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Old 04-27-2005, 03:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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culture wars - someone help me!

What with the "Justice Sunday" event, recent legislative events in Washington, religious groups trying to prevent access to certain classes of contraceptives, blah blah blah, I keep hearing Christian conservatives talking about a "war on Christianity," about how they're the victims of intolerance. How can they say this with a straight face? Today I saw this from a blog: "Why do the Democrats now accuse people of faith of despicable demagoguery? Well, because people of faith dare to make the charge that the Democrats are lynching people of faith, and they make the charge while standing under an old elm tree with a rope around their neck.... Now, of what use is religion if it doesn't impact a person's moral choices? Doesn't blocking people based on their perceived moral views, views based on their religious faith, amount to blocking them based on the very faith that forms those views?" (From http://www.nicedoggie.net/archives/2...king_relig.php)

It seems like the difference is extremely clear:

1. Intolerance is denying the validity of another's identity or opinions. What is happening with protests against Christian Conservatives is that we are attempting to prevent them from IMPOSING their opinions on the rest of us as legislation and legislative interpretation from the bench.

2. Blocking people on their perceived moral views is not the same as blocking them based on their faith; there are many Christians who have come to different conclusions than the conservative judges who are being nominated. It seems the worst kind of red herring to hide behind the rubric of "religious discrimination" just because people don't agree with your interpretation of how your religion ought to be applied to everyone else on earth.

Why is nobody (the media) pointing out this obvious logical flaw? Nobody is telling Christians they can't practice their faith - we're just trying to impress upon them that according to the constitution they're not allowed to impose their faith - or their morals derived from their faith - on the rest of us.

Is anybody else just scared shitless by the direction this is taking? The only hope I see is that most of the public doesn't agree with the conservative right's agenda. Hopefully the next election will bear this out. And hopefully this kind of ridiculous campaign against TRUE American values will spur moderates to action to match the organized campaign of the Christian Right.
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Old 04-27-2005, 04:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, the christian right is just taking advantage of the observation that people will more readily mobilize if they believe they are being threatened.

Anyone who looks at the facts can clearly see that there is no credible threat to christianity coming from inside the united states. Most americans self-identify as christian. Most americans aren't out to cause the downfall of their own religion. If christianity is under attack, it could only be from within. I think that this is the case. Conservative christianity is under attack from moderate and progressive christianity. Unfortunately many christians can't be bothered to make this distinction.

Many conservatives roundly denounce a minority who cries discrimination, yet open their hearts and their wallets when conservative christianity cries discrimination.

I think the media fails to point this out because the media is mostly run by sniveling bean counters who'd sooner cut of their right hand than risk offending christians by telling the truth. Christians are the majority, and you don't make money by telling the majority that it's paranoid, even if it is.
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Old 04-27-2005, 04:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurkette
Why is nobody (the media) pointing out this obvious logical flaw? Nobody is telling Christians they can't practice their faith - we're just trying to impress upon them that according to the constitution they're not allowed to impose their faith - or their morals derived from their faith - on the rest of us.
Neither of those things is disallowed by the constitution. That is a misrepresentation of the constitution.

Also, your statement above is why many Christian conservatives are feeling persecuted. You are essentially saying you have to choose between religion and politics. You are also saying that you can legislate any morality you want, as long as it's not derived from faith. Why does saying you think something because it's what some guy in the sky wants any different from saying the same thing without giving a justification, or making up some suitably secular justification. For instance, lets say a rep wanted to pass an anti-abortion law. What you are saying is instead of arguing the merits of the law itself, we first need to see what the rep's motives are. Many people get their moral basis from faith, should all these people lose their voice?

What i've really never understood is the importance placed upon religion by non-religious people. They will often talk down about those with faith, and discredit religion as nothing more than a human invention. But I don't understand if they belive this why they fear this particular form of thought over others. They would have less problem with communists or nazis then it seems they do with religion. Why do they seek to simultaneously elevate religion over other forms of belief systems and lower it to nothing but superstition, something to be ridiculed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
Well, the christian right is just taking advantage of the observation that people will more readily mobilize if they believe they are being threatened.

Anyone who looks at the facts can clearly see that there is no credible threat to christianity coming from inside the united states. Most americans self-identify as christian. Most americans aren't out to cause the downfall of their own religion. If christianity is under attack, it could only be from within. I think that this is the case. Conservative christianity is under attack from moderate and progressive christianity. Unfortunately many christians can't be bothered to make this distinction.

Many conservatives roundly denounce a minority who cries discrimination, yet open their hearts and their wallets when conservative christianity cries discrimination.

I think the media fails to point this out because the media is mostly run by sniveling bean counters who'd sooner cut of their right hand than risk offending christians by telling the truth. Christians are the majority, and you don't make money by telling the majority that it's paranoid, even if it is.
Many people do self-identify as Christian, true. But how many are practicing Christians, or even think of their beliefs except when asked? I would say that people who call themselves Christian are in the majority, but people who actually ARE Christians aren't. Christianity has almost gotten to the point of being a default response.

And the attacks are real. The only group it is widely acceptable to ridicule is Christians. Any show of faith is often openly mocked. Many forces in the popular media are trying to move any mention of religion out of the marketplace of ideas.

Last edited by alansmithee; 04-27-2005 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 04-27-2005, 05:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Unbelievably, I agree with many of the things alansmithee said. I disagree with the, uh, zeitgeist of his comments, but he is correct about several things.

First of all, there really isn't anything stopping groups of Christians from imposing their religions on others. They can be evangelical, annoy people on the street or go door to door to try and convert people. However, there are limits - there can be no religious litmus tests for most jobs, public instituitons/places cannot promote religion, etc. So annoying Christians on the street, yes; prayer in school, no.

Also, alansmithee is right that the only acceptable religion to ridicule is Christianity. How many movies/comedians/whatever make fun of priests as child molesters or joke about Christianity in general? You could never do the same thing about Judaism or Hinduism.

Nevertheless, Christians are NOT persecuted. Christianity is considered acceptable to ridicule because 80% of Americans are Christians. Seriously though, many Christians do have a persecution complex. The other day a couple Christian friends of mine were eating lunch with me. They were complaining about how you can't say "Merry Christmas" anymore, that you had to say "Happy Holidays." They said that this was anti-Christian. As further proof of widespread anti-Christian sentiment, they said that they were annoyed that they never saw Christmas paraphernalia in schools.

I said, "Yeah, but you know what? You get a month off from school for Christmas so you can be with your family. I get some matzo in the dining hall for Passover."

Things in this country are SO oriented towards Christians that I think many take it for granted, and thus any changes - like the fact that I don't have to awkwardly thank people for wishing me a "merry Christmas" quite as often as I used to - are mistaken for some sort of persecution.

