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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    We don't need it in the US, but Christians are demanding it because they are losing the culture war. They're used to being ubiquitous in American society and the fact that, today, some people don't share their beliefs scares them.
    Sometimes the fact that, today, some people DO share their beliefs scares me. In fact, the amount of that kind of people and their fanaticism scare me. Oh well, as long as they don't force me into becoming an unhappy baby popping house slave...
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    I built a logical argument: Freedom to think and do what you like includes the freedom to think religious thoughts and perform religious acts. With certain legal limitations, the former should be a given in a modern democracy.
    I agree, but many Christians don't. That's why Christians have started spouting nonsense about the US being a "Christian nation". They're trying to rewrite history in an attempt to secure a place in the present and future. For example, Tom DeLay recently said God wrote the Constitution.



    And then we've got images like this:

    mitt.jpg

    These people are willfully ignorant of the fact that many of the founders were deists (the closest you could publicly be to an atheist at the time). But whether or not some founders were deists or Christians isn't even relevant. The Constitution, itself, is a secular document.

    Edit: I like how that image has Jesus wearing expensive robes because Jesus was all about the money, you know.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #13
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I agree, but many Christians don't. That's why Christians have started spouting nonsense about the US being a "Christian nation". They're trying to rewrite history in an attempt to secure a place in the present and future. For example, Tom DeLay recently said God wrote the Constitution.
    Good ol' Thomas Jefferson, with his copy of the Bible with all the words cut out of it that he figured Jesus didn't actually say...

    Well, for the record, it's all the same stuff ["Christian nation"] I was hearing back in the 70-80's. Nothing new here.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  4. #14
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I agree, but many Christians don't. That's why Christians have started spouting nonsense about the US being a "Christian nation". They're trying to rewrite history in an attempt to secure a place in the present and future. For example, Tom DeLay recently said God wrote the Constitution.



    And then we've got images like this:

    mitt.jpg

    These people are willfully ignorant of the fact that many of the founders were deists (the closest you could publicly be to an atheist at the time). But whether or not some founders were deists or Christians isn't even relevant. The Constitution, itself, is a secular document.

    Edit: I like how that image has Jesus wearing expensive robes because Jesus was all about the money, you know.
    Well, no one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

    I do believe, however, that religion is not the root of this kind of irrational behavior. It is the form and tool it takes (because it so easily lends itself to any need), but there is something else pushing these people to become ridiculous. Perhaps it is, as you said, fear, the fear of losing cultural power, of becoming irrelevant. Perhaps it is the need for safety in an ever-faster changing world. Old people stick to the old because that is what they understand. Maybe religious people are the culturally old.

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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    I'm sure there have always been some Christians claiming the US is a "Christian nation", but they seem to be louder today. Maybe that's just the media giving them a voice.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #16
    Senior Member ColonelGadaafi's Avatar
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    I don't think it's a questionn of religious freedom that is being raised here, as of a freedom of belief. Which ranges everything from political, to religious, to philosphical. It's really a flaw of liberal democracy... trying to give freedom to all and not accepting a belief-system/ideology. Unlike fascists in Nazi germany or communists in the. The flaw of liberal democracy, is that it doesn't have a clear cut ideology. So everyone needs freedom.

    Everyone has the right and should be represented.
    "Where can you flee? What road will you use to escape us? Our horses are swift, our arrows sharp, our swords like thunderbolts, our hearts as hard as the mountains, our soldiers as numerous as the sand. Fortresses will not detain us, nor arms stop us. Your prayers to God will not avail against us. We are not moved by tears nor touched by lamentations."

  7. #17
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelGadaafi View Post
    I don't think it's a questionn of religious freedom that is being raised here, as of a freedom of belief. Which ranges everything from political, to religious, to philosphical. It's really a flaw of liberal democracy... trying to give freedom to all and not accepting a belief-system/ideology. Unlike fascists in Nazi germany or communists in the. The flaw of liberal democracy, is that it doesn't have a clear cut ideology. So everyone needs freedom.

    Everyone has the right and should be represented.
    What you are suggesting is a really bad idea. It sounds like you want to codify ideology. That's a bad idea because the optimal ideology changes over time. Even if codified ideology helps at first, it will eventually harm.

