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Old 02-20-2005, 03:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The founding fathers don't care about you or your religious causes.

I want to see a compelling argument for an increase in the presence of christianity in our government. I don't care about the constitution. I don't care about your pretend notions of who the founding fathers are and what they would think about the current state of affairs.

Why is more christianity in goverment a good thing? Is more christianity in goverment a good thing? Does the idea of a christian nation even mean anything in light of the incredibly inconsistent, fractured state of contemporary christianity?
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Old 02-20-2005, 03:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Also, given our continuing conflict with nations governed by religious bodies instead of political parties, do we really want to put ourselves in that same position?
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Old 02-20-2005, 03:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't have a problem with our leaders being Christian per se... I have a problem if Christian lobby groups ideology takes precidence over the neccessarily secular country we live in...

Then again, I live in Canada and don't have the same issues as the US... ANY politician who wore his religion on his sleeve like Bush does would NEVER get elected...
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Old 02-20-2005, 04:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, if one is truly Christian, and believes that Christianity is the only true religion than I can see where they would want the country to be a Christian nation. That way their God could show favor on us and protect us from our enemies and reward our faith by promoting our well being.

However if one is not sure about the religion thing then I can see many disadvantages in choosing one over the other. If we choose wrong the true God may take offense. For those of us who do not have a strong faith it is probably better for the country to remain neutral in these religious matters.

Last edited by flstf; 02-20-2005 at 04:07 PM..
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Old 02-20-2005, 04:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by flstf
Well, if one is truly Christian, and believes that Christianity is the only true religion than I can see where they would want the country to be a Christian nation.

It is bad to assume that all "true" Christians believe that Christianity is the only true religion.
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Old 02-20-2005, 04:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lebell
It is bad to assume that all "true" Christians believe that Christianity is the only true religion.
I agree and did not mean to imply that all do, but for those who do believe it a Christian nation seems to make sense.
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Old 02-20-2005, 04:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Why is more christianity in goverment a good thing? Is more christianity in goverment a good thing? Does the idea of a christian nation even mean anything in light of the incredibly inconsistent, fractured state of contemporary christianity?
My response to you is, why is it a bad thing? From my understanding and the statistics I've seen, Christianity accounts for well over half of the religious beliefs of adults in the United States. Therefore, it's not really surprising that a given politician falls under this category in a democratic system.

I'm sure many people use religion as a judge of character as well. People associate it with moral integrity. And why? Well, if over half of the total adults in the U.S. state they are Christians, obviously, over half of the amount of total adults feel their religion represents a certain sense of moral integrity.

However, I do not think your issue of whether Christianity, itself, should have a bigger presence in our government is really an issue at all. Most people feel that legislating morale is ineffective. I think you can take out a sample of any major rational organization that would have that same feeling towards religion in legislature.

Finally, remember that your final statement is just a normative statement. You really can't say whether it's fragmented or not. In fact, when a religion accounts for 33% of the world's population in such a diverse world, it's hard to really even have that idea taken seriously. Sure, some parts may not be as strong, but there definitely is evolving and innovative aspects existing today that did not centuries ago. To be honest, your final statement makes it very hard to interpret your entire post as a legitimate challenge rather than a direct attack.
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Old 02-20-2005, 04:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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please correct me if Im wrong...but dont a lot of middle eastern laws stem from THEIR religion? Especially the ones concerning women?
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Old 02-20-2005, 04:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Justsomeguy
Finally, remember that your final statement is just a normative statement. You really can't say whether it's fragmented or not. In fact, when a religion accounts for 33% of the world's population in such a diverse world, it's hard to really even have that idea taken seriously. Sure, some parts may not be as strong, but there definitely is evolving and innovative aspects existing today that did not centuries ago. To be honest, your final statement makes it very hard to interpret your entire post as a legitimate challenge rather than a direct attack.
What i meant was that the term christianity as it is used commonly, refers to a vast mishmash of often contradictory factions whose only connection is some sort of belief in the messianic christ. Christianity is not consistent. Many of its various factions don't trust eachother. Ask a southern baptist how they feel about the united church of christ if you don't believe me. For many christians, salvation requires not only that someone be christian, but that someone be the right kind of christian. If you feel attacked, don't blame me, blame club christianity's loose entry requirements.