Also, these people making these claims - Family Research Council, James Dobson, etc. - are nutballs and DON'T speak for most Christians. They are just the loudest, most annoying, most wrong, and most bigoted. And they'll lose.
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Old 04-27-2005, 05:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Let it be perfectly clear that I do not support some of these latest developments, but I also do believe that there are elements just as radical on the left that would indeed persecute Christians (and do, when they can get away with it).

One of the most well known and widespread examples is schools and teachers that have kept kids from praying and having Bibles in public schools.

IMO, this is just as wrong as making children sit through school sanctioned prayer.

There are other examples that come to mind, but I think I've made my point.
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Old 04-27-2005, 05:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebell
One of the most well known and widespread examples is schools and teachers that have kept kids from praying and having Bibles in public schools.

IMO, this is just as wrong as making children sit through school sanctioned prayer.

There are other examples that come to mind, but I think I've made my point.
I agree with you on that one. It seems like the worst offenders on both sides are the ones who are desperately afraid of anyone who thinks anything different than they do; rather than allow others to "live and let live" or seek common ground, they seek to completely eradicate the opposing viewpoint from the marketplace of ideas.
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Old 04-27-2005, 05:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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lebell, I don't think there are any actual examples of teachers keeping kids from praying or having bibles in school. If there are, they are isolated incidents of misguided individuals. Liberals have no problem with Christianity. Most of us are Christian.

The religious right is one of the most powerful organizations in the U.S. They run the White House and Congress. "Radical liberals" are...what? Can you even name ONE organization that would qualify? One liberal organization or group pushing to eliminate the right to pray in school?

The religious right are a highly organized group of radicals dedicated to forcing everyone in the United States to become Christian. Liberals have no such goal of, what? Forcing everyone to be atheists? Gay?

The religious right has TV shows, fundraisers, elected officials, televangelists, and more. The left has no such apparatus, and even if it did, I don't know what end it would strive for.

The point is, the religious right is WAY WAY WAY further from centrists than liberals are. At most, you could point to...Bernie Sanders? I mean, liberal beliefs are fairly moderate compared to the religious right.

In conclusion, the religious right has no liberal counterpart. Because liberals in the U.S. want sensible things like universal health care, more progressive taxes, and an increased focus on the environment. The large and powerful religous right wants to force one religion upon everyone. This just isn't a case of both sides being equally bad at the extremes.

EDIT - Let's not forget that the radical right pushes bigotry towards gays as standard rhetoric. Ther religious right is 100 times further to the right than liberals are to the left.
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Old 04-27-2005, 05:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmithee
Many people do self-identify as Christian, true. But how many are practicing Christians, or even think of their beliefs except when asked? I would say that people who call themselves Christian are in the majority, but people who actually ARE Christians aren't. Christianity has almost gotten to the point of being a default response.

And the attacks are real. The only group it is widely acceptable to ridicule is Christians. Any show of faith is often openly mocked. Many forces in the popular media are trying to move any mention of religion out of the marketplace of ideas.
Who decides who is christian or not? If you ask the evangelicals i'm sure they'd tell you that they themselves are the only real christians. Unfortunately for them, they aren't. They don't have a monopoly on what it means to be christian. Nobody does. All that christianity requires is a belief and worship in jesus christ. There are over 1500 different denominations of christianity in the world today. All of them are just as valid as whatever brand you happen to subscribe to. Speaking of christian values, how do you think jesus would feel about pat robertson living in luxury while people starve to death every day? I've met quite a few seemingly devout christians who think that pat robertson is the scum of the earth.

It would be much more accurate to claim that conservative christianity is under attack, because the rest of christianity seems to be doing just fine.

I'd be interested in hearing where you got the idea that christianity is the only group whose ridicule is widely accepted. I missed that memo. Is christianity being mocked by other christians? Who's laughing? Is it acceptable for someone to be able to laugh at their own religion?

I also don't understand where you get the idea that the just because there are forces in the media that discourage christianity that this is somehow evidence that christianity is somehow under grievous attack. The reason that christianity doesn't play a larger role in pop culture is that you can't make money off of it. There is a christian music industry. There is a christian movie industry. There are christian news outlets. If any of these entities had the ability to generate mass appeal they would have done so. Maybe it's just me, but most people don't find religion entertaining. Despite this: Tell me how well "the passion of the christ" did at the box office, and then tell me how the media is trying to quash mention of christianity. Tell me how "jesus walks" did on the charts and then tell me how the media is trying to quash mention of christianity.
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Old 04-27-2005, 05:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy44
lebell, I don't think there are any actual examples of teachers keeping kids from praying or having bibles in school. If there are, they are isolated incidents of misguided individuals. Liberals have no problem with Christianity. Most of us are Christian.
This wasn't directed at me, but I'm gonna step in. It isn't teachers alone, but also judges and parents who want to grab headlines.

Quote:
The religious right is one of the most powerful organizations in the U.S. They run the White House and Congress. "Radical liberals" are...what? Can you even name ONE organization that would qualify? One liberal organization or group pushing to eliminate the right to pray in school?
I would highly disagree with the "religious right" being in control as much as you think. And as for radical liberal groups? ACLU, PETA, GLAAD, hell much of the rhetoric from the DNC is quite radical.

Quote:
The religious right are a highly organized group of radicals dedicated to forcing everyone in the United States to become Christian. Liberals have no such goal of, what? Forcing everyone to be atheists? Gay?
Exactly. Radical liberals want to destroy Christianity and anything associated with morality (or at least isolate those with Christian faith from participating in society) and want everyone to embrace the gay lifestyle.

Quote:
The religious right has TV shows, fundraisers, elected officials, televangelists, and more. The left has no such apparatus, and even if it did, I don't know what end it would strive for.
The left has network news, all of pop culture, elected officials, fundraisers, NY Times, LA Times, etc. The ends they seek I listed above.

Quote:
The point is, the religious right is WAY WAY WAY further from centrists than liberals are. At most, you could point to...Bernie Sanders? I mean, liberal beliefs are fairly moderate compared to the religious right.
You think that because you are liberal, therefore their beliefs seem more centrist. And if you really think that the religious right has as much control of gov't as you said above, it seems that most people would agree with me.

Quote:
In conclusion, the religious right has no liberal counterpart. Because liberals in the U.S. want sensible things like universal health care, more progressive taxes, and an increased focus on the environment. The large and powerful religous right wants to force one religion upon everyone. This just isn't a case of both sides being equally bad at the extremes.
I like how in your conclusion you totally switched the focus of the argument. Those issues aren't the ones that make liberals radical (although some of the enviromentalists are quite out there). And universal health care is only sensible if you can find people to pay for it. You can ignore the truth, but the left is just as bent on forcing their beliefs as the right is.

