for everyone else: those who uphold the authority of scripture, or those who claim the Bible does not mean what it clearly says, or is irrelevent? If the Bible is God's word (it is), it tells us that man is by nature sinful (it does), it tells us that the wages of sin is death and eternal seperation from God (it does), and it tells us that the only way we can get to heaven is by repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior (it does), then for us to preach anything else would make us liers. Those 'religions' that preach anything else are not doing anyone any favors. It may please people to be told that they are essentially good and that they will go to heaven, but if that is a lie (it is) then those who believe it will find themselves in hell for eternity. Seems to me that the ones 'ruinning' religion are those who lie and by their actions condemn others to hell.

Actually, most of this is the word of St. Paul, who neither knew nor saw Jesus, and who was in (sometimes violent) conflict with Peter and James, both of whom did. If I were to have to pick sides, I would pick those who Jesus taught, over and above a Roman tyrant who alleged conversion but whose actions never showed that.

Huh? Funny. The only efforts ever made to rewrite history have been made repeatedly, and proveably, by secularlists, not religious groups. As to the US Constitution and the Establishment Clause, I suggest you find and read a history book. Your claims are non-sense.

I'd say the attempts by St. Paul and his allies to burn and destroy any Christian documents that contradicted St. Paul constitute re-writing history. The Old Testament refers to something like twice as many books as still exist. The Alexandrian Library had an edition that was three times longer.

If you want to speak for the whole of God's Word, I'm listening. Give me the remaining books. If you don't have them, you don't have the whole of God's Word, you only have the bits your specific denimonation chose to value. A very different thing.

What is 'Christian mythology'?

Christian Mythology is the attempt to twist teaching parables into literal history, the attempt to turn actual history into stories, and the very deliberate attempt to fragment knowledge to create splintered shadows of the truth.

Wow. Where did you get this idea?

  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
  • The parable of the king who forgave the debtor, who in turn did not forgive one who owed him
  • Faith alone does not justify -- James
  • The first wise act of King Solomon
  • A man is not defiled by what goes into his mouth, but by what comes out of his heart - Jesus

You want me to go on? I think these sum up my position admirably.

Right. Instead of upholding the word of God and telling man he is a sinner bound for hell if he does not repent, we should join the 'majority' in singing the praises of man while blindly heading to eternal damnation. Good plan!

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged - Jesus

You want to tell man he's a sinner? Go right ahead. YOU can explain to God why you chose to judge anything in His creation, directly against His command.

Humanity isn't perfect, it'll never be perfect, but that doesn't give you the right to break the rules of the one YOU claim to follow. You are attempting to follow two masters - an organized Church, and God. The Bible says you cannot do so. You will like one and hate the other, or love one and despise the other. You cannot follow both God and Mammon. You cannot truly worship God and adhere to a "faith" that usurps authority from God.

[ Parent ]

Re: A rebuttal to your rebuttal (2.00 / 2) (#410)
by d4rkst4r on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:15:25 AM EST

Most of the Bible is NOT God's word. It is a mix of people's words, people's histories and politics of the time. If we accept Jesus to be the Son of God, and Peter to be the rock on which the Church is to be built, then everything Paul says which contradicts either/both of them is plain wrong.

First, contrary to your claims, all the Bible is the word of God. All scripture was given by God and none came through the will of man. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). Second, nothing in Paul's writings contradicts Jesus in any way. Third, Jesus never said, despite the claims of the Roman Catholics, that Peter was the rock on which the church is to be built. Jesus spoke of the faith in Him being that rock. Please read what the Bible says, and not what man tries to make it say.

Whose scripture? The one St. Paul approved? The Gnostic gospels? Those recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

First, the scripture is the cannon of the Old and New Testiments in their original autographs. That is the only set of writings for which infallibility is claimed. Second, read the history of how the cannon was determined. The so-called Gnostic gospels are clearly not scripture. St. Paul never 'approved' any scripture. Only God approves scripture. As to the Dead Sea Scrolls, you seem to think they are different then what we have. If that is your opinion, you are mistaken. The manuscripts found in this collection, where they are scripture, are in accordance with other manuscripts and confirm the copying accuracy of scribes.

There are no less than FIVE versions of Genesis, besides the TWO in the Old Testament.

There is only one version of Genesis, and only one in the Old Testiment.

If you look at the International Bibles, you will see keys to some of the more common translations of the Bible, which are often very different.

Translations from the original to more easily understood english, or some other language, are apt to use different words. Translators working with the same text may resonably differ as to their understanding of what a word in the original means. Some of these translations have wondered far from what the original says. Whether this is by accident, or by design, only the translators can say for sure. But this is all irrelevent and has nothing to do with the veracity of scripture.

For you to declare yourself as following the one, true scripture, you must (by definition) claim the authority to know which one is true.

No. I must only believe the one, true God, and what He has clearly said.

Try: Whosoever breaketh these commandments shall be stoned to death. (Page following the 10 Commandments, in most editions.)

"Hey, why don't we just pull some scripture out of context and try to use it to bolster our nonsense." Written words, in any language, only have meaning in a context. I refuse to try and find the context based upon some vague reference to some page following the listing of the 10 commandments. Try using the normal references, like John 1:1. People, myself included, will be able to follow you much better.

Are we supposed to believe that you only follow those bits of God's Word that you happen to believe in? Or that God's Word changes with time? Actually, there are some very good reasons for believing God's Word DOES change with time. If that is true, though, then following God's Word for then has no bearing on whether you follow God's Word now.

I attempt, as best I can, and with Jesus Christ strengthening me, to follow all God says. Like everyone else, I am human and make mistakes. There is no picking and choosing what to follow. Contrary to your contention, God's word does not, and has not, changed.

Actually, most of this is the word of St. Paul, who neither knew nor saw Jesus, and who was in (sometimes violent) conflict with Peter and James, both of whom did. If I were to have to pick sides, I would pick those who Jesus taught, over and above a Roman tyrant who alleged conversion but whose actions never showed that.

Actually, what I quoted comes directly from Jesus's mouth as revealled in scripture. Paul certainly did see the risen Christ, as attested to by himself and Amanias. Violent conflict? You certainly have an imaginative way of interpreting scripture. Paul confronted Peter when Peter erred by withdrawing from eating with the Gentiles when certain Jews came from Jerusalem, where Peter had previously eaten with these same Gentiles without concern before. As to your alledged conflict between Paul and James, I must confess ignorance of what your are hinting at. Could you provide a reference to this alledged conflict? As to your character assassination on Paul: can you cite something to support these claims? The Bible certainly does not support your allegations.

I'd say the attempts by St. Paul and his allies to burn and destroy any Christian documents that contradicted St. Paul constitute re-writing history. The Old Testament refers to something like twice as many books as still exist. The Alexandrian Library had an edition that was three times longer.

OK. Now you have completely lost me. Cite your source for claiming Paul burned any books. Please explain your statement regarding the OT also. Many of the OT authors refer to books that were never considered cannon. Is that what you are refering to?

If you want to speak for the whole of God's Word, I'm listening. Give me the remaining books. If you don't have them, you don't have the whole of God's Word, you only have the bits your specific denimonation chose to value. A very different thing.

Huh? I am only refering to the whole of God's word. You claims have no foundation in reality. Please study how cannon was determined.

Christian Mythology is the attempt to twist teaching parables into literal history, the attempt to turn actual history into stories, and the very deliberate attempt to fragment knowledge to create splintered shadows of the truth.

Wow. Can you provide cites to support your accusation? So far you have managed to do alot of hand waving and making baseless claims.

* Do unto others as you would have them do unto you * The parable of the king who forgave the debtor, who in turn did not forgive one who owed him * Faith alone does not justify -- James * The first wise act of King Solomon * A man is not defiled by what goes into his mouth, but by what comes out of his heart - Jesus You want me to go on? I think these sum up my position admirably.

Let's see: You stated: "Let Christianity get what it gives, rather then protecting them from their own malice". To which I responded: "Wow. Where did you get this idea?". To which you responded with the above quoted material. Huh? I am unable to see what you are trying to claim with this reply. It does not seem to relate, in any way I can determine, with your claim that whoever should not be protecting christians from their own malice. My comment was intented to elicite an explanation of what malice you thought christians were responsible for. If this is supposed to be your answer to that question, it fails miserably.

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged - Jesus You want to tell man he's a sinner? Go right ahead. YOU can explain to God why you chose to judge anything in His creation, directly against His command.

I am not, and have not judged anyone. You take Jesus' statement out of context to make it say what you want and not what He said. Nice. What does the Bible say: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23; "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" Romans 6:23. God has judged everyone. Pointing out that fact, and their need for salvation in no way is an act of judgement of anyone on my part. I will answer to God, but not for those who I told the truth to and they rejected it, but for those who were in my path and I refused to tell the truth to.

Humanity isn't perfect, it'll never be perfect,

No, man is not perfect. Since the beginning, when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, man has been a fallen creature with a sin nature. But God, in His love for His creation, sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in payment for our sins. We have only to repent of our sins and accept His free gift of salvation.

but that doesn't give you the right to break the rules of the one YOU claim to follow. You are attempting to follow two masters - an organized Church, and God. The Bible says you cannot do so. You will like one and hate the other, or love one and despise the other. You cannot follow both God and Mammon. You cannot truly worship God and adhere to a "faith" that usurps authority from God.

Huh? Where in the Bible do you find a reference to the mammon spoken of by Jesus equating to 'an organized Church'? Jesus never said anything against the church. In fact, He created the church. The mammon is money, wealth, power, influence, the things of the world. This is what Jesus was refering to. You cannot be a follower of God and pursue wealth and earthly power to glorify yourself. The two are incompatible.



[ Parent ]

There is no Christ in Christmas... (2.60 / 15) (#8)
by gr3y on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 02:22:35 AM EST

nor has there been for a long, long time.

Christmas is when retailers across the country hit their "break even" point, and it is all about the money. For example, Christmas this year started the week after Halloween. All celebrating, decorating, etc. is intended to increase profitability.

There is no Christ in Christmas. The Christers lost that fight. They refused to allow their religious sentiment to be turned into fat bags of cash for Walmart, and in exchange they received a massive credit card bill that takes the first three months of the year to pay off...

I am a disruptive technology.

Black Friday (3.00 / 2) (#13)
by zephc on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 12:11:57 PM EST

Indeed, I work retail right now (while looking for software work), and we had quite a Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.  It's called that because it's one of the few times in the year that the stores operate in the black, rather than the red.

[ Parent ]
I was hoping Black Friday would be a net loss... (3.00 / 7) (#20)
by gr3y on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 02:37:29 PM EST

for American retailers this year, but I was disappointed. I actually made the mistake of entering one of the local stores on Friday, not realizing it was Black Friday. The Christian sentiment started when I was cut off in the parking lot, then almost run over on the way to the front door by some bitch in a minivan who needed to get to Walmart before it closed (!) (it was 2:00 PM), and ended when the cashier threw my change at me.

I hate this time of year more and more. I hate the bickering, the hateful, spiteful, nasty little emails about Target and the Salvation Army, or Walmart and Toys for Tots, the fact that the retailers put up their decorations the week after Halloween, the fact that they play shitty holiday muzak, the angry, bitter people buying overpriced Taiwanese crap for their kids that won't last three or four months of the new year before it is destroyed. You name it.

No, there is no Christ in Christmas. Only money.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

I agree. (none / 1) (#114)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:47:19 AM EST

Capitalism is not from God.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Gotta love online shopping. (none / 0) (#380)
by toganet on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:18:13 PM EST


Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.


[ Parent ]
Seriously. (none / 0) (#387)
by gr3y on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 10:58:25 PM EST

I do not "shop". My excursions into local retail stores limit themselves to purchasing the odd gift certificate, and that is how it should be.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

The clearest sign of that (2.90 / 11) (#28)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 04:06:55 PM EST

is the way even the Japanese now celebrate Christmas. You can probably count the number of Japanese Christians on one hand.

It's like the spiritual version of music piracy. Everyone does it, but you can't blame the people the music belongs to for feeling pissed off.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Christmas has never been a purely xian holiday. (2.75 / 4) (#52)
by fluxrad on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 08:13:29 PM EST

Look at Santa Claus, Christmas trees, stockings, etc al. Most of these were of pagan origin.

To be honest, Christmas has always been more of a Winter holiday than a Christian one. Hell, everyone knows Jesus wasn't born in December if any of the biblical accounts are correct.

In fact, even if you're angry that someone's trying to take the Christ out of Christmas, wouldn't it be more appropriately phrased: They're tring to take the Christ back out of Christmas.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Errr close but not quite. (2.80 / 5) (#59)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 09:08:56 PM EST

Santa Claus == Santa Niklaus, an early bishop in spain famous for his acts of charity. His festival (IIRC) was near December 25th, hence the connection.

Otherwise you're right - just as the Jews have inflated the importance of Hanukah to compete with Christmas, Christmas was originally an attempt to steal some of the limelight away from the Roman festival, Saturnalia.

What's really interesting is that during the colonial period, Christmas in the US was more like Halloween and Mischief Night - with drunken louts banging on people's doors and demanding booze. How that evolved into the modern tradition of carollers going from door to door is intruiging.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Santa is a composite (3.00 / 3) (#62)
by fluxrad on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 10:07:47 PM EST

Santa is more or less equal parts St. Nicholas and also Father Christmas a non-religious figure stemming from european tradition. To say, however, that his existence is derived solely from the advent of christanity is a bit too simplistic.

Either way, I think the most "Christian" part of Christmas is probably the name itself.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Well, I wouldn't say that that's proven but (3.00 / 2) (#63)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 10:28:06 PM EST

your comment made me google around and I ended up reading several pages like this one.

While they don't seem to make conclusive connection, the suppositions are plausible and certainly fascinating.

Thanks for the tidbit.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

yes (none / 0) (#102)
by Cackmobile on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:21:23 AM EST

and in germany you leave your boot outside and he fills it with presents unless your bad. then you get potatos i think it was (or maybe coal) and they do all the festivities on christmas eve

[ Parent ]
Knecht Ruprecht (none / 1) (#163)
by jeti on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:33:30 PM EST

In Germany, St. Nikolaus did traditionally appear with Knecht Ruprecht in tow. He is a chained black guy/monster, who would beat up bad children and stuff them into his sack of coal.

Only I haven't heard of Knecht Ruprecht since my childhood. I guess the guy is not PC anymore.


[ Parent ]

My children know of him (none / 1) (#472)
by Adam Rightmann on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 06:39:41 PM EST

courtesy of my parents coming from a small city in Pennsylvania founded by Bavarians.

Every December 6th, they anxiously await Pelznickle, will he bring small gifts, or take them away and chain them to a tree near the river.

[ Parent ]

Saint Nicholas (none / 1) (#81)
by Belligerent Dove on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:55:22 AM EST

His holiday is celebrated on december 6th (today!) actually. And although the story goes that he comes from Spain each year by steamboat to give presents to the good children, history informs us that he lived in Turkey.

[ Parent ]
You're right, of course. (none / 0) (#85)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:16:15 AM EST

I must be getting senile.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
Ha! Beaten to the punch... (none / 0) (#150)
by jandev on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:25:27 PM EST

...by that other jdv :) JdV!!

"ENGINEERS" IS NOT POSSESSIVE. IT'S A PLURAL. YOU DO NOT MOTHERFUCKING MARK A PLURAL WITH A COCKSUCKING APOSTROPHE. APOSTROPHES ARE FOR MARKING POSSESSIVES IN THIS CASE. IF YOU WEREN'T A TOTAL MORON, YOU WOULD BE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE "THE CIVIL ENGINEER'S SMALL PENIS". SEE THAT APOSTROPHE? IT'S A HAPPY APOSTROPHE. IT'S NOT BEING ABUSED BY SOME GODDAMN SHIT-FOR-BRAINS IDIOT WITH NO EDUCATION. - Nimey
[ Parent ]

Saturnalias (3.00 / 2) (#109)
by Dogun on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:42:20 AM EST

Nuff said. The Romans celebrated it before being a smelly Christian was popular. It was a week long or so, beginning on... Dec 17. Incidentally, lots of other cultures had big holidays around this time. It's hardly a surprise that the 'Christian Holiday' of Christmas takes place then, I mean, everyone else was doing it. So fuck off from claims about it being a Christian holiday. Romans in big drunken masses had it before you did. And so did everyone else. Just because you coopted a ton of big non-christian holidays and stuck your name on it, doesn't make it yours. And when people decide to not treat it like a Christian holiday, well... That's because it's not one, and that's their way of saying it. So fuck off, it's not your holiday. It's a pity that pussy Constantine turned Christian. If he hand't, there'd probably have been no Dark Ages and I wouldn't have to listen to fucking Christian Christmas music every time I went to the fucking mall in december, because Christianity would have died out like that snake cult. Fucking hell.

[ Parent ]
there are 25,000 Japanese Orthodox (3.00 / 2) (#113)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:46:23 AM EST

They're very interesting people. I used to hang out with a couple in Toronto. There are also a lot of Japanese Baptists. The country is about 2% Christian by population.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
AFTER Halloween??? (none / 1) (#123)
by katie on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:27:03 AM EST

Think thyself lucky -- this year my local Sainsburies had to move Christmas stuff out of the way for a while so they could have an aisle filled with tacky orange pumpkins.

We're in serious danger of Christmas goodies getting in the way of the Easter eggs...

[ Parent ]

Not Christian (none / 0) (#132)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:17:26 PM EST

But it's still religious! The retailers pursue the almighty dollar with a zeal that a 12th century Crusader would envy!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
you are 100% correct (none / 0) (#152)
by mrsad on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:33:00 PM EST

in fact, christmas has nothing to do with christ at all, the fellow was not even born on 'christmas'. which is the whole reason why christmas is being celebrated.

afaik, christmas is an old german celebration, where they worship the christmas/evergreen tree because its a "good luck/fertility/all good things in life" sign.

for some reason christianity made this whole story around it about the birth of christ and the whole parade, ofcourse commmerce is playing this game now as well.

i never had any connection to christmas or santa claus, i come from a very strong atheist home and we did not celibrate any of those christian celibrations.

however my girlfriends family does, so i'm kind of dragged in now every year, but i couldn't care less about it to be honest, while i found most people like christmas more then new year for example, which is strange for me (but it sure makes on-call arrangements at work easy for me, i always take christmas and never new year :D and my colleagues are happy with it).

Yow!
[ Parent ]

It's near the winter solstice (none / 1) (#477)
by Mycroft_VII on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 05:16:39 AM EST

  Many(most?) clutures able to figure out one day of the year was shorter than all the rest and one longest and two nearly dead even (by day I mean day vs night, not 24hours) days have marked them somehow in thier religeous traditions or otherwise with festivals or other rituals.
  It's one of the reasons Christianity has succeded as well as it has, it's place a significant religious connotation on these days making it easier for locals to adopt. consider the timing of Christmas, Easter, and All Saints Day (now hollween) I forget what if anything they did/do for the summer solstice.

Mycroft


[ Parent ]

on the contrary (3.00 / 2) (#166)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:39:49 PM EST

christmas was about commerce from the beginning... remember those 3 kings with their frankincense, myrrh and gold?

and in fact it was just the "bah humbug" prudish puritanical victorians who tried to take all the fun out of spending money

spend your $ folks, max out your credit cards and then declare bankruptcy, spend your $ like there is no tomorrow, and live the life of gold

screw the modern day victorian prudes and their anti-corporate revisionism: corporation$ are good, money is good... the worship of money and profit is closer to the true spirit of christmas than the puritanical revisionists will ever realize

lol


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

The Fight Isn't Completely Lost (none / 1) (#312)
by jameth on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:43:18 AM EST

There are some people out there, a small group, that are like myself and want to reclaim Christmas from the vile talons of corporate sponsorship. It's fairly easy, really. You just stop buying gifts at scheduled times.

On Christmas, you gather and have fun, but buy no presents. Then, as the year goes around, you buy people things as you see them and give them right then. This has multifaceted benefits.

  1. People tend to enjoy surprise presents more, and Christmas presents just aren't surprises
  2. This reduces the stress around Christmas, which is the prime suicide season in the nation.
  3. Corporations can't leech off you so easily and may eventually be deterred from their offensively abundant advertisments during December.
  4. You don't need to plan for one day year round or spend a few weeks finding every little gift the world could possibly have.
So, if you also like Christmas and hate corporations, join me in my reorganizational gifting crusade.

[ Parent ]
Irony... (none / 1) (#327)
by Pxtl on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:50:11 AM EST

is a Christian concept like reclaiming Christmas as a religious holiday comes to the same conclusion as the rabid-leftist anti-consumerist "adbusters" organisation:

Expanding the concept of Buy Nothing Day: Buy Nothing Christmas.

More evidence that Jesus was a hippie.

[ Parent ]

Yet more ignorance. (2.73 / 19) (#10)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 09:00:45 AM EST

A religious revival?!?

Can you please learn some history? Some perspective?

Once again:

  1. Businesses ban religious floats from a christmas parade. Such floats had previously been welcomed.
  2. Religious people complain.
  3. You assert that this is because religion is undergoing a revival.
In what sense is the exclusion of religious groups from public discourse a sign of revival?

Every one of your examples is nothing more than a faint echo of the power churches used to have in the United States but you, in your ignorance of U.S. history seem to think that they represent some new boogy man bent on undermining American Democracy.

Sheesh.

Try doing a little research into the following things: Kennedy's religion and his campaign for president, blue laws, the abolition movement, the prohibition movement, the Moral Majority.

Even the Moral Majority is dead, defunct, expired, it's an ex-political movement. Find some other dead horse to beat.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb

you just keep thinkin' butch. (none / 1) (#16)
by fluxrad on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 01:22:45 PM EST

that's what you're good at.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Nova Scotia doesn't allow Sunday shopping (2.83 / 6) (#45)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 07:03:00 PM EST

A referendum was held recently, proposing to allow retail stores to open on Sundays, and it was defeated.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

ROR thats funny. (none / 1) (#83)
by communistpoet on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:02:02 AM EST

You move to canada to get away from religion, only to find more religion. How does that make you feel?

We must become better men to make a better world.
[ Parent ]
You laugh (3.00 / 3) (#86)
by lonesmurf on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:22:45 AM EST

But here in Israel just the opposite is happening. On shabbat, ten years ago, everything was closed everywhere. Now some buses and trains run and many malls and stores are open non-stop on shabbat. Further, you used to not be able to buy bread at all during pesach (passover) because it was actually against the law.. and now you see it everywhere.

Welcome changes :)


Rami

I am not a jolly man. Remove the mirth from my email to send.


[ Parent ]
Uh... Have you considered that (1.66 / 3) (#98)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:46:04 AM EST

people might want shops closed on Sundays so that they get a day off?

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
So do it on another day of the week. [NT] (none / 1) (#103)
by Nimey on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:33:30 AM EST


--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]
Nova Scotia didn't do it for religious reasons. (none / 0) (#405)
by xutopia on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 09:49:12 AM EST

but so that single mothers could stay at home at least one day a week with their children!

This has nothing to do with religion.

[ Parent ]

It's stunned. <nt> (none / 1) (#106)
by Russell Dovey on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:37:35 AM EST


"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

It's pushing up daisies! (none / 0) (#242)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:19:33 PM EST

It's an EX-MOVEMENT!

Kind of like this joke, really.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

It isn't easy hating Santa Claus (3.00 / 2) (#117)
by wiredog on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:51:38 AM EST

but somebody's got to do it!
Really, for the hundred million or so of us who loathe the phony cheer of Christmas, the slather of sanctimony that hides the greed, the subtle extortions that underlie most family transactions, and the awful music and lights, nobody tees us off like that bloated fraud with his fat red cheeks and his goofy red suit, and that cottony swath of unkempt beard and the twinkly eyes of a serious crackhead.


Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
I'm a Christmas addict, I'm afraid. (none / 0) (#243)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:22:12 PM EST

I look forward to reading aloud Santa's Twin by Dean Koontz all year...

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
True... (2.00 / 3) (#157)
by cactus on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:16:34 PM EST

your ignorance of U.S. history seem to think that they represent some new boogy man bent on undermining American Democracy.
This is true. In fact, they're a very old bogey man bent on underminding American Democracy. They've shed some of their old disguises (which you mention) but have taken on newer ones.

Why the fuck is keeping secular government distinct from religious beliefs such a difficult concept to grasp? I'd bet they'd grasp it really quick if another religion were dominant.
--
"Politics are the entertainment branch of Industry"
-- Frank Zappa
[ Parent ]
I see. (2.25 / 4) (#164)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:35:15 PM EST

Why the fuck is keeping secular government distinct from religious beliefs such a difficult concept to grasp?

I dunno. What the fuck does it have to do with whether or not a group of people can have a float in a parade?

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Your cowardice at rating instead of responding (none / 1) (#189)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:05:04 PM EST

is hardly impressive.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
Kudos to the Clown! (2.80 / 5) (#180)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:49:00 PM EST

The recent rise in "progressive" rhetoric purporting to identify a resurgent religious fundamentalism in the US is almost invariably conducted within a near historical vacuum. Religion is a political issue today, in a way it has not been in the past, precisely because America is presently more pluralistic and secular than it has been at any time in the past. The notion of a rigidly secular America of yore is silly myth with no more historical veracity than the many conservative myths regarding an American Golden Era of the fifties.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Yes, a religious revival (2.25 / 4) (#301)
by fluxrad on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:11:27 AM EST

Businesses ban religious floats from a christmas parade. Such floats had previously been welcomed...Religious people complain...You assert that this is because religion is undergoing a revival.

No. I assert because of numerous happenings over the last four years I see a religious revival taking place. Please reread the article for more examples.

In what sense is the exclusion of religious groups from public discourse a sign of revival?

Again, this is not the sole example I gave. Of course, I don't particularly see what you're talking about here. Christians were most certainly not banned from the "public discourse" in Denver. This was easily seen as Hickenlooper had to change his position on the Merry Christmas issue and pretty much the only thing I heard or read on local news and talk radio for the past week involved Christians being up in arms about the Parade. Hardly an example of doors being locked to religion. To be honest, the only thing this has served to do is reinforce the "Christians under attack" mindset that many others have talked about.

Every one of your examples is nothing more than a faint echo of the power churches used to have in the United States but you, in your ignorance of U.S. history seem to think that they represent some new boogy man bent on undermining American Democracy.

I fail to see why so many rated your post a 3 with this kind of logic. Of course the US could be considered more secular than it was, for example, 150 years ago. In that regard most of the world is more secular. This doesn't have anything to do with the fact that a current religious resurgence is taking place in the US. Your argument appears to be that, since people don't believe lightning isn't god smiting a poor villager, we aren't really religious anymore and cannot be until people begin to think that again. I'm sorry my friend, but I can't think of a time since the 20's when the US has appeared to be so outwardly pious as now.

Try doing a little research into the following things: Kennedy's religion and his campaign for president, blue laws, the abolition movement, the prohibition movement, the Moral Majority.

Ok. You've thrown out a few examples over this country's 225+ year origin many of which had less to do with religion and more to do with secular evolution. Yet, today we see the Promise Keepers, Focus On The Family, 6 of 10 Americans stating religion is very important in their lives, revisitation of Roe, The President using fundamentalist terminologies in speeches (Re: Axis Of Evil), insertion of Intelligent Design into school curriculum, abstinence-only education (which fails to work, BTW), Doctors being legally forced to lie to their patients in Southern states (i.e. abortion's (false) link to breast cancer). The list goes on. Oh, and I fail to understand why you named Kennedy's campaign as an example. If anything, it serves to underscore a more secular time in American history, being that he was the first Catholic elected to the big seat. Also, please remember the man pretty much won the campaign thanks to his televised debate against Nixon. Hell, his Catholicism was nothing if not a stumbling block for him.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
America is considerably more... (3.00 / 4) (#346)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 02:20:11 PM EST

...secular and pluralistic than it was even 20 or 30 years ago. What you percieve to be a revivival is just a reactionary backlash fueled by deperation.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Bible Lesson Time! (2.39 / 23) (#14)
by guidoreichstadter on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 12:27:12 PM EST

As we celebrate and try to follow the example of the life of the Lord Jesus this holiday season, spending our time and wealth on ostentatious luxuries, let us take a moment to reflect on Jesus words-

Matt.25:31-46:
31 "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.
34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'
37 Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?
38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?
39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?'
40 And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'
41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'
44 Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?'
45 Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.'
46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

So remember:

1)Feed the hungry
2)Give drink to the thirsty
3)Welcome the foreigner
4)Clothe the naked
5)Tend the sick
6)Visit those in prison
7)Don't burn in Hell.

Brother Singer and Brother Unger have graciously offered to help us with this task; according to them, $200 in donations would help a sickly 2-year-old transform into a healthy 6-year-old -- offering safe passage through childhood's most dangerous years. Donate funds by using your credit card and calling one of these toll-free numbers:
(800) 367-5437 for Unicef;
(800) 693-2687 for Oxfam America.

Perhaps this Holiday season, those of us who the Lord has blessed so richly in superabundance should ask:
A child's life, or a new TV?


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.

Fantastically funny, (none / 1) (#18)
by Sesquipundalian on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 02:21:04 PM EST

the starving and impoverished , the alcohol dependent, immigrants, aboriginals, the mentally ill, and the legally disenfranchized..

These are also categorical examples of people who can be easily talked into doing all sorts of kamikaze type actions.


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
I think just about everyone can... (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by guidoreichstadter on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 02:37:27 PM EST

...easily talk themselves into taking all sorts of kamikaze type actions.

It's just that sometimes the planes take longer to hit the ground.


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]

Say, are you able to tickle yourself? (none / 0) (#24)
by Sesquipundalian on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 03:24:11 PM EST

You know, like Dot from MadTV?


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Why yes, I was always curious about that... (none / 0) (#25)
by guidoreichstadter on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 03:44:21 PM EST

Who is dot from madtv?


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]
Did you know... (none / 1) (#27)
by guidoreichstadter on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 04:06:15 PM EST

that gasoline has ten times the energy density of TNT? the thing is, it's locked into big organic molecules that require an external source of oxygen to release it, so it burns, while TNT's energy is in small molecules that contain their own oxygen, so it explodes!

That's why fuel air bombs are potentially so devastating.


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]

Everyone who rates this post 3 has to donate (none / 1) (#21)
by guidoreichstadter on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 03:03:57 PM EST

at least something...


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]
There are many others (none / 1) (#30)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 04:21:16 PM EST

Personally, I'm also a fan of investing your time not just your money. There are children a lot closer than the mideast who need help.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
That's true. (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by guidoreichstadter on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 05:02:07 PM EST

From reading some of what he's written on the subject, I get the idea that's what he's pointing at- getting you to challenge your place in the world,what you consider normal and acceptable, the way things are set up, how do you contribute to the problem, what can you do to change things? He takes the example of money to the extreme- if your just giving money, you can give away everything working 18 hours a day and not make a dent in the problem- because really the problem is not about how hard you work but about the way hundreds of millions of people think. Maybe working 18 hrs a day and giving the money to charity isn't the most effective thing in the long run, while the basic roots of the problem, which lie in the relationships between people, go unchallenged?
But at any rate I am respectful of the things that you do and think and actually want to hear more about your story, what makes you do what you do?


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]
Giving time is not always best (none / 1) (#39)
by xofer d on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 06:26:25 PM EST

If you are employed in a highly paid position, you may be able for more than an hour of care for those needy children with every hour of your work time. Money can be exchanged for labour time, but it can also be exchanged for material goods, food, clothing, an medicine. I'd say that the gift of $30 is probably worth more than an hour of your time in a soup line. In some places, that can pay five minimum-wage salaraies for the same hour. Note that this also has the effect of moving money from the hands of your employer to the hands of the minimum-wage workers.

[ Parent ]
But it's value is also proportional to your skill (none / 0) (#41)
by Skywise on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 06:37:14 PM EST

If you're a pediatrician, one hour of your time on a medical line for the poor may be far more valuable than the $30 donation.  (And definitely more valuable than your time spent working on a soup line)

[ Parent ]
8 hours in a soup kitchen (2.33 / 3) (#57)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 09:00:03 PM EST

will teach you a lot about the world as well as help the hungry. The lesson can be as important as the donation.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
Sometimes soup is not best. (3.00 / 2) (#82)
by communistpoet on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:58:19 AM EST

Perhaps work in a feast kitchen instead. gorging all the homeless with fancy food. It can be done for a trivial sum of money.

We must become better men to make a better world.
[ Parent ]
Regarding your signature (1.00 / 3) (#23)
by caine on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 03:21:17 PM EST

Book of Ephesians 6:5

 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

Should also be noted that in earlier versions, and before translation that passage uses the word "slaves" instead of "servants".

--

[ Parent ]

do i contradict myselff? (3.00 / 3) (#26)
by guidoreichstadter on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 03:59:37 PM EST

Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

And I suppose you uncritically believe everything you read?


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]

Kudos. (2.80 / 5) (#32)
by caine on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 04:41:33 PM EST

Many people dont' read the bible critically. And I must say that it's funny that the Bible is seen as 'Good' even though any other book would be seen as awful if it contained the same kind of texts that the Bible does, no matter how much else good stuff it contained.

--

[ Parent ]

Regarding your signature (none / 1) (#37)
by guidoreichstadter on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 05:33:18 PM EST

I thought to myself once,

"Any rational being or community of rational beings would surely devote all of their energies and resources towards the reaching the goal of biological immortality before they died. A truly rational being, surrounded by morons, would somehow achieve a way to cleverly delude the people around into sacrificing themselves to this goal."

Do you agree, and if so, what do you think is the best way to achieve that?


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]

There can be only one. (2.50 / 2) (#43)
by caine on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 06:49:31 PM EST

I don't really agree with the premise, since I don't think biological immortality is necessarily a good thing. However I do support the cause of lenghtening our life-spans, not as a goal but as a mean to help us accomplish further endeavours.

If one would take the premise 'a rational being seeks to reach biological immortality' to be true I don't belive it makes the other hypothesis necessarily true. For example, there could be moral implications stopping this 'supreme rational being' from using the 'morons' to further it's cause. There might also be concerns that the cause is better served with an enlightened population. If one assumes that the 'supreme rational being' is from the same original population as the others, it is likely to assume that such a rational person could once be created from the population now existing. If that would occur, much resources are lost by keeping this new rational being in the dark and having to realize his/her predicament for him or herself.