I would say that having any ruling class too in line with the religious beliefs of only a portion of their population increases the risk of oppression for all of those who don't share the ruler's belief system. Increases the risk. One need only look to iran to see the possible failures of a government too caught up in religious ideals. I don't care if politicians are christian. I see a problem in letting people attempt to create a government in their god's own image.

The moral integrity you attach to christians is meaningless. Morality is not a requirement for someone to self identify as christian. Nor is christianity a requirement for someone to act in a morally consistent fashion.

Last edited by filtherton; 02-20-2005 at 06:02 PM..
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Old 02-20-2005, 06:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ShaniFaye
please correct me if Im wrong...but dont a lot of middle eastern laws stem from THEIR religion? Especially the ones concerning women?
Yep thats the problem right there. It all comes down to oppression. A country that is ruled by religious beliefs is more prone to oppress it's people. Just look at what's happening with homosexual marriage today. Enough stuff is already illegal due to stupid (and in some cases unconstitutional) laws.

This country is supposed to be all about "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Instead it's being led toward "Fear, oppression and the praising of Jesus."

The redicuous thing is, many christians don't follow their religion's own beliefs. For example "Love thy neighbor as you love yourself". There sure are a lot of self-hating christians out there.
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Old 02-20-2005, 07:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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To be Honest....as a Pagan.....I hold a certain amount of Fear concerning the Christianization of America. Not that I find it Likely to continue much past the current Administration, But, You just never know. I actually have a contingency plan should things become.....unsettling for my faith in this country. This may seem paranoid to some....so be it. But I am not generally known as irrational , ignorant, or prone to overreacting.
It is unfortunate that religion has become a dividing force in this country, as that would seem the opposite of the desired effect.
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Old 02-20-2005, 07:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I want to see a compelling argument for an increase in the presence of christianity in our government.
Because then we would see a blossoming of compassion, equality, inclusion, forgiveness, tolerance, peace and -- most importantly -- love.

Jesus is a liberal, after all.


(only half a )

I'm an atheist myself, though I went through a Jesus freak phase as a teenager. One thing I noticed during that phase was that I was a total outsider even in church. It became clear to me that the word "Christian" did not seem to have any fixed meaning whatsoever, and many christian leaders were, in my eyes, hypocrites.

I'm now a firm believer in the separation of church and state, regardless of the majority religion.

But I still do like those values I listed above, and wouldn't mind seeing them exercised a little more in government
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Can you think of the last NON-Christian president we had?

Even Clinton was nominally a Christian...
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Can you think of the last NON-Christian president we had?

Even Clinton was nominally a Christian...
Who was the last president who made the poor and the sick their highest priority?
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Old 02-21-2005, 03:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by filtherton
Who was the last president who made the poor and the sick their highest priority?
They were a pretty high priority to Lyndon Johnson - pretty much made up our armed forces in V-nam... Oh, you meant helping them.

I'm going to take a stab at this. How about because agree or disagree with it, the large majority of your populace considers themselves Christian, and that the presence of what they consider to be the highest power intertwined into government gives them confidence in the the handling of affairs. Ruling over people takes religion or fear, both when possible. A nation with no religious base, real or perceived, is prone to uprising and requires a much heavier hand to control. This leads to less individual freedoms, less satisfaction in daily life, and then we start affecting productivity which hits us in the pocketbook as a country. Did kings really believe that they were born from a "divine" family line or did it just make everyone a little more comfortable to buy into the whole hand of God thing?

If we thought that God hadn't given G.W.B. a sign that he was to run for president, I know that my confidence would be shaken a bit...
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Old 02-21-2005, 12:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Yep thats the problem right there. It all comes down to oppression. A country that is ruled by religious beliefs is more prone to oppress it's people. Just look at what's happening with homosexual marriage today. Enough stuff is already illegal due to stupid (and in some cases unconstitutional) laws.

This country is supposed to be all about "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Instead it's being led toward "Fear, oppression and the praising of Jesus."