Quote:
EDIT - Let's not forget that the radical right pushes bigotry towards gays as standard rhetoric. Ther religious right is 100 times further to the right than liberals are to the left.
Don't forget they also push bigotry toward poligamists, child molesters, drug addicts, murderers, and terrorists. The point being that if you use the term "bigot" to describe anyone who disapproves of someone's actions, it loses it's value.
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Old 04-27-2005, 05:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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"Exactly. Radical liberals want to destroy Christianity and anything associated with morality (or at least isolate those with Christian faith from participating in society) and want everyone to embrace the gay lifestyle."

OK, this is the single most ludicrous thing I've read at TFP. The rest of the arguments in a post which includes this statement aren't even worth answering.
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Old 04-27-2005, 05:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
Who decides who is christian or not? If you ask the evangelicals i'm sure they'd tell you that they themselves are the only real christians. Unfortunately for them, they aren't. They don't have a monopoly on what it means to be christian. Nobody does. All that christianity requires is a belief and worship in jesus christ. There are over 1500 different denominations of christianity in the world today. All of them are just as valid as whatever brand you happen to subscribe to. Speaking of christian values, how do you think jesus would feel about pat robertson living in luxury while people starve to death every day? I've met quite a few seemingly devout christians who think that pat robertson is the scum of the earth.
I guess I didn't make my point as clear as I should have. People claim Christianity as a default when asked about religion. They don't go to church, read the Bible, or even think about religion or acting in a religious manner. They are essentially non-religious, but answer as being Christian as reflex. I am not saying that one branch is better than another. And I personally think that televangelists who live like kings should be struck dead (and I would put Robertson in that group). I've seen churches where the pastor and wife both drove Lexuses to service. Behavior like this is despicable, especially since these are usually protestant leaders, who supposedly left Catholicism for it's material excesses.

Quote:
It would be much more accurate to claim that conservative christianity is under attack, because the rest of christianity seems to be doing just fine.
I would dispute this. the only type of Christianity that is "doing fine" is those who don't practice.

Quote:
I'd be interested in hearing where you got the idea that christianity is the only group whose ridicule is widely accepted. I missed that memo. Is christianity being mocked by other christians? Who's laughing? Is it acceptable for someone to be able to laugh at their own religion?
If anyone in the public eye makes a negative comment about any group outside of Christians, they are maligned. But you can call Christians whatever negative names you feel and nobody blinks. And it isn't other Christians doing the majority of the mocking.

Quote:
I also don't understand where you get the idea that the just because there are forces in the media that discourage christianity that this is somehow evidence that christianity is somehow under grievous attack.
Why do gays think that because there are forces that discourage homosexuality that this is somehow evidence that gays are under grievous attack?

Quote:
The reason that christianity doesn't play a larger role in pop culture is that you can't make money off of it. There is a christian music industry. There is a christian movie industry. There are christian news outlets. If any of these entities had the ability to generate mass appeal they would have done so. Maybe it's just me, but most people don't find religion entertaining. Despite this: Tell me how well "the passion of the christ" did at the box office, and then tell me how the media is trying to quash mention of christianity. Tell me how "jesus walks" did on the charts and then tell me how the media is trying to quash mention of christianity.
The Passion and Jesus Walks did well IN SPITE of media pressure against them. Many movie execs didn't want The Passion to do well, and many passed on funding it for ideological reasons. And in Jesus Walks Kanye talks about how he felt that the song would get less attention because of the subject matter.

And I'm not advocating Christianity taking a larger roll in pop culture, I am pointing out that much of pop culture has an anti-Christian adgenda.
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Old 04-27-2005, 06:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Gays ARE under attack. Bigots are trying to deny them from basic rights, trying to make their sexual activity illegal, trying to prevent them from being able to marry, trying to ban gay literature, and so forth. This is REAL.
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Old 04-27-2005, 06:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Saw this on another forum, seemed to fit the thread topic:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straight Conservative
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gay Liberal
However, I do believe that this country needs more tolerance, not less.
I have no problems with that at all.............but I am very curious to know when YOUR community will show some tolerance and understanding towards the main stream community's wary and suspicious attitudes towards it.
I learned a long time ago that there was no point in posting on that forum (some pretty major anti-Muslim, anti-Gay and anti-Liberal moderators and members) - but this one exchange just made me laugh.

Apparently, the gay community is required to be more accepting of the intolerance they are shown by the straight community.

Ha.

I give up.
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Old 04-27-2005, 06:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmithee
I guess I didn't make my point as clear as I should have. People claim Christianity as a default when asked about religion. They don't go to church, read the Bible, or even think about religion or acting in a religious manner. They are essentially non-religious, but answer as being Christian as reflex. I am not saying that one branch is better than another. And I personally think that televangelists who live like kings should be struck dead (and I would put Robertson in that group). I've seen churches where the pastor and wife both drove Lexuses to service. Behavior like this is despicable, especially since these are usually protestant leaders, who supposedly left Catholicism for it's material excesses.
My point was that if someone self identifies as christian, than they are, in fact, a christian. Whether that passes muster with you in terms of accurately defining their faith is irrelevant. I can be christian and not read the bible. I can be christian and not go to church. I can have a close personal relationship with jesus christ and still think that most of the people who represent his teachings are self righteous and insecure. I can believe in the existence and teachings of jesus christ and beyond that do no more in the name of christ and still be a christian. Depending on your perspective, having a close personal relationship with jesus christ would automatically exclude you from any kind of faith practiced in a church. Even if someone is a christian only because they self identify as a christian, who do you think they pray to when they're in a jam?

Quote:
I would dispute this. the only type of Christianity that is "doing fine" is those who don't practice.
You mean those who don't practice the same way as you. You do know that you are currently attacking their particular brand of christianity by saying that they aren't really christians.

Quote:
If anyone in the public eye makes a negative comment about any group outside of Christians, they are maligned. But you can call Christians whatever negative names you feel and nobody blinks. And it isn't other Christians doing the majority of the mocking.
Nobody blinks, or nobody feels like it's something they need to get all up in arms about? When someone makes light of something you self-identify with you can choose either to get offended or you can choose to take it in stride, or you can recognize the value in being able to laugh at yourself and chuckle. Choosing not to get offended does not make you a bad christian. It doesn't mean that your faith is under attack. It means you are relatively well adjusted when it comes to ball busting. Maybe the reason nobody raises an eyebrow is that they too, despite being christian, also have certian beefs with christianity as it is practiced by certain people. Certainly you can relate to that. You didn't get offended when i criticized the brand of christianity practiced by pat robertson. You agreed with me. There are valid criticisms of christianity. They aren't always expressed in a very productive form, but they do exist.