There's a whole ocean of these kinds of argument to be made for not using the 'morons' as blind, sacrifical lambs or guinea pigs. Of course you can debate this and refute many of those conclusions with things like 'a truly rational being have no moral considerations' and other statements, but without a more specific discussion both the arguments I've presented and the possible refutations are pretty much futile.

To return to the original subject but play a little on your idea, I've always found this particular thought especially interesting:

If there was a God - that wasn't taking an active role in the world - and I was Satan, how do I most easily delude the population of Earth to my ways? The answer is simple; create a religion in God's name that serves my purposes, specifically, write a document with my ways and claim it is the word of God. Since God does not actively engage in the world, there is noone to stop me.

--

[ Parent ]

it's just that I remebered something (2.66 / 3) (#46)
by guidoreichstadter on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 07:07:28 PM EST

someone said, I think it was on metafilter, about how all of us, when we're born, are in a position that's roughly like just having been dropped out of a very high airplane. Freefalling, we can see the ground below, rushing up at us, and the perfectly sensible thing to do would be to see if there isn't some way we can assemble a parachute or something to slow our descent, rather than whacking each other with baseball bats, or telling each other comfortable stories we've invented about how it isn't such a bad thing if we hit the ground.

Yet, you look around, and each superifical, plastic thing seems to be a supporting plot element in some story about how it's not so bad if we hit the ground. Do civilizations go insane when they come to replace everyday life with a myth?


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]

Other options (none / 1) (#49)
by thejeff on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 07:48:48 PM EST

Your truly rational being could also conclude that biological immortality cannot be achieved in his lifetime, or is at least vanishingly likely, so it would be better to actually enjoy the time available rather than wasting it in a futile quest.

[ Parent ]
Yes, that would be true... (3.00 / 3) (#55)
by guidoreichstadter on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 08:39:08 PM EST

if it weren't for the overprevalence of bored teenagers!
Seriously, the subtext is commonly one of denying the problem, not merely ignoring it. And it also forms a self-fulfilling prophecy- the less importance we place on the fact of our impending mortality, the less resources and motivation are available to overcome it, further postponing the arrival of the day when death too shall die.

A tiny minority of the world's population consists of the scientists and engineers dedicated to the development and refinement of the science and technology that could be used to advance this purpose, while over a billion humans spend their lives in abject poverty and the mass of humanity is content to let them stay that way (both living lives of quiet desperation?), when it would take less than maybe two percent of world GDP each year to totally revolutionize their situation. Even ignoring the vast resources of the elite classes, that generally less-than-ten-percent of the population who typically control the majority of the national wealth, two percent of global GDP could easily be scavanged from the waste and decadence of the industrial societies.

Merely from the point of crass self-interest, who can count the irreperable loss to humanity of the countless geniuses who must have died in childhood in the squalor and malnutrition of an urban slum or post-colonial backwater, or never found the soil to put roots into? A "genius" meant a guardian spirit- our state of mind in regards others and our relationships with them really is a form of war on ourselves, destroying our own future, our own guardians- the stupid racism of denying that we are all we have here.

I can only imagine and hope that there will come a tipping point someday in the future when technological advance brings the prospect of immortality into view, and a critical mass of people begin to agitate openly in favor of a "War on Death" as a matter of national and global priority. The current political administration of the world only self-proclaimed "super-duper power" can muster hundreds of billions annually to pursue reactionary military adventures under the mantle of a millenialist ideology, it seems more than plausible that it is only a matter of will standing between the combined efforts of humanity and the goal of human immortality. Eisenhower's observation that "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed" easily extend to all those who live, and know not why they go, nor where.

That reminds me of a short story, "The Death of Methuselah," by Isaac Bashevis Singer. I found a little book of his short stories the other day which made me happy. In one story, there is a nascent revolution in hell to demand better torture conditions, shorter hooks, cooler fires, things like that.


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]

I don't understand (none / 1) (#78)
by scanman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:23:15 AM EST

Why would a truly rational being prefer eternal life over non-eternal life?

"[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
"scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
"I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

[ Parent ]

well (none / 1) (#89)
by speek on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:35:18 AM EST

I don't know if I'm truly rational, and I don't know if I'd want to live forever, but I sure would like the option.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

There's no reason, of course. (none / 0) (#290)
by guidoreichstadter on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:48:26 PM EST

There must be some emotive foundation. I burn to feel, understand, know, experience, refelct on, love, create and explore so much and so many beyond what I am capable of with this life, this mind and this body. I want to live forever and transcend myself.


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]
An aside (2.50 / 2) (#93)
by irwoodhouse on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:25:04 AM EST

If there was a God - that wasn't taking an active role in the world - and I was Satan, how do I most easily delude the population of Earth to my ways? The answer is simple; create a religion in God's name that serves my purposes, specifically, write a document with my ways and claim it is the word of God. Since God does not actively engage in the world, there is noone to stop me.

If memory serves, the Cathar "heresy" which led to the Albigensian Crusade in southern France, and the demise of the Knights Templar, had the same premise - that God was non-physical, that the physical belonged to the Devil. The Vatican disliked the implication that materialist Catholicism was the Church of the Devil, but had no theological argument to counter the non-physical premise. Instead, they tortured and murdered thousands.

[ Parent ]

the Cathars sucked (none / 1) (#111)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:43:38 AM EST

They were guilty of more than bad politics.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
re: the Cathars sucked (none / 0) (#302)
by irwoodhouse on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:33:23 AM EST

Please elucidate.

[ Parent ]
Paul or Christ? (none / 0) (#91)
by Maclir on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:04:02 AM EST

So you equate the words of Paul of Tarsus as having the same standing as those of Jesus Christ? What does that make many of the "Christians" who take the letters of this tent-maker as more important than the message of Christ? Shoudl we refer to them as "Paulians"?

[ Parent ]
Paulians, gater thee around me. (2.00 / 2) (#94)
by caine on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:26:29 AM EST

Nothing in the bible is from Jesus Christ but people still read it and claim that everything in the bible is true, right and just. If people realized they were indeed more "Paulians" than "Christians", I would be a very happy man.

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[ Parent ]

so what (none / 1) (#110)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:42:33 AM EST

Slavery was normal; even a Spartacist revolution would still have left the ancient world with the institution of slavery. Read your Marx.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Your point being? (none / 1) (#126)
by caine on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:58:06 AM EST

Slaves aren't accepted now so there is no reason why we should accept a book promoting it. And I've read Marx and he was an ignorant idealist.

Oh by the way, since the thread start is 'Regarding your signature' I might note that the names should be:

Skarphéðinn

Þráinn Sigfússon

and the axe then finally (though I can understand if you want that in english): Rimmugýgur

--

[ Parent ]

oh nuts to you (2.75 / 4) (#140)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:57:00 PM EST

I'll transliterate however I want. There's Unicode for Cyrillic chracters, but if I were to quote Pushkin in my sig, I'd transliterate his name "Pushkin."

Slaves aren't accepted now so there is no reason why we should accept a book promoting it.

Actually, neither 'slave' nor 'servant' is a perfect translation. The Greek idea of 'slavery' was indentured servitude, not posession; a master did not have rights over a slave's progeny, nor did he exercise high justice over the slave. The Roman idea of 'slavery' was more comprehensive than the Greek one. On the other hand, medieval serfs were indentured servants as well, and I don't see anyone looking to call them slaves. Any society in which 90% of the population works to feed the other 10% is going to have some sort of slavery or indenture, period full stop. It is no more an intolerable moral wrong than is inequity of access to capital in contemporary society; and it arises for a similar reason.

In any case, the New Testament does not 'promote' slavery; the passage doesn't read 'buy as many slaves as you can, because it is good to have many slaves.' St Paul tells Christian slaves not to violently rebel against their masters because humility is a virtue. On the other hand, we know from historical sources that early Christianity promoted the non-violent uplift of slaves through community purchase. Even today, Christians are at the forefront of the abolitionist movement worldwide, as a cursory survey of the situation in Sudan would inform you.

In brief, educate yourself, shmuck.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

I'm educated just fine. (2.00 / 3) (#148)
by caine on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:22:00 PM EST

But the Bible wasn't written and compiled under Greek culture nor under the high points of the Roman Empire. It was finally put together in Nice around 300 anno (not my) domine .

And trying to bullshit about how modern day capitalism is slavery is pure crap. Yes, there exists slaves today but just working cheap for richer persons doesn't make you a slave. There's a big difference between slaves and poor people, if nothing else, so in perceived freedom - which is important.

What the bible say about slaves is equivalent to the following statement about jews: "Jews, don't revolt against your nazi-overlords, instead go ye meekly into their ovens" - which I can't for my life understand how you could condone.

Also note that the Old Testament is still included in the bible and is readily accepted as a part of it. I would like to see a christian church that distances itself from all the things that are wrong with christianity, for example the reliance on an old book full of hate.

Since you have no clue about my level of education in general or this subject in particular I would suggest you refrain from comments that make you look like an idiot in my eyes.

--

[ Parent ]

heh (3.00 / 4) (#167)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:46:24 PM EST

But the Bible wasn't written and compiled under Greek culture nor under the high points of the Roman Empire. It was finally put together in Nice around 300 anno (not my) domine ... in Greek, primarily by native speakers of Greek, under the authority of a Roman emperor. Greek was the lingua franca of the eastern Mediterranean for 800 years, from Alexander the Great to the Battle of Adrianople. Paul wrote in Greek for a Greek-speaking audience. Of course they weren't classical Athenians, but you might as well argue that Amyarta Sen (for example) doesn't have a proper understanding of the English word 'slave' as argue that Paul didn't use the word 'thoulos' in the correct Greek sense. Slavery in the Greek world was nothing like what is connoted by the English word 'slave.' For more on slavery in the Greek world, educate yourself, dunce.

There's a big difference between slaves and poor people, if nothing else, so in perceived freedom - which is important.

There is a corresponding difference is lack of reciprocal obligations between masters and servants today. I'd call it even. In any case, I never said that poor people 'are slaves,' I said that the economic nescessity of bondsmanship in ancient times is analogous to the economic necessity of divison of labour (with its corresponding and inevitable devaluation of certain types of labour) in modern society.

What the bible say about slaves is equivalent to the following statement about jews: "Jews, don't revolt against your nazi-overlords, instead go ye meekly into their ovens"

Godwin alert! I am Hitler!

Anyway, it is not the same, because slaves in the ancient world were not in danger of their lives, nor was Paul advising them to accept death at a master's hand. He was telling them to accept servitude rather than to rise in revolt.

Also note that the Old Testament is still included in the bible and is readily accepted as a part of it.

The majority of Christians worldwide are not biblical literalists. Their hermeneutics therefore treat of the old testament in a great variety of ways. This is rather trivially demonstrated by the innumerable ways in which virtually all Christians worldwide flout the 'holiness laws' of Leviticus.

Since you have no clue about my level of education in general or this subject in particular I would suggest you refrain from comments that make you look like an idiot in my eyes.

If it looks like an idiot, and it quacks like an idiot...
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Pfah (none / 1) (#171)
by caine on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:57:48 PM EST

Greek was the lingua franca of the eastern Mediterranean for 800 years

For the educated yes, not for the masses where latin was far more prevalent, but sure.

Paul didn't use the word 'thoulos' in the correct Greek sense. Slavery in the Greek world was nothing like what is connoted by the English word 'slave.'

I assume you mean the word δούλος (or doulos) which carried exactly the same connotations that you or I would associate with slave so your point is moot. Yes, the greek slaves were well-treated with a possibility of becoming citizens (if you were male) but they were an exception, not the norm. And as you've so eloquently said yourself; in those days serfdom was basically the same as slavery.

Godwin alert! I am Hitler!

The Godwin law is silly and I might as well have choosen another example, however Nazi/Jews is an example most people can relate to and have an understanding of. And slaves in those days were very much in danger of their lives.

If it looks like an idiot, and it quacks like an idiot...

Never met an idiot who quacks before, but if that's what you do in your spare time, who am I to stop you?

--

[ Parent ]

greek vs. latin (3.00 / 3) (#190)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:07:56 PM EST

Greek was the lingua franca of the eastern Mediterranean for 800 years

For the educated yes, not for the masses where latin was far more prevalent, but sure.

Erm ... what's your evidence for this? I'd buy that in the west, but there's very little evidence that i've seen for widespread knowledge of Latin in Egypt or Syria. Most of what i've seen has indicated that Coptic and Aramaic remained the dominant languages for uneducated folk in the East until the Arab conquest.

[ Parent ]

you just get better and better (3.00 / 4) (#195)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:15:37 PM EST

I assume you mean the word δούλος (or doulos)

It's correctly transliterated 'thoulos.' Have you ever actually met any Greeks? (If you happen to have been taught Erasmian pronunciation in school, I withdraw this remark - but then, if they taught you Erasmian pronunciation without correctly teaching you the use of 'thoulos' in the Greek language, your teachers didn't completely do their jobs.) Anyway, I think that I can safely assume from your failure to distinguish Nice from Nicaea (!!) that you are no classicist nor linguist.

in those days serfdom was basically the same as slavery.

No; quite the contrary, medieval serfdom was in most ways equivalent to Greek slavery, which is not the same thing at all. Medieval serfs were more free than slaves in some ways and less free in others. I'll assume that you didn't bother reading my link, as it refutes the rest of your post in the first couple of paragraphs, by the way.

Greek was the lingua franca of the eastern Mediterranean for 800 years
For the educated yes, not for the masses where latin was far more prevalent.

Yet another error. Latin was not widely spoken in the eastern Mediterranean except by ethnic Italians. The legions had a crude 'basic Latin' as their field language, but this was not spoken much outside of the military. Greek was of far greater importance. Classical Greek was only spoken among by the educated classes, true, but far more importantly, Hellenic Greek was the language of commerce. If a Persian was selling silk to an Egyptian, they were speaking in Greek. (Aramaic was also widely spoken in the Levant, but only among peasants in lands that had at one time been under Assyrian control. So a Jew could speak to a Mede in Aramaic, but he could only speak to a Roman officer in Greek.) So in sum, you fail it. Greek was by far the most important and widely-understood language in the Eastern Roman Empire, which is why the Byzantine Empire was a Greek-speaking empire.

In any case, your whole stupid contrived argument about the compilation of the Bible is utterly irrelevant anyhow, because the Biblical texts in circulation at the time of the Council of Nicaea were essentially standardized by the time of St Irenaeus (who wrote in Greek even though he was living in Lyons) in the 2nd century AD. The formalization of the canon at Nicaea was intended to suppress heretical elements in Asia Minor, not establish a new canon of Scripture in place of what was already in use by the Church. The Church was first established among fluent speakers of Greek, with some churches later commissioning translations of Scripture into local languages. End of discussion.

Never met an idiot who quacks before

I just met one today. Guess who he is? (I'll tell you tomorrow.)
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Heh. (2.50 / 2) (#201)
by caine on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:37:33 PM EST

It's correctly transliterated 'thoulos.' Have you ever actually met any Greeks?

I got the transliteration from a linguist from Greece. Guess which one of you and him I trust the most?

Anyway, I think that I can safely assume from your failure to distinguish Nice from Nicaea (!!) that you are no classicist nor linguist.

I'm Swedish. That city is called Nice in Swedish, which is what I use. Sorry if that confused you.

No; quite the contrary, medieval serfdom was in most ways equivalent to Greek slavery, which is not the same thing at all. Medieval serfs were more free than slaves in some ways and less free in others. I'll assume that you didn't bother reading my link, as it refutes the rest of your post in the first couple of paragraphs, by the way.

I don't agree at all, nor do most history books. I would also say that there's quite a big difference between medieval serfdom and Greek slaves. For one thing most greek patrons cared about their slaves, something that can't be said about most medieval Lords.

And yes, of course texts had existed before, but it was at that place, and that time it was decided which texts to include in the book - and it's that book that we use today. I can agree Latin wasn't in wide use outside of Europe's borders but that's not very relevant in this case. And anyway we have completly drifted from the original discussion (the one I find interesting) which is how a book which so widly promotes several despicable things can be seen as something good. And if you want to void my original argument based on grammar then just look to the Old Testament and explain why the modern church doesn't clearly distances itself from it.

And yes, admittedly, your linguist skills surpasses mine, at least in more southern languages.

--

[ Parent ]

transliterations (3.00 / 2) (#228)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:08:21 PM EST

Since you say that you use Swedish, is it possible that the appropriate transliteration into English is different from the appropriate transliteration into Swedish?

[ Parent ]
Of course. (none / 0) (#232)
by caine on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:21:49 PM EST

But the person in question doesn't speak Swedish, and it was meant as a transliteration to English. I checked some online dictionaries (no idea of their quality though) but they seem to agree, like this one. It recognizes 'doulos' but not 'thoulos'.

--

[ Parent ]

look (3.00 / 3) (#246)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:37:27 PM EST

'Thoulos' is a phonetic transliteration. 'Doulos' is an etymological transliteration. Modern non-Greek languages transliterate the letter delta as 'd' in words or Greek origin because of Latin transliteration and pronunciation conventions. Modern Greeks pronounce the letter delta as a voiced 'th' as in English 'thought.' They spell the hard 'd' as a consonant cluster made up of 'nt.'

In short, I wasn't quarelling with caine's use of 'doulos,' but with his contention that my spelling was incorrect. Both transliterations are equally good.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Fair enough. [NT] (none / 0) (#256)
by caine on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:59:49 PM EST


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[ Parent ]

Makes perfect sense in Spanish. (none / 0) (#325)
by Pxtl on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:43:26 AM EST

In Castillian Spanish (European spanish), the letter "d" is pronounced "th", as in "the" and "they".

[ Parent ]
yeah, that always interested me (none / 0) (#337)
by Battle Troll on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:05:44 PM EST

Also, Portuguese articles are oddly similar to Greek articles. Weird coincidences abound in philology :)
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
more (none / 1) (#249)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:44:47 PM EST

For one thing most greek patrons cared about their slaves, something that can't be said about most medieval Lords.

Yes, and the Greeks are the ones germane to the discussion.

a book which so widly promotes several despicable things can be seen as something good

The New Testament does not promote slavery, as your admission above ought to make clear.

then just look to the Old Testament and explain why the modern church doesn't clearly distances itself from it

I can't think of any mainstream church that conducts itself according to the legal code of the legal books of the Old Testament. The Prophetic books are another matter and are much more relevant to the contemporary church. Really, if you want to attack Christian ethics, the best way to do it is certainly not to pretend that Christians say and do things other than what they actually say and do and then attack those things. It's far better to look into what Christians actually say and believe and then attack that.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

A word to the wise... (3.00 / 3) (#210)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:06:06 PM EST

...among whom you may or may not be included, don't pick a fight with BT on the history of the Church; it's a subject he's very conversant with. Your comment, on the other hand, is riddled with errors:

But the Bible wasn't written and compiled under Greek culture nor under the high points of the Roman Empire. It was finally put together in Nice around 300 anno (not my) domine.

Even under the most generous reading, your comment is quite misleading. The early Church Fathers were overwhelmingly of Hellenic cultural extraction (eg., Greek and/or Syriac (Aramaic) speaking communities from Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, etc...). The strong influence of Hellenic Greek culture in the early Church is pretty unversally recognized (even by the RCC). This influence is especially evident in both the liturgical and theological practices of the early Church.

What the bible say about slaves is equivalent to the following statement about jews: "Jews, don't revolt against your nazi-overlords, instead go ye meekly into their ovens" - which I can't for my life understand how you could condone.

The institution of slavery within the Hellenic world isn't at all comparable to genocidal program of Nazis. The point BT was making, which you've missed, is that slavery as practiced in the classical Hellenic world isn't the form of chattel slavery your most likely accustomed with. If anything, it most closely resembles the institutions of slavery in place within the traditional Islamic cultures of the Arabian Penninsula and North Africa.

Also, it should be noted that from the perspective of orthodox Christianity the Church exists to keep alive the possibility of salvation, not to rectify the various evils and injustices of this world (render unto Ceaser and all that). It is a fundamental tenet of the faith that this world is irreperably fallen and that salvation is therefore only to be found in the next. Christianity isn't about fixing the problems with the world we live in.

Also note that the Old Testament is still included in the bible and is readily accepted as a part of it. I would like to see a christian church that distances itself from all the things that are wrong with christianity, for example the reliance on an old book full of hate.

The orthodox Christians churches (read: not protestant) view the OT as being rather more "symbolic" in character than you are probably aware.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
...I hate writing subjects (none / 0) (#258)
by caine on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:14:34 PM EST

...among whom you may or may not be included, don't pick a fight with BT on the history of the Church; it's a subject he's very conversant with.

Duly noted. It's not many times I consider myself to have 'lost' an argument, even in subjects like this which isn't exactly my strongest suit, but today I admit defeat.

Even under the most generous reading, your comment is quite misleading. The early Church Fathers were overwhelmingly of Hellenic cultural extraction (eg., Greek and/or Syriac (Aramaic) speaking communities from Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, etc...). The strong influence of Hellenic Greek culture in the early Church is pretty unversally recognized (even by the RCC). This influence is especially evident in both the liturgical and theological practices of the early Church.

I don't agree with this. Both roman and greek culture were on the decline and I don't see those kind of cultural forces evident in the selection of texts that form the bible. Neither classic Hellenic nor Roman influences are cleary present, instead it's more of a new cultural formation.

The institution of slavery within the Hellenic world isn't at all comparable to genocidal program of Nazis.

I think you're both missing my point a bit. What I mean is; No matter what the intention was when for example that passage in the book of Ephesians was written, the point is that in modern day it's read as endorsing slavery. I can ensure you that only a promille of the people claiming the Bible is The Absolute Truth have a clue about Hellenic society :).

And if it's read as endorsing slavery I can't see how you can claim that the book is 'good'. It should also be noted that in both Swedish and many other translations of the bible besides the King James version the word 'slaves' is still used in that passage.

Also, it should be noted that from the perspective of orthodox Christianity the Church exists to keep alive the possibility of salvation, not to rectify the various evils and injustices of this world (render unto Ceaser and all that). It is a fundamental tenet of the faith that this world is irreperably fallen and that salvation is therefore only to be found in the next. Christianity isn't about fixing the problems with the world we live in.

And I readily accept this. Of course I don't like people that actually endorse absolutely everything in the Bible and live by it, but what I dislike even more is the 'pick and choose' attitude that's prevalent in many modern churches. If you're going to pick and choose so much anyway then get rid of all the bad things. Ignoring all the things about slavery, heathens, etc while keeping the bits about homosexuality is wrong and annoys the hell out of me.

The orthodox Christians churches (read: not protestant) view the OT as being rather more "symbolic" in character than you are probably aware.

But I want that explicitly said. I want them to say 'The Old Testament is bollocks but we keep it for historical purposes'.

--

[ Parent ]

Decline? (3.00 / 2) (#269)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:12:43 PM EST

In relation to what? Are you perhaps a bit too much under the sway of Gibbonesque accounts?

Given that most cultural historians would assent to the statement that both classic Rome and Greece continue to exert tremendous sway over our contemporary world, I fail to see what your objection is to allowing for that influence at a position of much less remove.

Additionally, being something of Byzantiphile (to coin a phrase?), I must vigorously protest any attempt to characterize the 4th century as period of Greek decline. Rather I'd be inclined argue that the emergence of the Byzantine Empire represents the very apex of the greater Hellenic world.

And as for the liturgical and theological influences of Greek culture, are you aware that greek was the liturgical language of most early Christian Churches, even within Rome itself, up through the 2nd century CE? Not dispositive, surely, but strongly indicitive I belive. Also, how is one to make any sense of such theological concepts as transsubstantiation without first understanding the neo-platonic context within which that debate occured? Personally, I can't help but see the indelible mark of Greece even in such a fundamental concept as the Trinity (although some theologians have put forth intersting arguments that there are Judiac antecendents for such a notion), and therefore the whole of the Christological tradition.

But I want that explicitly said. I want them to say 'The Old Testament is bollocks but we keep it for historical purposes'.

Although the good doctor would never have put is such, I think you'll Aquinas comes very to making just such a statement (inspired & morally edifying IFF read "correctly", but important for historical reasons)

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Influence (none / 0) (#272)
by caine on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:41:45 PM EST

Well yes, sure, those are two cultures who are still very influential on our everyday life so that's why it's important to see it a somewhat more relative light. Let's put it like this: Considering just that it was so close on these two cultures and that they are so prevalent in our society still, how come they don't shine through more in the biblic texts? But as said, we're drifting into areas I'm not qualified to speak about. I'm more interested in how the bible is viewed today by common man than a discussion on cultural flows in those centuries.

Transsubstantiation is an interesting topic to discuss, 'cannibal'-jokes aside, but I also think it's one worth discussing in the now, regarding the view on communion today, not what it represented then. Especially I don't think it's interesting to discuss it from some kind of 'neo-platonic' context, simply because we do not have any clear idea if there was any such context influencing the creation of the communion.

As two closing sidemarks I would like to state that a) You seem to suffer from what my lecturers likes to call 'complex word disease' which I frequently get when I write in English. Probably because it isn't my mother tongue. However it seems to be yours, so what's your excuse? ;) and b)The Byzantine Empire is a very interesting subject that seems to get overlooked all to often, especially in modern education.

--

[ Parent ]

Fair enough... (3.00 / 2) (#274)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:11:06 PM EST

My interest in Christianity is principally historical, not in relation to present day political concerns. Different strokes and all that...

As to your concluding statements:

a) far more post-structualist theory than is healthy topped off with an abiding love for high modernism ;-P
b) indeed, a simple google search for florence + renaissance + constantinople would do much to disabuse people of popular but erroneous notions about the course of Western history.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
more (none / 1) (#292)
by Battle Troll on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 12:59:23 AM EST

Both roman and greek culture were on the decline and I don't see those kind of cultural forces evident in the selection of texts that form the bible.

The Roman Empire was hardly 'in decline' in AD 33, or 133 for that matter. What other power mattered in the Mediterranean? As for the Greeks, 600 AD was the apex of Grecophone political power throughout all of history, considering that the Eastern Empire not only directly ruled immense lands including the Levant, Greece, Anatolia, Romania, Bulgaria, and big chunks of Central Europe, but that under Justinian, it successfully mounted amphibious invasions and conquests of southern Spain, Italy, and Lower Egypt (Alexandria.)

For the entire medieval period, the Eastern Empire was by far the single most powerful European state, both economically and militarily. Its gold coinage was the international reserve currency at a time in which Charlemagne could only mint silver pennies. Look at it this way: the Byzantine Empire beat back the Arabs for 500 years until they themselves were conquered by the Turks; fought off the Turks for another 300 years; successfully resisted the Magyars, Avars, Bulgars, Khazars, and recovered from the incursions of the Mongols; and all this while periodically putting down raids from the West. The only comparable Hellenic state was Alexander's kingdom, and how long did that last?

Bluntly, the Greeks were massively on the upswing in the early days of the Christian era. They went from being politically impotent and ethnically exhausted (300 AD) to being the only game in town (500 AD) to arresting the Pope, building the Hagia Sophia, and conquering half of the Mediterranean (600 AD.)

No matter what the intention was when for example that passage in the book of Ephesians was written, the point is that in modern day it's read as endorsing slavery.

Not by anyone I know, and I totally know a ton of Christians from all over the world. If it were read by Christians, as opposed to you, as endorsing slavery, I encourage you to explain why American evangelicals, for instance, are busily manumitting slaves in Sudan today.

Of course I don't like people that actually endorse absolutely everything in the Bible and live by it, but what I dislike even more is the 'pick and choose' attitude that's prevalent in many modern churches.

I don't see why you deny Christians the right to their own hermeneutics. Does a national court have the right to interpret its country's constitution's plain meaning in order to create a body of case law and precedent? If so, why can't Christians interpret their own texts and histories?

I want them to say 'The Old Testament is bollocks but we keep it for historical purposes'.

I love the Anglophilia in Continental English-language education. They probably teach people to say 'lorry' and 'loo' as well. Anyway, the OT is not 'bollocks;' it is the best record we have of Ancient Judaism, from the first people to worship God rather than rocks, animals, and their own genitals. But it's a heavily edited text with many anachronistic interpolations, so it's not a reliable guide to history. What is is a reliable guide to is the Jewish religion ca. 700 BC, which makes it a primary source for Christianity. It goes without saying, of course, that Christians, not being Jews ca. 700 BC, have their own glosses on the text.

Once again, I encourage you to read what different churches have to say. What you claim that they say has nothing to do with anything that anyone believes, so your line of argument is, in a word, bankrupt.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

People (none / 0) (#311)
by caine on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:41:36 AM EST

Note I'm talking about 300 AD when the Roman Empire was in decline and as you say the Greek was "being politically impotent and ethnically exhausted (300 AD)". I can admit decline was a poor choice of words.

Hm, I admit you seem to know history better than me but you seem to be lacking somewhat in modern day religion :). In recent surveys, of americans I might add, a larger and larger number each year of Christians claim that the Old Testament is true and is how things happened. This is also prevalent in many, many churches in amongst other countries, the US. And why they "shouldn't" be allowed to interpret the bible is pretty obvious if you believe it to be the word of God. Now, I don't but they do.

By the way isn't Zoroastrism considered the first monoteistic religion in the world? Not Judaism?

As a side-note, I, as most Swedes, speak american-english. They don't teach us to say bollocks, nor lorry, nor loo. I do however like the word 'bollocks' and I might occasionally use 'pavement'.

--

[ Parent ]

more (none / 1) (#336)
by Battle Troll on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:03:21 PM EST

A period of thirty to fifty years in which Roman political power shifts decisively from the Italians to a rejuvenated Greece is not a decline but an interregnum. If anyone declined, it was the Italians, but they hadn't been a primary factor in Roman power since the later days of the Republic, to say nothing of the Empire itself.

In recent surveys, of americans I might add, a larger and larger number each year of Christians claim that the Old Testament is true and is how things happened.

Only in the USA. 1.1 billion Catholics + 250 million Orthodox out of 2 billion Christians = a majority of non-literalists on its face, before you even bother factoring in liberal Protestants. I realize that in Sweden the fastest-growing Christian groups are fundamentalist, but perhaps that's a Swedish affair; a reaction to the establishment, the impotence and the cowardice of the state church, rather than an indictment of Christianity per se. Regardless, I don't see Sweden going all Handmaid's Tale on us anytime soon.

In any case, fundamentalist gowks are an aberration in Christian history. They rise up like the grass and are cut down, but the Church lives forever.

Regarding your comments about Zoroastrianism, it is not strictly a monotheistic religion, but instead a henotheistic dualism.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

More, once again with feeling (none / 0) (#340)
by caine on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:43:09 PM EST

Perhaps fundamentalist are an aberration in Christian history, but that doesn't mean that people that are fundamentalist enough haven't been in majority for large periods of time. For example, the catholic church during the middle ages wasn't fundamentalist by their eyes but could be seen as it now. If more and more people return to those ways in modern times they could, and rightly so, be seen as fundamentalists. And if the most influential nation on Earth is going that way, that shouldn't be overlooked or be seen as insignificant. I would also believe that large contingents of christians in Africa share views about Christianity very much alike the view of american born-agains.

Regarding Sweden; I would venture a guess we're one of the more secular countries now in existance, so no, I'm not exactly worried about that either but we too see a rise of vocal fundamentalists. Even if they're disappearingly few in reality.

Regarding henotheistic, I've always found it interesting how the first commandment is worded. Why not simply ' I am The Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. There are no other gods.' instead of the 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'. Though I do not know the original language before translation, is it a clerical error?

--

[ Parent ]

more (none / 1) (#345)
by Battle Troll on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 02:10:04 PM EST

And if the most influential nation on Earth is going that way, that shouldn't be overlooked or be seen as insignificant. I would also believe that large contingents of christians in Africa share views about Christianity very much alike the view of american born-agains.

As soon as you admit that your interest in Christianity is primarily political, our argument is over. I'm sure that the rise of fundamentalism would be nearly as unpalatable to you as it would be to me, but it is a real movement in history (not a historical chimaera) then what on earth is anyone to do about it? People believe things that make you upset and uncomfortable; very well; it's the same for me. Is secular society at risk? It certainly is, in principle; so what?

Why not simply ' I am The Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. There are no other gods.' instead of the 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

The earliest Jews were almost certainly henotheists as well, but they grew out of it.

For example, the catholic church during the middle ages wasn't fundamentalist by their eyes but could be seen as it now.

For the record, this was an aberrant theological innovation as well; that Catholic Church did not assert the inerrancy of Scripture as a source of history until the Renaissance. Anyway, you want to be careful what you say about the medieval church, for without the Catholic Church as a patron of learning, European culture would have completely died out in Western Europe.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Praise the... (none / 0) (#355)
by caine on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:28:31 PM EST

What I find interesting is the inherit conflict in claiming the scriptures are the Word of God while still picking and choosing from them, and yes I do use that to what you call political purposes. And I use it to sway those who are balancing on the edge. Mea Culpa. I see it as ensuring the future is a world I would like to live in. Just as I imagine Christians do the same but in the other direction. Am I as bad as them? I'd like to think not, but history will judge.

The earliest Jews were almost certainly henotheists as well, but they grew out of it.

As suspected. A bit strange then to keep it in yet claiming there is only Yhw?

Well yes, of course I'm happy that the Catholic Church kept not only culture, but technology and ideas alive during the dark ages. I also find the Catholic Church immensly 'cool' if you permit the expression. But just as I find China's technological discoveries wonderful and their culture 'cool' I can't support their current torture and oppression of dissidents. I simply don't see the existance of some good as a balance to all the evil, in christianity and secular countries alike.

--

[ Parent ]

A possible source of confusion... (none / 1) (#367)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:55:51 PM EST

What I find interesting is the inherit conflict in claiming the scriptures are the Word of God while still picking and choosing from them

The idea that the Bible is literally the "Word of God" has historically had relatively little traction within the orthodox Christian Churches. That notion, usually termed biblical inerrancy, really arose under the Protestant Churches as it, among other things, obviated the need for the "Chruch" as it was traditionally understood.

As a point of reference, it is current RCC dogma that the biblical texts are inerrant on matters pertaining to salvation (which is actually precious little).