The redicuous thing is, many christians don't follow their religion's own beliefs. For example "Love thy neighbor as you love yourself". There sure are a lot of self-hating christians out there.
First paragraph fails to take note of the real problem. Homosexual marriage is more than just some Christian issue. It just reveals a huge problem that exists in all of society, which is legislating morals. You really cannot make a truly convincing argument of why gay marriage should be legalized or why it should be banned. The problem is with the government trying to legislate something such as marriage, which is already largely associated with morals.

Also, I really do not think what you describe in the second paragraph is accurrate either. First, let me explain that to my understanding, "...the pursuit of happiness" just refered to the right to own property upon it's original delivery. On your opinion, I think it's incorrect. To say people are more oppressed now than they were 200, 100, 50, or even 10 years ago is just ludicrous.

Also, I have very liberal Christian beliefs that are not agreed upon my most Christian churches at all. I have a friend that is Agnostic. I can say that neither of us feel oppressed, nor are we afraid of telling people our beliefs. I just do not think that the hysteria really exists.

Besides the fact that "the praising of Jesus" comment would really offend many people(whom also happen to make up the majority of the nation), I do not really understand what you mean. If you're that discontent, why do you put up with it? Exactly how many presidents has the United States ever had that did not claim some religious affiliation? How long has the majority of the nation responded as being Christians? My point is, it's not new. And, Christianity still accounts for well over half of the adults in America. That large of a percentage will not just disappear in your lifetime.

My belief is that there are isolated cases where problems may exist. However, I feel that these problems are being addressed and that is all you can do. Even if you are not a Christian, you cannot be ignorant to the fact that it is a huge part of the U.S. and does contribute largely to the nation's tradition.
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by filtherton
Who was the last president who made the poor and the sick their highest priority?

Throwing money at a problem is not compassion. The War on Poverty is a bigger joke than the War on Drugs.
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Throwing money at a problem is not compassion. The War on Poverty is a bigger joke than the War on Drugs.
Who said anything about throwing money?


I understand that there has been a strong christian presence in this country from the get-go. I think this thread is more about a trend that i have recently noticed(probably should've been more clear about this), by which the leaders of our country have moved ever closer towards the words and ideologies of christian fundamentalism. If you accept the premise that christian fundamentalism is inherently closed minded and intolerant, which many do, than this trend's destructive possibilities are obvious. As it stands right now, i don't have ill will towards christians in general, just a certain portion of them who preach outwardly the message of christ, yet embrace the opposite of what christ apparently stood for.
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by filtherton
I think this thread is more about a trend that i have recently noticed(probably should've been more clear about this), by which the leaders of our country have moved ever closer towards the words and ideologies of christian fundamentalism.
It is the evangelical christian bent that concerns me, and the swagger with which it has been tossed into our policy making both here and in the middle east. A fundamentalist is rigid in his beliefs, but if I want to go to hell he is perfectly OK with that for the most part. Evangelicals are looking to convert the world and have some pretty scary ideas that are non-negotialble, from what I understand with limited knowledge from an outsiders point of view. I watch continuing escalations with Iran and can't help but believe decisions have already been made. I have friends there and scares the hell out of me.
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Old 02-21-2005, 03:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I think this thread is more about a trend that i have recently noticed(probably should've been more clear about this), by which the leaders of our country have moved ever closer towards the words and ideologies of christian fundamentalism. If you accept the premise that christian fundamentalism is inherently closed minded and intolerant, which many do, than this trend's destructive possibilities are obvious. As it stands right now, i don't have ill will towards christians in general, just a certain portion of them who preach outwardly the message of christ, yet embrace the opposite of what christ apparently stood for.
Okay, cleared up a little. Exactly what trends are you referring to? The reason I ask is because I do not really see it in recent legislature. The examples people give are normally topics concerned highly with emotion and are defended primarily with emotion.

I don't think that many people would argue with you that fundamentalist thought could be a very scary thing. But, I do question their significant impact. I think it's overexaggerated.

There is going to be hypocrites and poor leaders in every group you look at. Even in the gay community you have Andrew Sullivan as a very good example. I think the concern that you and other people express just is blown out of proportion by the media.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daswig
Can you think of the last NON-Christian president we had?