Christians are the majority. If christian ridicule is as widespread as you claim, it could only be so with the blessing of millions of christians. Furthermore, it is quite possible that christianity is being mocked by christians. Kevin Smith is a practicing catholic, despite the fact that "dogma" was a satire of the catholic dogma. I know quite a few christians who feel that mel gibson's brand of christianity is a complete joke. You yourself criticize other christians who you feel aren't pious enough. Does that make you a good christian for looking after your dogma, or does that make you one of the many americans attacking christianity?

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Why do gays think that because there are forces that discourage homosexuality that this is somehow evidence that gays are under grievous attack?
If we're talking about the entertainment industry, i don't think there are that many forces who discourage homosexuality. In fact, it seems pretty obvious that an attractive female artist(britney spears) wishing for a boost of publicity need only make out with another attractive female artist(madonna). Queer eye is a hit. Gay people are very marketable.

If we're talking about american culture in general, homosexuals are under attack. The forces that "discourage" homosexuality do so with violence, discrimination(more malignant than not being allowed to lead a public prayer or put up christmas decorations in the town square), and attempted constitutional amendments. When was the last time you heard of a christian getting the shit kicked out of him for his faith? When was the last time you heard of someone getting fired from their job just for being a christian? When do you think the antagonists in the christian right's persecution fantasy are finally going to make their move and pass a constitutional amendment outlawing the practice of christianity?

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The Passion and Jesus Walks did well IN SPITE of media pressure against them. Many movie execs didn't want The Passion to do well, and many passed on funding it for ideological reasons. And in Jesus Walks Kanye talks about how he felt that the song would get less attention because of the subject matter.
In spite? Where i lived the "passion of the christ" got as much attention as the choosing of the new pope. That shit was every where. All that despite the fact that it was a historically inaccurate unnecessarily gory snuff film based on a version of catholic dogma too conservative for even the catholic church. In jesus walks kanye successfully stuck his foot in his mouth. He wrote a song about how nobody in the music industry respects christianity and it becomes a hit single. "You can rap about anybody, except for jesus" my ass.

Quote:
And I'm not advocating Christianity taking a larger roll in pop culture, I am pointing out that much of pop culture has an anti-Christian adgenda.
Pop culture exists to make money. Content is secondary to the bottom line. The fact is that pop culture avoids the issue of religion whenever possible, because that is one thing that people are liable to flip the fuck out over.

Last edited by filtherton; 04-27-2005 at 06:58 PM..
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Old 04-27-2005, 08:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
My point was that if someone self identifies as christian, than they are, in fact, a christian. Whether that passes muster with you in terms of accurately defining their faith is irrelevant. I can be christian and not read the bible. I can be christian and not go to church. I can have a close personal relationship with jesus christ and still think that most of the people who represent his teachings are self righteous and insecure. I can believe in the existence and teachings of jesus christ and beyond that do no more in the name of christ and still be a christian. Depending on your perspective, having a close personal relationship with jesus christ would automatically exclude you from any kind of faith practiced in a church. Even if someone is a christian only because they self identify as a christian, who do you think they pray to when they're in a jam?
If they have a relationship with Jesus Christ, then they think about religion. I would assume them to be Christian. My point is that there are people who self-identify as Christian who don't even do that much. It takes some act outise of saying you are Christian to truly be one, even if that is simply accepting Christ at some point in your life. And honestly I would assume they wouldn't pray, or if they did it would be a generic prayer.



Quote:
You mean those who don't practice the same way as you. You do know that you are currently attacking their particular brand of christianity by saying that they aren't really christians.
I'm not attacking people who don't practice Christianity like me, I'm talking about people who practice NO form of Christianity.



Quote:
Nobody blinks, or nobody feels like it's something they need to get all up in arms about? When someone makes light of something you self-identify with you can choose either to get offended or you can choose to take it in stride, or you can recognize the value in being able to laugh at yourself and chuckle. Choosing not to get offended does not make you a bad christian. It doesn't mean that your faith is under attack. It means you are relatively well adjusted when it comes to ball busting. Maybe the reason nobody raises an eyebrow is that they too, despite being christian, also have certian beefs with christianity as it is practiced by certain people. Certainly you can relate to that. You didn't get offended when i criticized the brand of christianity practiced by pat robertson. You agreed with me. There are valid criticisms of christianity. They aren't always expressed in a very productive form, but they do exist.
OK, so next time someone in sports calls someone a fag and GLAAD gets angered, I'll remember it's just because homosexuals aren't well adjusted and that they should just take it in stride because it doesn't mean they're under attack.

Quote:
Christians are the majority. If christian ridicule is as widespread as you claim, it could only be so with the blessing of millions of christians. Furthermore, it is quite possible that christianity is being mocked by christians. Kevin Smith is a practicing catholic, despite the fact that "dogma" was a satire of the catholic dogma. I know quite a few christians who feel that mel gibson's brand of christianity is a complete joke. You yourself criticize other christians who you feel aren't pious enough. Does that make you a good christian for looking after your dogma, or does that make you one of the many americans attacking christianity?
I'm not simply talking of satire or jokes. I'm talking of the widespread ability for people to whitewash all religious people as ignorant, stupid, illogical, etc. without being challenged. I don't criticize Robertson as a Christian who doesn't think he's pious enough, I criticize him because he's a hypocrite.



Quote:
If we're talking about the entertainment industry, i don't think there are that many forces who discourage homosexuality. In fact, it seems pretty obvious that an attractive female artist(britney spears) wishing for a boost of publicity need only make out with another attractive female artist(madonna). Queer eye is a hit. Gay people are very marketable.

If we're talking about american culture in general, homosexuals are under attack. The forces that "discourage" homosexuality do so with violence, discrimination(more malignant than not being allowed to lead a public prayer or put up christmas decorations in the town square), and attempted constitutional amendments. When was the last time you heard of a christian getting the shit kicked out of him for his faith? When was the last time you heard of someone getting fired from their job just for being a christian? When do you think the antagonists in the christian right's persecution fantasy are finally going to make their move and pass a constitutional amendment outlawing the practice of christianity?
Christians face the same, if not more attacks, than homosexuals simply because the attacks on Christians are more accepted. There was in the last year 2 Christian camp councellors who were murdered supposedly because of their beliefs. And in Pennsylvania a year or 2 ago a woman was fired for wearing a cross in class. And those are just off the top of my head. As to when an amendment will be passed outlawing the practice of Christanity, it might not be far off. This topic was started with a post saying essentially that if you are religious, you should not be able to follow your beliefs in public office. And as you even pointed out, prayer is being banned in schools (not school sponsored prayer, but student led prayer) and nativity scenes are being disallowed. Imagine the uproar if gays were told they can be gay, just don't mention it in politics and don't vote on any gay issues. And you also have to not act gay in public. And if you are at school, no mention of being gay at all. There would be an outcry. But these sorts of things happen to Christians all the time. The people who want these things done to Christians are bigots, and nothing but.


