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  1. #11
    The Destroyer Colors's Avatar
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    What are y'all talking about? What backlash against Christianity- what backlash against the church institutions? From what I've seen of America, it's still quite Christian and quite evangelical, and I think if you did a poll, you would find that quite a few people are religious and go to church.

    How are they on the defensive? They have a president; evangelical numbers are strong enough to boost Huckabee (considered a non-contender by Republican insiders) into a good showing- etc.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colors View Post
    What are y'all talking about? What backlash against Christianity- what backlash against the church institutions? From what I've seen of America, it's still quite Christian and quite evangelical, and I think if you did a poll, you would find that quite a few people are religious and go to church.

    How are they on the defensive? They have a president; evangelical numbers are strong enough to boost Huckabee (considered a non-contender by Republican insiders) into a good showing- etc.
    Have you missed the "Christmas" debates, the wearing of a cross necklace ban for teachers or ACLU persuits? Yes, it might be as long as Christians keep fighting.

  3. #13
    The Destroyer Colors's Avatar
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    Wow, so people actually daring to bring up the manifestations of an aggressive pro-Christian (and anti-everyone else) atmosphere in the US (in some places) means Christianity has "fallen from grace"?

    ETA: I'm inquiring what evidence one can use to assess that the church institutions have lost the will of the people (and if it exists, if it due to action of their making, constituting a "fall from grace").

  4. #14
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanan View Post
    Have you missed the "Christmas" debates, the wearing of a cross necklace ban for teachers or ACLU persuits? Yes, it might be as long as Christians keep fighting.
    Don't get California and America confused.

    I love Cali, but god damn that place is something else.

  5. #15
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    Religion's problem is the people.

    I am a christian. I don't go to church much now, and I never enjoyed going to church when I was younger. Why? I didn't like the people. They were usually full of shit, and making a mockery of the religion.

    That said, christianity/religion is more than the people. Its about you and your spirituality. You are supposed to draw strength from other believers through faith, but that rarely happens anymore.

    Christianity's decline? Mostly the roman catholic priest scandals, and the bashing religion has received in the media. Its being cited as the root of the problem, and not a source of refuge. On many fronts they are correct, but the problem, as always, is the people. If christianity/religion weren't around then the Osama's of the world would just find another means to get to their desired end.

  6. #16
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    I don't believe in God, but I believe in the shepherd.
    If you believe in the shepherd, you might be interested in meeting the Piper at the gates of dawn -

    The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame: Chapter 7

  7. #17
    Senior Member creativeRhino's Avatar
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    "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." -
    -- Mahatma Gandhi


    Pretty well sums it up for me as far as any decline. Especially the "prosperity cult" versions in the evangelical end of the "faith". They rely on fear of what happens after death. It is nothing like the REAL biblical in terms of material things (the bible tends to be prescribing a virtually a communist/socialist economic order - giving your surplus coats to folks who don't have one....etc) OR in terms of sexual morality (the evangelicals are obsessed with this but the bible is much quieter on this subject than material stuff!).

    But from where I sit (downunder) it seems that the US "Christian" lobby has a huge influence even if there is little in the way or sincere numbers behind the push.

    At university we were warned not to give too much credence to statistics on religious affiliation - most folks who are athiest/agnostic tend to say they are Anglican/Episcopalian or other "soft option" rather than admit to it.

    Even here it is still only "just OK" to claim non-belief.

    In "good times" religousity tends to decline but in times of fear (economic issues/terrorism) it tends to increase.

  8. #18
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Rom 2:21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

    Mat 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men."

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    Some elements in the Protestant evangelical churches made a conscious decision in the latter third of the 20th century to seek political power and to turn America into a Christian nation where the law of the republic is replaced by the law of the Bible. That is why they're on the defensive, and that is why Jennifer is right. Sadly, they're still winning. But these people aren't Christians. They're tyrants and political opportunists who use Christianity as a Trojan horse.
    I think what disturbs me is that the bad apples can poison the bunch.

    I see a lot of decent, good-meaning people whose ideas about the faith and some of their behavior is impacted by the James Dobson's and others who want to wield Christianity for political power. I know it. I talk to them. They have opinions that aren't based on any sort of thought, they just have absorbed the ideas of people who are touted as authorities.

    [Sitting through lunch on Saturday with my in-laws, for example, and being told straightaway that I'm an "addict and demonically influenced" because of my particular struggles in life. Despite the fact that, if you would just measure me by any standard without knowing my situation, I would come up completely the opposite. And these are smart people, who graduated from Bucknell. You think they would collect their own evidence. But they believe these things because it's what they're taught, it's what is passed down to them.]