Even Clinton was nominally a Christian...
Just wanted to add that there are only 3 presidents that could really be argued as non-christian although other research material would have you think differently. Grant and Lincoln and even Jefferson all had strong Christian influence. You could even say the same about Andrew Johnson. Those last 3 are the only ones that may could go either way.

Last edited by Justsomeguy; 02-21-2005 at 03:25 PM..
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Old 02-21-2005, 04:35 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The reason I believe more Christianity in the government is a good thing is because I believe the country should have a moral guideline. I believe that Christianity gives this framework. I also believe that Christian morals are what the majority of the people would claim to follow (or at least claim to use as a framework of right and wrong)I do not see religion as the stifling influence many here do. I think there should be allowed religious freedom, and people have the right to choose. But if the majority has certain beliefs, I personally think that as long as those beliefs don't run entirely counter to yours, or unduly cause harm allowing those to be recognised isn't wrong. Case in point-prayer in schools. I don't think people should be forced to pray, but if the majority desire it I don't see the problem with school prayer. You can feel free to not participate.

I believe the current anti-Christian climate in the country is the result of many negative things getting lumped in along with religion. People point out all the bad things that occured when there was mroe religion and throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. I don't associate racism, subjugation of women, or intolerance with religion, but many people do and that is why I believe so many people are so greatly opposed to religion. Many will usually try to use some slippery slope arguement to show how allowing religion in here will suddenly turn the country to some hyper-facist theocracy. They fail to see that the same slippery slope arguements can be used to shoot down their ideologies.

I am probably (maybe certainly) presenting a whitewashed view of what a greater presence of Christianity would lead to, but I honestly am less afraid of that then the alternate.
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Old 02-21-2005, 04:49 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Wow, so many opinions, so much said here of value. This really is a forum for varying ideologies. fascinating.

Wasn't the US established with the intent to give no religion a dominant stance? I could be wrong, but I thought that a few of the key players in the founding of the country were dualists and other "hip" religions of the time. Not so much a Christian ideology to bind it all together. The current administration seems to have the opinion that 95% of the American people are die-hard protestants, bent on saving the world through evangelization. I could have a skewed perspective out here in California, but last time I checked there were more soft-spoken, gentle Christians who don't consider evangelism as a pertinent practice - and at least 60% of the population aren't even Christian.

Having a moral base is awesome. Religion isn't necessary for a moral base. Morals are necessary for a moral base... Religion and politics just don't mesh. They shouldn't.
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Old 02-21-2005, 04:51 PM   #23 (permalink)
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As an American living in an Asian country, I can say that one of the things I like best here is that religion does not determine politics or laws. Common sense does. There is no lack of a moral compass here. For instance, murder is against the law because the society says it is, not the bible. Sure there are problems here, but they are not a result of, nor would they be cured by, the presence of a strong Christian faith.
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Old 02-21-2005, 05:25 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Wow, so many opinions, so much said here of value. This really is a forum for varying ideologies. fascinating.

Wasn't the US established with the intent to give no religion a dominant stance? I could be wrong, but I thought that a few of the key players in the founding of the country were dualists and other "hip" religions of the time. Not so much a Christian ideology to bind it all together. The current administration seems to have the opinion that 95% of the American people are die-hard protestants, bent on saving the world through evangelization. I could have a skewed perspective out here in California, but last time I checked there were more soft-spoken, gentle Christians who don't consider evangelism as a pertinent practice - and at least 60% of the population aren't even Christian.

Having a moral base is awesome. Religion isn't necessary for a moral base. Morals are necessary for a moral base... Religion and politics just don't mesh. They shouldn't.
As being derived of Western tradition and civilization, it is clear that American law and morality has it's foundation in Christianity. America's moral basis is from Christian principles, that doesn't equate so much to evangicals and their missions, but as a means of foundation and tradition it's the truth.

Second off the founding fathers didn't intend for a state forced religion, the whole notion of Separation of Chruch is State has to do with Roger Williams a baptist preacher (I believe an early American exile even). The FFers remembered how in Britain the only church allowed was the Anglican church, it was forced on the people, hence you had people traveling across the ocean to get away. The second inference of "separation", most importantly the first time it comes up in America's history and tradition is Jefferson's letter to the Danbury baptists. The baptist's had heard that the government was plotting to install a state religion, Jefferson wrote them, using the words of one of the historic Baptist preachers to squash those fears. The original intent of the wall was a one sided wall, to protect the church from the state, this can be seen in the first amendment as in regards to religion it only states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...".