Quote:
In spite? Where i lived the "passion of the christ" got as much attention as the choosing of the new pope. That shit was every where. All that despite the fact that it was a historically inaccurate unnecessarily gory snuff film based on a version of catholic dogma too conservative for even the catholic church. In jesus walks kanye successfully stuck his foot in his mouth. He wrote a song about how nobody in the music industry respects christianity and it becomes a hit single. "You can rap about anybody, except for jesus" my ass.
Yes, in spite of the opposition by many in the entertainment industry. The Passion got attention because people showed up at theaters. Jesus Walks got airplay because people wanted to hear it. They weren't pushed.



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Pop culture exists to make money. Content is secondary to the bottom line. The fact is that pop culture avoids the issue of religion whenever possible, because that is one thing that people are liable to flip the fuck out over.
I don't think that's the whole reason, but definately a part of the reason. But again, I don't think it's necessarily good to mix religion with pop culture. I would just like to see less of an anti-Christian tone.
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Old 04-27-2005, 08:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Gays ARE under attack. Bigots are trying to deny them from basic rights, trying to make their sexual activity illegal, trying to prevent them from being able to marry, trying to ban gay literature, and so forth. This is REAL.
Christians ARE under attack. Bigots are trying to deny them from basic rights, trying to make their religious activities illegal, trying to prevent them from being able to hold public office, trying to ban Christian literature, and so forth. This is REAL.
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Old 04-27-2005, 08:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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alansmithee, please, I beg of you, show me an actual example of bigots trying to deny Christians their basic rights, or trying to make their religious activities illegal, or trying to prevent Christians from holding public office (this one is even more laughable than your others), trying to ban Christian literature, or anything else.

Please.
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Old 04-27-2005, 08:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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New York City denied wouldn't allow students to put up any manger displays around Christmas, despite allowing Jewish people to put up menorahs and Muslims to sport the Crescent for Ramadan. Or there was a case down in Florida were a whole slew of symbols were put out on public display around christmas; menorahs, snowmen, flamingos, and a manger. Again they solely targetted the Christian symbol. God forbid you actually acknowledge something which constitutes the federal holiday.

In Denver's parade of lights the city barred a float with the words "Merry Christmas" on it.

Los Angeles was threatened to be sued if they didn't move a cross from the city seal, a city founded by Christian missionaries. Like a bunch of pussies they didn't stand up to the ACLU. They also did it in Redlands, but at the same time let the pagan goddess Pomona stand.

These are just a few on the pathetic and frivolous instances of anything Christian in the public square being attacked.

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Old 04-27-2005, 09:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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New York City denied wouldn't allow students to put up any manger displays around Christmas, despite allowing Jewish people to put up menorahs and Muslims to sport the Crescent for Ramadan. Or there was a case down in Florida were a whole slew of symbols were put out on public display around christmas; menorahs, snowmen, flamingos, and a manger. Again they solely targetted the Christian symbol. God forbid you actually acknowledge something which constitutes the federal holiday.

In Denver's parade of lights the city barred a float with the words "Merry Christmas" on it.

Los Angeles was threatened to be sued if they didn't move a cross from the city seal, a city founded by Christian missionaries. Like a bunch of pussies they didn't stand up to the ACLU. They also did it in Redlands, but at the same time let the pagan goddess Pomona stand.

These are just a few on the pathetic and frivolous instances of anything Christian in the public square being attacked.
Oh St. Stephen would be so proud! Onward christian martyrs!

I'll give you that these may be examples of persecution, but they're necessary for our government to function under the Constitutuion. If christians choose to violate our 1st amendment then they should be persecuted to the fullest extent of the law. To claim that there is overwhelming pressure from society which keeps christians from practicing their faith is preposterous.
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Old 04-27-2005, 09:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by alansmithee
OK, so next time someone in sports calls someone a fag and GLAAD gets angered, I'll remember it's just because homosexuals aren't well adjusted and that they should just take it in stride because it doesn't mean they're under attack.
And the Anti-Defamation League should just calm the fuck down when the word "kike" makes a comeback?

You aren't making much sense, to be honest.
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Old 04-27-2005, 09:31 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Oh St. Stephen would be so proud! Onward christian martyrs!

I'll give you that these may be examples of persecution, but they're necessary for our government to function under the Constitutuion.
One.. second...


Quote:
If christians choose to violate our 1st amendment then they should be persecuted to the fullest extent of the law. To claim that there is overwhelming pressure from society which keeps christians from practicing their faith is preposterous.
How are they violating "your" 1st amendment? By putting up mangers celebrating Jesus' birthday on Christmas, a federal holiday? Is this actually serious?

But you're right it's ok if these are instances of persecution, it is only against Christians, 1st amendment protection isn't afforded to them, only "your" camp is afforded protection.

You know who else allowed for religious persecution so the government could function? Stalin, Hitler, Saddam... you are in good company.

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Old 04-27-2005, 10:10 PM   #22 (permalink)
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And the Anti-Defamation League should just calm the fuck down when the word "kike" makes a comeback?

You aren't making much sense, to be honest.
According to another poster, yes they should just calm the fuck down. If they get angered, it just shows they are maladjusted. It wasn't my opinion, but that of someone else who posted. If you take offense at slurs, apparently you are malajusted.

And before you say I'm not making much sense, you should bother to read the whole thread, to be honest .
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:44 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
One.. second...




How are they violating "your" 1st amendment? By putting up mangers celebrating Jesus' birthday on Christmas, a federal holiday? Is this actually serious?

But you're right it's ok if these are instances of persecution, it is only against Christians, 1st amendment protection isn't afforded to them, only "your" camp is afforded protection.

You know who else allowed for religious persecution so the government could function? Stalin, Hitler, Saddam... you are in good company.
ok seriously I can't gather meaning from this. your sarcasm has hampered your ability to communicate clearly. I realise my "st. Stephen" sarcasm above has probably brought this on myself. For clarity I'll recap:
1. you provided a number of examples that you saw of Christians being persecuted, pertaining primarily to the state observance of religious holidays
2. I noted that, although this may be persecution, that it is necessary under the 1st amendment which forbids the government from establishing religion.

now seriously WTF are you trying to say?
Note that I no where said that other religions aren't also subject to this form of "persecution." Also in the examples you gave, if we can take them as true, I don't necessarily see the need for "persecution" in order to protect our nation.
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:05 AM   #24 (permalink)
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mojo, being a Jew, I'd prefer that the government not put up mangers celebrating the birth of Jesus. I'd also be fine with the government not putting up any religious symbols whatsoever, not just mangers.
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:13 AM   #25 (permalink)
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What is so offense about putting up a manger scene, something that is a symbol of the birth of Jesus, on his birthday, which is a federal holiday?
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:16 AM   #26 (permalink)
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There is nothing inherently offensive about putting up a manger scene on Christmas. It is a religious symbol honoring Jesus, who many people believe is the son of God. I have no problem with that.