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Christ is the Word of God (John 1) (none / 0) (#409)
by Battle Troll on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 10:46:32 AM EST

The Bible can only be so insofar as it perfectly reflects Christ. It isn't a history or science textbook, period full stop.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Other Gods (none / 1) (#348)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 02:50:40 PM EST

I'd suggest you read Kings II with an eye toward evidence of the presence of polytheistic beliefs and practices among the early Hebrews. The biblical texts, as best as contemporary scholarship can determine, were assembled and redacted by adherents of the Yahwist sect sometime during and immediately following the period of Babylonian captivity. Being such they tend to strongly reflect the prejudices of the Southern Kingdom and the temple cult centered in Jerusalem, but there does remain ample textual evidence that the Hebrew tribes were a more religiously pluralistic community than a superficial reading of the Bible might at first indicate. Syrio-Palestinian achaeology also provides abundant evidence to support the view that polytheistic religious practices, often of a Canaanite or Phoenician character, were quite widespread in both Northern and Southern Kingdoms from the 9th through the 3rd centuries BCE.  

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Thanks! (none / 0) (#352)
by caine on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:19:09 PM EST

Since I'm in the middle of my exams, I don't have all that much time perusing it right now, but I will when I have more time.

--

[ Parent ]

Question (none / 0) (#341)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:45:21 PM EST

The Anglican Communion is the largest of the protestant churches, yes?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
I think so (none / 0) (#344)
by Battle Troll on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 02:04:34 PM EST

50-odd million last time I checked. By comparison, there are about 16 million members of Southern Baptist congregations in the USA.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Not that it's especially apropos... (none / 0) (#350)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 02:58:22 PM EST

...but do you know if the Anglican Communion is larger or smaller than the RCC in East and South-East Asia?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
smaller, I would imagine (none / 0) (#360)
by Battle Troll on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:18:17 PM EST

Most of Anglicanism is divided between England, Africa, and the USA, while the Phillipines is the world's second-largest Catholic country after Brazil.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
also, East Asia (none / 0) (#361)
by Battle Troll on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:20:26 PM EST

Japanese Christians are few. There are ca. 30 million Chinese Catholics and no notable Chinese Anglicans (why would there be?) There aren't a whole lot of either in Korea, where most Christians are some kind of Presbyterian, mostly of a reactionary stripe.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
I asked... (none / 0) (#363)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:41:59 PM EST

...only because I recall reading an article about the global outrage within the Anglican Communion in response to the election of Robinson to the position of Bishop. One of the more outspoken critics was East Asian, IIRC.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
prolly the bishop of Singapore /nt (none / 0) (#384)
by Battle Troll on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 10:20:46 PM EST


--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
obviously I need to pay more attention to Singer (none / 1) (#29)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 04:17:17 PM EST

quotes like this could have come straight from Josua ben Josef's mouth.

All of which raises a question: In the end, what is the ethical distinction between a Brazilian who sells a homeless child to organ peddlers and an American who already has a TV and upgrades to a better one -- knowing that the money could be donated to an organization that would use it to save the lives of kids in need?

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

I think that it's fairly common (none / 1) (#31)
by guidoreichstadter on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 04:29:57 PM EST

but doesn't do us much credit,

to think that good and bad ideas can't exist in the same person.


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]

Well, what strikes me as most interesting (none / 0) (#58)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 09:02:22 PM EST

is that a utilitarian could draw such a conclusion. I would have expected him to take a more darwinian line - after all when the successful help the less successful (particularly unrelated and less successful) they dilute their own impact on the gene pool.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
he claims to be a preference utlitiarian (none / 0) (#61)
by guidoreichstadter on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 09:51:19 PM EST

In his own words,

"I approach each issue by seeking the solution that has the best consequences for all affected. By 'best consequences', I understand that which satisfies the most preferences, weighted in accordance with the strength of the preferences."

Ignoring the effect on all other actors, he would say that using your $200 to save a child's life versus buying a new TV is a no brainer if you compare the weight of your desire or preference for bigger television images to the weight of the desire of the child to live a healthy life without suffering.

In this article, he favors understanding the mechanisms by which evolution has crafted our psychologies so that we can "go beyond" them and develop qualities like "pure altruism."


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]

Sounds like the UN charter. (none / 0) (#234)
by Wulfius on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:27:55 PM EST

1)Feed the hungry
2)Give drink to the thirsty
3)Welcome the foreigner
4)Clothe the naked
5)Tend the sick
6)Visit those in prison
7)Don't burn in Hell.

Lets shut it down the UN, yes?
A far better plan to bring about the kingdom of god is through cluster bombs and guided missiles.

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

Double Entendre (none / 0) (#241)
by dogger on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:10:00 PM EST

"When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him"
A gem... sorry to be pointing it out:S

I agree with your 7 things to remember but it would be better if you provided a more reasoned approach (I mean apart from quoting the bible) for remembering.

Perhaps Along the lines of Preventing Terroism, Wars, making friends/contacts and leading a fulfilling life (subjective). Although a place in heaven would be a reason to do good deeds, it also validates why people do not. If you don't believe in the bible, what benefit do you get from doing good?

[ Parent ]
How about no? (none / 0) (#441)
by Golden Hawk on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 05:07:59 AM EST

I hate to point out the glaringly obvious, but anyone can make up a story like that to get anyone to do anything.

I heard a tale once that little green men live under four leaf clovers and will give me pots of gold if I find them.  That doesn't mean I'm about to quit my day job and scour forests for midgets.
-- Daniel Benoy
[ Parent ]

Let's be clear (1.00 / 16) (#15)
by Jonathan Walther on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 12:31:09 PM EST

The religious revival is real.  If it isn't, the USA and other Western countries are in for a HUGE load of curses, as specified all throughout the prophets.

It is far better to force Christianity on everyone than to be so unloving as to stay silent, and allow them to die of the plagues, famines, conflicts, and cannibalisms outlined by YHWH as a consequence for ignoring him.

Until we restore Polygamy, Slavery, and Patriarchy, the West is on a bobsled straight down the icy path to the shivering domain of Hel.

From the top:

Good = Patriarchy, Polygamy, Slavery, Fatherhood, Husbandry, Mastery

Bad = Matriarchy, Monogamy, Prisons, Wickedness, Ignorance, Buggery

May the Anointed Jesus bring you to a saving knowledge of Truth, and lead you to repentance for your heathen ways.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


yes, let's... (2.33 / 3) (#17)
by SaintPort on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 02:00:35 PM EST

Until we restore Polygamy, Slavery, and Patriarchy, the West is on a bobsled straight down the icy path to the shivering domain of Hel.

Polygamy, Slavery, and Patriarchy won't help you one iota. What you need is the compassionate love of Jesus.

Good = Patriarchy, Polygamy, Slavery, Fatherhood, Husbandry, Mastery

Fatherhood and Husbandry survive this list

Bad = Matriarchy, Monogamy, Prisons, Wickedness, Ignorance, Buggery

Wickedness, Ignorance, Buggery survive this list

May the Anointed Jesus bring you to a saving knowledge of Truth, and lead you to repentance for your heathen ways.

Amen.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Why do you hate Jesus Christ? (1.20 / 5) (#35)
by Jonathan Walther on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 05:12:31 PM EST

God hates Matriarchy, and loves Patriarchy.  Slavery is the best replacement for Prisons; superior to prisons in every way.  As for polygamy, monogamy enhances the power of women to a point that they mislead the men, who God made to be leaders and kings in the earth.

If a woman can't submit to her husband, who she can see, then she is a cursed Jezebel, unable to ever obey and submit to the Lord Jesus Christ, who she cannot see.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


[ Parent ]
because I love the world? (2.50 / 4) (#38)
by SaintPort on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 06:02:10 PM EST

Man, I know you are trolling, but these statements are so grossly in error that I bite...

God hates Matriarchy, and loves Patriarchy?
I can't tell He has much respect for either. He transfers power as He sees fit.

Slavery is the best replacement for Prisons?
Jesus came to set captives free. The best replacement for any captivity is freedom. Truth will set you free.

As for polygamy...
God designed monogamy.

If a woman can't submit to her husband, who she can see, then she is a cursed Jezebel, unable to ever obey and submit to the Lord Jesus Christ, who she cannot see.

This is a gross misrepresentation of the scripture.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Dude. (2.25 / 4) (#69)
by kitten on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 11:20:22 PM EST

Let it go. You're not going to get anywhere with him. You know I think your position is completely wrong, but I can't just idly stand by and watch you waste time with this half-wit. There are other and more intelligent people to argue with around here.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Your eternal damnation (none / 1) (#74)
by Jonathan Walther on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:31:53 AM EST

You say this, not because I am unwilling to examine facts and revise my opinions to match new evidence, but because you are a Christ-hating Jew, according to your own words on IRC.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


[ Parent ]
YOUR eternal damnation. (2.14 / 7) (#76)
by kpauldrson on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:29:10 AM EST

kitten is a matrilineal descendant of the lost fifteenth tribe of Israel; unlike you and other scum, he has a heritage. Furthermore, he -- like so many of his people -- lives in bondage, a bondage brought about by the oppressive reign of race traitors and crypto-Masons such as yourself. G-d is watching, and He is not pleased with such as you.



[ Parent ]

I like it, please continute n/t (none / 1) (#80)
by communistpoet on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:41:28 AM EST



We must become better men to make a better world.
[ Parent ]
It is ironic, and perhaps amusing... (2.00 / 3) (#116)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:49:13 AM EST

That while your christ wrestles with his nemesis satan, my own god, Gribnak, Lord of all that is unseemly, will sneak up behind both of them, slaying them when they least expect it.

All hail Gribnak!

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Are you a blind sheep, or a ravening wolf? (none / 0) (#303)
by Jonathan Walther on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:42:32 AM EST

Man, I know you are trolling.

Oh?  Did you have a revelation from the Holy Spirit?  Did YHWH speak to you in a dream?  Are you a prophet?  Indeed, the Word spoke of you, saying, "The Wisdom of God is insanity to those who are not of God."

God hates Matriarchy, and loves Patriarchy? I can't tell He has much respect for either. He transfers power as He sees fit.

He saw fit to make the woman to be a helper to the man, flesh of his flesh, bone from his rib-cage.  Saint Paul said it; he was only repeating the words of the Prophet Moses.

Slavery is the best replacement for Prisons? Jesus came to set captives free. The best replacement for any captivity is freedom. Truth will set you free.

Jesus set captives of sin free from that sin.  He did not set people free to sin without consequence, nor did he abolish the penalties of God's Law.  6 years of slavery under the Biblical system is actually equivalent to the seven year apprenticeships that were so common in the Israelite countries of Germany, Britain, and America until recently.  A man finished his time with a clean slate, a viable trade, and good business practices learnt from having an owner who was successful enough in life to be able to afford to buy him in the first place.  The owner also had to give him a gift at the end so he could set himself up on his own.  That is real freedom; financial freedom.  Courtesy of Jesus Christ and God's Law.  Compare that to our prison system where men die of AIDS from being buggered up the ass, and are then unable to get jobs because of their criminal record.

As for polygamy... God designed monogamy.

By your logic, twins are an abomination and should be destroyed, because God designed women to bear one child at a time.  If that were the case, Israel would never have existed; Israel himself was the twin brother of Adam (Edom, Esau).


If a woman can't submit to her husband, who she can see, then she is a cursed Jezebel, unable to ever obey and submit to the Lord Jesus Christ, who she cannot see.

This is a gross misrepresentation of the scripture.

The onus is on you to prove it; Saint Paul clearly says for women to be in subjection to their men, and that is how the Church has understood it since time immemorial.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


[ Parent ]
My God told me your god is false (none / 0) (#381)
by toganet on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:37:57 PM EST

Christian confusion has reached critical mass.

It is now possible for the same "christian" to hold two completely contradictory beliefs, and successfully defend them using interpretations of scripture from the same source!  The damage done in the last century by Strong's writings, and the capitalist-agenda-driven southern evangelicals cannot be repaired by further debate or scholarly research.

The American Church must, as its true Lord, die, so that it may be reborn.

So, who is willing to die for the sins of Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts, TBN, the Boston Diocese, and the National Prayer Breakfast?  Who will stand up and proclaim the true message of Christ?  The Christ who accepts, nurtures, and truly loves?  

Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.


[ Parent ]
Christianity sucks (2.30 / 20) (#36)
by antizeus on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 05:28:31 PM EST

I bet Jesus would puke if he saw all those assholes who claim to follow him.
-- $SIGNATURE
Re: Christianity sucks (3.00 / 4) (#121)
by YetAnotherDave on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:18:21 AM EST

No he wouldn't.

He'd shake his head sadly, say something to the tune of 'go now, and sin no more,' and try to clean up the colossal mess that's been made by those claiming to speak in his name.

note: I'm not particularly christian, but I have read the bible, and I really can't reconcile the blind hatred of christian fundamentalism with jesus' teachings...

[ Parent ]

Otherwise rephrased as... (none / 0) (#215)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:26:45 PM EST

"Forgive them Father, they know not what they do."

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
hatred (none / 1) (#219)
by MrPeach on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:34:27 PM EST

Since I don't follow Jesus, can I then blindly hate Christian Fundamentalists?

[ Parent ]
And what of Mohammed (none / 0) (#273)
by Coryoth on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:49:02 PM EST

I suspect Mohammed would have a similar reaction if he were able to see what has become of his teachings in the hands of modern muslim fundamentalists.  Oddly enough, at the time it was established, Islam was a more inclusive and open religion with respect to women and women's rights than Christianity.  It is not the words of Mohammed that created the persecution that now exists, but instead the material that got layered on top of his religious teachings later.

Which is not to say that there aren't literally millions of muslims who practice Islam in the same sort of way that non fundamentalist christians practice Christianity - it's just that that muslim majority is not the one often depicted in the media.  It fails to stir the appropriate fear and hatred you see...

Jedidiah.

[ Parent ]

Jesus loves everyone (NT) (none / 0) (#233)
by Wulfius on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:23:33 PM EST




---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]
i regret i must vote against this. (1.04 / 24) (#40)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 06:32:57 PM EST

this is an otherwise fine article, but i fear it will be used by the hordes of atheist slashnerds on this site to start yet another God hating fest.

because of their irrational hatred of God and all things divine, they feel compelled to loudly proclaim their disbelief and belligerently censure followers of the Lord. for shame.

while i admit i am no Christian myself, even i can see what is going on here. no one feels so compelled to proclaim the nonexistence of anything else they don't believe exists, so why is the drive to scream to strangers about the nonexistence of God so strong with these nerds?

there can be only one answer: because they hate God.

they hate their fellow man, they hate their neighbors, they hate God.

their fear and hatred is the root cause of their life of bitterness and anger. this is why they read and write aggressive comments on slashdot and it is why they have elitist interests that isolate them from their neighbors. they fear God's damnation and they call Him evil for their mistakes.

and mistaken they are, for God is not vengeful. He is the fire that came from mount sinai, a fire that burns only the chaff and weeds, never the golden shafts of wheat, for they only glow more brightly in Him and are not consumed. it is hatred that is consumed and hatred that consumes.

it is not their fault though. they've been taught that God is vengeful and judges men arbitrarily. they believe satan is an agent of a juridical god, not an agent with his own will, a will like their own.

in the end, it is the slashnerds' own freedom they detest and they will howl as long as there as an internet to hear them. that is why i must, with heavy heart, vote -1 on your otherwise fine article.


rmg: comments better than yours.

Quite right. (none / 0) (#47)
by Bill Godfrey on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 07:25:44 PM EST

Yes. I am an atheist and I hate god. So there.

Bill, oh wait...

[ Parent ]

Odd post, considering you voted +1 (none / 0) (#48)
by fluxrad on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 07:36:34 PM EST

en tea.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
unlikely. (none / 1) (#51)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 08:09:24 PM EST

i doubt i would make such an obvious mistake. if what you say is true, though, it was only a clerical error on my part.

would two other people who would otherwise have voted for this article vote against it to correct this mistake, if any?


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Wait a second... Two? (none / 1) (#65)
by skyknight on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 10:43:44 PM EST

Clearly you meant three.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
that would also be fine. (none / 0) (#70)
by the ghost of rmg on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 11:32:07 PM EST

we just have to stop the God haters before they get going. if three people will help, then so much the better!


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Take it back to Husi. (none / 0) (#72)
by skyknight on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 11:42:52 PM EST

Incidentally... is it worth reading your million comment thread with CBB? I went to the trouble of finding it, but didn't feel like spending an hour reading it.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Possibly (none / 1) (#104)
by CwazyWabbit on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:34:05 AM EST

It is probably the most genuine you'll ever see rmg. That is, genuinely bewildered.
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]
Well, I've got it bookmarked. (none / 0) (#112)
by skyknight on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:43:46 AM EST

I'll have a look at it just as soon as I get a chance.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
out of curiosity (none / 0) (#298)
by Phil Urich on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 02:31:07 AM EST

I don't suppose you could say the link? I've heard of that thread, but I dread trying to find it myself, buried under millions of other comments by RMG and CBB.

[ Parent ]
Sure... (none / 0) (#308)
by skyknight on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:49:25 AM EST

I found it by seeing the diary in which CBB apologized to RMG and said that it had occurred "yesterday", and then jumped far enough back in his comments to get to the appropriate date. It can be found here.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
it's a reflection of cheeseburgerbrown's character (3.00 / 2) (#118)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:53:43 AM EST

that he was able to ellicit such a response from me. he's a good fellow and i was surprised to see him act that way. that's really all there is to it.

i suppose if you live in the paranoid world trolls like myself have tried to box you into where all interactions are viewed through the lens of biting and trolling, my reaction could only be seen as a weakness, but in fact it is only my basically trusting nature and my belief in the excellence of mr. brown that made that thread.

in short, i'd do it again in a heartbeat!


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

So you agree (none / 0) (#122)
by CwazyWabbit on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:20:45 AM EST

In your second paragraph, I love your use of "you" instead of "one".
--
"But here's the thing: if people hand me ammunition, what kind of misanthrope would I be if I didn't use it?" - Sarah-Katherine
[ Parent ]
'one' sucks (2.33 / 3) (#142)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:59:34 PM EST

'You' is usually more correct and far more common; 'one' is only correctly used for impersonal forms, by analogy with the German 'man' (man segt, man spielt) or the French 'on.'
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
and in this case, (none / 1) (#174)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:12:34 PM EST

it's used to set up an accusation, so it's definitely the correct choice.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Cart Before Horse (2.50 / 8) (#68)
by Peahippo on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 11:19:23 PM EST

You first have to demonstrate the existence of this "god" before we can apply judgments upon how people feel about him/her/it/whatever.

Since there is no evidence, you have no basis for your conclusion.

If people show some level of disdain for utter nonsense like believing in "god" ... it's because it's UTTER NONSENSE, duh.

Let's rant a bit here, shall we?

You know, I still play D&D, and I'm in my late 30s. When I started playing it in the 1980s, D&D took a lot of flack from the religous folk. That sure is funny ... since I was playing a fictional game with things like demons, gods and spirits, but these religous folks did not play the game YET BELIEVED THESE DEMONS, GOD(S) AND SPIRITS WERE REAL. Now, who really had a poorer grip on reality there?

The Neo-Cons are religious since religious people believe in things that not only require no proof, but have no proof anyway when even put to such a test. It's dead easy to sell such people on such farcical ideas like (1) America is a just nation, (2) the CIA is doing good things around the world, and (3) allowing a small minority to "own" nearly all the wealth is a Good Idea.

Handing political power to religious folk is tantamount to social suicide. You may as well put violent retards in the nation's highest offices -- such would be the same result.

I'd like to end this rant with a sincere request to the religious folk out there: DON'T BE SHY, JUST PROVE YOUR "GOD" EXISTS, OR ADMIT YOU BELIEVE IN SOMETHING FOR NO RATIONAL REASON. Okay? Thanks.


[ Parent ]
Let me get this right (none / 1) (#88)
by catharticmoment on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:21:05 AM EST

To summarise your post: "I voted against this, because other people might rant in a way I disagree with." And then you prceed to rant alot yourself. Why do think you should be able to rant, but other people should be prevented?

[ Parent ]
LALALALALALALALA (none / 0) (#96)
by Fon2d2 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:39:00 AM EST

Why is your trolling so horrible, trite, tired, and unimaginative?

[ Parent ]
silly slashnerd, (none / 1) (#99)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:48:49 AM EST

the parallel you set up concedes the argument. you should think harder next time.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Your verbiage eludes me. (none / 0) (#128)
by Fon2d2 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:03:47 PM EST

First of all, what argument? I merely asked a question.

Second of all, what parallel? What is being compared, and why is it relevant?

Third of all, what is a slashnerd?

[ Parent ]

if nothing else, your comment confirms the latter (none / 0) (#136)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:33:09 PM EST

suggestion, viz. "you should think harder next time."


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
Ah. (none / 0) (#170)
by Jazu on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:52:26 PM EST

You are talking about the accusation of trolling, aren't you? I have long suspected God might engage in that most subtle yet stupid of arts from time to time.

As Bill Hicks said, "I think God put you here to test my faith, dude."



[ Parent ]

Slashnerd here (2.00 / 2) (#107)
by orasio on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:38:50 AM EST

Hi! I am a slashnerd, I am atheist, and I don't hate your god. I hate murderers and liars (among other people). The fact that religion has always been an instrument and a motivation to murder and inflict suffering on our own kind, is enough for me to believe that in a perfect world there would be no religion. Of course, religion makes it more easy to kill other people, because you can believe arabs/jews/buddist people don't have the protection and guidance of your god.

[ Parent ]
nonsense. (3.00 / 2) (#115)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:48:29 AM EST

the fact that religion has been manipulated in power struggles is neither here nor there. everything is manipulated this way, atheism included -- murder explicitly in the name of atheism was very much a reality of the former soviet union.

everything of any importance has been a motivation for or used as a vehicle to foment murder and lies, so your argument is bullshit. what we're left with is one of two possibilities: either you're stupid and that's the real reason for your irrational hatred of religion or it's your cover story. cover for what? the fact that you hate God.

frankly, i can't imagine that anyone would be so childish as to be serious about the first possibility, so i must conclude it is the latter.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

you are just stupid (none / 1) (#165)
by orasio on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:37:44 PM EST

George W Bush, without the church and divine illumination, would be just a drunkard, and not a crusader. That is a big damage made by religion. Crusades. In the soviet union, atheism wasnt the doctrine, communism was. Communism can be blamed for dead people in many places, but capitalism and religion too.

[ Parent ]
atheism is just a facet of enlightenment thought, (3.00 / 2) (#176)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:21:02 PM EST

of which communism is a result. in any case, the persecution of religion in favor of atheism is the question at hand. regardless, murder of christians, for example, in favor of atheism, whether it was purely doctrinal or not (and it wasn't -- the "rationale" was more or less the same as yours), is murder in the name of atheism no matter how you cut it.

if we are to follow your logic, we would have to reject everything, capitalism, religion, communism, the enlightenment, even love itself (after all, surely that must be the commonest motivator of murderers, possibly after power) -- this is the world of wristslashing nerds in which nothing is exalted. it is a world of easy come, easy go reclusiveness, in short the denial of life. if there is one thing we can be sure of, it is that the nerds' nihilism will take them.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Not (none / 1) (#218)
by MrPeach on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:30:34 PM EST

Agnosticism is the result of enlightenment. Only when you recognize that you cannot divine whether or not god exists can you remove yourself from the frey - the petty squabbles of the Atheists and the Believers who are equally unable to prove the validity of their positions. I don't hate God. If it showed up at my house and did something godish to prove itself I wouldn't hesitate to invite it in for tea and cozies and have a long discussion with it about absentee landlords.

[ Parent ]
Erm... (none / 1) (#229)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:10:20 PM EST

Atheism isn't an incidental but an essential attribute of Communism. That is to say, by definition one cannot be both a theist and a doctrinaire Marxist.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Atheist nerds don't hate god. (3.00 / 3) (#108)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:41:59 AM EST

Most dislike Loki and Osiris, I'll admit.

However, Marduk, Thor and Cthulu are well liked. I've even been known to say a prayer to Quetzlcoatl from time to time.

It's one thing to believe in made-up deities, but you christian apologists seem to have trouble counting past 1.

Most people that aren't in a sarcastic or bitter mood will admit that intuitively, they feel that there is something "greater" in the universe. Some of us though, get annoyed when christian retards try to co-opt that intuition to reinforce their own poorly translated mythologies.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

IA! IA! Cthulhu fhtagn! (none / 0) (#331)
by Innocent Bystander on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 12:18:42 PM EST

Cthulhu not Cthulu.

A minor spelling mistake, but the Old Ones still demand your mortal shell be ripped to bloody shreds.

9 pm good for you?

[ Parent ]

aaaaa ;) hehehe (none / 0) (#125)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:27:49 AM EST

gotcha, you can't hate something that doesn't exist.

[ Parent ]
nor can you obsess over such a thing. (none / 1) (#135)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:29:51 PM EST

whether you reject or accept that, you're still caught. again, you need to think more carefully about that.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]
sorry man, I don't get you, be more specific. n/t (none / 0) (#137)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:35:22 PM EST

n/t

[ Parent ]
well, (none / 1) (#138)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:42:08 PM EST

either you can obsess over something that doesn't exist or you can't. if you can, then your argument is obviously incorrect -- there's no compelling reason you should be able to obsess over something but at the same time be unable to hate it. if you can't, you have to account for the way slashnerds obsess over God.

in other words, you lose.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

bull shit :))) (none / 0) (#139)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:56:53 PM EST

I don't have to account for anyone but I understand why some people become overly obsessed one way or the other.  See, for thousands of years religious fanatics ruled this miserable planet.  People hate people, not god, you misunderstand their hate.  They hate you for believing in god because your believe defies logic.  And some people are just jerks ;)

I don't hate any god for example, I don't believe in  it, but I do not like people trying to impose their believes on my secular life.  You don't touch me, I don't touch you.

[ Parent ]

oh? you're full of shit? okay then. (3.00 / 2) (#181)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:49:04 PM EST

if you want to claim one can't hate something that doesn't exist and there is an objection, then you either answer it or admit you're wrong. further, your choice of defense, i.e. "you can't hate something that doesn't exist," implies that you would hate God if it He did exist, which is ultimately just as bad.

seems to me you should go back to fark and leave the discussion to the grown ups.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

hahaha yo, dude, you'll have a stroke (none / 0) (#184)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:57:43 PM EST

You do not have a reasonable objection to my claim that hating a non-existing entity is pointless.  For example: can you really hate santa clause?  What about bugs bunny, can you really hate him? :)

You need to chill.  I still have to meet someone who genuinely hates god and not the actual people who let their religion to interfier with other people lives.  That's first.

Secondly, you are now attacking me personally for some reason, even though you don't know me.  It looks like you are the one who hates, in fact you display simptoms of hating someone over the web, a person you don't even know.  That's not from a great deal of sharpness on your part (it doesn't look like it.)

Besides, I don't even understand what's wrong with hating god (which doesn't exist,) and what would be wrong with hating god if it did exist?  I don't see a problem with that, it's a free will issue, that you don't like, isn't it?


[ Parent ]

yes, you can hate bugs bunny. (3.00 / 2) (#193)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:14:48 PM EST

for example, i'm sure klansmen hated bugs bunny when he first appeared.

but your example is instructive because you don't see people stepping up to yell about how santa claus doesn't exist whenever they hear about Christmas. why? because no one hates santa claus enough to bother.

well -- not quite true. inspect this story and the comments attached and decide whether no readers of this site hate santa claus. i think the fact is that some people do in fact hate santa claus or at very least what santa claus represents.

what's wrong with hating God is partially what makes hating anything wrong and also partially that it almost always reflects a judgement on a conception of goodness and typically corresponds to a sentiment about one's fellow man. as sartre put it, "can't you see he's a bastard?"


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Hating bugs bunny and santa clause (none / 0) (#203)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:39:20 PM EST

is retarded.  Hating santa clause does not make sense, there is no such thing as santa clause so you can't hate it, it doesn't exist.

You said it yourself: 'or at very least what santa claus represents.' - well, ok, I said the same thing.  Only in case of god, it is the people who believe that are hated.  I mean you can say you hate god, but in reality you hate the people who tell you they deal with god etc.

Personally I don't see how is such an instrumental feeling as hate can be said to be wrong.  It's hate, it doesn't go by the laws of logic.  It's just like believe in god, hate in itself, in its abstract purity is a basic feeling tightly connected to fear.  When you fear something, you direct your hate at that object/person.

I can see how religion in itself became hated, since its proponents were quite often feared.

But you can also turn it around and blame religion in itself for fear mongering, religion is mostly about instilling fear.  You have to be afraid of this, or of that... You will tell me: christianity is about love, and I will tell you: bollocks, it's about fear of the greater 'truth', and if you are not with 'it', you are against 'it'.

So I would excuse the people who are afraid of the return of religious seniments, especially when the people see religion interfering with their daily lives.  The fear of going back, the understanding that religion does not need logic, defies logic, this fear gives birth to a lot of hate.

[ Parent ]

And then. (2.71 / 7) (#42)
by valeko on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 06:41:01 PM EST

And then, from local news, there's this.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart

heh... (none / 1) (#53)
by Danse on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 08:16:23 PM EST

What amazes me is that the principal somehow thought people would not find that poem offensive.




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Heh. (3.00 / 2) (#64)
by valeko on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 10:30:15 PM EST

I don't think he thought that at all.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

What I don't get (2.47 / 17) (#67)
by kitten on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 11:17:33 PM EST

I don't get why Christians seem unable to distinguish "The government cannot condone a religion" from "The government is banning your religion".

This poem is replete with the same tired statements -- God's name is prohibited, students aren't allowed to pray, Bibles are illegal in schools, help help I'm being oppressed.

Students are more than welcome to pray if they want. They can bring Bibles to school, talk to other kids about Jesus, pray before a test, hang a picture of Mary in their locker, wear T-shirts with Christian crap all over it, whatever. People used to do all this and more at my old high school.

What's prohibited is not individual expression of religion, but government (e.g., school) sponsorship of religious expression. Why can't they figure that out?
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Damn, I actually agree with this. (none / 0) (#71)
by buck on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 11:39:05 PM EST

Must be time to change my medication.

help help I'm being oppressed.
Actually it's *repressed*.


-----
“You, on the other hand, just spew forth your mental phlegmwads all over the place and don't have the goddamned courtesy to throw us a tissue afterwards.” -- kitten
[ Parent ]
And yet, often they can't. (2.66 / 3) (#97)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:43:45 AM EST

I agree with you as to what the standard should be but at least once or twice a month I see reports about kids being stepped on for referring to their religion in a report they wrote or history lessons being edited to remove references to religon.

How can you teach about why the Pilgrims came to America without mentioning religious persecution? Yet schools are apparently trying.


A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Perhaps (none / 1) (#100)
by JetJaguar on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:03:18 AM EST

The thing is though, how often is this kind of thing really happening, and how much of this is the media sensationalizing a few incidents and making people extrapolate that it must be happening everywhere? The fact is that when something like this happens, it creates quite a lot of controversy, and we know how much the media loves controversy. I've seen many stories get blown completely out of proportion for ratings, even though there is often a very simple resolution that really isn't all that controversial at all.

This goes hand in hand with the myth that our education system is in the toilet. The truth is, when you actually look at the real data, things aren't nearly so bad as the media has led people to believe. There is certainly room for improvement, and there are some real troublespots that need to be addressed, but our schools aren't as bad as the media has led people to believe.



[ Parent ]
Is it any more sensational (3.00 / 3) (#130)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:05:23 PM EST

than claiming that the desire to include a religious float in a privately run parade erodes the separation of church and state?

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
No it's not... (2.66 / 3) (#149)
by JetJaguar on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:23:41 PM EST

But it's clear that some perspective is needed here, and the media doesn't provide perspective except in very rare cases. Putting things in perspective has a tendancy to deflate the controversy.

Remember that there's nothing stopping the offended Christians from having their own parade, and they can choose not to include any floats with Santa Claus or reindeer if they wish. The big question is why doesn't the media come out ask these people why they don't just go out and have their own parade, instead of attempting to force others to pander to them? I'm sure they can find some rich religious sponsors that would put up the money for such an event, there are plenty of rich televangelists they could enlist.



[ Parent ]
Don't get me wrong. (2.80 / 5) (#124)
by kitten on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:27:36 AM EST

The secular side has problems too -- namely, over-zealous enforcement. As you mentioned, discussing the pilgrimage to the new world requires some coverage of religious persecution, and I'm okay with that, because it's historical fact, and it's not advocating or deriding a religion -- simply stating what was going on at the time. Trying to remove that from the history lessons is just inane.

It's a fact that some of the Pilgrims felt persecuted for their religion, so let's teach that. It is not a fact that God created the world, or that Jesus is the messiah, so let's not teach that. It really is a pretty simple distinction.

As for the students mentioning religion in their papers and getting graded down for it, it wholly depends on the nature of the reference. I once read a paper by a fellow student (our teachers were big on having us proofreading each other's papers, which gave me a healthy disrespect for other people's command of English) that was discussing some story we'd read in a world literature class, and out of left field he drags in some prostelytizing nonsense that had nothing whatsoever to do with anything. It was completely inappropriate and yes, he should be graded down for that (and was).

Basically, my view is that objective papers written for school assignments shouldn't mention religion unless it's somehow pertinent to the subject at hand, and if that's the case, then personal bias should be kept out of it. If the student is unable to do that, he should be graded down not so much for blathering about his piousness, but for his inability to construct a coherent essay without getting all self-referential and losing the point.


mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Not quite correct (3.00 / 2) (#343)
by Wateshay on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:59:03 PM EST

You say:

It is not a fact that God created the world, or that Jesus is the messiah, so let's not teach that.

What you should have said is that its not a "proven fact." No one can scientifically prove one way or the other whether God created the world or Jesus was the Messiah. Of course, I agree with you that public schools shouldn't be teaching those topics, because they're not proven fact. At the same time, though, since they're not disproven either, schools shouldn't be actively teaching that they're false (not that I'm saying you think they should be). Public schools should be a forum where students of all religious views (including a lack of religion) are taught how to critically examine, debate, and defend their own views, whatever they may be. Too often, teachers today think their job is to turn their students into doctrinal copies of themselves.


"If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for everyone else."


[ Parent ]
Uh (none / 0) (#432)
by kitten on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:46:06 PM EST

What you should have said is that its not a "proven fact." No one can scientifically prove one way or the other whether God created the world or Jesus was the Messiah.

If we accept "fact" to mean "a statement which reflects reality as best as we can determine", and without getting into philisophical wanking about what "reality" is, then my statement stands -- "God did it" is not a fact.

The ball is round, the game lasts 90 minutes.