Also just knocking off other things brought up in regards to break down of population I think current guesstimates put the Christian population in America between 65-70% of Americans, with 90ish% having some belief in a higher power(s). Also noting that you said California I would have a tough time believing 60% of the population isn't Christian seeing as to how many hispanic minorities you have there, because they are largely Catholic/Christian.

But you are largely right, you don't need religion to have morality. But it just so happens that most of our legal traditions are related to Judeo-Christian ideals and principles, they haven't done us wrong so far.
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Old 02-21-2005, 05:47 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I always connect religious influence one politics with conservatism and a step backwards. Christanism has od course important values but they are not really up to date. It seems to me as if the country and the world is changing faster than the religion can adapt. Or if it does not want to do that, the gap gets bigger.
How can you only think about telling your citizens who to love? Would the society fall apart just because you see married homosexuals walking around, holding hands when all you see now is homosexuals walking around and holding hand? But this is gettin too much of a homosexuality discussion.
I do not trust the church. I trust my belief and I don't need anyone to govern it.
As long as people run a country with high values and apprciation of religious beliefs and values, the society will prosper. But religious lobbies are something that Jesus surely did not have in mind.
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Old 02-21-2005, 06:10 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Who was the last president who made the poor and the sick their highest priority?
LBJ. The rest apparently learned from the mess he made of things.
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Old 02-21-2005, 06:11 PM   #27 (permalink)
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The reason I believe more Christianity in the government is a good thing is because I believe the country should have a moral guideline. I believe that Christianity gives this framework.
Interesting point, Alan. Could you help me to better understand this by giving me 1 or 2 examples of how the current government is using a moral code, say, any of The Commandments as a guideline for the moral decisions they have made? Other than the easy ones like no working on Sundays I'm having a hard time with this.
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Old 02-21-2005, 06:40 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Also just knocking off other things brought up in regards to break down of population I think current guesstimates put the Christian population in America between 65-70% of Americans, with 90ish% having some belief in a higher power(s). Also noting that you said California I would have a tough time believing 60% of the population isn't Christian seeing as to how many hispanic minorities you have there, because they are largely Catholic/Christian.
Just wanted to add my tidbit that in the most recent reports I've seen, there was a clear 75% of the population that identified themselves as Christians and this was by a relatively unbiased source compared to most. Alot of people feel that the number is 75-80%. I don't think that number is too significant. However, if you're into the numbers game, thats a nice little bit of information for you.
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Old 02-21-2005, 06:45 PM   #29 (permalink)
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LBJ. The rest apparently learned from the mess he made of things.
There is more than one way to make those less fortunate a priority.
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Old 02-21-2005, 09:12 PM   #30 (permalink)
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The writers of the Constitution were clear in the fact that they didn't want a government supported religion. They were against it.
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Old 02-21-2005, 09:14 PM   #31 (permalink)
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there is nothing wrong with religion intermingled with government. it is the people who
interperate the religion to fit their own ideology and use it to push their agenda on the populous that is the problem.

look at our history . more people have been killed in the name of religion than from any other cause. is it the religions fault? no, its mans own interperatation of "holy" scriptures that leeds to fear,then hatred, then suffering.(didn't yoda say that?)

slavery was in part caused by religous interperatation. mentions of slavery in the bible were misinterperated as to mean it was ok in gods eyes to enslave your fellow man. what ive been told is that the "slavery" spoken of was more of a payment method, meaning that if you borrowed money from someone and couldn't pay them back you were obligated to work for them for "free" until the lender felt sufficiently
compensated.

another example of "misinterperatation"would be the nazis and the kkk.
there belief in racial supremacy is due to misconstrued religous beliefs.
i believe we are starting to see a form of this type of "supremacy" attitude in the far christian right.

now in no way am i comparing christians to nazis or the clan. im talking about a kind of spiritual supremacy witch leads to a sense of infalability, and moral superiority. just look up quotes by jerry fallwell, pat robertson,and Ralph Reed and you'll get an idea of what im talking about.

although its to early to really speculate, i'd say give about 10 years to see how much
influence the religious right has on government policies.

all in all the point im trying to make is that the actual religion shouldn't be the problem,
its the people that use it to legislate their own ideology.

here's few questions i'd like to ask people

1: would jesus condone the use of his name and teaching for personal gain?