However, I don't believe it. If someone puts a manger on their front lawn or whatever, great. I'm truly glad that they are religious. But when the government puts it up, it says that Christianity is an officially preferred religion, and I won't abide that. The government should prefer no religion and, in fact, should not prefer religion over not having a religion.
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:27 AM   #27 (permalink)
 
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1. the sense of being-martyred is a central tenant in many evangelical circles.
it operates as a validation of faith. if the world is satans playground, if everyone who does not believe as they do is an instrument of satan, and if life is a war between the forces of good (themselves, of course) and evil (satan, who controls everyone and everything else) then matryrdom kinda follows. the curious feature is the complaints about martyrdom. that there is an element of masochism in christianity is not open to question. that these folk would be uncomfrotable with this masochistic element is nor surprising--that is something perverse types indulge---but that they would dream of eliminating it seems strange to me. what if they win? how will their fiath be validated?

2. the motif of being-at-war has been central to what appears to be wave after wave of sermons that have functioned to link the particular religious beliefs of particular churches to the political movement organized through the christian coalition (for example). as a political mobilization tool, this sense of being-persecuted operates to ring the wagons round the edges of the community, to unify it, etc. whether there actually is any persecution in the world that other people know about is secondary. what matters is that claims concerning such persecution can be made, seem plausible to believers, and can and will (obviously--read the thread above as carried out by conservatives) be repeated be repeated.

3. here, as always, the folk who defend the christian right as political formation like to act as though there is no christian right as political formation. so it follows for these folk that perceived losses in court over seperation of church and state (all the lint concerning public observance of holidays) come to be understood as attacks. so it also follows that the political mobilization of bigotry, which seeks to justify hatred--and nothing short of it--of others based on who they choose to love--is apparently seen as an extension of faith not as a political action---and when that bigotry meets opposition, the response is to whine about how persecuted christians are.

you would think by this point that the folk on the right could at least be honest with themselves, with others, about the fact that there is a distinction--and a considerable one--between their personal beliefs, their beliefs as exercized in the various churches they choose to attend----and claims rooted in those beliefs as mobilized at the level of mass politics. that there is a difference--and a huge one--between the view of the world they might adhere to and the parameters of a view of the world forced onto others through the mechanism of law.

that individuals who defend the christian right like alansmithee above do not recognize any of this changes nothing about it. except perhaps to raise basic questions about intellectual honesty. which, i am sure, will be taken as yet another example of persecution.

but you would think, by this point, in 2005, that the folk on the evangelical right could be honest with themselves about the implications of their politics. not necessarily their religious beliefs, but about the translation of them into politics. but they are not, in the main.

if this is too much to ask, at least think about the implications of bigotry against gay people that might be held to at the personal level--in complete contradiction of such abjurations as judge not lest you be judged and love your neighbor as yourself---but no matter----evangelicals are free to juggle these contradictions in ways that enable them to indulge this and other forms of bigotry in their private lives----to imagine that jesus would want them to be bigots---this is one of the features of contemporary conservative christian discourse that makes it so charming--all of which is foul enough--but following the above logic, such bigotry is now the official face of the american christian right.

yet the defenders of the right complain about how they are protrayed and try to forget that these portrayals follow from their own actions.
maybe they should reconsider their actions, rather than retreating into banal assertions of how persecuted they are.
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:33 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by alansmithee
Christians ARE under attack. Bigots are trying to deny them from basic rights, trying to make their religious activities illegal, trying to prevent them from being able to hold public office, trying to ban Christian literature, and so forth. This is REAL.
I agree that forbidding Bibles or prayer on your own time in school is absurd, but

I'm honestly interested in examples of Christians being prevented from holding public office. Isn't nearly every public office in this country held by a Christian?
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Old 04-28-2005, 06:56 AM   #29 (permalink)
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roachboy,

One of your easier-to-respond-to posts.

Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean people aren't out to get you


Guy44,

Since the Equal Access Law was passed, the number of cases of students being allowed to form Bible study classes has gone down, but has not stopped. A simple google search of "banned school bible" turns up plenty.

But this example is just plain silly.

Edit to add:

Lurkette hit it straight on.

There are people to each extreme want to limit what others can read and hear and say.

Personally, I have no problem if someone wishes me a Happy Hannakah, Blessed Ramadan or Happy Kwanzaa. I will in turn continue to wish people a Merry Christmas.

Just because we are a melting pot doesn't mean we should become bland and without individual flavor.
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:11 AM   #30 (permalink)
 
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lebell:

actually, there is nothing paranoid about what i wrote.

the inability of folk who defend the evangelilcal christian right to acknowledge that they are not just a community of individual believers but rather also part of a mass political movement is evident to anyone who looks at the situation we have the misfortune to be living through. erasing this distinction is apparently a nontrivial element in their mobilization.

i see it as a kind of collective intellectual handicap that these folk submit to willingly, because, apparently, not only would jesus be a bigot were he alive today, but he would also be unable to make this distinction. this is among the consequences of a relation to the bible rooted in projection, which is basic to the whole illusion that these texts can be read literally. jesus is just like those who believe, an image of what they do and say--if you find it offensive that, following this logic, it follows that a 2005 jesus would be a bigot and kinda blinkered in terms of self-reflexive politics, then the problem lay not with me, but with the christian right for producing this image, for justifying their reactionary, indefensable politics through it.

these folk do violence to your beliefs too lebell (insofar as i know anything about them by what i read from you here): i am surprised you are not more offended by them.
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:21 AM   #31 (permalink)
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There are people to each extreme want to limit what others can read and hear and say.
Sure.

But how many and with what power?

If there are 100 people on one side who want to control who you can marry and there is 1 person on the other side who wants to control what religious symbols you see ... are they equalized? What about 10 on one side who happen to be Senators and Representatives and 10 on the other who happen to be TFP members?

There are people to each extreme who want to limit what others can read and hear and say. But it's disingenuous to simply let that statement stand as is - in so doing, a defense through equality of the side that is presently being objected to is made.
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:58 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Excellent post Roachboy.