That we can't "disprove" whether God did something is irrelevent -- that actually pushes it further from the realm of "fact" since there's no falsifiability. A fact is a fact -- "proven fact" is utterly redundant, unless you're going to define "disproven fact" somehow.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Hmmm (2.00 / 5) (#127)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:01:04 PM EST

First off, why are the fucking pilgrims so important?! Were they the first settlers in America from Europe? No. Were they a majority of settlers? No. What was their claim to fame? That they almost starved to death because none of them had any skills other than whining about not being allowed to burn down anglican churches, and had to be fed by the local natives, who were subsequently treated in the same manner that the puritans were complaining about before they left England.

Second, the problem seems to be not that they can't mention "religious persecution," but that when they try to put it into perspective (you know, the whole bit about decades of religious strife, so the pilgrims go off the deep end and try to make everyone live in a "pure" manner, and when that doesn't work, they get pissy and sail across the ocean to make the "perfect" society. Thanks, assholes), the religious right (modern day puritans) get pissy, and try to make everyone live in a "pure" society. Is there somewhere we can ship these morons?

I would say that the best thing that ever happened to England, and the worst that ever happened to America, was this particular incident.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Yah. Sure. Only the pilgrims. (3.00 / 3) (#129)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:04:30 PM EST

And the Quakers. And the Shakers. And the catholics in the southern states. And the puritans.

Most of the colonies were established by people trying to set up religious nations. Isn't that relevant when discussing our own history?

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Say what?! (2.60 / 5) (#153)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:35:20 PM EST

Most of the colonies were established by people trying to set up religious nations
Not a chance; Most of the colonies were set up for trade (New Amsterdam, New Orleans, Quebec, etc.). Quakers and shakers are branches of puritanism. French colonies were predominantly catholic, and Spaish colonies were exclusively catholic. English colonies were almost entirely protestant, with a few isolated areas of "tolerance," such as Maryland (set up by catholics) and Pennsylvania.

Or perhaps you were referring to just the English colonies, in which case, you are still wrong; Roanoke was the first English colony, set up simply to have a presence in the "New World." John Smith set up Virginia as a trading colony. Plymouth, Massachusett's Bay, and New Hampshire were set up for "religious freedom," although the New Hampshire colonists included economic restrictions as part of their reason for colonizing, and wound up moving inland to get away from the puritans!

Connecticut was set up by schismatics from Massachusetts, and Rhode Island was set up to be the most religiously tolerant colony. New York, Delaware, the Carolinas, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania were set up for trade.

And what were you thinking when you linked to Faux news? Did you honestly think that anyone not already brain-washed by christian wackos would be convinced?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Try this (3.00 / 2) (#162)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:33:29 PM EST

this describes the motivations for forming the 13 colonies. Only the slave-holding colonies were considered to have been formed primarily for a profit motive.

Billy Penn might have had profit in mind, but the people who lived on his land went for a different reason.

this is somewhat more on your side, although it indicates that the majority of the colonies had state religions.

And I really have no idea what Quebec has to do with a discussion of religion in the United States - or colonies that were not a factor in the creation of the US or its legal system.

Finally, I'd like to point out that insults and generally braying like an ass hardly proves your point.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

OK (none / 1) (#216)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:29:05 PM EST

Here is a quick breakdown of the English colonies' details.

Only the slave-holding colonies were considered to have been formed primarily for a profit motive
Um, which of the English colonies did not allow slaves when they were formed?

Billy Penn might have had profit in mind, but the people who lived on his land went for a different reason.
Can you back this up? William Penn was a quaker, but a remarkably tolerant one, and most people who moved to Pennsylvania did so because he was so tolerant.

And I really have no idea what Quebec has to do with a discussion of religion in the United States
Well, if you would look, you would notice that a good chunk of what was Quebec is now Michigan, Minnesota, etc.

Finally, I'd like to point out that insults and generally braying like an ass hardly proves your point
You should leave the jokes to others; You're just not talented in that area.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
You do realize that that chart (none / 0) (#237)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:55:44 PM EST

Is by the same guy I linked to? Except the one I referred to has more information.

Um, which of the English colonies did not allow slaves when they were formed?

Well, I admit you caught me on that one - all the original states permitted slave owning except (I think) Vermont. The northern states all abolished it within a few years of declaring independence. The tobacco & cotton growing states did not because their type of farming was so labor intensive.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

whoa (none / 0) (#257)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:10:28 PM EST

Vermont was the 14th state of the union, and so, not one of the original states. Also, not all the northern states abolished it quickly; New York did not outlaw slavery until 1827, and not entirely then.

As for the cotton industry, slavery was actually on the decline because it was so labor intensive; Eli Whitney and the cotton gin made cotton profitable again, and thus extended the practice of slavery for another 50 years.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
The origins of vermont? (none / 0) (#268)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:00:55 PM EST

Do you have a link, or the title of a book, that talks about this? I've always been perplexed by it; it seems to have come from out of nowhere.

[ Parent ]
He's right - it's not one of the 13 (none / 0) (#275)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:54:28 PM EST

I'm still being too sloppy in my statements.

It wasn't quite one of the original 13 - the land was claimed by both New York and Connecticut, and settled mostly by Connecticut.

But it was in existence by 1777 and banned slavery in it's constitution which is why I mentioned it.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Yeah. I know he's right. (none / 0) (#282)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:18:37 PM EST

I also don't know anything really about the history of Vermont, and it's been glossed over in almost everything i've read; it was an honest request for further information. :)

[ Parent ]
Well, that's pretty much it - (none / 0) (#294)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:41:07 AM EST

It started out as being claimed by both Connecticut and New York, but during the revolution they declared themselves to be independent of both.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
It doesn't help your point (3.00 / 2) (#188)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:04:39 PM EST

that none of the examples you made in your general "most of the colonies" statement were in fact formed by the English - New Orleans and Quebec were French, and New Amsterdam was Dutch.

Most of the English colonies were settled by religious dissidents who were not happy with the primary settlement of the religious question in England. This is a fairly generally accepted historical analysis within the United States.

[ Parent ]

/sigh (none / 1) (#217)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:30:29 PM EST

First, look at my reply to porkchop below. Second, what do we cal New Amsterdam today? New York! Third, who has possession of New Orleans now? The U.S.A.!


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Acquisitions (3.00 / 2) (#222)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:48:36 PM EST

New Orleans was acquired by the United States in 1803, after it had been a French territory for on the order of 150 years. It retains a distinct legal culture (Louisiana uses a civil law based on the Napoleonic code which is quite unlike the Common law in use in the rest of the country). Using the contents of its settler population as an example of general US history is bizarre; the political and cultural forms of US culture were determined well before its acquisition.

You have a better case with respect to New Amsterdam, which - like all Dutch colonies - was set up for mercantile purposes. Its political, religious, and economic situation was largely unchanged after its acquisition. The same applies to New Jersey and, according to your source, Delaware; they were set up by other powers for their own reasons and acquired by England as part of a complicated peace treaty.

But leaving those aside, the fact remains that even your own source agrees with me: Plymouth, Massachussets, New Hampshire, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania were set up for religious reasons. Ignoring Roanoke - which failed entirely and in fact vanished without a trace - there are four colonies set up by the British crown for reasons other than religious: the two Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia.

[ Parent ]

Which way do you want it? (1.50 / 2) (#250)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:48:41 PM EST

This whole discussion has come up because the constitution implies a separation of church and state, and so the religious wackos are trying to take it back to the colonies. You can't do that and then claim that because they weren't part of the country when it was founded, they don't count.

At the same time, New Hampshire and Connecticut were set up for religious freedom from other colonies! And Pennsylvania being set up for religious reasons is a tenuous argument: Not because it is false, but because it was a secondary reason mainly used to attract settlers. The primary reason was for trade. Maryland was set up for religious freedom, but for catholics, not puritans.

So which way do you want it? You seem to be implying that the only colonies which count are the ones founded by the British and were original states in the U.S.A.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
The only ones which count (none / 1) (#252)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:54:29 PM EST

The only ones which count for a discussion of why the English settlers formed colonies are the ones that were actually formed by English settlers. That seems fairly obvious. :)

As for the implied seperation of church and state - the fact that modern interpretations have read that into the first amendment does not mean that it is so; many of the states had established religions at that time.

[ Parent ]

Progress, my dear professor (none / 1) (#259)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:15:05 PM EST

And who said anything about just the English colonies? The only place where I mentioned that was, well, when I was talking about the puritan colonies! And I'm certainly not going to argue about the motives of the Massachusett's Bay colony.

It's just that some other people are trying to suggest that, since some of the colonies were religious in nature, that the USA must be also. And actually, since the "modern interpretations" of the first amendment implying separation of church and state came from the Supreme Court, yes, it is so; That's what the Supreme Court is there for.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
If you're going to talk about US development (none / 1) (#265)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:53:14 PM EST

Then, New York aside, the non-English colonies are pretty much irrelevant. :) The populations of New Jersey and Delaware were tiny, and neither colony carried much political weight.

As for the bit about 'modern interpretations': as I said elsewhere, it's unreasonable as a matter of historical scholarship to argue that the modern interpretation would have been understood or approved by the people of the era in question.

[ Parent ]

That's going a bit far (none / 1) (#276)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:59:12 PM EST

This whole thing seems to be revolving around US development, and leaving some colonies out for specious reasons seems to be the modus operandi around here.

But screw that, let's get down to brass tacks. What interpretation could a 17th century American colonist possibly put on the constitution? It didn't even exist at the time! As for the later residents, they approved the wording of the first amendment, and let's face it, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" is pretty clearly a mandate on the separation of church and state. How can you pass a law based on religious principles without it inherently respecting an establishment of religion?




Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Specious reasons? (none / 0) (#284)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:30:25 PM EST

I'm arguing that New Jersey and Delaware had little political weight in colonial times, and that their cultural influence on the development of colonial-era America was virtually nil. That's hardly an unreasonable position. Nor is it unreasonable to observe that the regions of Quebec which became part of the English lands in 1763 were largely devoid of European settlement.

In general, I agree with your point about modern politics; it is your history that I am having trouble with. :)

What interpretation could a 17th century American colonist possibly put on the constitution? It didn't even exist at the time!

I couldn't agree more. I would even go so far as to argue that the political, religious, and cultural biases of the seventeenth century colonies are irrelevant to an understanding of the constitution, except insofar as those biases influenced the politics, religion, and culture of the time. Revolutionary-era America was no more the puritan refuge of seventeenth-century America than Georgian England was, culturally or politically, the same as Cavalier England.

How can you pass a law based on religious principles without it inherently respecting an establishment of religion?

This depends on what you mean by 'a law based on religious principles'. Abolition was, for many of its supporters, based on religious principles; did abolishing slavery constitute an establishment of religion?

More to the point: 'establishment of religion', in the context of the general eighteenth century political situation, meant the creation of an official state church along the lines of Anglicanism or Catholicism. What the states were prohibiting was the creation of an established state church by the federal government. They were explicitly not banning the creation of an established state church by state governments - a fact which is made clear by the fact that some of them still had official state churches.

Whether or not the fourteenth amendment was intended to apply this prohibition to the states is unclear and remains a matter under both legal and academic debate.

[ Parent ]

ok (none / 0) (#288)
by Danse on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:44:51 PM EST

What exactly is the real difference between the state establishing a church, and the state allowing its agents to require religious expression, acceptance, or adherence of the people under their jurisdiction? Isn't having a school principal lead students in a prayer in the morning an example of the state establishing religion in school? Wouldn't requiring people to take an oath on the Bible be the establishment of religion in the courts? Does it really matter if the religion is formally established as a church or simply implemented piecemeal through local and state laws?




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Establishment (none / 0) (#357)
by aphrael on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:39:10 PM EST

In eighteenth century England, people were required by law to attend Anglican services, on penalty of fine and disenfranchisement if they failed to do so. (The laws governing this were known as the 'recusancy laws'). Similar laws existed in some, but not all, of the colonies. The establishment clause of the first amendment was intended to prevent this on a national scale - in part because different states had different ideas of which established church to support. It was, as I've said before, not intended by them to apply to state governments at all.

Schools are a difficult case because they represent a venue in which the free exercise and establishment clauses conflict. It's clear that leading an authority figure - teacher or principal - leading the students in prayer is an establishment and, if incorporation was justified, should not be allowed. However, rules which would prohibit a teacher from praying or reading the bible during his lunch break; which would not allow high school students to voluntarily form a bible study club; or which prohibit the football team from praying before a game are all violations of the free exercise rights of the participants. All of these cases have been unsuccessfully brought by those who wish there to be no public expression of religion.

It is clear from existing court precedent that neither government employees nor students lose their free speech rights when they accept government employment and/or enroll in school (although the rights of students are somewhat circumscribed). Neither do they lose their free exercise rights.

Requiring people to take an oath on the Bible does, in my mind, violate both the establishment clause and the free exercise clause; and yet it would not have been understood to do so by most legislators who signed off on the amendment.

[ Parent ]

Quakers (none / 0) (#154)
by NoBeardPete on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:48:57 PM EST

I think the Quakers were much more looking to set up a place in which they could freely practice their religion, not to set up a religious state. It was a very different exercise than, say, the Pilgrims were engaged in.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

Not that different (none / 1) (#156)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:09:39 PM EST

They both wanted freedom to practice their religions. Though, once they got what they wanted, the Pilgrims started acting like their former oppressors.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
That's really not a fair way to look at it. (3.00 / 3) (#186)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:02:39 PM EST

Outside of Poland-Lithuania and, arguably, the United Netherlands, the situation in all European states was that there was one authorized church in which all citizens were presumed to be members. Tolerance of religious dissent and religious diversity was extremely rare everywhere in the Christian world.

[ Parent ]
hmm (none / 1) (#279)
by Danse on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:05:45 PM EST

Sounds like you just agreed with him to me. They acted the same way as the rest of the Christians. Isn't that what he said?




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Wow. (2.50 / 4) (#191)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:08:03 PM EST

the whole bit about decades of religious strife, so the pilgrims go off the deep end and try to make everyone live in a "pure" manner, and when that doesn't work, they get pissy and sail across the ocean to make the "perfect" society

Wow. That's a terrible misrepresentation of the English Civil War, and of the position of most of the emigrant puritan sects.

Prior to the sixteenth century, there was one sanctioned church in England, and everyone was assumed to be a member of it and subject to its rules. That assumption began to break down in the sixteenth century, when there were a number of serious quarrels about what those rules should be. The two biggest debates were over whether the form of governance of the church should be episcopal, presbyterian, or congregational, and what the ritiaul contents of the church service and prayer book should be. The general presumption on every side of the debate was that whatever conclusion was reached would be binding on everyone; that it was necessary and proper for everyone in the state to observe the same religious settlement.

Dissidents from the general settlement began emigrating to the colonies in the US before the civil war, mostly so that they could build for themselves new societies which adhered to their preferred settlements of the questions of the age.

The political crisis that led to the establishment of the Protectorate was not, in origin, religiously motivated. The Long Parliament was summoned in order to provide the King with funding for his war against a religiously-motivated revolution in Scotland; it immediately declined to do so and went about addressing secular political grievances against the King.

Religion did, in the end, become intertwined with politics, mostly because the new model army (which had been created by parliament as a military arm in its fight against the king) served as a breeding-ground for religious radicalism. But that was a development that nobody had forseen or particularly wanted, and the religious radicalism was a side-effect of the revolution rather than a cause.

[ Parent ]

A bit more about the Scottish Revolution (none / 1) (#199)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:31:36 PM EST

The religious settlement adopted in the late sixteenth century in Scotland was quite different than that adopted in England, which was a seperate Kingdom under a different ruler. King Charles, with his usual tin ear for politics, was attempting to force the Scots to accept the Elizabethen religious settlement; the Scottish nobility, which was quite attached to the settlement in Scotland, were resisting. Forcefully.

It's extremely difficult to portray this as the puritans trying to force their religious views on others - although the Scots did definitely attempt that later on, when they forced aspects of their religious settlement on the Long Parliament and the Rump - because, in essence, it was an attempt by a politically incompetent King to force an alien religious settlement on the Scots.

[ Parent ]

Pot and kettle (none / 1) (#221)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:43:17 PM EST

I would call your interpretation terrible, but that's just me. "Prior to the sixteenth century," England, and all of western Europe for that matter, was catholic. King Henry decided to get divorced rather than kill another wife, so he formed the anglican church, which promptly devolved into quarrels over what color the bunting should be on the altar, and similar deep theological divides.

The puritans decided that they should have their own churches, which is fine, but then that everyone should have to go to them, and that the anglican church should be dissolved. Enter Oliver Cromwell et al., a twenty year hiatus in the monarchy, plague, the fire of London, and shipping all the fruit loops off to grand adventure in America.

Now, Plymouth, Massachusett's Bay, and Maryland were set up before the civil war (although Maryland was set up for catholics), with Rhode Island and Connecticut set up as offshoots of other colonies, as havens for religious dissidents, but the other colonies were either set up after the civil war, established for trade, or both, or acquired by the British from other nations (New Amsterdam/York, New Jersey, Delaware).

And if the New Model Army was not intended for religious purposes, what fool decided to put Cromwell in charge?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
more details (none / 1) (#227)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:01:06 PM EST

he formed the anglican church, which promptly devolved into quarrels over what color the bunting should be on the altar, and similar deep theological divides.

The quarrels were happening already, not just in England but throughout Europe. Every major European power of the age experienced religious discontent aimed at reforming the Catholic church. In England, due to the actions of King Henry, the debate was about reforming the Anglican Church - but the debate would have happened anyway. The puritans decided that they should have their own churches, which is fine, but then that everyone should have to go to them, and that the anglican church should be dissolved.

Not so, at least not for most of them. The debate was about what form the Anglican Church should take. Many, but not all, of the Puritans advocated a national church along the lines of the Scottish Kirk - in which the episcopate was replaced with a presbyterian system and the forms of worship were more to the liking of the Puritans. In this they were by no means alone; a similar movement existed among the French Huegonauts, as well as Reformed Churches throughout central and western Europe.

The few who genuinely wished to have their own church, rather than to reform the official Church, in general either emigrated or went underground.

Your point about the colonies is well taken; the primary puritan religious settlements took place before the civil war.

As for the civil war itself ... the New Model Army was set up by Parliament during the first civil war when it realized that it was losing and, absent a reorganization of the armed forces, it would not be able to win. The Parliament named Cromwell - one of its members - as the head of the Cavalry arm of the New Model Army. After the first civil war was won, Parliament found itself trapped: the Scots (who had allied with the Parliament) wanted to enforce presbyteranism in England, which was extremely unpopular; the Army refused to disband until it was paid and the Scots removed from England, which was impossible without a settlement that the Scottish army would approve.

The religious attitudes of Parliament and the New Model Army had diverged well before Pride's Purge; the Parliament generally preferred a religious settlement which was much closer to Elizabethan Anglicanism than the New Model Army did. Which simply illustrates my point: the struggles between Parliament and King Charles, in the 1640s, were generally not a result of religious differences (although that certainly exacerbated them), and the religious radicalism of the New Model Army was a side-effect which the Parliament in fact detested.

To summarize, then: Parliament put Cromwell at the head of cavalry wing of the New Model Army because he had been one of the most successful generals in the preceding phases of the first Civil War. He later decided to dissolve it for reasons that remain to this day unknown (the text of the bill for elections which Parliament was considering when he dissolved it has been lost) and had the practical power to do so because the Army supported him.

[ Parent ]

Better (none / 1) (#253)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:55:23 PM EST

Much better, however, we have drifted afield from my observations; The current crop of religious wackos can't defend their idea of a christian nation with the constitution, separation of church and state being implied in the first amendment, and they can't force non-believers (like myself) to abide by their sense of moral rectitude without it, so now they are trying to justify their attitudes by saying that the colonies were founded with religious intent, and so the USA is a christian nation and should have biblical law, while completely ignoring examples that don't fit into their criteria (such as New York and Quebec).

Or do you think I am reading too much into this?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Revisionism (none / 1) (#255)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:59:46 PM EST

Much better, however, we have drifted afield from my observations; The current crop of religious wackos can't defend their idea of a christian nation with the constitution, separation of church and state being implied in the first amendment, and they can't force non-believers (like myself) to abide by their sense of moral rectitude without it, so now they are trying to justify their attitudes by saying that the colonies were founded with religious intent, and so the USA is a christian nation and should have biblical law, while completely ignoring examples that don't fit into their criteria (such as New York and Quebec).

Ahh! So your argument is that the idea that the colonies were founded with religious intent is some strange form of historical revisionism. I agree that the argument that the USA is a christian nation and should have biblical law is ahistorical - but the observation that many of the colonies were formed explicitly as religious refuges isn't. Many of them were, and it does not require a sectarian agenda to observe that.

Additionally, I find your persistence in using Quebec as part of US history to be bizarre. :)

[ Parent ]

So? (none / 0) (#261)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:25:29 PM EST

I am not arguing that some of the colonies were founded with religious intent; I am arguing that a) It doesn't matter because the Constitution trumps historical precedent, and b) not all, or even a majority of, the colonies were founded as havens of religious tolerance (ha!).

As for Quebec, it once contained parts of what is now the USA (Pennsylvania and, I think, New York).


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Quebec (none / 0) (#263)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:48:46 PM EST

The settled populations of those portions of French Quebec which were incorporated into the English territories in 1763, or which were incorporated into Louisiana, were small enough to have been insignificant; not a trace of their culture or legal system remains. They simply had no influence over the way things developed in the Northwest territories.

I agree that the Constitution trumps historical precedent with respect to how things work now; however, as someone with an immense interest in history, I also don't think it's appropriate to inject today's understanding of how things are into a discussion of the past. Which is to say that it's one thing to argue that the religious intent of the settlers is irrelevant to how our society should currently be structured, and quite another to argue that the religious intent of the settlers didn't exist.

[ Parent ]

Right (none / 0) (#264)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:53:06 PM EST

I never said that the religious intent of the settlers didn't exist, simply that it was not the driving reason behind the colonization of the new world, or even what became the USA.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
It depends. (none / 0) (#267)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:57:28 PM EST

Religious motivation was the driving reason behind the creation of most of the colonies created by the English. That's indisputable, by your own numbers. It certainly wasn't the motivation behind the creation of the French colonies, nor the Dutch. It was one of the motivating factors behind the creation of the Spanish colonies, but I wouldn't call it the primary one.

[ Parent ]
First off (none / 0) (#359)
by Altus on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:07:35 PM EST


the pilgrims were not Puritans... they came later.

second, they are important because they were the first independent colony... they were funded by private industry in return for 'the spoils of the new continent'

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Hold on a second.... (none / 1) (#286)
by Pingveno on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:41:33 PM EST

The history teacher at my (public) school taught my class the religious persecution why the Puritans left for America. That part of the history course was augmented by my English teacher going over Puritan theology and "The Scarlet Letter." Not exactly erasing religion from history.

BTW, the student body voted about 70% Democrat/Kerry in a recent mock election. Not exactly a bastion of conservatism.


------
In other news, more than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
[ Parent ]
Oops, grammar mistake (none / 0) (#287)
by Pingveno on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:44:25 PM EST

Yikes, I need to read my posts before posting. The first sentence should be: "The history teacher at my (public) school taught us, in detail, about the religious persecution that was why the Puritans left for America."
------
In other news, more than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
[ Parent ]
Keep in mind though (none / 0) (#319)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:22:55 AM EST

that your teacher is merely a counter example - since schools are run locally the variation in their operation can be wide - with everyone from the creationists to the "all religion is hate"-ists trying to twist the truth highlight their own point of view.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
Good for them. (3.00 / 2) (#295)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:44:24 AM EST

I'm all for the separation of church and state, but I'm also a big fan of the truth. People who try to deny or hide the role religion played in world history - good or bad - condemn us to ignorance.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
Clearly the poem is inflammatory. (none / 0) (#95)
by Fon2d2 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:36:52 AM EST

Misleading and misrepresentative statements, this poem seems written to offend. I'd explain why, but kitten already covered it.

[ Parent ]
A rapture is coming (1.00 / 9) (#44)
by Sen on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 07:00:59 PM EST

Whether by slow changes like brain readers and artificial ears, or right to the cyberthalamus, there will be a "rapture" (singularity for the intelligent/nerds). I see no need to prevent stupid people from worshipping their myths. The only real problems are from stem cells. Chimp rights or rat rights on the other "political direction" are probably more of a problem.

Who cares about gay marriage? On the other end we'll be autonomous and there won't be society. And there won't be sexes or genders. If people are stupid enough to fall for intelligent design, that's fine. All we need are enough people to design the next level.

As a eunuch I have taken the first step, and I see great things ahead.

Just curious. (none / 1) (#79)
by communistpoet on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:32:29 AM EST

Can you still get an errection as a eunuch?

We must become better men to make a better world.
[ Parent ]
Yep (none / 0) (#92)
by Sen on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:06:58 AM EST

Can still have sex too. Not much fluid comes out though.

[ Parent ]
What's the point then? <nt> (none / 1) (#119)
by Russell Dovey on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:03:33 AM EST


"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Interesting. (none / 0) (#141)
by ethereal on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:57:12 PM EST

My primary concern about religious fundamentalists is their misidentification of Apocalypse as their win condition. Now you've made me a little nervous about the motivations at the other end of the spectrum.

On the plus side, at least you're just planning to do away with the physical; that seems a little safer than just pinning one's hopes on the soul.

Not sure about the eunuch strategy - a lot of Jesus' followers thought the end would come in their lifetimes, and didn't make any long-term plans. Aren't you kinda in the same situation?

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

We should just be fair (2.00 / 11) (#73)
by cronian on Sun Dec 05, 2004 at 11:52:25 PM EST

The fundamentalist Christian groups have certain things they don't want shown in public. In public settings, laws should treat Christianity and hard core pornography, equally.

If we they want to allow sex shows in public parades, then they should be allowed to show off their Christian symbols. If they want to allow advertising Christianity in public, they should all porn on public advertisements. Anything else is hypocritical.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
but not only christians oppose sex shows (2.00 / 2) (#87)
by 2097 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:17:20 AM EST

There's also an argument being made in the feminist community that the more sexist forms of sexualisation/sexploitation can be harmful.

[ Parent ]
not only pornographers oppose Christian shows (none / 1) (#90)
by Thought Assassin on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:48:52 AM EST

...to state the obvious.

[ Parent ]
Bullshit (2.00 / 4) (#101)
by bobbuck on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:03:55 AM EST

Christians have to PAY for anti-Christian art with public funds, but when a Christian wants to express their faith publicly (without pubic resources), there's always someone from the ACLU trying to shut them up. ( I'm not a Christian, but I'm tired of all this outrageous hypocrisy. ) I think it's time for you all to realize that the Christians outnumber all the other religions in this country. If they are so intolerant, Christianity would be the ONLY religion. ( My religion is Capitalism and you people piss all over that, too.) The Left needs to get off this idea that only they have freedom of speech. BTW, the first amendment does not grant freedom of pornography. I'm not saying that porn should be outlawed ( because then only outlaws would have porn. ) but you can't defend it with the first amendment. Why can't you people just get over the fact that other people have other beliefs? The same people that say 'promote diversity' a hundred times a day scream like wet witches every time a Christian speaks. Geez. Get over it. Really.

[ Parent ]
Well, technically... (none / 0) (#105)
by Pxtl on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 10:35:16 AM EST

That's pretty much what the constitution demands... after all, it says not to respect an establishment of religion.  Nothing about disrespecting an establishment of religion.

[ Parent ]
Two way street (none / 0) (#134)
by godzillion on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 12:27:01 PM EST

Christians have to PAY for anti-Christian art with public funds...

You realize of course that the inverse is also true, and that non-Christians have to pay for Christian art with public funds, as well. No better, but no worse.

I agree with the grandparent that free speech should be considered free speech regardless of content. Arguing that something "is" obscene is like trying to argue that there is only one correct religion. It serves only to make one sound foolish.

[ Parent ]
Tolerance (none / 1) (#155)
by Anonymous Hiro on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:49:24 PM EST

These whingers should wait for the Islamists to take over. Then they might reminisce about the good old days - when the majority might recall "turn the other cheek", in contrast to a majority who might recall "And how many a community revolted against the ordinance of its Lord and His messengers, and We called it to a stern account and punished it with dire punishment"...

Of course if the Buddhists take over (how likely is that?) then it might be OK...

That said whilst the Buddhists aren't really active in the doing bad stuff area, they aren't that active in the doing good stuff area either.


[ Parent ]

intolerance is wrong (none / 1) (#161)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:31:11 PM EST

 but intolerance of intolerance is right

that is why opposing fundamentalist christianity, islam, and judaism is the moral thing to do

you cannot stand there with a straight face and defend to me a pov in the name of tolerance which is married so very closely to being intolerant of so many different beliefs


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Tolerance (1.66 / 3) (#183)
by bobbuck on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:53:41 PM EST

But tolerance of intolerance is tolerated, and that's intolerable. (Ha!)

Before you start building your Amish proof bomb shelter, let me ask you this: Are the ACLU types really more tolerant? They're just waging their own jihad for the far Left by trying to silence anyone they don't agree with. Bear in mind that for every religious fanatic you see there's probably a hundred or more that just mind their own business, even Mulsims. The Left, however, doesn't have such a good record on that score.

[ Parent ]

my point is to fight controlling assholes (none / 1) (#194)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:14:49 PM EST

and i agree that there are those on the left who are also controlling assholes

who i hate and fight as much as i fight the likes of fundie religious assholes like you

glad i could readjust your prejudices of who i am and what i stand for

regards

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Oh, well (none / 0) (#202)
by bobbuck on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:39:10 PM EST

That's what I get for trying to have an intelligent discussion with someone who can't figure out the shift key. BTW, I'm really not religious at all, but I do believe that religious people have rights. That's all. It's better to hear ten people you disagree with than to silence one.

[ Parent ]
it's even better not to hear (none / 1) (#207)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:46:17 PM EST

from people whose beliefs rest upon the necessity of silencing anyone who doesn't agree with them

welcome to the beliefs of those whom you purport to defend from the same crime they perpetuate more than any other group

they are called fundamentalist christians, fundamentalist muslims, fundamentalist jews

and if you really believe "It's better to hear ten people you disagree with than to silence one" then you will be fighting religious fundamentalists as much as i do

and if you don't think they represent the greatest threat to free expression, then you haven't been paying much attention to what has been going on in the world lately


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

NO LAW means NO LAW (2.50 / 4) (#182)
by aphrael on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:49:19 PM EST

when a Christian wants to express their faith publicly (without pubic resources), there's always someone from the ACLU trying to shut them up.

I'm not aware of any case in which the ACLU has attempted to suppress speech which did not make use of government resources. Can you point me to a link about this?

The Left needs to get off this idea that only they have freedom of speech.

The ACLU has, infamously, defended the right of Nazis to have a protest march. As a leftist, i'm perfectly happy to say that I believe in freedom of speech more or less as an absolute value: the government should never be allowed to sanction people because of what they have said.

That said, I agree with the overall gist of the parent post: the government should be neutral between religious speech and non-religious speech.

I'm not saying that porn should be outlawed ( because then only outlaws would have porn. ) but you can't defend it with the first amendment.

Why not? It seems to me that the amendment says that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. It was extended to the states under the fourteenth amendment incorporation doctrine; there's a reasonable debate about whether or not that was legitimate, but that isn't what you're saying. You seem to be saying that pornography isn't protected by the first amendment ... but if I want to rent a theatre and have a bunch of people over and give a lurid erotic pornographic speech, telling a sexually arousing story, how can the Congress possibly prohibit it consistent with a constitutional rule preventing it from passing laws that deprive me of the freedom of speech? This seems remarkably clear cut: _no law_ means _no law_.

[ Parent ]

Oh yea? (2.33 / 3) (#285)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:36:35 PM EST

Lot's of people have to pay for things they don't like. I don't like tanks and jet fighters and napalm, but I pay for it just the same. As for the ACLU, they do alot of bullshit, but they have also taken some pretty provocative cases as well.

As for the christians, I know some very nice people who are christian, and I know some that I would call pure evil; This does not reflect so much on the religion as it does on human nature, but it must be resisted, either way.

Also, I am sick of hearing "well, liberals think on ly they have freedom of speech." Fuck you. You can say whatever you want, but I don't have to listen to it. But when my boss at a government job calls a meeting and starts off with a prayer, what am I supposed to do?

And just watch me defend porn with the first amendment: Pornography is a form of expression, and (usually) does not physically harm anyone. Now, I can't make you look it, but you can't stop me from doing so, either.

And other people can believe whatever they want, just don't push it on me.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
what about fundamentalist christian porn? nt (none / 0) (#159)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:27:54 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I'am all for it! n/t (none / 1) (#278)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:05:42 PM EST




Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
how about they just start (none / 0) (#358)
by Altus on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:59:49 PM EST


by allowing gays to march in their parades.

you want the cross, you get the gays too...

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

from an atheist point of view (1.33 / 9) (#120)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:08:16 AM EST

first of all I don't live in the States, I live in Canada.

It seems to me that religious believes strengthen when on average people become less educated and weaken when the average level of education goes up.  

That is my assumption based on observation, I maybe incorrect.  Do you feel that right now on average people are more or less educated in the States than say 20 years ago?

(by the way, I just watched Passion of the Christ yesterday (twice even, I was interested in some details I missed durring the first session,) and I must say it is a beautiful movie.  The nature of the men is described quite well.  I did not find the torture scenes to be unbearable, I thought some of the scenes to be implausible, for example nailing Christ to the cross probably would not be done through his palms but through the wrists.  I also don't think he would be able to carry a full cross, probably just the horizontal portion of it.  Also the cross itself was t shaped, when in reality at the time and place those things were most likely T shaped (the vertical beam not protruding above the horizontal,) and some other issues.  Otherwise, except for the fact that I don't believe in jc's divine nature and am not even convinced that he existed as a person, it was an entertaining movie.)

Actually (none / 0) (#144)
by The Solitaire on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:11:42 PM EST

Educational level and religious belief seem to be only weakly linked. Unfortunately I do not have the statistics handy, but, from memory, the general trend is downward, but not dramatically so. The exception to this is people with postgraduate degrees, which tend to believe quite substantially less.

That being said, this does not speak to the question of whether the overall average educational level in a country has an effect on religosity. My suspicion would be that it decreases as education increases, but again, not dramatically. The difficulty in such a study would be the confound between education and overall affluence, which are highly corellated.