    It's taken a good 20-30 years, for example, for the church to learn how to "love homosexuals." What's funny is that I'm not even sure why it was so hard in the first place. Homosexuals were never not people. We should love people. Why were homosexuals hated in the first place, and why did well-meaning people have to be beaten over the head again and again to learn how to treat others of other preferences and persuasions like human beings?

    Even when you read the Bible, Jesus never had that issue. He never "dehumanized" people he thought were doing something wrong, so he never had to "relearn" how to love them. He... loved them from the first.

    Something is very very wrong with the attitudes being passed down via authority and interpretation of the Bible, if people have to 'relearn' how to treat those they disagree with like human beings.

    This is why Christianity is losing a hold in the States. Unbelievers, or those of other faiths, or disaffected Christians all can smell the taint and reject it.

    unfortunately, it has created a backlash where the things Christians do that are right are being ignored as well.

    The liberal intelligentsia in America constantly bend over backwards to point out that Islamic terrorists are not representative of Islam and that to blame Islam or Arabic peoples broadly is xenophobic and counterproductive. I wish they would extend the same courtesy to their Christian countrymen.
    I agree with the sentiment, although I have never really been immersed in the liberal intelligentsia as a subculture and have no real idea who they are or what they truly think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colors View Post
    Wow, so people actually daring to bring up the manifestations of an aggressive pro-Christian (and anti-everyone else) atmosphere in the US (in some places) means Christianity has "fallen from grace"?
    Well, of course I dare. I lived it for almost 40 years. It seems quite clear to me.

    ETA: I'm inquiring what evidence one can use to assess that the church institutions have lost the will of the people (and if it exists, if it due to action of their making, constituting a "fall from grace").
    1. Immerse yourself in conservative religious politics. THEY think they've fallen from grace. They see America as a battle they are LOSING. It's right out of the horse's mouth. It's why they've gotten more militant. They're fighting because they feel like they're being defeated.

    2. Talk to the baby boomer generations. They'll complain about how awful the country has become since prayer has been kicked out of schools and evolution ushered into them. MTV. Rock and roll. Sex. Promiscuity on TV. Rated R movies. Vulgarity. Political scandal. The conservative churches (not even fundamentalist) I've been to all consider the US a fallen country, and God's favor has moved onto China and other countries around the world.

    3. The whole huckabee thing? All the evangelicals were pulling for him... and they still lost. Yes, they're powerful. But in the 80's they might have actually WON. The televangelist movement and the conservative church felt very strong in the 80's. And... Reagan was president. Then Bush. Once Clinton came into office, many people in the church felt the country was lost. It was ironic to watch them all diss McCain because he wasn't an evangelical -- the was the only reason Huckabee lasted as long as he did, he wasn't really a strong candidate -- and now it looks like they're stuck with him.

    4. Now Bush has been president for 8 years. He won mostly because he appealed to the Christian Right and got Bush's endorsement (and because Gore and Kerry were particularly unviable candidates). I remember being utterly turned off by how they bowed and scraped to him and touted his election as the best thing that happened to America, because he was "God's man." Talking to people in church, well-meaning people, they would still say really ignorant things about Bush, what he believed, how great he was... they just saw him as a "moral Christian who would put God back in control." (Basically a paraphrase of their thoughts.) Well, you can see where that has gone. Yet one more hope shattered, and it really didn't help their movement much because of Bush's War. This year, 2008, Dobson has lost a lot of his power, and so have the other political evangelicals. And many Christians I knew were very demoralized by the whole thing. Because once again, they "lost" ... Bush wasn't who they hoped he'd be.

    I could go on and on about this. But I think my main point here is, I'm not the one saying Christians have "lost the culture"'; conservative Christians themselves have been saying it for a few decades.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #20
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I'll second everything Jennifer said in the above post.

    Personally, I'm glad about the 'fall from grace.' Christianity was never meant to be a form of government and America was always meant to have a secular government. Religion and government need to be kept separate because they corrupt one another.

    I'm disgusted and outraged by the backwash of Darwinian fiscal conservatism that has polluted the Evangelical church because of it's alliance with the Republican party.

    I think it's hypocritical and wrong to try to bully citizens into living as though they are Evangelical regardless of what they believe. It goes against the law of loving your brother as you love yourself.

    I don't want to be persecuted or oppressed for my beliefs, but I think the way to keep my freedom is to give to others the same freedom I want for myself, not oppress other people for not believing the way I do. That was supposed to the whole point of this country.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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