Its fascinating that this same sense of martyrdom survives from the Biblical times when Christians actually were being persecuted for their faith. Today the Christian church largely limits itself only to this martyrdom ignoring all other teachings of Jesus. It's such a powerful pathos that people can feel fufilled after paying $10 to see just the last act of Jesus's life, something that actually makes no sense without the preceeding acts. It's powerful stuff and no one living today is truely immune to it. I see it as the pervading pathos of our time whether you're christian or not.

No matter how shrill and upsurd cries of persecution from the Christian rightwing become it will always manage to ruffle feathers due to our philosophical programming.

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Old 04-28-2005, 08:00 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Their is relevance to what you say Manx, but the difference is in belief and action. The reality is, the "right" has majority support on these issues, The left doesn't. In a sense though the left is more empowered by this, yes the right has it's people TRYING to legislate things through their reps. in congress, the left imposes itself by judicial decree.
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Old 04-28-2005, 08:28 AM   #34 (permalink)
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roachboy,

Actually, in many ways I agree with what you wrote, but what I am trying to do is to create a new paradigm that goes beyond what I consider to be useless if not detrimental stereotypes, but instead goes to the heart of the issue.

In this case, I consider the heart of the issue to not be the martyrdom complex exhibited by Christian fundamentalists, but the martyrdom complex exhibited in general by all far-from-the-center individuals. To me, that is where the proper line is drawn.

If you look carefully, this redefining is a central theme in many of my posts, whether they be about AA or gay marriage or whatever.

My complaint about your approach is that I believe you are dealing with the symptoms and not the disease when you fail to acknowledge that there ARE cases where the same radical elements persecute Christians, the new paradigm again, being radical non-accepting elements.

What I believe my approach encourages is self examination because it moves away from identifying features that all to easily allow us to separate ourselves from what we are disparaging. In other words, if you are not an evangelical Christian, you must not be intolerant. Yet we both know that this is fallacious reasoning.

As to this particular issue, I am frequently offended by what the Religious Right do in the name of Christ.

But until I see someone of that ilk posting, I cannot engage them directly, and engaging people directly is what I find most enjoyable about this discussion board.
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Old 04-28-2005, 08:48 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Their is relevance to what you say Manx, but the difference is in belief and action. The reality is, the "right" has majority support on these issues, The left doesn't.
I don't especially care what the majority may or may not want - but since you brought it up, I disagree with your assessment. There are things that the "right" desires that coincide with what the "majority" desires and there are things that the "left" desires that coincide with what the "majority" desires. An example of each:

- Anti-gay Marriage (the "majority" and the "right")
- Terry Schiavo's Choice (the "majority" and the "left")

So no, the "right" has no more significant connection to the "majority" than the "left".
Quote:
In a sense though the left is more empowered by this, yes the right has it's people TRYING to legislate things through their reps. in congress, the left imposes itself by judicial decree.
Your well-known displeasure with the Judiciary is certainly not something you can place on the shoulders of the left. The left does not elect the Judiciary. However, I have yet to see any reason that the Judiciary should even be considered the "left" as opposed to purveyors of the Constitution. In plain terms, what you see as the "left" in the judiciary is simply the contrast to your viewpoints which run counter to the principles of the Constitution. That you call your viewpoints the "right" and the principles of the Constitution the "left", is your choice.

But, for sake of argument, let's say the Judiciary is the "left", as you believe. The process of placing someone in the Judiciary almost certainly prevents extremism (what with judges being approved by representatives of both sides and the capability, used by both sides, of the filibuster to block extremist judges) - which is what we have been discussing. But that is not true of elected representatives - extremism is quite possible and quite easy (particularly if you start altering districts and such). So the extremist viewpoints of the "left" are NOT represented with empowerment in our government, but the extremist viewpoints of the "right" most certainly are.

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Old 04-28-2005, 09:28 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lebell
...
In this case, I consider the heart of the issue to not be the martyrdom complex exhibited by Christian fundamentalists, but the martyrdom complex exhibited in general by all far-from-the-center individuals. To me, that is where the proper line is drawn.
Bingo, Lebell. This is a really productive way to look at the situation - the problem is not necessarily the leftness or rightness of the views themselves (more on that in a sec), but intolerance in whatever ideological guise.

I'm particularly dismayed (ashamed? disgusted?) by the folks on the far left who would ban personal religious expression like prayer or simply having a Bible in a public school. They ought to know better, and that the irony of their actions is lost on them shows that they've simply become victims of their own ideological tunnel vision.

However, what continues to bother me about the public discourse is that often when well-meaning centrists try to thwart the attempts of the religious right to implement intolerant policies, or blatantly unconstitutional policies based on their particular religious convictions and interpretations, the RR cries "intolerance!" and pushes back even harder and in even more extreme ways (e.g., they didn't get their way with the Terri Schiavo case, so now they're taking aim at the judicial system, and attempting to eliminate fillibusters so they can install conservative Christian judges over the fairly reasonable objections of many Senators). So the left pushes back harder and in more extreme ways, which the RR takes as persecution, so they respond with what the left sees as attacks on fundamental democratic principles, etc. etc. etc., and what we get is the ideological equivalent of mutually assured destruction.

So how do we get out of this? How do we protect individual liberties and the fundamental SECULAR principles of our country, and at the same time protect the expression of religious zealots who would topple those individual liberties? (That's another key issue - I think most people would prefer a pluralistic secular government, but the RR definitely wants this to be a Christian country - it seems like that's a fundamentally irreconcilable difference!)
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:55 AM   #37 (permalink)
 
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the general part

can i ask who on "the left" or on the "extreme left" (whatever they hell these are) seriously would BAN any form of religious expression at the personal level? could you provide links?

my experience from many years "on the left" is that this entity is a simple fantasy, a kind of structural feature of the politics of the extreme right--engage in a offensive action? posit a counter-image of your actions, its mirror image, blame them for the same thing and on that basis justify what you want to do.

what i do see--and all the time--is deep concern about the **political mobilization** of the extreme right of the american evanglical movement. because--as i have said repeatedly above--the shift in registers from personal belief to political action entails radical changes in what would otherwise be personal beliefs--in terms of implications--because the extreme right woudl prefer to remake not only laws but the whole judiciary system (and the balance of powers that is articulated through it) in order to impose--and i mean impose--laws rooted in their particular beliefs on everyone, and to disable (to the extent possble) processes of judicial review.

this is a logic of dictatorship.

that most defenders of the christian right use their inability to make basic logical distinctions between levels of activity to shriek about how persecuted they are when they encounter opposition to what i understand as their beliefs as the basis for political proposals/arguments--that is that they refuse (for entirely instrumental reasons) to recognize that they are acting politically---is a real problem.