I need a new sig.
[ Parent ]

none. It's a software problem. n/t (none / 0) (#146)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:15:03 PM EST

n/t

[ Parent ]
OOPS ;) none. It's a hardware problem. (none / 0) (#147)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:16:02 PM EST

should have previewed it first :)

[ Parent ]
wtf?! (none / 1) (#158)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:18:54 PM EST

paraphrase of your comment:

"religiousness goes up when people are less educated"

then

"i just saw the jesus chainsaw massacre and i was deeply moved, you could say almost religiously"

it's like you just said: "let me describe some negatives of religiousness and then, let me go there"

LOL


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

yikes dude (none / 1) (#160)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:28:17 PM EST

Jesus chainsaw massacre - awesome.

Actually if you reread my post, I asked a question.  I asked: -Do you think that as education levels go up, believes in supernatural go down.  I personally think so.

The second part of my comment was me sharing my thoughts about the movie I just saw yesterday.  I thought the movie was beautifully made, very professionally (I don't expect anything less from the Gibson,) and I enjoyed the movie even though I am an atheist.

So what's the problem with my comments?

[ Parent ]

the problem is you (1.66 / 3) (#175)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:18:49 PM EST

the "beauty" you saw in the jesus chainsaw massacre is exactly the kind of thing that appeals to the less educated religious sort: fetishization of violence

so you are apparently as uneducated as the uneducated religious types you disavow: the source of appeal they have for religion is the same sort of appeal that is present in you and moves you describe a 3 hour blatantly violent snuff film as "beautiful"

that film wasn't beautiful, it was the very definition of ugliness: it was fetishization of violence, and that apparently is attractive to you

so you can therefore consider yourself uneducated, as the exact kind of uneducated person you describe who finds fundamentalist religion appealing: you just fell for one of their greatest pieces of propaganda

read my story about it


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

oi vei, boychik (1.50 / 2) (#187)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:03:23 PM EST

I didn't say beating of Jesus was the beautiful part, you heard what you wanted to hear.  I said the movie was beautifully made.  Are you telling me the movie was not beautifully made?  The attention to detail was indicative of a true professional, and all of this done for miserly 20 something million USD?

I thought it was nicely done and the actors were excellent in it.  Apparently you haven't even watched the film, it's not 3 hours, it's 2 hours 6 minutes.  So for a person who haven't watched the movie, you are sure quick to make pretty inflamatory statements.

[ Parent ]

you're retarded (1.00 / 3) (#192)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:11:55 PM EST

  1. i saw the movie, nit wit
  2. the beating of jesus wasn't the beautiful part you say? the whole fricking movie is the beating of jesus, moron!
  3. you say the movie was beautifully made for a "miserly 20 something million USD" ... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA, man if $20 million US is miserly to you, yu must be bill gates!
point: it wasn't nicely done, asshole, the movie was a violent piece of shit

and for someone who decries the uneducated finding appeal in fundamentalist religion, you seem to fit the description pretty good! because you find fundamentalist propaganda to be "nicely done and the actors were excellent in it"

well shit, would you have a problem with me if i said mein kampf was "nicely written and the ideas were excellent"

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

man, you are a fucking tool


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

ho ho ho hehehe ;) (1.50 / 2) (#197)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:25:06 PM EST

1.  You probably saw some other 3 hour movie.
2.  I saw quite a few things in this movie except for the beating, and even the beating was done professionally, and if you saw nothing else, then how can you, a blind man, judge someone who is able to see things?
3.  20 million is nothing by Holliwood standards.  Some actors make about that much per movie, dipshit.

So, I guess you have mentioned the Hitler (even though without naming him, just naming his writing,) this thread must be over now?

Anyway, retard, have a good day.

[ Parent ]

yes, you win (none / 0) (#200)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:32:07 PM EST

you're so right:
  1. i haven't seen the movie, i must be mistaken
  2. and yes, there were 2.3 seconds in total here and there in the film that didn't focus on jesus's bloody torture, so you have an amazing and overwhelming  point
  3. and finally, you are right again, 20 million dollars isn't a lot of money
wow, i feel so bad that you have beaten me back with your insightful points, i feel like i have erred so terribly here

LOL


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

mr sarcasm (1.00 / 4) (#206)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:45:51 PM EST

Sure I won, I won the very moment you attacked me personally.  Everything after that was just a game.

[ Parent ]
personal attacks are wrong? (1.00 / 4) (#208)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:52:42 PM EST

you mean like calling me mr sarcasm?

lol

hey man, you are the one whose loopy bullshit post contained equal parts pointing out that fundamentalism appeals to uneducated people... and then praise for a fundamentalist propaganda film

at which point, i lost all respect for you whatsoever

if you wish to avoid personal attacks in the future, try to maintain some sort of coherence in what you say, or i think you will find that people will lose respect for you

now you are right: most people will just quietly blink and walk away from you, they won't attack you personally when they lose respect for you

but those who personally attack you like me are perhaps drawing your attention to a problem of yours that you might want to correct, and therefore help you in the end... which is far more valuable then the silent disrespect you would get from most

so you are welcome for my intellectual charity

LOL


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

oh, no, I am just humouring you (1.66 / 3) (#211)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:12:31 PM EST

You think Mr Sarcasm is an attack?  That's humour, calling your opponent num wit, I think that constitutes a personal attack.

Why am I replying to you?  I am bored.

--
Forget fundamentalism.  I said a belief in god of any kind at all, or in fact, a belief in supernatural is appealing to a less educated population.  That is my observation.

I have enough wits to hold an oppinion, that's hard for you to swallow.  In my honest opinion, that movie was brilliantly made.  It was perfect in fact.  It was playing the human emotion, it was feeding the instincts, it was exhilarating to watch the drama - Judas internal conflict, the mother's love, the stupidity of the crowd, the irony of the situation - I suppose that is why the bible is so widely read, it is just good writing. It's the perfect hero story, and it ends just like it is supposed to - the satan is defeated.  BTW Celentano fit the role quite nicely.

So, it's your prerogative to disagree, but I don't give a flying fuck if you 'respect' me or not, you don't even know the meaning of the word.  

I respect Gibson for making a nice profit where others did not dare to thread or did not have enough money, after all, it's 20 million of personal money.

--
As for your personal attacks, once again, you do not matter once you do that.  That's when I lost respect for you, when you showed that you are a mannerless oaf, incapable of maintaining an argument without some sort of Ad Hominem.

[ Parent ]

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (1.33 / 3) (#213)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:23:46 PM EST

oh man, humor is right...

it's one thing if i am a mannerless oaf (which i am, and am very proud of that fact), and another thing if such a person as me has you frothing at the mouth like i do ;-)

the very fact that i can upset you as much as i do and that you keep responding proves that i have struck a nerve

brittle souls like you with brittle interpretations of standards of human interaction deserve the treatment they receive at the hands of rude trolls like me, as such people like you do more to harm to the health of society and human interaction than people like me ever will

toodles, fucktwit ;-)

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

hmmm, interesting (2.00 / 5) (#214)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:26:10 PM EST

that thing just keeps going.  Energizer?

[ Parent ]
ding ding ding! (none / 1) (#220)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:40:02 PM EST

that was funny, cold, cruel...

NOW i respect you ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Re: The cross (none / 0) (#172)
by fluxrad on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:58:11 PM EST

I did not find the torture scenes to be unbearable, I thought some of the scenes to be implausible, for example nailing Christ to the cross probably would not be done through his palms but through the wrists.

They have evidence that Jesus as well as others were nailed to the cross through their hands, and that their hands would support their weight. Painful? Yes, but so is crucifiction ;-)

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
supporting weight (none / 0) (#225)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:54:37 PM EST

This is exactly the opposite of what I was reading in a few places, that the nails would have to go through the wrists and not through the palms.  The palm tissue would be torn apart and not support the weight.

[ Parent ]
They who? (none / 1) (#226)
by Theoretical User on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:57:11 PM EST

"They have evidence that Jesus as well as others were nailed to the cross through their hands, and that their hands would support their weight."

Who is this "they", and where did they get this evidence? All I've ever heard is that the word used in the Bible means hand or wrist, and that it was translated into just hand.

The only evidence I've ever seen (on TV) about this says that if they nailed through the hands, and if they used cloth or rope to also tie the arms up, then the body doesn't fall.

So, the evidence I've seen is that this is possible. However, is it probable?

First, we have to look at how people actually die when they are crucified. They pass out before they die. I've heard that the cause of death is asphyxiation, but I'm not going to assert that as truth. If a person passes out, they are going to slump, and much more weight will be borne by their hands than previous. It doesn't matter that the hand may be able to hold. If they crucified one fat man who tore loose, and then broke his legs, and died at the foot of the cross, you can be sure that they would begin nailing through the wrist, which I assure you would also be very painful.

I could be very wrong, but the evidence that I have seen on television and in books suggests that crucifiction was probably through the wrists. My simple analysis of the "fat man crucifiction" is simply my way of trying to see which side I think has more merit, and I have to say that if I were to crucify somebody today, it would be through the wrists.

___
Your Wife Gives Bad Head. -- CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Ugh. (none / 0) (#244)
by fluxrad on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:24:00 PM EST

I'm not going to look this up because I really don't want to re-research the issue at present. Suffice it to say it was thought for a period of time that the Romans crucified people by staking their wrists. More research proved this notion false and, if you do research this, you'll find that the hands can in fact hold the weight of a full human body. This is how Jesus was crucified.

As to asphyxiation, you are correct. Death by crucifiction comes about from fluid collecting in the lungs of the condemned which they are unable to expell. This happens over a period of days and, so they tell me, is incredibly painful.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Don't "Ugh" me! (none / 1) (#251)
by Theoretical User on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:51:37 PM EST

Decouple your arguments please. "More research proved this notion false" is one thing. I presume that there is historical evidence which proves this point. Am I correct? Because in the next statement, "you'll find that the hands can in fact hold the weight of a full human body" is in the same sentence, but slightly decoupled. If this is the only evidence, then I am not convinced at all.

Listen, you went from "they have evidence" to "This is how Jesus was crucified" without naming any specific anything to prove your point, so you can see why I'd be confused.

So, without doing any of this additional re-research, could you at least give me the gist? Is this evidence actually historical, or simply modern day and theoretical? Is it from writings or artwork? Were these sources provably contemporary to Jesus?

___
Your Wife Gives Bad Head. -- CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Oh, I went there! (none / 0) (#266)
by fluxrad on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:56:51 PM EST

Booyah!

Ok. In all seriousness, I don't remember the sources but believe them to be reasonably accurate. The body of what I have seen and read asserts that, in practice, the Romans crucified significantly more people by nailing their hands than their wrists (but both were done). IIRC, the practice at the time, i.e. around 32A.D, was to crucify people through their hands. This is also where I get my information regarding hands being able to support up to 60-70lbs a piece.

But hey, I haven't given you any proof so I wouldn't believe me either.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Good enough for me. (none / 1) (#293)
by Theoretical User on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:21:54 AM EST

Eh... Well, there's no proof, but you're consistent, and I don't care enough to look into it. As long as we can both agree that the Shroud of Turin is phony, I got no beef with ya.

___
Your Wife Gives Bad Head. -- CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
heheh. (none / 0) (#300)
by fluxrad on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:23:43 AM EST

The shroud of turin is as real as Jenna Jameson's boobs.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Math Major!? (none / 0) (#324)
by iheartzelda on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:38:00 AM EST

I'm a Christian, and I graduated from Virginia Tech (GO HOKIES!) with a Math Major and a Religion Minor.

Granted this doesn't say anything about my level of *intelligence,* but I've had some education. Unless of course you were talking post-college education.

Just another data point for you.

[ Parent ]
Wrong approach (2.60 / 10) (#143)
by skim123 on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:10:55 PM EST

You make some good observations, but I think you are approaching this thing from the wrong direction. It's not a religious revival, as other comments have noted. That reaction you're seeing, I think, is a populace that's becoming a bit fed up with political correctness, and one that's itching to get back to the way things were. Sure, "Merry Christmas" might be words with religious connotations, but, dammit, that's the words we've been using for the past X years, so why do you have to go and change it now?

For example, here in San Diego they used to have this big event every Christmas season called Christmas on the Prado, but now it's called December Nights because, heaven forbid, we can't have the word Christmas there. Wouldn't want to make those non-Christians feel excluded. Nevermind the fact that this even draws literally hundreds of thousands of people from San Diego in the span of two nights (not all of which are Christians, I'm certain), has crafts and food from parts of the world that have very little presence of Christianity, etc. I am an agnostic, myself, but was upset to see them get rid of the word Christmas. Jeebus, just leave it there, that's it's name, don't be so God damned PC, you PC nazis.

Anyway, PC is making us a nation of wusses, and I think this is a view that many in our great nation hold and are getting frustrated with, both religious-types and non-religious.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


Cheers to that! (2.50 / 4) (#185)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:58:17 PM EST

I'm a true blue atheist, but I have far more patience for fire-and-brimstone preachers than I do for atheist crusader types who consider it a productive use of their time to sterilize our culture in accordance with their narrow prejudices (eg., removing the "under God" phrase in the pledge, banning Nativity scenes from public properties, etc...).

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Not PC. (none / 0) (#231)
by Wulfius on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:20:21 PM EST

It does not appear to be PC gone wild.

To a casual observer it seems that non-christian religions are gaining a greater control of the US political process.

Witness the apportioning of US foreign military aid.

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

Casual Observers (none / 0) (#313)
by jameth on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:45:25 AM EST

Casual observers are usually lacking much of the information regarding what is actually occuring, and are thus wrong. This is no exception.

[ Parent ]
how did this get through the edit queue? (1.40 / 5) (#145)
by collideiscope on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 01:14:55 PM EST


Which way the pendulum is going to swing no one has yet to determine

what?

While taken by itself, one could certainly conclude that the people of Denver are simply attempting to rectify a PC blunder made by Denver Civic Ventures and, to a lesser extent, Mayor Hickenlooper.

itself --> one? What?

These stories do serve to underscore the return to "fundamental moral values" coming about in present day America.

Some would argue that more often than not, this is to the detriment of society.

Seriously, I like the article. But your writing is oftentimes awkward and choppy. It feels like you are dropping in connecting phrases that you really don't understand in an attempt to mimick college-level writing you are really not prepared to engage in.

But please don't take this criticism the wrong way; the best way to learn is by imitating. I would say, if anything, read MORE college-level writing and get a feel for why phrases like "more often than not" and "taken by itself" actually exist.

Then, once you understand how to use them correctly, stop using them. They are cliche in academic writing. Your writing will be better and stand out more if you avoid cliche.

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.

thanks ;-) (none / 1) (#168)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:48:41 PM EST

i love watching grammar nazis have a heart attack

please, from now on, everyone include as many split infinitives, subtle misspellings, use "irregardless" instead of "regardless"... "i couldn't care less", etc... please, everyone here in your future stories, please try to push all the little pathetic buttons of the grammar nazis here that you can


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

omg dude >:P (3.00 / 2) (#245)
by collideiscope on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:29:56 PM EST

you are totally right on

dude like now that i think about it i totall think the way to get a head in the world today is to just be chill...you know laid back...and don't worry about grammar and shit...i have seen the light dude, i wote this memo to my boss at work that said 'i will on longer capitaize any proprer pronouns or other shit in my memos because it is easier not to and i am expressing my indiviudality' and he was like 'omfg wtf u r fired u slacker' and i was like 'omg you dumbass read kuro5hin.org' and i sent him a link to your post history man

i think it will win him over man...really...because he will see, like me, how you encourage everyone to do their own thing n express their individuality and he will be like 'wtf omg circletimessquare ROCKS'

i rate you +5.9 dude

-------------------------------
Hope is a disease. Get infected.
[ Parent ]

Methinks you're missing the point. (none / 0) (#421)
by fluxrad on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 03:20:12 PM EST

There is quite a difference between a style of writing you may not find appropriate versus the complete and abject slaughter of the English language.

Far be it for anyone on K5, including yourself, to be able to see the distinction, hence the 3-rating of your posts ;-)

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
That's not it at all. (none / 0) (#169)
by fluxrad on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 02:51:05 PM EST



--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
christianity (2.35 / 14) (#173)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:09:39 PM EST

is a religion like any other, with radical political interpretations, and mundane daily cultural elements

like parades and holidays and funny provincial styles of clothing

and, like any other religion in history, it's violent bloody downfall is precipitated by emphasizing its radical political interpretations... and its continued peaceful existence is achieved through emphasizing it's mundane daily cultural elements

christianity is not special as compared to any other religion lke judaism or islam: it's a spectrum of ideology from inflammatory to banal, just like any other religion

it's just that right now in the world, there certainly are a lot of motherfuckers on the inflammatory end of things who wish nonbelievers to be dead and are willing to die for the cause

they will of course therefore, die, and burn themselves out, leaving the banal harmless elements of islam and christianity and judaism to continue existing

so all that remains for us infidels to do is make sure they take out as few of us as possible as they realize their death wish

so how do you do this? well, for one, stop fucking overreacting: let the more peaceful side of their religion have their funny parades and holidays... enjoy them even, they are enjoyable in a sort of tourist in a foreign land sort of way... when in the future religion has been completely pacified and becomes just another funny provincial cultural source of expression, what you see in terms of parades and floats and funny dress is exactly what religion will be: so why fight that?

so again: don't fight the floats, fuck the floats, they mean nothing... they are symbolic of something greater only if you insist harmless displays of culture are actually ominous shows of religious imperialism... wrong, they are not, it's a red herring, ignore it, you only waste your energies fighting that... and, in fact, by inflating the signifiance of such banal meaningless things, you actually lose the fight against fundamentalist inotlerance: you look as fascist as the religious bigots with your emphasis on opposing minor details and nitpicks... and what is the point of replacing religious fundamentalism with some sort of secular humanist fundamentalism?

the point is to get all controlling assholes out of our daily lives, not replace one ancient form of controlling assholes with a new sect of controlling assholes, no matter what "god" of godlessness is professed by the fascist kind of secular humanist... that's funny, because even as the fascist flavor of secular humanism declares their godlessness as loudly and fetishlistically in devotion, they sound more and more like a fundamentalist religion

so what do you do? again, ignore the banal cultural displays please, but: do fight the anti-gay legislation, fight the radical political ideological side of fundamentalist christianity in your society, and in muslim and jewish societies abroad (all human beings should be cared for equally, not just those who live next door... fighting the fundie christian while falling silent on the fundie muslim, or visa versa, is not moral or just)

beat the politically active, fascist imperial fundie chirstians and fundie moslems and fundie jews with a stick... because this side of religion will kill our societies, will make us poor, will reduce us to a permanent state of war

so: ignore the fucking floats my friends, that is a red herring, but please increase the fight on the fucking political fundies


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

this is just the sort of God hating (1.50 / 2) (#177)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:30:59 PM EST

i hoped to circumvent.

what's banal isn't this sect of Christians or that, misguided as some may or may not be, it's the insistence of the readership that God must be cast out from our minds because of the perceived wickedness of his perceived followers, when at bottom, this is really about a country that hates God.

this is a country that fears damnation, and as someone who lives in times square, you know that is not without good reason, and as such has come to deny God in vehement tones to comfort themselves -- and disguise their hatred of Him.

it is time for people to take a step back think about how far the enlightenment philosophy of our forefathers has taken us -- and think about the personal journey that distance necessitates.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

your 0 (none / 1) (#178)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:34:24 PM EST

get's my 0

as for the rest of what you say: snore...


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

well, if you had posted BEFORE me, (1.00 / 3) (#179)
by the ghost of rmg on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 03:43:21 PM EST

that would be one thing, but i can't have obnoxious God haters like yourself scrolling my posts off the screen. i zeroed another person for the same reason, so don't take it personally.

if you want positive moderation from me, post your screeds in response to my comments (preferably after someone has accused me of trolling in their subject line).


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

You bastard troll you.. (none / 1) (#277)
by Kwil on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:04:08 PM EST

..just to get the positive moderation flowing. :)

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
just because you don't understand it (none / 0) (#196)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:19:29 PM EST

Doesn't mean it's not true.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
i do understand it (none / 0) (#198)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:27:14 PM EST

that's why it fails to persuade

do you understand communism?

assuming you do, does a restatement of its arguments have any chance of persuading you anew, in spite of the fact that its basic fallacies are unchanged?

no?

same thing here


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

depends (3.00 / 2) (#270)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:17:25 PM EST

My assessment of your understanding of Marx depends on the quality of your response, not your mere assertion of 'familiarity,' particularly over the internet. You have not shown a good understanding of Christianity, even as it is practiced by nutbars in your country, much less as it is understood internationally or historically. Ergo, I don't have to respect your dismissing it.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
interesting (none / 1) (#392)
by circletimessquare on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:28:52 AM EST

your argument that i don't understand what i am talking about is beginning to sound more like you asserting your interpretation as superior to my interpretation based on nothing but your own arrogance

which moves you into a whole new realm: hubris

so, dear arrogant egotist, you go on with your bad self, you win: you can disprove my assertions by simply stating i don't know what i am talking about, but you do

yes, that works for you

(snicker)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

dude: get a grip (none / 1) (#393)
by Battle Troll on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:40:28 AM EST

I just told you "you act like you don't know what you're talking about, because as someone who's intimately involved with it, I'm in a position to judge." Now, step back and think about that.

Let's say some windbag started to hold forth on the Phillipines, and you felt compelled to bitchslap him because he doesn't know anything that he didn't read in a magazine. You'd do it in terms similar to mine if you were trying to be clear about what was wrong with his whole approach and didn't just feel like being abusive.

Now, in my case, some random fanatical coffee addict from Cyberia has decided that he knows what's up with Christianity because of some random shit that he read, probably online at that. As someone who attends two unrelated churches and is intimately acquainted with philosophical, historical, and practical issues within Christianity, I'm telling you you come off as invicibly ignorant. You can either take that seriously, or try the Monkey House argument and holler while hurling whatever you find up your ass. But it's your tendency to do the latter that makes everyone think of you as all noise, no signal.

Thing is, you talk about how this site is just your garbage dump, but you spend way more time here than eg me, and you seem to get far more hysterical about impressing the intensity of your opinions of people. To me, that sounds like someone who has a degree of investment in what he writes. (If not, you'd just crapflood, rather than mixing in bits of your opinions, obviously.)
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

for someone who calls themselves a battle troll (none / 1) (#394)
by circletimessquare on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:54:44 AM EST

you seem pretty easy to rattle and get your panties in a bunch

now calm down nancy, and let tell you what the fuck your problem is:

you are no better to talk about christianity than i am

that's a fact

how can i be so certain of this?

because there is objective truth and subjective truth, and if religion isn't something that is subjective truth, i don't know what the fuck is

therefore: i am certain you are able to recite to me the hagiography of various saints and who begat whom

but when it comes right down to talking about exactly what wwe are talking about, your "expert" opinion means SHIT dorthy

capisce?

an "expert" in a subjective discussion is merely someone who is indoctrinated into a given pov, usually, with an agenda to push... not exactly the sptting image of impartiality

so  we're not talking about quarks or atoms or thermodynamics or membrane potentials here fuckhead, we're talking about SUBJECTIVE TRUTHS

do you fucking understand the fucking concept genius?

so the next time we get into a discussion about exactly how constipated martin luther was on any given day, i will be certain to accede to your eminence

until then, shut the fuck up, and don't think you have any heft to bitchslap me around

ON SUBJECTIVE ISSUES

now, swallow your words: you simply can't refute what i say on a subjective issue and say "i have sat in this pew until i grew bedsores, therefore, my subjective opinion carries more weight than your subjective opinion"

that's called arrogance, elitism, aristocracy, ivory tower attitude

in other words, you've just been proven flat out wrong

you lose, try again sucker

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

wow (none / 0) (#400)
by Battle Troll on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 08:13:55 AM EST

Religion is subjective, therefore anything you choose say about it is above criticism. Whatever.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
close (none / 0) (#423)
by circletimessquare on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 03:47:32 PM EST

what you meant to say was "Religion is subjective, therefore anything you choose say about it is worthy of consideration on the merit or lack thereof of what is said, and cannot be simply dismissed out of hand due to a perception of some sort of dubious expertise"

remember, it is you who is appealing to your "expertise" over mine, which, ironically, means you are saying your subjective interpretations are above criticism

got it fucktwit?

i'm happy i could help you with one of your blind spots in life, maybe get you closer to a true spirituality, rather than one founded on dogma (snicker)

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

lol xoxoxoxoxoxoxox? are you a camwhore? (n/T) (none / 0) (#425)
by fredo on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 03:55:21 PM EST



[ Parent ]
yeah bitch (none / 1) (#426)
by circletimessquare on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 04:11:17 PM EST

i sit in the booth right next to you every night

can you watch my kids again this weekend?

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox (n/T) (none / 1) (#427)
by fredo on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 04:26:12 PM EST



[ Parent ]
heh (none / 0) (#438)
by Battle Troll on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 01:13:38 AM EST

Religion is subjective, therefore anything you choose say about it is worthy of consideration on the merit or lack thereof of what is said, and cannot be simply dismissed out of hand due to a perception of some sort of dubious expertise

That's a lot of words for saying 'I think you don't know what you're talking about.' Unfortunately for you, I said that to you first, making you boringly unoriginal; even more unfortunately, when it comes to facts (which are always the justification for legitimate opinions,) you don't have any. But let's look upthread a little bit before this thread becomes yet another useless cts pissfest. rmg's spectre wrote:

at bottom, this is really about a country that hates God

Can you explain what he means by that statement? I can, but you don't have a clue, and your response - to wit, "snore," is simply a transparent attempt to appear familiar with a line of argument that you can't possibly know about; it's like laughing at an in-joke about someone you've never met: it shows you to be a loser, desperate to appear knowing and informed, but totally ignorant even of the context of the discussion, far less its content.

i'm happy i could help you with one of your blind spots in life, maybe get you closer to a true spirituality, rather than one founded on dogma (snicker)

You're quite the Broken-Record Billy. Reminds me of an account I read about bratty lit majors in the 50's going to Maugham plays and anticipating his lines for kicks: I (and others I'm sure) know what you'll have to say on any given topic without bothering to ask. Doesn't this bother you?
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

you have a mote in your eye (none / 0) (#440)
by circletimessquare on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 01:56:18 AM EST

it takes a special brand of self-righteous arrogance to blame other people for your own failures

That's a lot of words for saying 'I think you don't know what you're talking about.' Unfortunately for you, I said that to you first, making you boringly unoriginal

hey fuck: I NEVER SAID YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. go ahead, parse my words again, i apologize if there are too many words there for you to juggle in your mind, dolt

but again, for perhaps the 4th or 5th time: i said judge the merit of what is said, rather than the supposed merit or lack thereof of who is speaking, capisce? that applies to me, AND you. neither you, nor i, are an expert in an issue of subjective truth, only the merit of what is said can be judged. such a thing as expertise in a subjective truth is an impossibility, unless you define "expertise" as some level of indoctrination into a given pov. fortunately for me, you said 'I think you don't know what you're talking about' first, and last, making you stupendously dense, blind, and hypocritical, and you STILL don't seem to understand this point

so you want to go back in the thread? ok:

As someone who attends two unrelated churches and is intimately acquainted with philosophical, historical, and practical issues within Christianity, I'm telling you you come off as invicibly ignorant. You can either take that seriously, or try the Monkey House argument and holler while hurling whatever you find up your ass. But it's your tendency to do the latter that makes everyone think of you as all noise, no signal.

like i said at the top, it takes a special brand of self-righteous arrogance to blame other people for your own failures

do you have a problem with my behavior, the arrogance of my words and opinions?

take a look in the mirror kiddo, you got me beat

i think this is one of those special threads where, because of your own assertions, the more you talk the less integrity you have, because you are the one here who has made arrogance an issue... spoken in words of stupendous arrogance

LOL

;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

yuck (none / 0) (#444)
by Battle Troll on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 10:48:55 AM EST

i said judge the merit of what is said

I am. I'm judging that you have no idea what the fuck rmg's phantasm was talking about. It's easy for you to prove me wrong - just cite one little source. Please, I want you to prove me wrong. Cite. I'm imploring you - for the love of God - cite!
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

i'll bite (none / 0) (#450)
by circletimessquare on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 04:22:49 PM EST

rmg is presenting a false conflict

you have a problem with me not addressing what rmg says... but the way i see it, it's all about not taking bait: rmg is attacking me by assigning me an identity in his post that i never even got near: bashing god... why give respect to that attack by responding to it? it has nothing to do with what i say or mean!

nor can i understand how miscommunication could possibly feed an interpretation like that... so to me, therefore, only one possibility exists: it's just an obvious troll on rmg's part, which i didn't fall for, but apparently, you did! so, at this point in the thread, i guess i have to respond to it anyway, for remedial reasons on your part, and shut you down with the truth of rmg's post? LOL

with the vehemence of your attacks on me, i can only you assume you actually believe that i am attack god on the pretext of bashing what his followers say

so what is so especially damning (snicker) of yours and rmgs false attitude about what i say, is that you draw a line between castigating the perceived wickedness of certain followers, and castigating the idea of god himself... and somehow, i am of the latter, when if you look at what i actually say, i'm obviously of the former... how the fuck does that work?

so is this some sort of elaborate troll of me on your part? or is it that you simply can't be bothered reading what i actually say, then you proceed to assign to me an identity as i appear to you as some sort of bogeyman created in your own mind, and then you proceed to rail against me... about something i'm not about at all?

go ahead and look at my top post again about christianity

find where i bashed god

find where i bashed wicked followers

got it?

thank you

so apparently, this entire problem you have with me boils down to a prejudice of me that you have that bears no resemblance to what i say, lovingly presented in terms of arrogant elitism

nice

anything else i can help you with today?

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

as I suspected, you have no clue (none / 1) (#460)
by Battle Troll on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 09:31:23 AM EST

YHL. HAND.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Religion without opposition is never less violent! (none / 1) (#240)
by aralin on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:05:09 PM EST

Spanish Inquisition burning people and Jesuites burning books all over Europe is a result of religion which lost all its external opponents. Without the sinners to point to and their horrible fates, its extremly hard for religious leaders to present the good points of their religion and help keep people in check for the rulling class, which pays its due for this service.

Violence is an inherent property of any religion. Either real or promissed and imagined. No matter if it has a form of burning in eternal fires or spending your next life as worm as a result of not following the rules. Religion without violence cannot exists, dies and allows a space for a more violent form of worship. That is the reason why the number of followers of this or that religion is directly proportional to the level of violence its religious leaders are able to commit or impress image of being able to commit. With Islam leading the way and Christianity and Budhism in close tow. Anyone who would consider Budhism non-violent just because it does not condone acts of violence for its members would be intentionally turning a blind eye.

The problem is that for human mind the idea of fatality, of an absolute end without any continuation is so terrifying that even the possibility of burning in hell for eternity is more appealing when balanced with eternal bliss in relatively easy reach. That means that anyone who will be able to give a sufficiently convincing idea of escape from the absolute end of being has guarenteed a great following. Violence is then a next logical step, the means of escaping something thats terrifying beyond reason needs to have strong elements of violence and terror to be sufficiently believable. The nothing for free rule is way too embedded in the human thinking to have it any other way.

I don't see a way to escape permanently from this cycle of violence, there is nothing we can do in the long term except for vigilantly oppose any form of oppression of any human being by other, creating little pools of light in the wast expanse of darkness.

Not to get confused, I am not talking against your faith in whatever you want to believe, just against organized religion using such faith to control others and enforce their ideas into the structure of society. Everybody, including you and me has their right to think whatever they wish to.

[ Parent ]

Religion without opposition is never less violent! (none / 0) (#435)
by R Joseph Wright on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:10:24 PM EST

You need to point out some links regarding Buddhism's supposed violence. I don't know about all Buddhist sects, but I think I understand the core teachings of Buddhism pretty well, and it doesn't just advocate nonviolence towards its own members, it advocates nonviolence towards any living being, period. I'd like to know what you're talking about.
Those are my principles, if you don't like them I have others. --Groucho Marx
[ Parent ]
google politics in sri lanka (nt) (none / 0) (#439)
by circletimessquare on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 01:41:01 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Some Thoughts (none / 1) (#321)
by iheartzelda on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:26:36 AM EST

First off, I heart your sig.

I think that you are being fairly black-and-white by dividing Christianity into two camps: the fundi's and the sunday-only-church-goers. Just like every other thing in life, there is probably a grey area inbetween those two extremes. However, I do think your analysis of the two extremes is dead on, I know plenty of Christians that fall into both camps.

That being said, I do not fall into either of those camps. I believe in the Bible and what it says about Jesus. I don't agree with abortion (most times). I am in favor of gay people getting married (actually I am in favor of the govt. removing itself completely from marriage, but that is another thread). I think GTA3 was an excellent game. I don't go to church most Sundays, but I do meet with a bunch of guys regularly to drink beer and study the Bible (sometimes). I especially agree with what you said here:
"all human beings should be cared for equally, not just those who live next door"
It sounds a lot like what someone else said once.

So what should we do? Well other what you said above, which is the first and most important thing we should do, I think you said it pretty well:
"beat the politically active, fascist imperial fundie chirstians and fundie moslems and fundie jews with a stick... because this side of religion will kill our societies, will make us poor, will reduce us to a permanent state of war"
Not only will Christian fundamentalism in this country do those things, I believe it will also reduce the amount of freedom for *Christians* in the future. This seems obvious to me, but I guess a lot of Christians don't see it.

[ Parent ]
Religion is the opiate of the people (2.25 / 4) (#209)
by Karl Rove OBrien on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 04:53:00 PM EST

Karl Marx famously proclaimed that religion was the opiate of the masses, and pronounced that for his perfect worker's paradise to arise on Earth, religion would need to be abolished so that man could see the world as it is, not through the cloud of fairy sky spirits and the lunatic ravings of holy scriptures that read like bad science fiction. But Karl Marx was an idealist who had a ludicrously high opinion of his fellow human beings. The Party does not make that mistake. We know that the people do not wish to see the world as it is. The world as it is is horrible, full of misery and pain. People want lies, cool, soothing lies to ease their lives of quiet desperation, and religion is one of the biggest.