2: would jesus support our current governments actions and attitude?

(incase you're wondering, no i'm not religous. spiritual ,yes, but not religious)
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Old 02-21-2005, 09:44 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Just saying/reiterating for those who may have not read/ignored the first post...

The whole point of this thread was to have a discussion about christianity and the government without playing the tired old "the founding fathers wanted this" or "the constitution says this" game.

If you can't make an argument without citing the constitution or your convenient interpretations of who the founding fathers were then this is the wrong thread for you.
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Old 02-21-2005, 09:58 PM   #33 (permalink)
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What's the point of the discussion then if you are dismissing the foundation and intent of those who made this country? If anything it has historical relevance because historically we have been a nation of christians.

At any rate I don't think it's an issue of more christianity. Many Christians in America are feeling attacked, in the midst of a culture war, they feel that people are trying to take something from them. So they do whats smart and they take their beef to the polls. They push on the issues that they feel matters, they appeal to those they put in power.

Why is less Christianity good or better? Despite the foundations of our country it still has been largely secular in the political realm, the moral issues are one thing, and it's now becoming an issue of political struggle amongst the various branches. Just because George Bush mentions god in his speeches, or says that religious charities should get money, or some judge wants the 10 commandments behind his bench, doesn't mean the nation is turning Fundamentalist Christian.
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Last edited by Mojo_PeiPei; 02-21-2005 at 10:05 PM..
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Old 02-21-2005, 10:15 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickentribs
Interesting point, Alan. Could you help me to better understand this by giving me 1 or 2 examples of how the current government is using a moral code, say, any of The Commandments as a guideline for the moral decisions they have made? Other than the easy ones like no working on Sundays I'm having a hard time with this.
Umm, maybe 1 and 5 (no other GOD and honor father and mother) ... . I am not stating that the current government is using a moral code, nor am I saying it is something that can feasibly be always followed. When I say a moral code, I mean a basis where all can feasibly work from. Im not just talking about things that most people can agree on (murder, rape, etc.) but more grey areas. I think the alternate (no objective morality) is worse than using religion to serve as a solid moral base. Then where there is wrongdoing, there is a basis to look back upon that is for the most part agreed upon.
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Old 02-22-2005, 03:50 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmithee
I think the alternate (no objective morality) is worse than using religion to serve as a solid moral base. Then where there is wrongdoing, there is a basis to look back upon that is for the most part agreed upon.

This is the flaw in your logic. You don't need religion to have a moral base. Religion is simply an attempt to explore the nature of existence. Morality was included by the founders of the religion because it's the perfect place to insert rules that make society work, but you can adopt those rules (which can pretty much be broken down to the Golden Rule, incidentally) without believing in God. In the case of Christianity, the last six commandments are fine, but the government telling people to obey the first four is in violation of the First Amendment.
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Old 02-22-2005, 10:40 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
What's the point of the discussion then if you are dismissing the foundation and intent of those who made this country? If anything it has historical relevance because historically we have been a nation of christians.
The point is that the founding fathers are irrelevant. I don't care what they wanted because they have absolutely zero idea what life in the 21st century is like. What politics were like in the late 1700's has very little relevance to what politics are like in the 2000's. Their intent? Who cares? They aren't in charge anymore. There comes a time in every child's life where the child must stop acting based on an idealized notion of their parent's expectations and must start thinking for him/herself. If you can't formulate your own opinion on this matter, sans founding fathers, sans constitution, than don't bother. Information on the founding fathers and the constitution is widely available on the internet. I'd rather look into it myself and make my own interpretations rather than relying on any of you to give me the crib notes.