    What's good about liberal democracy is the marketplace of ideas. We get lots of bad ideas, but we also get good ideas. The bad ideas eventually fail.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    I do believe, however, that religion is not the root of this kind of irrational behavior. It is the form and tool it takes (because it so easily lends itself to any need), but there is something else pushing these people to become ridiculous. Perhaps it is, as you said, fear, the fear of losing cultural power, of becoming irrelevant. Perhaps it is the need for safety in an ever-faster changing world.
    ^^ that's how I generally perceive it. I think some of the same people if raised today would hold different beliefs. But Christian orgs have typically felt like they would be marginalized as far back as when I was growing up. I think the 60's were a huge shift, and then came Roe vs Wade. AIDS was a scourge upon the depravity of gay promiscuity, which was some kind of moral validation ... and suddenly gays are becoming not just accepted by popular? Lots of scary changes.

    Keith Green, a really popular "prophetic" voice in Christian music who is still remembered today, wrote a song for his son ("Song for Josiah") with lyrics that represent the kind of feeling that the world is constantly declining and Christianity is becoming more marginalized:

    ...Oh my son, you were born in a world that hates you
    And I swear I will never forsake you
    But there was a Father centuries ago
    Who watched His beloved Son die, oh, die

    Oh my son, I am weak and Im trembling
    For the Lord, I am always remembering
    Oh, what a strong Shepherd holds you in His arms
    He'll break you and make you His own and then take you home

    Well, if I could I would protect you from what you will see
    This world will promise love and beauty, but it lied to me
    And I will show you, if you will listen
    And I will promise to listen too

    Oh yes, there are some who love the lies
    They will kill you if they can
    Though you speak the truth in love
    They will hate you like the man

    Jesus, although He was God
    He allowed Himself broken for you

    Well, if I could I would protect you from what you will see
    This world just might seem so alive but its dead to me
    And I will teach you, if you will hear me
    And I will promise to hear you too, yes, I do...
    This isn't a rare feeling in the community, and there are many other songs that share a similar mentality, where Christians are going to be hated by "the world" (from something Jesus himself said). So it creates an us vs. them / "we won't fit in and/or aren't like them" mentality. There is no real way to reconcile, as the ways of "the world" are considered to be death and corrupt at core. Jesus was punished and martyred by the world; Christians can expect to be martyred too; and in some views, this path is preferred to accommdation/finding points of connection. [Not all parts of the Church are that way, but there's a strong undercurrent of it in some churches and denoms.]

    With the world changing and so much that they consider "wrong" now being acceptable/right in the eyes of "the world," well, I only think it deepens the rift. I know my grandparents expressed bewilderment at how the culture could accept all of these "bad" things, and even my mother is that way about some things; there are topics we don't discuss because she views it as bad and I don't, necessarily.
    "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

  9. #19
    Senior Member ColonelGadaafi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    What you are suggesting is a really bad idea. It sounds like you want to codify ideology. That's a bad idea because the optimal ideology changes over time. Even if codified ideology helps at first, it will eventually harm.

    What's good about liberal democracy is the marketplace of ideas. We get lots of bad ideas, but we also get good ideas. The bad ideas eventually fail.
    I'm not trying to codify ideology. All i'm saying is that.... belief-systems compete... that's all. Sometimes they fuck up the entire system. And society itself has a pervasive ideology, even though the government constitution doesn't represent it. And ideologies generally don't work together. The christian right-wing was very influental until very recently. And i hardly doubt they believed in the principles of the US, if they thought they had half the chance to seize power. Liberal democracy is the ideology of all and none.
    "Where can you flee? What road will you use to escape us? Our horses are swift, our arrows sharp, our swords like thunderbolts, our hearts as hard as the mountains, our soldiers as numerous as the sand. Fortresses will not detain us, nor arms stop us. Your prayers to God will not avail against us. We are not moved by tears nor touched by lamentations."

  10. #20
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelGadaafi View Post
    I don't think it's a questionn of religious freedom that is being raised here, as of a freedom of belief. Which ranges everything from political, to religious, to philosphical. It's really a flaw of liberal democracy... trying to give freedom to all and not accepting a belief-system/ideology. Unlike fascists in Nazi germany or communists in the. The flaw of liberal democracy, is that it doesn't have a clear cut ideology. So everyone needs freedom.

    Everyone has the right and should be represented.
    Even so called belief-systems and ideologies operating under a single name vary substantially. You have all kinds of christians, even more kinds of muslims, and god only knows how many different shades of conservatism and liberalism. More to the point, I think the problem you present is not a problem at all. Democracy has two built-in ideological ideas: freedom and equality for all. That, I think, is foundation enough.

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