The Party did not make these people want to worship a sky spirit that offers cheap and facile explanations for the pointlessness of their lives. The Party did not create the ludicrious notion that simply declaiming your allegiance to the lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and you're going to some ridiculous paradise full of harps and mansions and people with bird's wings coming out of their shoulders, no matter how much you've hated in the past, no matter what evil deeds you've done. But surely the Party would be remiss if it did not take advantage of the fact that religion serves so well to focus these people's hate, to satisfy these people's need for meaning in their pathetic lives.

Welcome to 1984+20...

Orwellianly Yours,
Karl Rove O'Brien, Bush's Brain
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever

opiate of the masses (none / 0) (#329)
by wiredog on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:56:14 AM EST

Remembering that, at the time Das Capital was written, opiates were considered a blessing.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Marx had it wrong. (none / 0) (#437)
by Entendre Entendre on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 12:23:48 AM EST

Ignorance is the opiate of the people. Religion is just the pipe.

--
Reduce firearm violence: aim carefully.
[ Parent ]

deleting comments? (2.00 / 6) (#223)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:48:37 PM EST

I wonder.
My comment was deleted, how does that happen here, usually, and why?

My comment was a question:

As an atheist my personal view is that religion is necessary for the people who do not have enough education (something alone those lines.)

Do you think that in the states people became more or less educated on average within the last 20 years?

And I had a side note about the movie I watched yesterday: Passion of The Christ, which I liked.  The movie was excellent in my opinion.


It got hidden (none / 1) (#224)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 05:53:01 PM EST

because 2 people who don't believe in freedom of speech gave it a zero.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Education != Belief (none / 1) (#230)
by Wulfius on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:13:56 PM EST

You will find that in fact as you get MORE educated, you will find more and more aspects of the natural world that science can not explain yet. Many great scientists actually believe in a higher spiritual order.
Witness Einstein saying 'God does not play dice with the universe'.

However, your observation is correct to a degree.
Many choose the comfort of idle assumption of whatever dogma is pushed in front of them to conform. There may be a causal relationship to education, but then, there are educated people who  fervently believe in the religion of Atheism ;)

.

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

God does not play dice (none / 1) (#235)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:29:08 PM EST

Well, I think that the higher education of a specific person, the less likely this person is to follow any one religion or to believe in the supernatural.  Definetely science does not give us all the answers, but it requires a mind, capable of logical thinking.  I think people tend to be more agnostic than religious, and I do not consider atheism to be a religion.  Atheist will reconsider his views if a proof is provided to him that there is a god.  Until such proof, an atheist does not believe in supernatural.  A religious belief does not require proof.

[ Parent ]
proofreading (none / 1) (#236)
by Roman on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 06:34:42 PM EST

My poor comments always suffer this...
My first sentence should be:

I think the more education a person has, the less likely this person is to follow a religion ...


[ Parent ]

Incorrect: Atheist/Agnostic (1.25 / 4) (#280)
by Wulfius on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:10:37 PM EST


AGNOSTIC:
a person who believes that, at our present level of knowledge, we cannot know whether or not a God exists.

ATHEIST:
the doctrine or >>>>belief<<<< that there is no God

To be an Atheist is a fools postion. First, it calls for unsubstantiated dogma, much like religion. Hence my reference to the 'religion of Atheism'. Second, Atheists engage in active excursions to demolish the beliefs of believers. Not much different to sectarian, religious wars. My imaginary friend is better than your imaginary friend. Or in this case, Because I have no imaginary friend, It beats your imaginary friend.

Rember:
Absence of proof is not a proof of absence.

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

Nice logic (2.50 / 4) (#291)
by Herring on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 12:57:41 AM EST

So, basically, you're a fool to discount the idea that anything is true - be it Norse mythology, Satanism or trickle-down economics.

Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
I take objection to that definition (none / 0) (#297)
by Phil Urich on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:49:32 AM EST

I generally follow the following definitions myself, not really caring if they're the "official" or "accepted" ones:

AGNOSTIC: a person who believes that it's not possible to know whether or not there is a God, and thus refuses to say either way

ATHEIST: a person who is of the opinion that there is no God

Yeah, of course it's impossible to know for certain whether there is some deity up there in charge of everything. Just as it's impossible to prove that we're not all actually in The Matrix, and this is all just . . . well, you see my point, right? There are an infinite number of conjectures we can think up that we, yes, technically can't prove either way, but honestly, everything in life is like that. We never know something 100.000000-ad-infinitum-%, but we make inferences, and logical deductions. I certainly don't know whether this post will post or not, but if I didn't greatly suspect that it would, then I probably wouldn't be bothering to write it, right?

Often I'd rather argue with intelligent Christians than with agnostics, especially militant agnostics. Some of the Christians I know (okay, only one, but I haven't gotten into multi-hour discussions with any of the others, so I don't know as completely what exactly they believe and why) say simply that it is their opinion that the evidence says there is a God, furthermore he's the Christian God, history and the state of life corroborate this. I argue, no, the evidence supports that it's a petty human fallacy to think the universe works like that, there is no supreme being like that, humans are bound to end up wanting to believe otherwise, but that doesn't change the cold reality they live in. And then we have a heated debate, etc etc etc.

But with militant agnostics . . . well, I forget where I read this, but I remember someone posting somewhere once something along the lines of "yeah, aren't they just great? it's, 'I don't know if God exists, and neither do you!'". Arguing that a person is stupid for even having an opinion, well, I don't exactly respect that opinion (hah!).

And you may argue that I'm using an incorrect definition of Atheism, but fine, then I'm neither an atheist or an agnostic by your definitions, and I take objection when you imply that non-spiritual people must be one or the other (and your definition is actually incorrect, since you put atheist as being "the doctrine or belive that...", when that would be atheism not an atheist, but I'm hardly Mr. Perfect myself, so I shouldn't nitpick).

[ Parent ]
Theism, Atheism, Agnosticism - actually defined (2.00 / 2) (#388)
by fyngyrz on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 11:01:36 PM EST

To be an Atheist is a fools position. First, it calls for unsubstantiated dogma, much like religion.

No. Let's fix this. It's as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Theism: "belief in a god or gods"
  2. A: as a prefix, it literally means "without"
  3. A-Theism: "WITHOUT - belief in a god or gods"

Therefore, as you can easily see, atheism is not a dogma-based position, as is religion. It is lack of belief. It is not disbelief.

An atheist who takes the additional position (for whatever reason) that "there is no god" is indeed an atheist - remember, defined as the lack of belief in god or gods existence - but they have layered additional ideas on top of the atheist position. Just as a Catholic layers additional ideas on top of the theist position of belief in god or gods.

Apologists call this position "strong atheism." I call it dogmatic atheism for the very reasons that the parent post mentioned. I'm not saying there aren't reasons to go there, but like most strong positions taken about things for which we lack any evidence at all, it isn't worth the intellectual horsepower expended to try and prove a negative.

I'll take a moment here to give agnosticism a whack or two. Agnosticism attempts to define a reason not to declare; it says, "I don't know if there is a god or gods" -- (this is news?) -- "and so I cannot say if I believe of not."

But we should look closer at this, because it isn't what it seems. Accepting that the declared agnostic doesn't know if there is a god or gods, we simply ask: "But do you have any shred of belief that there is a god or gods?" If the answer is yes, then they are theist; if no, then they are atheist.

The reason that this subsequent inquiry is appropriate and reasonable is this: Belief is a "I have it" or "I don't have it" issue. Hence theism, atheism. Knowledge is also a "I have it" or "I don't have it" issue -- but (here it comes) knowledge is not a position that lies between belief and lack of belief.

Some people believe in flying saucers. Do they require knowledge to do this? No. Some people believe in the "healing power of quartz crystals." Do they require knowledge to do this? Also no. Some people believe that the earth harbors aliens in its hollow center. Do they require knowledge to do this? No. Etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Clearly, knowledge is not a precursor to belief. This is because belief is a state that is derived from desire -- not from knowledge.

Furthermore, as the agnostic position is generally claimed to be "I don't know if there is a god or gods", you should realize that this is quite different from "I don't know if I hold belief in a god or gods" -- and because it is so different, this is another definitive reason it cannot serve to define an interstitial position between theism and atheism.

Agnosticism is not, and can never be, a position "between" theism and atheism. Either you hold belief, however slight, in a god or gods, and therefore are theist, or you don't, and are atheist.

If you want to claim that you don't know if there is a god or gods, fine, but you've simply joined 100% of the rest of humanity, theist and atheist both, because they don't know either. They just have beliefs. Knowledge doesn't come from conviction. It comes from facts. No one has any on this issue. No one at all.


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Knowledge > Belief (none / 0) (#390)
by Wulfius on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 11:24:20 PM EST

A respectable post, FYNGRZ thanks.
Without getting into too deep a debate, your position that belief does not start with knowledge is not true.

There are many types of knowledge.

Things we know to be true for certain, eg: I will bounce of a wall when I try to walk through it.

Things we know to be true within certain parameters, but past which, may no longer hold to be true, eg: If I approach the wall with sufficiently high velocity, I will break through the wall (to my detriment).

Things we know to be because we are told about, but have not experienced; 'Watch out, Wall!'.

Things we know to be because we experinced them, 'Ouch, Damned Wall!'.

Things we know to be true because we hold a certain pre-formed belief, 'Berlin wall has to go!'

So, ANY belief we hold is preceded by knowledge, though we may not necesserily recognise it as such. Knowledge is not just books and funny looking scientists.

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

Not quite. (none / 0) (#397)
by fyngyrz on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 02:11:01 AM EST

your position that belief does not start with knowledge is not true

Belief can accompany knowledge -- but there is no requirement at all that it start with knowledge. It can start with falsehood: "Santa Claus is going to bring you a present." It can start from deep emotion: "My Fluffy died, but she'll be waiting for me on the rainbow bridge." It can start from repetition, peer pressure, inculcation: The Jonestown massacre, the Nazis, Senator Joseph McCarthy. It can start from pure imagination: "I saw the Virgin Mary in this toast." And... it can start from accurate, hard facts: "I walked into a wall, wow, that totally sucked."

So the problem is that belief "ain't got no respect", and as far as I am concerned, it shouldn't have any, either. Not in and of itself. It is quite apparent that belief can be spawned by anything and everything, complete with massive conviction and the urge to tell everyone in sight how you feel about whatever it is.

Knowledge is different, because knowledge comes from facts. The wall is hard. I know it. I tell you. You scoff. I ram your head into the wall. You cease to scoff. Now, you know what I know. That's really different from you believe what I believe.

That is why the wall experience does not relate to the religious experience. There is no real wall in religion -- nowhere to ram anyone's head. They have to first, believe in the wall, which, as humans, they often find a way to do, and then they have to have a reason to figuratively ram their head into the imaginary wall now in their mind.

People can, of course, find these reasons easily, and the mental gymnastics of doing the ramming come easily to us all, because our minds are powerfully creative well beyond our present understanding. Fear of death, loss of a loved one, awe at the hugeness and/or complexity of the universe, general angst, artistic longing, whatever. The list is long, and some entries are quite distinguished in terms of complexity and rationalization. But in the end, it is still not knowledge. It is belief, and as such, it lends itself quite handily to each person's mental wax figure factory, if one decides to go there.


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Absolutely disagree!!! (none / 0) (#434)
by Wulfius on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 10:21:18 PM EST

fyngyrz you are a worthy opponent, but in this area more reading needs to occur. Your statement;

>Belief can accompany knowledge -- but there is no
> requirement at all that it start with knowledge.

Is an absolute falsehood. Allow me to explain before your feathers are ruffled. This is a problem encountered by the adepts of AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Using your first statement (a falsehood);
"Santa Claus is going to bring you a present."

That statement is loaded with KNOWLEDGE.
Knowledge which is READILY available to you, without which you could not even hold this belief.

Just to start, questions to which answers are necessary to form belief about the subject matter;

Direct knowledge;

1) Who is this Santa Claus?
2) Why is he bringing me a present?
3) What is a present?
4) This act of bringing. Whats involved in it. Does he lay it at my feet? What is the protocol for the 'bringing' of a present.

Implicit and unstated.

1) Who am I? (Self awareness)
2) What is the frequency of this procedure?
3) What are the qualifying parameters for receiving a present?
4) Are there any expectations on reciprocity? (Am I meant to give a present back)?
5) This milk and cookies bizz. What is the protocol there?

So as you can see, a mountain of knowledge is required to form belief.

QED.

Wulf wins. ;)

---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]

Not offended, but... you utterly lose. :) (none / 0) (#436)
by fyngyrz on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 12:13:11 AM EST

You tell a child that "Santa Claus" lives at the north pole.

The child beleives you. It now has belief, but no knowledge.

There is no knowledge involved. Just a lie.

We won't argue further, and if you'd like the last word, by all means.

Thanks for the back and forth.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Ditto (none / 0) (#454)
by Wulfius on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 07:50:48 PM EST

> Thanks for the back and forth.


---
"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
[ Parent ]
partially right, but I would say this... (none / 1) (#247)
by Phil Urich on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:38:31 PM EST

For one, I would say that it depends very much on the person; you will find many people who become more religious as they get more educated, but you will also find many people who become less and less religious with the same increase in education.

It's a simple question, with murky answers. Science can't explain everything at the moment. Some say "well, see? There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Others say, "well, look back in history, see the relatively low levels of scientific knowledge in the past. From where they stood, it made perfect sense, so it would seem, to say that science couldn't explain everything, for it was scarcely imaginable the things that we know about the world today. Just because we can't explain everything now, well, past experience would indicate that we shouldn't give up yet."

You can probably guess which camp I'm in.

But, on the subject of "fervently believing in the religion of Atheism", I must say that's something that often bothers me. I mean, come now, people, atheism is supposed to be known for it's disbelief, have some consistency!

[ Parent ]
I think you misunderstand Einstein (3.00 / 7) (#283)
by Vilim on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:28:34 PM EST

I think you misunderstand what Einstein was saying with that often quoted quote. Einstein said it, because to the day he died, he could not accept Schroedingers quantum mechanics, nor Heisenburgs Uncertainty principal. These two principals place limits on the ability to predict the future, even (especially) for single particle systems.

Schroedingers equation in particular says that for the classic "particle in a box" setup, you can only know the position of it in terms of a probability function. This is what Einstein meant when he said that God does not play dice. He figured that if we know the input conditions, then we can predict the output with 100% accuracy. God doesn't roll dice and throw in a fudge factor, a hidden variable, whatever you want to call it.

Einstein didn't mean a classical sort of God, the one who was nailed to the cross and what have you. In fact he wasn't religious in the classical sense. While we are trading quotes: "My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment."

Letter to M. Berkowitz, October 25, 1950; Einstein Archive 59-215



[ Parent ]
Maybe we misunderstand (none / 1) (#320)
by LO313 on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:23:23 AM EST

By his own words, Einstein admits to beleiving in "God". Maybe as you say, not the god nailed to the cross or the religion practiced by that guy. But he had some sort of personal belief. Now, the previous poster is wrong that by being educated you have a stronger need to find religion to explain those things you still can't explain. Being educated doesn't mean you stop believing in a higher power nor that you need to beleive in something. People are individuals and do things differently based on many factors.

[ Parent ]
Einstein's definition of god (none / 0) (#373)
by JetJaguar on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:50:34 PM EST

Einstein basically said that he believed that God was the net sum of all the forces in the universe (if my memory serves me). He never really ascribed any other properties to God than that. While it is rather vague, it's hard to argue against that sort of notion. But the vagueness of it leaves a universe of interpretations, to the point where it could be interpreted to mean practically anything.

[ Parent ]
What is it about religious threads (2.57 / 7) (#239)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:00:09 PM EST

that brings out all the especially stupid people?

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
It is easiest to troll (3.00 / 2) (#271)
by jsnow on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 09:32:36 PM EST

in discussions about topics that people really care about. And, given the diversity of religious opinion, it can be very difficult to distinguish trolls from legitimate, heartfelt opinions.

[ Parent ]
because (2.00 / 2) (#377)
by gdanjo on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:19:30 PM EST

religion is part of all pseudo-imaginary (ie: non-scientific) pursuits, like art, philosophy, etc. In science, there are fixed rules as to what is correct and acceptable, and what is rejected (though, there are stupid people in science too) - other pursuits do not have this luxury, and therefore often become proxies for the pursuit of fame/power/all the good stuff our hormones crave.

The key is to look past the proxy-people and find the essence of the pursuit (if you're interested).

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

What I've noticed: (2.50 / 8) (#254)
by enigmatzu on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 07:58:54 PM EST

As what some would consider a "fundamentalist" Christian (though I consider myself more of a moderate one), I tend to follow stories like these (and the discussions that follow) with interest.

There are a few things I've noticed:
    0. People (a lot of whom seem to be trolls, though the line between "insightful" and "troll" seems to have blurred over the past few years) like to flame Christians. That sort of discrimination is nothing new, of course, since groups of people have been flaming other groups of people (sometimes literally) since the beginning of time.
    1. The government likes to remove whatever traces of Christianity it can from its buildings, ceremonies, speeches, laws, etc., saying that it threatens the separation of church and state. Whenever something involves a religion other than Christianity, though, the government doesn't do anything because it thinks it'll be accused of discrimination; if anything, the other religion may add a bit of "diversity".
    2. The government (some members more than others) seems to be just fine with that sort of obvious contradiction. Hypocrisy of that nature isn't new either, though.
    3. When given the opportunity, people like to continue flaming each other a lot more than to intelligently discuss the issue at hand. Even when someone tries to discuss something like this reasonably, it inevitably devolves into yet another flame war.

In two sentences:
    The government's reasoning behind this isn't really applied to everything as equally as it should be.
    Let's just discuss the issue, dammit, and stop being so hostile.

Well (2.60 / 5) (#262)
by codejack on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:39:20 PM EST

As an apathetic (I don't really care about god or what-have-you), I follow these stories with more than just interest; These events have a direct impact on my everyday life. Last week, I was turned down for a job because I am not a christian, and, while I could sue for discrimination, I wouldn't get very much, and would never work in this town again. So, to respond to some of your points:
  1. Some of the trolls are (apparently) christians, and vehemently flame anyone who denies their interpretation of reality. Other than that, you are exactly right: Everyone gets flamed, christian or not.
  2. I wouldn't say either that the government removes all traces of christianity (my last job was for the government, and the boss insisted on opening every meeting with prayer), but it does attempt to discount religion of all stripes from influencing law. This is not to say that it succeeds, but that is the goal.
  3. Ha! Hypocrisy in government! No! Seriously, though, these are politicians; By definition, they are whores.
  4. I think that's a problem with the medium; When we are basically communicating in shorthand, not knowing who will read and/or respond, arguments might be considered inevitable, especially with the, how to say it, maturiy-impaired crowd one might find online?
In one sentence:
The government is interfering with issues that it should not, and, ultimately, cannot dictate.

Hey, man, no hostility; Peace!


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
You were? (none / 0) (#317)
by LO313 on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:13:52 AM EST

You were turned down for a job because of your religion? I'd love to hear more. I don't want to sound like a jerk but would like you to tell us. Give us more details. What company? Or at least what industry? When you were informed that you didn't get the job, they said it was because they couldn't work with a non-chistrian? Was it asked during the interview? I'd like to know.

[ Parent ]
Proof, please (2.00 / 2) (#281)
by Pingveno on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:14:43 PM EST

Whenever something involves a religion other than Christianity, though, the government doesn't do anything because it thinks it'll be accused of discrimination; if anything, the other religion may add a bit of "diversity".

Please provide some proof of that this happens and happens routinely, not in one out of the way incident. I've heard accusations of this sort, but I've never seen them backed up. Proof is one of the essential elements of an intelligent discussion.


------
In other news, more than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
[ Parent ]
Probably because you're one of those people (none / 1) (#309)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:00:45 AM EST

who immediately discount anything that ever gets published on Fox news - even if it also gets published elsewhere.

Declaration of Independence banned from school

Child's poem editted to remove god reference

Boy Scouts barred from schools

Police targetted for wearing memorial pin that says "thou shalt not kill"

Receptionist targeted for displaying greeting card she received

Student complains that Catholic professor's beliefs are offensive - perversely, the class syllabus noted that the class was about Catholic philosophy.

Woman alarmed when minister uses the word "Jesus"

Here's one from England - Couples barred from using religious poems in marriage ceremonies

ACLU objects to charity concert for orphans

Baptists banned from river

Employee fired for wearing 10-commandments pin

Organizers of St. Patrick's Day parade ban group with cross - St. Patrick's Day?!? Talk about weak on the concept...

Gallery owner harassed for having Jesus statue

Library bans religious paintings from art show

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Though you have some good examples (none / 0) (#316)
by LO313 on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:08:37 AM EST

I think the poster meant examples of "other" religions being included by the government to be more diverse. I'd guess he knows that the examples you posted exist. But I better not assume anything.

[ Parent ]
You only have to look at this parade (none / 1) (#318)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:19:43 AM EST

for evidence of that. The presumption often seems to be that if the religion involved is sufficiently alien to Americans then it should be celebrated under the name of diversity, while the majority's beliefs and culture should be supressed.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
But the parade is private (none / 0) (#322)
by LO313 on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:32:25 AM EST

The parade is put on by a private organisation not the government. The organizers of the parade do sound overly PC but they are a bussiness group trying to appeal to the broadest base of consumers. I think the original poster wanted to see examples of the government, not a private group, allowing for islam or hinduism or shamanism or whatever being included by the local, state or federal governement.

[ Parent ]
True enough. (none / 1) (#335)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 12:56:36 PM EST

But I'm at work today, so you'll have to do your own googling for incidents of kids celebrating ramadan in public schools and so on.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
didnt you notice (none / 0) (#356)
by Altus on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:35:49 PM EST


that they tried to take under god out of the middle of the pledge of alegence but dont mind at all that it ends with "praise be to Allah"

or what about the fact that there are people that dont want christmas to be a federal holiday but dont mind that every federal employee gets ramadan off.

oh... wait...

 

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

American religious leaders.. (2.62 / 8) (#260)
by soros on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 08:17:49 PM EST

Under normal conditions the revival of a nations spiritual and religious heart shouldn't cause any fear. So how or why are current circumstances cause for such feelings ? One might consider the current crop of self-proclaimed religious leaders in American media. For example, Jerry Falwell, here is a religious figure that apparently represents millions of american christians. Everybody knows he's a power-hungry partisan sycophant thats only in this game for his own personal ends. Yet the media and american christians still cling to the idea that he is a man of integrity and legitimacy. Why ?

Another example, Benny Hinn. He's an incredible entertainer, anybody, secular or religious, will know this if they've seen some of his tv shows. But, Mr. Hinn is a fraud and a liar. In one show he claimed to have "cast the tumour out of the child's body. The tumour shattered when it hit the ground, right before us, I saw it with my own two eyes." And yet, millions and millions of American christians continue to send this man money every day of the year. It's estimated he rakes in excess of $250 million/annum. And despite the the accumulation of evidence showing he's nothing but a con-man he is still treated with respect and legitimacy. Why do so many millions of americans take this lunatic scam-artist so seriously ?

I could mention many more religious characters, all with the same qualities as the two I've mentioned. Thats what scares me about this religious movement. No matter how warped or criminal their leaders may be, no matter how many teen boys & girls they sodomize or their wreckless gambling with church funds, american christians will happily lick it up and swallow. Hook, line and sinker.

This is nothing new (2.88 / 9) (#289)
by Armada on Mon Dec 06, 2004 at 11:45:30 PM EST

I mentioned this in a story that was shot down following the election regarding why the Democrats lost the presidential election and, more importantly, Senate seats in the 2004 election.

Basically, it isn't a matter of "damn those religious kooks for stealing the election", it's more along the lines of quelling the silent majority or moral majority that exist in the country but rarely vote. The more vocal liberals and celebrities were given free reign to bash Bush, and it ended up projecting an image of fanaticism for the Democrats.

In a country where 9 out of 10 American say they believe in God; 6 out of 10 saying religion is very important in their lives, with 3 of the four others saying fairly important; it's no wonder that a president that talks openly about morals can defeat a candidate that doesn't. It's a changing landscape in politics, one in which the Democrats must have failed to catch the warning signs. (Source: http://www.atheists.org/flash.line/atheism8.htm )

Like I said in the rejected story, you know the quiet person in a group that doesn't talk when you go off on your political tirades? They can be your coworker, friend, even a family member. They don't agree with you, and they vote. When you sound fanatic, someone (Bush, pastor, priest) can play on your fears and get out the vote.

These silent individuals don't always vote, and they aren't all online. They don't talk as if they have a majority and that everyone agrees with them about "stupid Kerry". It's quite a different perspective, and it's one that is more sane.

When the economy turns to shit, and planes start ramming into buildings, people aren't thinking revenge. They may be thinking about their place in this world, and who they are. Hearing someone talk about their president as if he's some coke'd-up dictator out for blood and oil doesn't exactly sway opinion. Unfortunately for Democrats, too many people erroneously thought it would.

Ironically, when individuals are worse off financially, I've noticed that they care more about how horrible others have it. I don't attend church regularly, but at my parent's church prior to the election I attended and saw all sorts of events planned for charity, none of which existed in the mid to late nineties.

I don't think it's fair for me to blame vocal liberals for ruining the election, but I do think it stands to reason that not everyone sees the world through the eyes of IndyMedia, Beastie Boys, Alec Baldwin, or George Soros. There's a vast political middle that is left ostracized, neglected, or just plain embarrassed that they have been affliated with some Democrats.

My suggestion for 2008 would be to keep the ranting to blogs and K5.

It's good to hear about conservitive opinions (2.33 / 3) (#299)
by Golden Hawk on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 02:49:37 AM EST

Conservatives are so under-represented on the net.  Most of the times we hear about them, they're either trolls, or nutbars.

Honestly, it's hard for me as a libertarian (and a conscientious citizen) to conceive of a person who wouldn't discuss politics openly and passionately... and then for some reason, vote regardless of their ignorance.

Every time I see a post like this, I pay special attention, because it's not often I get a glimpse into their minds.

How did you find this stuff out?  Are you a silent voter like the people you describe?
-- Daniel Benoy
[ Parent ]

It's by going to church (1.50 / 6) (#304)
by Jonathan Walther on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:49:38 AM EST

He learnt this by going to church for a long time, getting to know the salt of the earth people there, and just being generally observant. Maybe you should try it sometime.  Church will do you a world of good.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 0) (#395)
by Golden Hawk on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 01:29:54 AM EST

When did I say I don't go to church?
-- Daniel Benoy
[ Parent ]
Being quiet (3.00 / 2) (#364)
by lostincali on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:02:41 PM EST

I like political discussions, but find myself staying out of them very often. Why? Because it's clear the person initiating the "discussion" isn't interested in any discussion at all. They're interested in ranting to a sympathetic audience who will tell them how right they are.

Especially in the University setting, this happens all the time.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

Ooh, good one (2.00 / 2) (#368)
by codejack on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:04:10 PM EST

Make yourself look better than the ones arguing by claiming they don't want to "discuss," then accuse all the people agreeing with them of sycophancy, and finally, throw in a little intellectual-bashing barb to make it clear which side you are on.

I give it a 8.5 for sublty, but only a 5 for content.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
reply. (none / 0) (#428)
by lostincali on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 05:48:54 PM EST

My statement was really just an observation: I see many more people willing to talk politics when they're certain the crowd overwhelmingly supports them. Factor in a sympathetic authority figure who has managed to memorize every single fact supporting his side alone, and the situation isn't exactly conducive to a good discussion.

Conservatives do it too--it's a human tendency, but the liberal bias of the University means we see more liberal groupthink.

These are generalizations and certainly there are many exceptions, but I've seen this more often than, for example, students really working to see other points of view and TAs trying to promote discussion from many viewpoints.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."
[ Parent ]

Yes but.. (none / 1) (#487)
by Armada on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 09:12:46 PM EST

I'm a libertarian.

NOT an objectivist.

Don't get me wrong, a lot of things in objectivism appeal to me, but since I believe in a creator it kind of throws a kink in it. My parent's church (I no longer attend regularly) was known in our small corner of the world for having 3 members "cured" of cancer in a year. It could have just went away, but at the time they were diagnosed with it. I've also seen other things that I'd be embarrassed to actually talk about for fear of being seen as a kook. Let's just say I've seen enough that I don't think modern science yet describes it. To me at least, there has to be a deus ex machina turning the gears and laying down the laws, be they laws of evolution, relativity, thermodynamics, or whatever.

When I say I'm a silent voter, I mean that a great deal of my friends are on the left. Coworkers too. I just simply refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils. But having a family on the right, and friends on the left, I see the friends on the left as more radical and rampant, talking like madmen online and even sometimes in person at the bars.

My parents on the other hand have this "save the children" badge they seem to wear on their sleeve. But the thing is, they actually have an erroneous reason to vote for Bush, they think he can save the children.

When all you get is Kerry supporters on the attack or hounding Bush, it's no surprise that when I look between the two different groups, I see a conservative middle. Those who think that the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh exist in some far right spectrum need to seriously relook at their audience when they get on their soapbox about Micheal Moore being more in the "center".

The center of this country is a moral center right now. It's due to a lot of factors, but unfortunately, "facts" are thrown out the window when it comes to politics post-911. Moore tried so hard to hit the emotional core at the end of his documentary, but unfortunately since those that came out in support of it were so rabid about his "factual" claims, the ability for the film to actually appeal to or hit the moral center of this country was nixed.

[ Parent ]

oh and. (none / 0) (#488)
by Armada on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 09:24:49 PM EST

When I put "factual" in quotes in my post below, what I mean is the "factual appeal" and not the "moral appeal". I'm not indication that Moore is wrong, because nothing he said was new to me except for the one thing about Bush's cousin calling the vote for him. I'm still up in arms as to whether the call was directly made by him, but I'll assume Moore is correct. Also, if you look in my diary, I have this:
http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/8/2/121046/0201

Maybe not a contradiction to what Moore said directly, but enough of a reason to question if there was a real financial link between the Bush and bin Laden families.

[ Parent ]

Finances versus charity (none / 1) (#323)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:33:16 AM EST

Ironically, when individuals are worse off financially, I've noticed that they care more about how horrible others have it.

There's a straight forward, if uncharitable, explanation for that - people who live closer to the edge are more keenly aware of it and of how lucky they are to be on the upside of it. People who have spent their lives wanting for nothing have little empathy for the "trailer trash" who've infest "those neighborhoods".

I don't attend church regularly, but at my parent's church prior to the election I attended and saw all sorts of events planned for charity, none of which existed in the mid to late nineties.

I've seen this first hand. I think that in the mid-20th century American christianity was smug and self-satisfied, much like those well-to-do folks I mention above. As they've seen themselves abandoned by their own children, they've been forced to remember why churches exist in the first place. My own church (which is gasp Baptist) acts as one of 12 rotating homeless shelters (which is a great way to bypass NIMBY), provides a location for eldery services and a latino support/education group.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Links and articles please? (none / 1) (#406)
by Sesquipundalian on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 09:56:05 AM EST

As they've seen themselves abandoned by their own children

Where can I read the news stories amd articles about this social movement made up of disgruntled hordes of ex-christian children disowning their parents?


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Disgruntled? (none / 1) (#407)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 10:24:35 AM EST

Not quite - rather they have no use for the kind of "social" organizations their parents and grand parents belonged to.

You encounter this all the time - a very real generation gap that began with the boomers and persists now. The WWII generation was the last generation that joined organized local groups in large numbers simply as a form of socialization. Their children rejected this because their lives were organized in different ways.


A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Wait a tic (2.33 / 3) (#333)
by codejack on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 12:44:54 PM EST

Why do the (honest) rants of "liberals" (and I'm about sick of seeing that label applied to everyone who is not a hardcore religious conservative) drive people away, but Limbaugh, Falwell, et al. can out and out lie about the other side, and the same people who are "driven away" from the "liberals" are still supporting and listening to these slimeballs?

Not defending Alec Baldwin, or even George Soros (but I will drag you into the street and shoot you over the Beastie Boys), but this is the inherent hypocrisy of the Right; When Bill Clinton gets a blowjob, it's the scandal of the century and he will burn in hell, but Rush Limbaugh just made a mistake, and he should be forgiven because he is really a swell guy and a good christian.

As for 2008, get us some candidates that aren't republicans, whatever party they belong to, and maybe we'll win again.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Do they? (3.00 / 2) (#334)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 12:55:24 PM EST

By k5's standards I'm Hitler's roommate (politically speaking) but I can't stand talk radio or any of those shouting match tv shows. All they do is piss me off.

I really think the left over estimates the importance of people like Limbaugh and imagine that he and his buddies have far more power than they really do.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Whee! (none / 1) (#338)
by codejack on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:06:24 PM EST

So now the left overestimates the importance of the right-wing shout-down artists, but Michael Moore and George Soros are what lost the election for Kerry? Which way do you want it?

As for you, I just think that you hold political opinions that you can't back up with logic; I don't care so much, but you keep replying to my posts with flawed arguments, and I just can't say no to a good shouting match :D


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Errrr.... (none / 1) (#347)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 02:20:11 PM EST

At which point did I blame Michael Moore and George Soros for losing the election?

I do blame lefties for shrieking at me then wondering why I'm not persuaded to their point of view, but I fail to see the illogic of claiming that right wing-nuts are just as unpersuasive.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Not all of us shriek. (none / 0) (#349)
by aphrael on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 02:56:48 PM EST

But then i'm sure many of the people i've been talking to over the last several days would doubt my credentials as a leftist.

[ Parent ]
well, not me (none / 0) (#351)
by codejack on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:01:02 PM EST

But then, I haven't read all your posts, nor am I going to.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
True (none / 0) (#408)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 10:28:01 AM EST

Unless you jump up and down, frothing at the mouth irrationally over Bush, you're not really a proper lefty.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
"Honest" rants? (2.25 / 4) (#339)
by Skywise on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:24:41 PM EST

Oh please.  They're not honest.  (At least no moreso than the Limbaugh's and the O'Reillys) (and nobody takes Falwell seriously)

If anything, its demonstrative that the right and the left are both moving to the extremes in an effort to drag society one way or the other and the people left in the middle (most of us) are stuck having to choose for one or the other.  And you know what you get with that?  51%-49%.

[ Parent ]

Like hell (2.00 / 3) (#342)
by codejack on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:58:18 PM EST

Michael Moore challenged anyone to point out a falsehood in Fahrenheit 9/11, and no one could do it. You may disagree, but it was honest.