Quote:
At any rate I don't think it's an issue of more christianity. Many Christians in America are feeling attacked, in the midst of a culture war, they feel that people are trying to take something from them. So they do whats smart and they take their beef to the polls. They push on the issues that they feel matters, they appeal to those they put in power.
How many americans feel attacked? I'd love to see a poll with a majority of respondents claiming that they felt attacked. Too bad i haven't. I asked you this once before and you tried to avoid it mojo, but i'll ask it again. How is christianity threatened in a country where 75% of the population self identifies as christian? How can a religion be threatened by anything other than a lack of pious faithful?

Quote:
Why is less Christianity good or better? Despite the foundations of our country it still has been largely secular in the political realm, the moral issues are one thing, and it's now becoming an issue of political struggle amongst the various branches. Just because George Bush mentions god in his speeches, or says that religious charities should get money, or some judge wants the 10 commandments behind his bench, doesn't mean the nation is turning Fundamentalist Christian.
Well, i look forward to the day when i can agree with you in observing that the nation isn't turning fundamentalist. Unfortunately, right now i see a great many people in a great many positions of power who self identify as fundamentalist or evangelical.
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Old 02-22-2005, 01:31 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Well here's a good one, the gay issue. Tell me that the majority of the people opposed to it are not Christian, and that they don't feel their America's "Christian Moral Fiber" is under attack by a bunch of crazy radical queers trying to do away with the most basic unit in society, the nuclear family.

Please we have secular people going after Christianity in the public realm, not religion in the public realm, christianity. I'm not going to bother going into specifics right now, it's a board statement that I would hope everyone could at least in principle agree on what's happening, if not I can throw some out there.

There's two reasons Christians may feel attacked.
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Old 02-22-2005, 01:50 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
Well here's a good one, the gay issue. Tell me that the majority of the people opposed to it are not Christian, and that they don't feel their America's "Christian Moral Fiber" is under attack by a bunch of crazy radical queers trying to do away with the most basic unit in society, the nuclear family.

Please we have secular people going after Christianity in the public realm, not religion in the public realm, christianity. I'm not going to bother going into specifics right now, it's a board statement that I would hope everyone could at least in principle agree on what's happening, if not I can throw some out there.

There's two reasons Christians may feel attacked.
I do not believe you understood the question.

It would be very simple to point to anything and state that it is "under attack". Somebody somewhere will disagree with anything. The concept here is not whether there is a single person attacking a single thing, or a small group of people attacking a extremely large group of people - the question "how is Christianity under attack" is quite specific to the size of the threat. How is Christianity under attack that it feels threatened to the degree that it is fighting for survival?

There is no answer to that question, because Christianity is not under attack in that manner.

Further, if you take a step back and recognize that Christianity, here in the U.S. in regards to power over government, has been growing rapidly over the past few decades, then you can see that it is not Christianity that is being criticized, but rather the power growth of Christianity that is being criticized. For example, I have no issue with Buddhism, but if the power over government of Buddhism started to increase dramatically, and we began to have policies enacted that were based on the philosophy of karma (which would alter our legal system), I would then begin to criticize Buddhism's influence on government. And there would almost certainly be many Buddhists who then claimed that Buddhism was under attack.

I.E. Back off and there are no problems. Keep pushing the Christian philosophy on the country and you will be met with more and more resistance at every turn.
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Old 02-22-2005, 01:55 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I know some christians feel attacked. I don't think they are a majority. Certainly there are some belligerent opponents of christianity, but there are probably just as many belligerent christian vocal opponents of secularism. Both are fringe elements of their respective groups. The difference in my mind is that currently, most shrill vocal opponents of christianity don't find themselves with nearly as much power as do christian evangelicals/fundamentalists.

Do you think that christianity itself is threatened, or do you just think the government imposition of conservative christian morality and the public display of christian paraphernalia are under attack? This is an important distinction. I could only guess that any ancient roman christian hanging out of your average ancient roman lion's mouth would get a hearty chuckle at your idea of what constitutes a threat to christianity.
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Old 02-22-2005, 02:39 PM   #40 (permalink)
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wow... before i respond to this thread i'd like to you back up your fundamental assumption that christianity is playing a bigger role in government. the thread-starting premise is unsubstantiated.

it seems to me that, overall, the role of christianity in the government (and world politics in general) is in decline. the prevailing trend seems to be a growing opposition to the christian institutions already in place... not a increase of christian influence in total.
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