And who is actually on the left? Even Moore is pretty middle-of-the-road, and I couldn't tell John Kerry from Newt Gingrich, Arlen Specter, Zell Miller, or any other republican. The right-wing is all over the place, with nut-jobs like Falwell making slightly less nutty people like Limbaugh and O'Reilly look reasonable. Where is the comparison on the left? John Stewart is the closest I can think of, and he is both a) a fairly moderate liberal, and b) a FUCKING COMEDIAN!

So let's have it out: The right gets Bob jones, Jerry Falwell, and Rush Limbaugh, and the left gets John Stewart, George Carlin, and Janeane Garofalo. Maybe Lorne Michaels should run for president.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Moore avoids outright fabrication... (2.66 / 3) (#362)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 04:28:28 PM EST

...only because his film(s) is remarkably free of positive assertions of any kind. He prefers the scoundrels refuge offered by shady insinuation and argument by juxtaposition.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Heh (1.75 / 4) (#365)
by codejack on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:27:41 PM EST

As opposed to the outright lies of the other side? What the hell?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
What the hell do the lies of the other side... (none / 0) (#366)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:46:13 PM EST

...have to do with this? My point concerned only Moore. In the interest of clarity I should point out that I think they are all fuckin' shameless liars (and worse).

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Well (2.00 / 2) (#369)
by codejack on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:10:43 PM EST

In a discussion centering around which side is worse, left or right, you jump on me for attacking the right more than I attack the left. You don't accuse me of being incorrect, you just jump all over Michael Moore for reasons which are, at best, unclear.

What is it about him that is upsetting you? That he doesn't come right out and say that Bush is a scumbag and not worth the strichnine to poison him? No, he uses sublty and innuendo to let you come to your own conclusion, because all he has is circumstantial evidence, and he knows it. The thing is, he's got ALOT of circumstantial evidence, so much so that it becomes hard to ignore.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
He's a bottom feeding propagandist... (2.50 / 2) (#372)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:49:26 PM EST

...who's currently a few steps ahead of Fox News in the great race to the bottom. That's my complaint with Moore. I'm far more concerned about the deteriorating quality of popular political discourse in America than I am about which side is presently winning the battle for the votes of the magic middle 5%.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
magic middle my ass (none / 1) (#385)
by codejack on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 10:54:50 PM EST

Faux news doesn't even pretend to be honest anymore; They will will a stroy that they know full well to be false, then bury a 5 second retraction at 3am to cover their asses.

And the middle 5% can kiss my ass; If you don't mobilize your base, then that 5% is absolutely worthless. As for the "deteriorating quality of popular political discourse in America," have you seen some of the shit that used to pass for political discourse?! Hell, Alexander Hamilton tried to rig the presidential election twice, and Randolph Hearst's word was fucking law, and neither one of them gave more than lip service to honest debate, and rarely even that.

Michael Moore, while certainly having an agenda of his own, has at least some small glimmering sense of enlightened self interest, and has been desperately trying to spark that same sense into the rest of the country. Talk trash about him all you want, but don't try to argue that he and Faux news are even playing the same sport.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Then by all means good sir... (none / 1) (#391)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:06:57 AM EST

...please recount a single cogent argument made by the portly Prince of Propaganda.

As far as I've been able to discern, he traffics solely in innuendo and baseless conspiracy theories. Perhaps that's your cup of tea. Personally, I expect something a little more substantive.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Fine (none / 0) (#401)
by codejack on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 08:25:16 AM EST

  1. There were some suspicious goings-on with the 2000 presidential election, especially concerning Fox news and the Florida vote. A recount, although perfectly acceptable by every legal and ethical standard, was denied.
  2. The first eight months of George W. Bush's presidency, he was on vacation pretty close to half the time, garnered some of the lowest approval ratings of any president in history, was being openly mocked as ineffectual by the press, and led up to the most grievous security breach in U.S. history.
  3. When informed of the first plane crashing into the WTC, Bush opted to continue his photo-op. After being informed that a second plane had hit the WTC, and that the nation was under attack, he sat in frozen terror waiting for someone to tell him what to do.
And that's just in the first 15 minutes or so of Fahrenheit 9/11. But if you want a slightly less politicized view of Moore, go watch Bowling for Columbine or Roger and Me (I said slightly).


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
pointing out (none / 1) (#413)
by naught on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:56:39 AM EST

1.  there were numerous recounts, and "some suspicious goings-on" doesn't make any accusations, just insinuates conspiracy theory as cr8dle2grave mentions.
2. approval numbers from newsweek:
5/10-11/01:      50%       
5/3-4/01:     57%
4/12-13/01:     57%
3/15-16/01     55%
2/15-16/01:     56%
2/8-9/01:    52%
from gallup:
8/16-19/01:       57%
8/3-5/01:     55%
7/19-22/01:     56%
6/28 - 7/1/01:     52%
6/8-10/01:     55%
5/18-20/01:     56%
5/10-14/01:     56%
4/20-22/01:     62%    
3/26-28/01:    53%    
3/5-7/01:     63%    
2/9-11/01:     57%    
2/1-4/01:    57%    
from nyt:
8/28-31/01:       50%       
6/14-18/01:     53%            
5/10-12/01:     57%    
4/23-25/01:     56%    
4/4-5/01:     53%           
3/8-12/01:     60%
2/10-12/01:     53%
(<a href="http://www.pollingreport.com/BushJob.htm">source</a>)
clearly, those numbers are the some of the lowest in history.  and just to demonstrate how horrible they are, i present clinton's numbers for the first 7 months of his second term --
wsj:
7/26-28/97: 56%
6/19-23/97:     58%    
4/26-28/97:     57%        
3/6-10/97:    57%       
1/25-27/97:     60%
3.  it would've been absolutely better to terrify a bunch of little kids, i agree.  it takes presence of mind to realize there's nothing you can do in the next seven minutes that's going to change anything.

i don't really see any cogent arguments among those three, but especially with the approval numbers, it's clear you didn't do the research, just believed what moore had to say.  good job.

--
"extension of knowledge is the root of all virtue" -- confucius.
[ Parent ]

Speaking of deception.... (none / 1) (#418)
by codejack on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 02:54:39 PM EST

  1. No, there were no full recounts; Bush's lawyers got them stopped before they were finished, and took the fight all the way to the Supreme Court to make sure there would be no recount. And "suspicious goings-on" was the accusation. Granted, it implies a good deal more, but without smoking gun-type proof, all that would have done was land Moore in a libel suit, and if there was such proof, we wouldn't have needed the movie, would we?
  2. Ha! Funny! Next time, when you want to cherry pick numbers, don't make it quite so obvious, 'k?
  3. No, the correct action would be to stand up, say "Excuse me, children, but some urgent business has come up, and I must leave early," and go find out what the hell is going on. How could he have known that there was nothing he could do, with 5 seconds of whispered conversation with an aid? And bullshit, there was lots he could have been doing: If nothing else, he should have been grilling Donald Rumsfeld over a slow fire for letting it happen in the first place.


Finally, it's apparent that you wouldn't recognize a cogent argument if you stepped in it and it stuck to your cloven little hooves.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Where's the argument? (none / 0) (#415)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:39:11 PM EST

  1. Moore trots some well worn facts about the botched Florida elction, but presents nothing new nor does he make any positive assertions concerning the event. On the hand, he dwells on a collection of specious "facts" such as the relationships between various individuals somehow involved in the event. Moore never directly charges anything, but what he means to insinuate is preety clear to the audience: a "conspiracy" of sorts which acted to steal the election. Unfortunately for Moore--moreso for his legions of dim witted fans who state directly what he only indirectly suggests--the relationships he points out are neither surprising nor are they "evidence" of anything whatsoever.
  2. Again a recounting of well worn tidbits from the news, but no substantive claims whatsoever.
  3. Terribly well known and, as far as I'm concerned, absolutely fuckin' irrelevant. Again he insinuates Bush's incompetence makes him some culpable, but as he makes no positive assertion to that effect, he's spared having to marshall the evidence that would support such a claim.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Man, that's deep (none / 0) (#419)
by codejack on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 02:59:50 PM EST

Unfortunately, what is deep is your head, and I'm not going into the what it's deep into. Look, I'm not defending Gore, or Kerry, or any of those other assholes, but Moore was pointing out that Bush crossed the line, and somebody had to call him on it. And I love how his facts are "specious," "tidbits from the news," even though his whole point was that the news wouldn't cover these stories, and the republicans have gone wild trying to cover them up and disprove them. If they're so "specious," why did everyone get their panties in a wad over them?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Moore revealed nothing new... (none / 0) (#424)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 03:50:50 PM EST

...that hadn't been covered, or reasonably passed over for lack of evidence, by the major news outlets.

As to those panties that ended up in a wad, I've no doubt that some people would have preferred that some of the facts Moore relayed would have remained buried (Moore did no unburying of his own, by the by), but that's not the nature of my complaint.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Then what is? (none / 0) (#433)
by codejack on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 07:28:51 PM EST

Personally, I think that most of the facts he presented were pretty appalling, and worthy of further study, but under-reported (or not reported at all) by the mainstream press. Take the riot during Bush's inauguration; Where were the networks when that was going on? How many presidents had to skip their walk to the inauguration because of a riot?

So what's the nature of your complaint? That he didn't do enough? That he should have come right out and said "Bush is a scum-sucking toe-rag with all the morals and ethics of a celebrity trial lawyer, he stole the 2000 election, and rapes handicapped twelve-year-old girls in his spare time"?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Bush didn't "steal" the election... (3.00 / 3) (#448)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 03:34:17 PM EST

...and neither is he "evil" or even especially stupid. Accepting the above, as well a refusal to engage in assanine speculation about shadowy conspiracies, is the starting point for an adult debate on current politics. There exist significant grounds for opposing the current administration while remaining rational and adult about things, but the issues aren't so "sexed-up."

Moore is a force for political infantilism, and it is on that basis that I oppose him. If the strategic imperative of "energizing the base" necessarily means stooping to sensationalistic juvenillia, then I say fuck the base and fuck democracy too.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
There it is (none / 0) (#449)
by codejack on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 04:13:32 PM EST

That's what I've been waiting for: "Bush didn't steal the election."

Granted that it hasn't been proven, but blindly accepting this as fact is what has tragically weakened the democratic party, and allowed the DLC to turn it into republican party #2.

Moore is one of the few people willing to stand up and tell it like it is, and people like you have already pretty well fucked democracy. What I'm really pissed off about is that all of us will get what you deserve.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
It hasn't been proved... (none / 1) (#451)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 04:58:09 PM EST

...because there is no evidence whatsoever to back up that charge. It may be emotionally satisfying to hurl about unfounded charges, but it is neither helpful, nor particularly adult.

And it's my type who have weakened the Democratic party? You seem to be belaboring under a mistaken assumption about the type of indivdual I am. I'm not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the party faithful or a true believer in the cause. As a matter of fact, until last month I was never even registered to vote.

For most of my life I was pretty content to designate the Republican party as the lessor evil, content in the knowledge that they were fighting a losing battle on the social front, while being able to count on them to persue policies that at least vaguely reflected fiscal conservatism and a realist perspective on foreign policy. Now the whole system has been turned upside down and sideways. The Bush administration has entirely abandoned the principles of fiscal conservatism and their foreign policy has been the least informed by "realism" of any American Presidency since Wilson.

I voted for Kerry, not because I was under the illusion that he'd do a better job than Bush has, but as a rather impotent gesture intended to communicate my discontent. It wasn't an especially satisfying experience and thus I doubt I'll do it again.

In a addition to being haven for the most despicable theives and degenerate types mankind has to offer, popular politics brings out the worst in people generally, and it brings out the worst in me personally. I'm done with it.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Wha?! (none / 0) (#452)
by codejack on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 05:11:53 PM EST

There is plenty of evidence, and although I will grant that it is not definitive, politicians, like preachers and businessmen, should be presumed guilty until shot.

And republicans and fiscal conservatism? Did your high school history class end with the 1950's? Bush is a continuation of the Reagan era, complete with religious fanaticism, nepotism, and corporate welfare.

I voted for Kerry because he is almost a democrat, and it would be hard to do a worse job than Bush. The DLC has turned the democratic party into republican-lite, and all too many democrats are just staying home.

I agree about politics being comprised of thieves and degenerates, but if we're going to have crooks running our country, let's at least have competent crooks.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
What a backwards way of looking at things (none / 0) (#459)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 09:27:57 AM EST

So, you admit that there was no proof Bush "stole" anything but you think the Democrats lost the election because they didn't sufficiently push their conspiracy theories on the public?

Uhhhh... yeah. Yeah. That's exactly what American politics needs - more conspiracy and fear mongering.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Uh, no (none / 0) (#462)
by codejack on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 01:06:52 PM EST

The democrats should have insisted on a recount, pushed harder in the courts, and, if that still didn't work, they should have started a war; The system didn't work, something was broken, and the guys who won have no interest in fixing it, so what do we have to lose?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
What do you have to lose? (none / 1) (#463)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 01:54:26 PM EST

I dunno, our system of government, legitimacy as a political party, stuff like that.

Come on. The courts ruled, the Democrats lost. We are a society of laws not hurt feelings. To knock the legs out from under our society just because you lost isn't the way to make democracy work, it's the temper tantrum of a spoiled child.

Jeez. And now in 2004, when the Democrats could have run a monkey as their candidate and still won, they managed to run with a candidate that the voters trusted even less than a guy who led us into an unneeded war while running up a tremendous deficit.

You don't need to rebuild government to solve this problem, you need to rebuild the democratic party.


A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

sort of (none / 0) (#464)
by codejack on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 02:46:14 PM EST

But we've lost our system of government; That's the point. And what good is "legitimacy" is your party won't stand up for what is right?

And you're absolutely right about '04; A monkey could have beaten Bush; Unfortunately, we didn't have a monkey, we had Kerry.

The problem now is that the DLC is resisting any efforts to rebuild the party by insisting that, even though the last two elections have been among the closest in history, they lost because they were too liberal. The system is broken, and so is the system to fix the system!

It's all going to come to a head pretty soon, and Al Gore could have tried harder to prevent it.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
So do you think (none / 0) (#465)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 02:54:13 PM EST

the next election will feature MoveOn as the 3rd party? Could be interesting.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#466)
by codejack on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 03:48:57 PM EST

I think it mostly depends on what the democratic party does; If the DNC will listen to Howard Dean, whether they make him the DNC chairman or not, I think they will pick up some congress seats in '06, and probably the presidency in '08. If the DLC remains in control, and takes the party even further to the right, I think you will see a major split, probably making the Green party competitive.

MoveOn.org became influential because of their support, especially in fund-raising, for Dean. I'm thinking about running for office myself, locally, because we can't get any liberals, or even democrats, to run.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
That seems more likely to me, as well. (none / 0) (#468)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 08:58:04 PM EST

Both scenarios - either the greens gain strength (my preferred outcome) or the Democrats move to the left.

I prefer the greens simply because I've long argued that we need at least one more party with the strength to take on the Coke and Pepsi - errrr the Democrats and Republicans.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

One problem: (none / 0) (#469)
by codejack on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 10:22:37 PM EST

The republicans win. IF the democrats fragment and the republicans don't, the GOP will win even more elections. Frankly, I'm willing to take the risk if the dems move to the right (after all, what would be the point?), but it's still not an optimum scenario unless enough more people start turning out to turn it into a genuine three-way fight, and I just don't see that happening.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
It's a point. (none / 0) (#470)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 11:33:33 PM EST

I've been playing out scenarios in my head and no matter what, 2008 would end up with the Dems and Greens dividing 50-65% of the vote, giving the Republicans a plurality.

In the longer term, I would expect the Republicans to lose socially liberal members to the Democrats, who would end up a centrist party while the Greens take up the hard left position. This would work at every level except president because, IIRC, the constitution requires that the president win an absolute majority of the electoral college and has no democratic mechanism for dealing with a situation where no candidate gets it.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Really. (none / 1) (#399)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:55:20 AM EST

So, I suppose he's already debunked everything listed here, here and here.

How did that quote go?
Instead, notice the film's meticulousness in saying only (or mostly) "true" or defensible things in support of a completely misleading impression.

Moore uses misdirection and innuendo to make his points - for someone who claims to be interested in logic, your blind support of him does not speak well.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Standards of truth (none / 0) (#420)
by generaltao on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 03:03:24 PM EST


If the same standards of truth had been applied to the President as are now being applied to Moore, he wouldn't have had anything about which to make a movie.


[ Parent ]
Well, that makes it all better then. (none / 0) (#430)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:21:39 PM EST

After all, two wrongs make a right and the ends justify the means and all that.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
Not at all (none / 1) (#446)
by generaltao on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 11:46:12 AM EST

Just trying to point out the double-standard.

Moore and Bush both used similar tactics, which can't be called lies but can't be called honest, to push their respective points of view.

Praise them both or condemn them both.  If the principle is more important than partisanship, this  is quite clear.

Now one is lef to consider the who and the what.  On the one hand you have a film maker who was dishonest about his portrayal of the Bush administration.  Result?  Maybe Kerry lost by a little less than he would have.

On the other hand you have an administration which has been dishonest about its reasons for invading Iraq.  Result?  Thousands upon thousands are dead.  Billions upon billions have been spent.

I'm not excusing anyone.  When I saw F911, I knew it for what it was.  And I chuckled. Chuckled?  Yes, because for one thing his spin was convenient to me in that is played to my own stances.  For another, it was mostly harmless.

I haven't been chuckling through the administration's half-truths, misleading implications and double-speak.  For one thing I disagree with what I perceive to be their ultimate agenda. For another I think that the government has a more binding duty to truthfullness.


[ Parent ]

Uh. No. (none / 0) (#453)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 05:36:10 PM EST

Just because Bush plays loose with the truth and Moore plays loose with the truth doesn't mean that I have a double standard - the original conversation was about Moore, not Bush.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
Perhaps (none / 1) (#456)
by generaltao on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 11:52:01 PM EST

But if you condemn Moore for playing loose with the truth and fail to condemn Bush for doing the same, then you do have a double-standard.

I don't know enough about you to know whether that's the case with you.  But the huge outcry against Moore from a constituency which shamelessly defended the administration's use of the same tactics smacks of hypocrisy.

(Of course, same goes for the Bush-bashers who sing the praises of Michael Moore.)

The reason I commented on your comment in the first place is that I find irony in the fact that if Bush had been as honest as Moore's critics expect Moore to be, Moore couldn't have made the movie he made.

So in a sense, by failing to call the Bush administrations to task for its manipulation of information and massive spin, Bush-lovers blessed the very conduct they condemn in Moore.


[ Parent ]

all this fighting (2.64 / 17) (#296)
by mpalczew on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 01:46:15 AM EST

All this over who has the best imaginary friend?
-- Death to all Fanatics!
what's more (none / 0) (#374)
by gdanjo on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:06:51 PM EST

Mr. Snufalopogus is no longer imaginary! The horror! CTW is anti-religious, I tells ya!

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Not All Religious are Right Wingers (none / 0) (#305)
by OldCoder on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 05:02:03 AM EST

The Republicans have been very smart about appealing to the religious and newly religious elements of US society, especially Christians and Jews. The Democrats have been hampered by existing ideological ties dating from the days of the Old Left. But things can change.

But if you think about it, there is no essential reason for a party that promotes help for the poor, publicly financed education, universal medical coverage, peace, and workers rights to be estranged from the religious community.

Furthermore, there is no reason for progressives to support right-wing movements like the PLO or Hamas that murder gays because they are gay, promote anti-semitism, attack freedom of the press (attack reporters who disagree with their official point of view) and put women under the veil.

A lot of politics is bad habits and fuzzy thinking on the part of the electorate and on the part of the parties.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2004 OldCoder

They haven't been that smart. (2.50 / 2) (#307)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:04:31 AM EST

The Republicans never could have drawn the religious community to them if the Democrats hadn't pushed them most of the way there.

Most Christians are "born" leftists - except that when they try to talk to the left they get the same kind of hostility seen in this discussion and in the original article.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

Its very sad... (none / 1) (#412)
by Pxtl on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 11:39:09 AM EST

Given that I would wager substantial sums of money that both Kerry and Clinton have been in church more often than GWB, its just that GWB talks and legislates about God more.

The religious right are the modern day Pharisees.  Ironic, innit?  Of course, most rabid leftists I meet are Bourgeoisie idle rich, so the hypocricy goes both ways.

[ Parent ]

A Little Politeness Might Help (2.00 / 5) (#310)
by jameth on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:34:16 AM EST

Is outrage over "the removal of Christ from Christmas" on city streets and public buildings simply disdain for the humbugery of city leaders or is it indicative of a deeper rift between progressives and their evangelical counterparts?

Wow, now evangelicals can't be progressives. That's right, you heard it here first: progress requires the removal of religion! So, all you people with faith and beliefs, go suck an egg, you're living in the past, you morons.

religion != fundamentalist evangelicals [nt] (none / 0) (#314)
by damiam on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 08:54:41 AM EST



[ Parent ]
evangelicals != fundamentalist evangelicals [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#315)
by jameth on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:01:33 AM EST



[ Parent ]
really... Im not so sure about that (none / 1) (#353)
by Altus on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:25:50 PM EST


from googles definition feature

evangelical:
relating to or being a Christian church believing in personal conversion and the inerrancy of the Bible especially the 4 Gospels

Fundamentalist:
A christian who still believes in the basic, literal interpretation of the bible. A conservative believer. See Evangelical


"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

My Unswift Rebuttal (none / 1) (#383)
by jameth on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 10:02:02 PM EST

www.m-w.com:
  1. of, relating to, or being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels
  2. emphasizing salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ through personal conversion, the authority of Scripture, and the importance of preaching as contrasted with ritual
  3. marked by militant or crusading zeal
(2 and 4 don't seem to apply)

These definitions are similar but not identical, and I believe the differences are important.

Basically, these definitions are more in line with what I traditionally associate with being an evangelical individual: being  very zealous, often overzealous, emphasizing converting people to your faith, and emphasizing preaching over ritual. In a Christian context, also believing in the gospels in specific.

www.m-w.com, again:
2) a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles

(1 applied as a proper noun with similar import, except Christian only.)

There, I see similar things, but not identical. Evangelical also emphasizes the zealousness and the urge to convert, while fundamentalist only conveys the literal adherence to some basic set of principles. So, I can evangelically endorse Linux and just actively espouse it, or I can be a fundamentalist OSS advocate and believe that proprietary code is fundamentally wrong. There is a difference.

And, for a more empirical example, this is on the current frontpage of www.elca.org, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America:

Biotechnology and what we eat
The recently approved Church Council action, "Genetically Modified Organisms in the Food Supply" is now available online. The economic and political policies used to deliver this relatively new technology are controversial, bearing the potential both for substantial good and for permanent harm. This action addresses food safety and security, economic development, trade implications and ecological integrity.

In the article, the decide that future decisions on the topic should be made according to the following criteria:

  1. What effect is the policy or practice likely to have on the alleviation of hunger at the household and community level in a just and beneficial way?
  2. What is the effect of the economic practice on the well being of the environment and human beings in terms of its direct, indirect, short-term, and long-term outcome?
  3. What effect is the policy or practice likely to have on the participation of consumers or beneficiaries to make free and informed decisions?
  4. ...
(there are nine total, all at [http://www.elca.org/dcs/elca_actions/gmo.html]. I won't bore you with them)

If you look at the general activities of the ELCA, you will see that they fit several definitions of evangelical, and may in fact be debateably fundamentalist in that they trust the teachings of Jesus quite solidly, but arguing that they are not progressive is somewhat flawed, as I only wish more groups had such reasonable views on the use of science in our society.

I'm sorry for the length answer, I hope you consider it seriously.

[ Parent ]

True (none / 0) (#386)
by damiam on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 10:57:25 PM EST

But I worded it that way because I think the original poster meant fundamentalists, even though he said evangelicals.

An evangelical is not the opposite of a progressive, but a fundamentalist generally is.

[ Parent ]

Kinda (none / 0) (#429)
by jameth on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:02:37 PM EST

I'd agree that the author meant that, and I'd even somewhat agree with stating that fundamentalists are not progressives. However, I can't agree with saying that an author isn't wrong because he meant to say something else.

[ Parent ]
essentially right (none / 0) (#326)
by skelter on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:47:46 AM EST

just another cult.

[ Parent ]
Not really... (none / 0) (#486)
by araym on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 02:19:38 PM EST

Don't forget that nearly all scientists up until recently were religious. Even those who were considered heretical for not obeying doctrine still typically believed in God. So saying progress and religion don't mix is not really correct.

Also, all people have to have belief in something. If you are a scientist you will normally have to have faith that the theories postulated by your priors (presumably people more intelligent than you) are correct. I'm sure there are some who devote their entire lifes to disproving for example the theory of relativity but the vast majority simply take it at its word to get other work done.

I personally am an atheist who thinks organized religion is pretty much a scam but don't forget there are still many good, smart people who believe in God.

-=-
SSM

[ Parent ]
For other views of the parade incident see (none / 1) (#330)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 11:09:52 AM EST

American Spectator

New York Times

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb

Ahh, this is great... (none / 1) (#354)
by dejohn on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 03:28:05 PM EST

It seems to me that it's a rare day when someone challenges and discusses religions other than Christianity with such fervor and with such polarized opinions as this. Mankind is so fascinated and so divided over this issue that it really makes me wonder if there is not something to Christianity that can not be ignored.

Have you heard of Islam and Judaism? -NT (none / 0) (#371)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:43:22 PM EST



--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Are they banning islamic floats too? NT (none / 0) (#398)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:44:02 AM EST



A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
Yeah, you'll be the next Iran all right. /nt (2.00 / 2) (#370)
by ksandstr on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:30:26 PM EST



I simply don't understand (2.62 / 8) (#375)
by asliarun on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:10:13 PM EST

Perhaps, i think differently. I simply don't understand why almost all of us assume that one has to equate separation of state with religious tolerance. Since when did Christianity or any other religion state a complete intolerance for any other religion? By all means, let's sing Christmas carols and decorate government offices with baby jesus and angel pictures. However, let us also do the same for the other major religions.

Why can't people celebrate diversity instead of further segregating our differences? If fact, i strongly believe that most hate crimes and predjudices based on religion (or even skin colour, gender etc) arise because of a lack of awareness. It is easy to convince a person to hate Islam or Judaism, for example, if that person has never been exposed to anything except his/her own church. However, the same person will be MUCH harder to convince if he/she has celebrated Id or attended a Jewish function in their childhood.

Perhaps this comes easy to me... i don't know. My religion, Hinduism, revels and even encourages it's followers to be tolerant, to accept other faiths, and even considers several other religions such as Buddhism and Jainism as offshoots of Hinduism itself! I'm not pushing my religion here or anything. It's just that i find it so striking that hardly anyone outside India considers secularism as an acceptance of all religions by the state (in an equal way) rather than the separation of religion from the state.

Only if we embrace all religions will we develop a sufficient awareness to get rid of our predjudices and hatred. I know that i'm sounding like an idealistic fart here, but considering the state of the state today, i say that we need ideals more than laws.

religious intolerance (2.50 / 2) (#378)
by jarv on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:24:49 PM EST

Since when did Christianity or any other religion state a complete intolerance for any other religion?
Christianity has quite a history of intolerance. There is even intolerance among different types of Christians. There is a strong Christian *tradition* in America, especially in rural isolated areas. Christians believe it is important to keep these traditions. Diversity is important but probably viewed as a threat to traditional culture.
simply don't understand why almost all of us assume that one has to equate separation of state with religious tolerance
I believe most people equate church separation with religious neutrality. This means not prefering one religion over another,

[ Parent ]
re: religious intolerance (none / 1) (#379)
by asliarun on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:59:36 PM EST

You're correct as far as the practise of Christianity itself goes. That too has changed quite a bit over the years, since the Crusaders and the Hassasins were impaling the heathens. My point is that only if the government actively embraces ALL religions equally, will the tolerance eventually filter down to the people as well.

"I believe most people equate church separation with religious neutrality. This means not prefering one religion over another, "

This is exactly what i'm challenging. Instead of church separation, let us have an acceptance of ALL churches and religions on an EQUAL basis. Again, this seems idealistic, but i don't see any other way out! People will NOT magically become tolerant, either by education or by force. They will only become tolerant if they've bee born and brought up with the complete awareness of all the different churches and religions.

[ Parent ]

Which churches are eligible for government recog? (none / 0) (#396)
by prolixity on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 01:39:09 AM EST

You would like government offices to display religious propaganda equally among the different faiths? I don't think that is feasable, considering the number of religions out there.. Besides, when one is, say, a follower of the Uniao do Vegetal faith, and the rest of one's office is hardcore Mormon, wouldn't that one person feel disenfranchised. Obviously, when the boss is displaying a light-up nativity scene on his desk, those who share his values will probably be favored in the office political scene. The easiest way to prevent these types of problems is to totally ignore any religion... don't even address the issue. The government won't interfere in your right to practice your religion (unless you're UDV). Likewise, the government should not endorse any particular ideology.. ...
Bah!
[ Parent ]
good point (none / 0) (#416)
by jarv on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 01:54:04 PM EST

Yes, this is exactly the point I was trying to make. In the end, being "neutral" will mean keeping religion out of the public sector altogether.

What is contentious is whether the precedent set forth by the courts claiming "public institutions should be neutral when it comes to religion" is actually the intention of the separation of church and state.

Here is a good read on the topic: Separation of Church and State

[ Parent ]
Re: Which churches are eligible for govt recog? (none / 0) (#422)
by asliarun on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 03:41:45 PM EST

Yes, it's feasible. The number of religions that are "out there" is not so large a number. You can of course take this to the ridiculous extreme by talking about obscure faiths and minor churches. Look, the law is not supposed to be bulletproof against ALL possible eventualities but is meant to serve as a guiding principle. It is assumed that people will by and large follow the spirit of the law and not the exact wording. On the same basis, my theory would succeed as long as people follow the spirit of equality of all religions.

This concept is also sometimes known as democracy.

The underlying difference between your argument and mine is that you assume people to break the law unless otherwise forced to; whereas i assume people to obey common sense unless they encounter something that seriously offends them.

[ Parent ]

To put this into perspective (1.50 / 2) (#382)
by JohnnyCannuk on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 09:51:32 PM EST

A bunch of Christians are complaining that the holiday they stole from the Pagans (Mithrians) back in 325 AD is being stolen from them?

Oh I find that irony delicious....


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift

not a good analogy (none / 1) (#417)
by jarv on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 02:18:53 PM EST

And it is not ironic either.

The people who immigrated to America were predominately Christian. The people who founded America were prodominetly Christians (yes, some were deists)

This country was founded on the idea of religion *freedom*.. ie people were allowed to practice whatever religions they wanted, this is why we have many traditions of christianity practiced both the public and private sector. Before someone screams "separation of chuch and state" please read what this phrase meant around the time our country was founded. (and how the courts have changed its interpretation since then) Nobody is "stealing" the Christmas holiday from the Christians. It is not the same as Christians adopting traditions from Pagan culture OR how pagans were told to convert or be killed. In this case we have the government saying it will no longer allow tax money to fund religious traditions. (specifically Christian)

[ Parent ]
Nervous Association, yes...Religious Revival No. (none / 1) (#404)
by aguila on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 09:11:08 AM EST

Allow me the hubris to state something basic and simple regarding my current argument.  Religion is a human activity which in all its forms throughout time (since humans became concious -- some would argue that point, but let's move on) is a HUMAN expression (in public or private form) of expressing the very real awe, puzzlement, appreciation and other emotions (expressions, and/or perceptions) regarding being a living conscious being.  The scientific evidence exists that even pre-human ancestors understood something of this and left basic items, symbols or areas where a even the most basic distinction between life and death expressed an understanding.  Even animals, various families of simians and elephants and others, express emotions and habits regarding life and death according to their species.

All of this is a feeling or perception of living beings regarding the experience regarding being alive in comprehension and comparison to not being alive.  This is the ultimate root of religion in all its various forms.  It is humans, however who have determined that one way of worship is superior to another and made a point of going to war to enforce it.  The reasons for going to war against a culture must be viewed clearly and carefully.  Many expressions of many ancient (and some current religious and/or cultural and or cultural practices) remain unpalatable to a great many; the many who very much outweigh in power, influence and other means the few who engage in such or other practice.  The practice which offends never "makes sense" nor "can it be sufficiently explained" to those who see it as offensive or abusive.  Sometimes the majority view is correct.  Sometimes it is not.  Waging war upon any group upon the principle of it's "offending" practices (offending man, God or both) -- the ancient concept of "just war" is not easily supported by anyone for any reason at anytime.  It
is often forgotten that even King David of ancient Israel sought and found a way to trade and do business with the Philistines.  

Keep in mind that the Philistines, engaged in a practice of sacrificing their children, I believe their first born, to their god.  The Incas of Peru, did something similar of a religious nature just as incomprehensible.  As did many native Amerindian societies throughout the Western Hemisphere of planet Earth, each practice different from another culture.  In such a range of variance of traditions a thinker would have realized that none of these things, ways of religion or religious expression, have anything to the with the creator of the Universe as much as it has to do with a changing understanding of who humans are and how human express themselves as being as living beings expressing the appreciation of being alive.

Humanity, has never expressed a common sentiment in regards to this, short of going to war -- unless one considers the United Nations to be an expression of general principles of the rights of mankind.  But even the United Nations isn't even truly representing ALL the human cultures and nations of our planet.

What is going on in the US, as well as everywhere else, is working out (in the US via debate, compromise, etc. in the Middle East the process is through war) the very nasty details of acknowledging and expressing within society in which one can hopefully live not only how one may care to express this sentiment, but also the very real choice of how one may not care to express anything at all.

I once questioned a Muslim friend...to explain how demonstrating to others how hard I can hit my head against the floor expresses anything true about faith at all.  He didn't bother to answer, but laughed instead understanding immediately what I was indicating.  

We collectively, are at the beginning of considering the very bloody, messy history of how we express this wonder and gift called Life.  We ought to chose and find a better way, and soon, before we destroy ourselves in a Catastrophic Paroxysm of Nuclear Disaster brought about by some monk, holy man/woman or other person because their way was not seen as THE way and so decided to take and destroy the entire Planet along with himself/ herself.  We are each at the brink of this, TODAY.  

This is something to consider and explore now, sincerely, carefully and respectfully...No?  The question is way beyond Islam, Christianity, Bahai,
etc.  Humanity...nor life current on Earth (not even bacteria) can survive the level of destruction modern technology allows.

ALL of us have a stake and say, and should force the issue to maintain political pressure so that this kind of consideration and examination is explored seriously before war is necessary...

If we apply the same religious fervor so openly expressed by many to the issues of social justice and political fairness ... worldwide... the situation of danger would change.  I think God is waiting for us to handle this ourselves, clean up our own laundry and figure this out.  Besides, it's not Her/Her problem....it's ours, completely...ours.
=============== Lakota Sioux: Mitakuye Oyasin English Translation: We are all related.

Wait, I've read this somewhere before. (none / 0) (#445)
by Lethyos on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 10:49:15 AM EST

Your post was interesting, but at times I couldn't help but to wonder if it was copied from another source. ;)



earth, my body; water, my blood; air, my breath; fire, my spirit
[ Parent ]
Hmmm (none / 0) (#493)
by aguila on Sat Feb 25, 2006 at 11:17:08 AM EST

Thanks for your interesting link.

However, the thoughts are entirely my own.  The only approach regarding formulating them had been some prior college coursework in philosophy which allowed me to prepare hopefully a presentable discussion.  The references you provided are useful as they are a reminder that a deconstructive process is necessary in analyzing how we arrived at where we are now politically, economically and so on.  However, the conclusions where such an analysis leads is not useful as it is not clear that a better understanding can be developed regarding moving our world into a better future from today, that is from now.

Basically, I'm saying that a variety of philosophical and analytical techniques available are useful tools in something akin to an autopsy; in brief, they are good for analyzing the past.  However, we need to not overly analyze the past as in learn from it and move beyond it, into a more rational present and build towards a reasonable future.
==================
=============== Lakota Sioux: Mitakuye Oyasin English Translation: We are all related.
[ Parent ]

Demography is destiny (3.00 / 4) (#414)
by jolly st nick on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 12:13:09 PM EST

Years ago, when Mike Barnicle was a Boston Globe columnist, he wrote about a horse at Suffolk Downs which he claimed must be Catholic, on this basis: the horse would sit in the middle of the pack until the finish line was visible, which would inspire it to sprint to the finish. The same thing happens to people of moderate religiosity when they reach a certain age. That would be the age which the great wave of baby boomers are fast approaching.

Granted, to some degree this is pop sociology. But there has never been a generation like the baby boomers for drawing attentions to phenomena, trends or fads, whether they originate them or not. My wife's uncle was a bohemian hep cat in the 30s, when it was just an eccentricity. It became a movement when the boomers became hippies in the sixties.

Marketers have a very astute model of how populations behave as the age. People in their twenties are preocuppied with acquistion -- of status and stuff needed to support that status. People who are elderly have different preoccupations, such as comfort, the "catered experience". What I think many have missed is that for many people of this age group, the quest for meaning is reopened for the first time since adolescence.

In more than a few cases (but in fairness I wuld not claim all or even most),these changes in life preoccupations tend mix together. Certainly many seem to be gravitating towards a religiosity which emphasizes comforting images and easy affirmation of preconceptions. I've heard many anecdotes of once cynical young people in their middle age suddenly doing things like making pilgramages to an apparition of the Blessed Virgin formed by condensation in a thermal window pane. Yet it is very rare to find a follower of the Jesus who tells us a rich man to sell all his goods to follow him, or the grieving son to let the dead bury the dead. Many of these may be born again, but in an abstract and ethically undemanding way.

Deal with the Devil (2.50 / 6) (#431)
by czolgosz on Wed Dec 08, 2004 at 06:27:56 PM EST

It all comes down to this: some elements among the Christians (or at least some of those who call themselves by that name) want to use the power of the state to force their superstitions onto the public.

By attempting to use the compulsory power of the state to impose their beliefs, they have crossed the line from private belief to the political sphere. Perhaps their belief systems require them to try. But I, and many others in this country, drew a different lesson from the Reformation: that religious fanatics are troublemakers who must be kept as far from the levers of power as possible. My own views align nicely with those of old Tom Paine: churches should be taxed. Anti-clericalism should be bred into our children. The priests are the true spawn of Satan and the enemies of liberty.

Religious tolerance was a compromise. Though many of the Founding Fathers were anti-clerical, they understood the limits of their power to roll back superstition. But at some point, those of us who are secular will have to recognize what the fundamentalists already know: that an open, democratic society is incompatible with the power of irrational, unaccountable hierarchies. If it's an either/or choice, I'd choose democracy over tolerance for organizations that, at their core, seek to undermine our freedoms and drag us back into darkness and superstition. If that means further constraining some of those who call themselves religious, so be it. After all, pie is waiting in the sky for them. The rest of us have to make life tolerable right here, right now.


Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
The motive seems odd.. (3.00 / 2) (#442)
by the womble on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 07:10:02 AM EST

Why ban religous floats?

It seems to me offensive to ban religious floats from an occasion (connected to a religous festival!) where they seem to naturally belong.

Do the people concerned ban displays of religious symbols of other religons in similar cirumstances?

Most of all why celebrate a religous festival but ban the religion concerned? Would it make sesne to have  a Ramazan celebration wtithout any sign of Islam, Deepavali without Hinduism etc?

Most of all what is the objection. This does not seem to be government sponsored so seperation of church and state does not come into it.

Is it just the ususal American polarisation of debate into fundamentalist Christians and equally fundamentalist atheist liberal - all a phenomenon that I can not understand any more than I can udnerstand why the US has s religous right rather than the seemingly more natural religous left.

A couple of possibilities (none / 0) (#443)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 08:11:32 AM EST

  1. Despite reports that the article states that they are a private group they may receive public funds and believe they were doing the legally required thing.
  2. They thought religious floats would offend somebody (of course, by banning them they made the reverse mistake)
  3. One or members of this business organization have the same attitude towards religion as some of the people on this board and did it out of bigotry.
I suspect the correct answer is #1 - these types of community organizations often receive funds from the host town and after many legal decisions banning creche scenes from public areas, they may have thought they were doing the safe thing.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
What (none / 0) (#457)
by the womble on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 05:46:34 AM EST

banning creche scenes from public areas

I find that shocking. I agree with the principle of seperation of state and church, but that effectively says that certain forms of expression should not be made in public. I would really feel that to be oppressive if I had to live with it - and I currently live with churches subject to arson attacks and (at leat last year) fundamentalists vandalising commercial Christmas decorations



[ Parent ]
Most people would agree with you (none / 0) (#458)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 09:20:54 AM EST

but most people are not the ACLU.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
Revival? (3.00 / 4) (#447)
by jonarcher on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 12:16:14 PM EST

It's hardly a revival when such a huge proportion of the US population claim to be religious already. Isn't it something like 70% plus believe in heaven and think they're going there? Whereas in Europe it's far lower, between 9 and 15%? Now if you had a European country go from say 10% to 70% that would be a revival...

Religion vs. Common Sense vs. Science (2.66 / 6) (#455)
by Biomechanical on Thu Dec 09, 2004 at 08:12:39 PM EST

I know I'm going to piss a few people off, but this is not my intention of this post.
[Dons fire-retardent suit]

From what I can tell, modern religion - from 1000 AD to today - has gone from being "something with which to guide people in their lives towards altruistic moral purposes" to "something for me to get what I want".

Look at the bible.
That book has been translated, re-translated, modified, changed, re-written, re-compiled, and bastardized so much that there were people arguing over whether the King James version is better than the "original" version back when my parents used to take me to church - presbyterian.

I think the simple fact that a lot of people seem to be ignoring the Big Ten*, or justifying transgressions of them, says a lot about modern day christianity and like-minded religions.

Yo, look at the Busted Commandments.

1. Well, I think maybe a lot of christians have got that one right.
Leave "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." in there.
Oh no, wait. I just saw a bunch of people idolising a pop star cock-knocker.
Strike it.

2. Every time I look at a christian bookshop, what do I see? Paintings of christ. I think number two is pretty damn clear on the subject.
Strike "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." off of the list of things to follow.

3. Oh yeah, whenever those good christians I hear say "Jesus Christ", they're praying, sure.
Strike off "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."

4. Er, seven day work week? Working on the Saturday which is the calender end of the week?
Sorry number 4, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." but out you go.

5. Hmmm. Ever told your parents off? I've seen so many assholes who proclaim they're wonderful christian people telling off, or just flat out lying about their parents it's not funny.
There goes "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." on a wave of abuse.

6. Look at the amount of wars that our supposed "god-fearing" leaders have initiated or partaken of. Look at the death penalty for crime. Look at our police forces being armed with lethal weapons.
Oooo, listen to "Thou shalt not kill." get blown up in an orgy of ultraviolence. Booyah!

7. Oh yeah, they're going to leave their wife/husband.
With divorce rates on this planet being so high, you just know that "Thou shalt not commit adultery." is getting fucked right up the ass on a regular basis.
"Congratulations! It's a sin."

8. I just love this one. Have you ever "found" anything that didn't belong to you? Did you hand it in to the authorities? Have you sampled from the non-sampling lollies, fruits, vegetables at the supermarket?
Don't mind me, I'm just taking "Thou shalt not steal." to get washed, yeah, that sounds good.

9. I can't count with my calculator how many times I've heard this one broken, and it's a scientific counting device too.
Let's face it, when you gossip, nonchalantly air a rumour, or just flat out lie about something a neighbour has done, you've trod on "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."

10. This one I'm sure we all do all the fucking time and yet not one of us would admit it, except me. I'm a covetous little bastard.
Ooo, I really want "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's." for myself.

Hypocritical? Not I. I've never said I was a good christian. If hell exists, I've already got my first class ticket on the handbasket.

Every day though, every damn day, I hear or see someone ignoring the bible, ignoring their faith, and ignoring their god.
`Hey you! God boy! That bum just asked you for a buck. What about Jesus's lessons about the intangible reward for giving?'

Yeah, you're a god-fearing christian all right. You're afraid that he really can see in your black heart and knows about all the shit you've done, said, and thought.

How does this relate to science and common sense?

Easy.
I don't believe in god because I cannot see him, call him on the phone, or prove in any way scientific that he exists, and yet my mother would say "He exists because the world exists and he made the world."

WTF?

That's like saying that my phone exists because I had the money to buy it, not because a company hired a bunch of engineers, marketers, and shops to produce, advertise, and sell the thing.

Where's the proof that god made the world?
"It's right here in this book called The Bible."
Er, so this book, co-incidentally called "The Book" is proof of an all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing being?
"Yes. Isn't it wonderful he wrote it?"
At which point I pull out Terry Pratchett's Guide to the Discworld and ask if it proves the existance of Rincewind the Wizzard.

Sure, it's all mathematically possible, but probable? I doubt it. I have seen absolutely nothing in my life that could prove the existance of god that cannot be explained scientifically - and I've been to revival meetings. Talk about showmanship.

The reason that religion today is seemingly making a come back is quite simple. We've got fear-mongerers who say they've got a direct line to god telling people what to think, what to feel, and what to do.
And these "leaders" are doing it for the sum total of what they get back from the masses, whether it's power, money, or unquestioning loyalty.

Don't kid yourself. They're not doing it for you, they're doing it for themselves.

Christianity and many other religions probably started out as well thought out moral lessons to guide people towards a wholy common goal of love and peace, but they've been perverted and twisted by those who've got the money and the media needed to con the masses.

You wanna follow the bible? Fine, follow it, but read the whole damn book first, and then do what it says.
Don't pick-and-mix like lollies. This isn't a party favour you simp. It's your eternal soul - if you believe in that - and you're treating it like something to wear on a sunday, wash on monday, and hang in the closet for the rest of the week while you wear other personas.

Okay, I'm done now.
[Steps down off soapbox]

* Referenced from here where I'll be using the Protestant/Hebrew combo for discussion.



a minor difference (none / 1) (#478)
by yoders on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 01:41:35 PM EST

The world is full of hypocrites, and Christians are no exception.  I would like to point out, though, that there are usually evidences in a person's life when they are a Christian.  Not everyone who professes to be a Christian truly is, and I would even speculate that most aren't.

At which point I pull out Terry Pratchett's Guide to the Discworld and ask if it proves the existance of Rincewind the Wizzard.

Well, one is a work of fiction and the other is a collection of biographical accounts.  It's up to you if you choose to believe them or not, although the Calvinists among us might say that whether you are able to believe or not is out of your hands.

That book has been translated, re-translated, modified, changed, re-written, re-compiled, and bastardized so much that there were people arguing over whether the King James version is better than the "original" version back when my parents used to take me to church - presbyterian.

It isn't as if there were a cascade of translations of translations of translations.  We have available thousands of manuscripts of the New Testament, some of which date back to the century in which the originals were written, and in the same language as the orignals.

Yes, there are many "versions" of the Bible, but most of these try to convey the meaning of the original texts, and use the vast collection of manuscripts as their basis.

There are some that do change the meaning to fit the view of a particular religion (Jehovah's Witness' have one that does this).  But the primary Christian translations, written from original manuscripts dating to the first century, tend to agree.  

Example: in Ephesians 1:3 the NIV (New International Version) puts it this way:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And the NASB (New American Standard Bible) puts it this way:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The meaning is the same, but the Greek word Eulogatos is translated differently.  

Here's the greek, btw.  there is defintely more to be said about the collections of manuscripts and things like the Majority Text, etc, but I'm no expert on that.

ευλογητος ο θεος και πατηρ του κυριου ημων ιησου χριστου ο ευλογησας ημας εν παση ευλογια πνευματικη εν τοις επουρανιοις χριστω

[ Parent ]

clarification (none / 0) (#479)
by yoders on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 01:43:50 PM EST

I'd just like to point out that I just posted the first half of Ephesians 1:3, but the Greek is for the whole sentence.

The whole verse is:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
"It doesn't work, but that's okay because we finished ahead of schedule" --anonymous
[ Parent ]

Gonna Have to Disagree with Some of That (none / 1) (#485)
by jameth on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 10:31:31 PM EST

Mostly, yeah, a lot of Christians just ignore them. But some of these you really aren't right on:

2. Every time I look at a christian bookshop, what do I see? Paintings of christ. I think number two is pretty damn clear on the subject.
Strike "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." off of the list of things to follow.

The key there in a great many ways of reading it is that He is a jealous God and does not want any other images. Since, at that time, it was impossible to make an image of God (Jesus's arrival changed this) that was fairly all-inclusive.

So, the people with the picture of Jesus might be cool, but the picture of MLK is very much in doubt.

4. Er, seven day work week? Working on the Saturday which is the calender end of the week?

The key to the meaning of that is clearly that one day of the week is sacred, not that it needs to be Saturday. Now, lots of people don't take Sunday off, so they're still no good, but don't get so picky about which day; the week is fairly arbitrarily placed anyway.

5. Hmmm. Ever told your parents off? I've seen so many assholes who proclaim they're wonderful christian people telling off, or just flat out lying about their parents it's not funny.

That one is definitely not properly followed by everyone, but most Christians make a solid effort on that one. A lot of the other ones are just flat out ignored, so I think it's worth making the distinction that this is a commandment most people try for but many fail at, as contrasted to numbers 1, 3, 6, 9, and 10.

7. Oh yeah, they're going to leave their wife/husband.
With divorce rates on this planet being so high, you just know that "Thou shalt not commit adultery." is getting fucked right up the ass on a regular basis.
"Congratulations! It's a sin."

Adultery is not divorce. Divorce is a separate issue about whether or not marriage is a permanent bond. Again, though, this is something most Christians frown on and strive against, don't just give them shit over it like you can over number six.

Also, don't believe what the press tells you. Divorce rates are high, but 60% of first marriages last and the rate is much higher in religious communities, so you're really talking about a small portion of the population.

8. I just love this one. Have you ever "found" anything that didn't belong to you? Did you hand it in to the authorities? Have you sampled from the non-sampling lollies, fruits, vegetables at the supermarket?
Don't mind me, I'm just taking "Thou shalt not steal." to get washed, yeah, that sounds good.

Again, not something that is even slightly approved of. As to your question, have you ever...

If you count music downloaded, yes in the past. If you count only physical stuff, once ever. I am flawed. Wow. That does not mean that I can't state the action is wrong.

I don't believe in god because I cannot see him, call him on the phone, or prove in any way scientific that he exists, and yet my mother would say "He exists because the world exists and he made the world."

That is a wonderful argument you have there. Similarly, I don't believe in you. I think that this post of yours was deliberately generated by Kuro5hin to enhance its content. Sound specious? Yeah.

I have evidence of your post showing you exist because the post couldn't exist without something instantiating it. Similarly, I have prove of some exterior force existing because the universe exists and, within the laws of the universe as we understand them, all things need to be precipitated by other things, so there must be something which doesn't abide by those laws.

Lots of people disagree with the first mover theory, but it isn't exactly flimsy and idiotic.

The reason that religion today is seemingly making a come back is quite simple. We've got fear-mongerers who say they've got a direct line to god telling people what to think, what to feel, and what to do.

Religion is actually not doing any better than the usual in the US. It is merely that religious groups started voting so you started noticing them. The fear-mongers are galvanizing an existing populace, not creating it. The religious groups pre-exist them.

Don't pick-and-mix like lollies. This isn't a party favour you simp. It's your eternal soul - if you believe in that - and you're treating it like something to wear on a sunday, wash on monday, and hang in the closet for the rest of the week while you wear other personas.

I just want to say that, despite my disagreements earlier, I overall agree with your post, and this last bit I quoted is dead-on accurate. People need to actually read the Bible and try to be Christian, rather than trying to go the Church and be noticed.

(On a side note about something I personally find amusing, if you actually do read the Bible, lesbianism is okay. In every instance homosexuality is condemned, it specifically mentions a man and a man.)

[ Parent ]

The problem is much worse. (none / 0) (#489)
by Reductio on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 09:26:08 AM EST

Most Christians I have had the pleasure of conversing with do not believe every word in the bible is true. Essentially they build an intricate system that supports both what they see and know as true empirically and what they are taught spiritually. (What a mess!!!!) Unfortunately, their morals, ethics, and beliefs foundation are built upon this odd system. This juggling must seriously impair their ability to reason. I would wager most are insane, but since they do not pose a physical threat to themselves or others they are not locked up. What percentage of the population fits this description?

[ Parent ]
WOW! (none / 0) (#492)
by benem on Thu May 19, 2005 at 03:26:40 PM EST

Biomech, can I get you to come and speak at my church this Sunday? LOL. I think you hit the nail on the head with this one, there is a ton of hypocrisy amongst Christians (yes I include myself).

It's wrong.

Sometimes I think that if this kind of a heated message was preached from the pulpit to Christians, maybe that would help shake us up enough for us to really start living what we say we believe. No wonder so many people are turned off by what is touted as Christianity, when in reality the way Christians live (although not all) is so full of compromise and hypocrisy.

I have hope.

Although there are many who profess to be Christian and yet live as though they weren't, and although there are many who claim Christianity and yet still compromise or make mistakes, this one thing I know. I know that there is a God who answers prayer: I've seen it many times. I know that same God is one of love and peace: I've experienced it. And I know that after my earthly life is completed, I will spend eternity with Him: I believe it.

So, no I don't claim to be a perfect Christian (far from it), but at the same time I wrestle with the way I live my life every day in a constant effort to live a life that glorifies Christ. Will I ever arrive at that point (on earth)? Hardly. Like they say, the proof is in the pudding. If someone calls themself a Christian yet lives a life that is totally contradictory to Biblical standards, then I too would question their authenticity and what they really believe in.

[ Parent ]
Your view is distorted. (1.40 / 5) (#461)
by JavaLord on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 11:55:23 AM EST

Homosexuality, separation of church and state, the "rightness" or "wrongness" of the current war in Iraq. These stories do serve to underscore the return to "fundamental moral values" coming about in present day America.

The problem for the left this year was they were going against a wartime incumbant president. Only 2 incumbants after the 19th century were voted out of office when there wasn't a major third party challenger. Those were hoover (because of the depression), and Carter (because of all around ineptitude). This election didn't signal a return to fundamental moral values, but it did signal that Americans think moral values are important.

In fact, these examples abound. In Pennsylvania a Dover-area school board recently voted to insert intelligent design into school biology classes, sparking the resignation of at least two school board members. While some argue this is simply an attempt to "balance" out the schools current evolutionary curriculum, they ignore the fact that the theory of intelligent design cannot be proven nor tested.

Intelligent design can not be refuted either, nor can pure darwinism be proven. We can make an educated guess that evolution is what caused us to be what we are today but we can NOT prove that. As for intelligent design not being able to be proven, therefor making it unworthy of teaching, the big bang can not be proven either. In fact, it may be wrong. Yet we teach it. I have no problems with a public school mentioning intelligent design, it is a theory.

In fact, curriculum of this nature only serves to undermine scientific principals being taught to young students.

Bullshit, there are plenty of non-scientific principals taught to youngsters today.

And recently, with presidential candidates being denied communion,

The church has a right to do that, they are a private organization. I bet you wouldn't be pointing to this if they had turned Bush down for starting the Iraqi war, now would you?

and even catholic parishioners being threatened spiritually because of secular voting practices, one has to wonder if this time the U.S is seeing an all out push towards a greater presence of religion in every arena.

It's not a matter of wanting religion in every arena, it's a matter of Americans who are in the middle wanting some type of common sense when it comes moral values.

Indeed, one has to look no further than Mr. Bush's faith-based initiatives or the resurgence of "abstinence-only education" to find a battle being waged over how far, exactly, that presence should be extended.

Abstinence is a good thing to stress to teenagers. The fact is, families would rather their children be taught abstinence than homosexuality.

Which way the pendulum is going to swing no one has yet to determine, but one thing is clear: A battle is being waged

Pat Buchanan predicted this back in 1992 (along with the second Iraqi war and an osama bin laden terrorist attack). Yet he was destroyed in the liberal media back then, but what he was saying about the 'culture war' was the truth. The liberals have become too liberal, and that forced the religious right further to the right. Centerists like myself and many others are stuck choosing between the two, and the more appealing choice is the right.



Excuse me while I bite this troll (none / 1) (#471)
by Hillgiant on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 12:11:40 PM EST

The problem for the left this year was they were going against a wartime incumbant president. Only 2 incumbants after the 19th century were voted out of office when there wasn't a major third party challenger. Those were hoover (because of the depression), and Carter (because of all around ineptitude). This election didn't signal a return to fundamental moral values, but it did signal that Americans think moral values are important.

If this election did not hinge on "moral values", then why was it so often referenced in exit polls? Is changine horses mid-quagmire that distasteful?

Intelligent design can not be refuted either, nor can pure darwinism be proven. We can make an educated guess that evolution is what caused us to be what we are today but we can NOT prove that. As for intelligent design not being able to be proven, therefor making it unworthy of teaching, the big bang can not be proven either. In fact, it may be wrong. Yet we teach it. I have no problems with a public school mentioning intelligent design, it is a theory.

Evolution is not "just a theory". It is the best theory. It is the most complete, most accurate description we currently have to describe the observed diversity of species. More importantly, it does not require the existance of some invisible, unmeasureable, unknowable "Designer" to make it work. Leave your wedges at church, thankyou. For the record, I have no problem with religionious topics being taught in school. I have a problem with them being taught as science in the science class room. If you must teach them, keep them in the humanities where they belong.

Bullshit, there are plenty of non-scientific principals taught to youngsters today.

Yes, but they are not being taught in the science classroom. "Intelligent Design" has no more place in a science class room than a literary analysis of the theory of special relativity.

The church has a right to do that, they are a private organization. I bet you wouldn't be pointing to this if they had turned Bush down for starting the Iraqi war, now would you?

Bush, being a baptist, does not practice the sacrament of communion. Many progressive church-goers took issue with the churchs' opposition to Kerry while ignoring Bush's transgressions.

It's not a matter of wanting religion in every arena, it's a matter of Americans who are in the middle wanting some type of common sense when it comes moral values.

I find that when it comes to "moral values" sense is not very common. One man's sense is another man's heresy. Who's religion's "moral values" are we supposed to be following? This is why Americans who are in the middle oppose state established religion.

Abstinence is a good thing to stress to teenagers. The fact is, families would rather their children be taught abstinence than homosexuality.

Okay, I moved around a bit when I was in school. I had sex ed some 5-6 times, but maybe I missed something. I do not recall condoms, sponges, diaphrams, the pill, or injectibles being used in the context of homosexuality. In fact, my imagination fails to conjour a tortured logic to explain how birth control would be anything a homosexual would need to be educated about. But, its been a while since I went to church. Perhaps there is some new tortured logic. Tortured logic aside, I agree with you. Abstinence does need to be taught (to both hetero- and homosexuals). Relying on abstinence only or condoms only is like hunting with only one bullet. What do your first shot does not work?

The liberals have become too liberal, and that forced the religious right further to the right. Centerists like myself and many others are stuck choosing between the two, and the more appealing choice is the right.

The religious right has become to conservative, and that forced the liberals further to the left. The opinions you have expressed above, do not seem very centrist.

-----
"It is impossible to say what I mean." -johnny
[ Parent ]

He's not the troll here. (none / 1) (#473)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 12:41:06 AM EST

If this election did not hinge on "moral values", then why was it so often referenced in exit polls? Is changine horses mid-quagmire that distasteful?
Errr.... That whole exit poll thing has been endlessly debunked. Here's a quick illustration: You voted for Kerry because you think Bush is a lying sleeze bag. Suddenly someone asks you a multiple choice question about what influenced your choice. Gosh, doesn't "moral values" sound appropriate?
Bush, being a baptist, does not practice the sacrament of communion. Many progressive church-goers took issue with the churchs' opposition to Kerry while ignoring Bush's transgressions.
Errrr... So the whole Pope-opposes-Iraq-war thing - that was churches ignoring Bush?
I find that when it comes to "moral values" sense is not very common. One man's sense is another man's heresy. Who's religion's "moral values" are we supposed to be following? This is why Americans who are in the middle oppose state established religion.
The fact that you think morality is tied to religion, rather than being something even secular people can have is illuminating. So, you think only religious people believe that lying, stealing, killing are immoral? Or is it maybe possible that people can have a common set of morals without having a common religion?
 Relying on abstinence only or condoms only is like hunting with only one bullet. What do your first shot does not work?
Actually, this whole paragraph made no sense. You think kids should be taught how to be homosexuals in case abstinence doesn't work?
By the way - NPR had a long report this week on how, shockingly, abstinence-only programs were causing huge drops in teen pregnancy rates.
The religious right has become to conservative, and that forced the liberals further to the left. The opinions you have expressed above, do not seem very centrist.
And you've just stood 2000 years of history on it's head. You can hardly accuse even the most right-wing fundamentalist of being more conservative than his 19th century forebears. And the guy your attacking is hardly the first to notice that Christians, by nature, are liberals and socialists and it was only the attacks by the rabid left that allowed the Republicans to pull them in.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
at least get your facts straight for christ's sake (none / 1) (#480)
by jarv on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 05:06:24 PM EST

Bush, being a baptist, does not practice the sacrament of communion. Many progressive church-goers took issue with the churchs' opposition to Kerry while ignoring Bush's transgressions.
Errrr... So the whole Pope-opposes-Iraq-war thing - that was churches ignoring Bush?


Bush, being a methodist *does* practice communion.

Relying on abstinence only or condoms only is like hunting with only one bullet. What do your first shot does not work?
Actually, this whole paragraph made no sense. You think kids should be taught how to be homosexuals in case abstinence doesn't work? By the way - NPR had a long report this week on how, shockingly, abstinence-only programs were causing huge drops in teen pregnancy rates.


What he is trying to say is that there are obvious benefits to teaching abstinence and obvious benefits to teaching kids how to use birth control. Hopefully, we will see the end of abstinence only education.. Flaws Seen in U.S. Sex Ed. Programs

BTW I could not find this npr story you referred to. Trust me, if kids are abstaining from sex more than they were before the main reason isn't because of abstinence education. Kids already know how "not to have sex" If anything, it may make them think about it a little more. In general kids know more about sex, condoms, STDs because it is becoming more comfortable to talk about sex in general. This is probably why we are seeing a reduction in teen pregnancy, more kids are using condoms on their first time having sex.
Here is an *actual* NPR story - Study Finds Increased Abstinence, Condom Use Among Teens

[ Parent ]
You really should try to keep straight (none / 0) (#482)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 11:38:13 PM EST

which parts of my post were mine and which were quotes from the original post - since you seem to be responding to both in equal measure.

It's kind of confusing.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]

stats... (none / 1) (#483)
by JavaLord on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 01:52:39 PM EST

What he is trying to say is that there are obvious benefits to teaching abstinence and obvious benefits to teaching kids how to use birth control. Hopefully, we will see the end of abstinence only education.. Flaws Seen in U.S. Sex Ed. Programs

Depends on what you define as 'kids'. I don't think teaching kids (teenagers) how to use birth control is a big deal, but they should stress abstinence as the only way to avoid STD's and pregnacy. If homosexuality is to be taught, there should be some honesty in the numbers they teach. I bet for example, they don't teach kids that 60 percent of men in the US were infected with HIV through homosexual sex in the last year, 25 percent through injection drug use, and only 15 percent through heterosexual sex.

That is a pretty strong case for avoiding drugs and homosexuality don't you think? I guess it isn't politically correct though.

Another stat they don't teach is that Of newly infected HIV men last year, approximately 50 percent are black, 30 percent are white, 20 percent are Hispanic.

BTW I could not find this npr story you referred to. Trust me, if kids are abstaining from sex more than they were before the main reason isn't because of abstinence education.

Really? What makes you think that? If you think the focus of their education doesn't matter, why bother then? Are you going to tell us that teaching a child how to use birth control will cause them to use it more often, but promoting abstinence won't cause kids to think about avoiding sex?

Kids already know how "not to have sex"

Do you really think kids don't know how to put on a condom or take a pill?

If anything, it may make them think about it a little more.

You don't think talking about the risks of disease and pregnacy might make them think about holding off a little more?

[ Parent ]
so what are you advocating? (none / 0) (#484)
by jarv on Tue Dec 14, 2004 at 05:14:21 PM EST

If homosexuality is to be taught, there should be some honesty in the numbers they teach. I bet for example, they don't teach kids that 60 percent of men in the US were infected with HIV through homosexual sex in the last year, 25 percent through injection drug use, and only 15 percent through heterosexual sex. That is a pretty strong case for avoiding drugs and homosexuality don't you think? I guess it isn't politically correct though.

Before making this claim about "honesty" can you quote a sex ed textbook that lies about statistics? Or do you mean they fail to mention these things?

Do you really think kids don't know how to put on a condom or take a pill?

Call me crazy, but out of the set of kids that know "what sex is" I bet everyone knows how "not to have it"

(Trust me, if kids are abstaining from sex more than they were before the main reason isn't because of abstinence education)
Really? What makes you think that?


The main reason is the fact that we live in a society where sex is everywhere. You can't pick up a magazine or turn on the television without hearing about sex. Kids are having sex earlier and know more about sex earlier in age. This isn't because of sex-ed, this is because of culture. At the same time kids are eduacated more about STDs and pregnancy risks out side of the classroom. We are also in the middle of US religious revival that encourages abstinence. Sex ed is important. There are still myths about sex and from what I read in abstinence programs, downright lies about it.

Most importantly, family and friends play are going to play the biggest role in highschool behavior. Groups tend to behave the same, if your best friend is having sex every weekend with his girlfriend/boyfriend you are certainly going to consider it.. likewise if he doesn't.

You don't think talking about the risks of disease and pregnacy might make them think about holding off a little more?

Absolutely, tell kids about the dangers of sex. Tell them about STDs, where babies come from, everything they need to know. If the kids are thick headed and do not realize that the "lack of sex" will result in "not getting sexual transmitted diseases" tell them that too. Just don't hold back information on how kids can protect themselves when they do decide to engage in intercourse.

[ Parent ]
So the whole Pope-opposes-Iraq-war thing ......... (none / 1) (#481)
by tlewis615 on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 08:53:51 PM EST

So the whole Pope-opposes-Iraq-war thing - that was churches ignoring Bush? No, but that opposition was underplayed by right wing media courting Catholic votes. It was more a case of the religious right ignoring the Catholic Church's stance on the war. When Catholics agree with the religious right on issues like abortion we are moral Christian supporters and friends and we get quoted in their media. When we oppose the death penalty or the war in Iraq we are at best ignored. At least our positions are internally consistant, killing is wrong. I wish I could say the same for the right wing so called "Christians". As for Kerry and communion, I was under the impression that the US bishops did not have the authority to deny him communion. Please do not lump all Catholics together with the religious right, there are deep theological differences between the two even though the Catholic Church is opposed to abortion. Many Catholics did oppose Bush.

[ Parent ]
BTW - on exit polls (none / 0) (#474)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 12:45:37 AM EST

The Anatomy of a Myth - published by that well known right wing rag, the Washington Post.


A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
Shite (none / 0) (#490)
by slippytoad on Tue Jan 18, 2005 at 08:57:19 PM EST

Intelligent design can not be refuted either, nor can pure darwinism be proven.

Comparing these two is idiotic. ID is not a theory. It's a bunch of self-reinforcing horseshit. Darwinism is a testable set of principles which has survived 150 years of aggressive assaults and happens to be the foundation of almost everything we know about biology today. It's not a coincidence that modern medicine starts with Darwinism.

As for intelligent design not being able to be proven, therefor making it unworthy of teaching, the big bang can not be proven either.

Though we can record its very echo, the reality of the Big Bang just doesn't get through to some people. And again, if there were even 1-1000th the evidence for ID that there is for BB or Evolution, we wouldn't be having this discussion because Creationism completely contradicts the current body of scientific knowledge.

As for this:The problem for the left this year was they were going against a wartime incumbant president.

The problem with the Left was that we couldn't believe people would fall for a president who got us into a badly-run war of choice based on a phony crisis that has been thoroughly debunked. We didn't count on how thoroughly bought the right-wing media turned out to be.
If I were the al Qaeda people right now I would be planning a lot of attacks in the next few days and weeks -- John "Bring 'em On" McCain
[ Parent ]

the borg (none / 0) (#467)
by muckmuck on Fri Dec 10, 2004 at 04:17:34 PM EST

after reading this, i couldnt help thinking that evangelical christians are like the borg. assimilate or die. =)

elcoo (none / 0) (#491)
by elcoo on Fri Mar 18, 2005 at 03:01:15 AM EST

Anyway, PC is making us a nation of wusses, and I think this is a view that many in our great nation hold and are getting frustrated with, both religious-types and non-religious.

The religious revival in the US | 492 comments (476 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
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