=====

lebell:

thanks for the last post. it is an interesting perspective on what you are doing in this space. i wonder about the extent to which your idea of a new paradigm involves shutting out folk like myself, who operate from political viewpoints that you appear to disagree with. top be clear: it is not a new paradigm that i wonder about--but who gets to influence it, to shape it--where the dialogue about this new paradigm you talk about unfolds--what is sure is that such dialogue rarely happens here. which is maybe a limitation of the form (message boards) rather than of the folk who interact within it.
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:48 PM   #38 (permalink)
Junkie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmithee
If they have a relationship with Jesus Christ, then they think about religion. I would assume them to be Christian. My point is that there are people who self-identify as Christian who don't even do that much. It takes some act outise of saying you are Christian to truly be one, even if that is simply accepting Christ at some point in your life. And honestly I would assume they wouldn't pray, or if they did it would be a generic prayer.
Do you have any evidence to support your assertion that most christians don't actually think about christ, or is it just a hunch? For your point to be relevant you would not only have to show some evidence that there are many people who self identify as christians who don't think about christ at all, you would also have to show that somewhere close to a majority of these people make up the body of christianity in the country. Even with that impossible task ahead of you, i still feel that it is a little far fetched to claim that people who self identify as members of a certain religion would work for the destruction of that religion. Why would someone who considers themselves a member of a religion, whether committed or not, allow or facilitate the destruction of that religion?

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OK, so next time someone in sports calls someone a fag and GLAAD gets angered, I'll remember it's just because homosexuals aren't well adjusted and that they should just take it in stride because it doesn't mean they're under attack.
No, it doesn't mean that they're under attack. The fact that there is a constitutional amendment in the works to exclude them from various commonplace day to day activities is evidence that they are under attack. Notice that this kind of attack is something the constitution must be changed for, unlike the standard "attack" on christianity that is the result of the constitution is being conformed to.

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I'm not simply talking of satire or jokes. I'm talking of the widespread ability for people to whitewash all religious people as ignorant, stupid, illogical, etc. without being challenged. I don't criticize Robertson as a Christian who doesn't think he's pious enough, I criticize him because he's a hypocrite.
There are a great many people who are ignorant, stupid, illogical, etc. A great many of these people also happen to be christian. A great many of these people also happen to be ignorant, stupid, illogical, etc, whilst proclaiming their piety from the rooftops. Again, do you have evidence to the "widespreadedness" of such things? I don't remember the last time i saw a joke at the expense of christianity on t.v.. Occasionally i do hear some random person making an ass out of themselves lumping all religious people into the same category, but it seems obvious to me, as it should to anyone with any kind of information on the matter, that the people who make such comments are just as ignorant as the people they believe they are ridiculing.

You can't criticize pat robertson for his hypocrisy without criticizing him for his piety. In his particular brand of christianity such things are encouraged. Pat robertson is a good christian, as far as him and most of his followers are concerned. Though maybe you'd lump him into that "christian who doesn't think about christ" category of yours.

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Christians face the same, if not more attacks, than homosexuals simply because the attacks on Christians are more accepted. There was in the last year 2 Christian camp councellors who were murdered supposedly because of their beliefs. And in Pennsylvania a year or 2 ago a woman was fired for wearing a cross in class. And those are just off the top of my head. As to when an amendment will be passed outlawing the practice of Christanity, it might not be far off.
First off, are you serious? Do you honestly believe that an amendment outlawing christianity might not be far off? Are you aware of the religious leanings of nearly every american politician? I'm sorry, buddy, but that's tin hat territory.

Firing someone because of their religious affiliation is illegal. In many places it is completely legal to fire someone because they are gay. What does that tell you about the level of protections afforded christians not afforded homosexuals? As for violence against christians, anecdotal evidence that "supposedly" indicates antichristian bias doesn't cut it. Name me a place in america where being openly christian can result in getting your ass kicked. I don't have enough space to name all the places in this country where being openly gay can result in getting your ass kicked. I know "outside" is one of them.

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Imagine the uproar if gays were told they can be gay, just don't mention it in politics and don't vote on any gay issues. And you also have to not act gay in public. And if you are at school, no mention of being gay at all. But these sorts of things happen to Christians all the time. The people who want these things done to Christians are bigots, and nothing but.
Imagine? That's the status quo. The first state republican senator ever to come out of the closet in minnesota just came out of the closet. The next day the republican leadership in minnesota decided to begin grooming someone else to challenge him for his seat in the coming election. I try to hear the uproar, all i hear is crickets.

I don't know where you went to school, but where i went to school, having the misfortune of being labeled as gay meant your days were filled with torment and overt threats. Funny thing is, everyone just assumed everyone else was a christian.

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I don't think that's the whole reason, but definitely a part of the reason. But again, I don't think it's necessarily good to mix religion with pop culture. I would just like to see less of an anti-Christian tone.
If you want to see less of an anti-christian tone, all you have to do is stop looking for it. People often only notice what they expect they're going to notice.
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:07 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Old 04-28-2005, 05:36 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
Do you have any evidence to support your assertion that most christians don't actually think about christ, or is it just a hunch? For your point to be relevant you would not only have to show some evidence that there are many people who self identify as christians who don't think about christ at all, you would also have to show that somewhere close to a majority of these people make up the body of christianity in the country. Even with that impossible task ahead of you, i still feel that it is a little far fetched to claim that people who self identify as members of a certain religion would work for the destruction of that religion. Why would someone who considers themselves a member of a religion, whether committed or not, allow or facilitate the destruction of that religion?
It's a hunch backed up by antedotal evicence (which could be argued to not be evidence at all).



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No, it doesn't mean that they're under attack. The fact that there is a constitutional amendment in the works to exclude them from various commonplace day to day activities is evidence that they are under attack. Notice that this kind of attack is something the constitution must be changed for, unlike the standard "attack" on christianity that is the result of the constitution is being conformed to.
But by that logic, all amendments are less valid simply because at some point, they weren't in the constitiution. All amendments wre attacks on certain groups, because before those rights were allowed/disallowed they weren't previously in the constitution. Also, I hardly see the marriage amendments as an attack, but that's an entirely different discussion. And it could be argued that the first amendment was designed to keep gov't out of religion, and not vice-versa as is the current trend, it's up to interpretation. You could just as easily say that prayer being kept out of schools is an attack on religion, by disallowing Christians to practice their constitiutional rights.



Quote:
There are a great many people who are ignorant, stupid, illogical, etc. A great many of these people also happen to be christian. A great many of these people also happen to be ignorant, stupid, illogical, etc, whilst proclaiming their piety from the rooftops. Again, do you have evidence to the "widespreadedness" of such things? I don't remember the last time i saw a joke at the expense of christianity on t.v.. Occasionally i do hear some random person making an ass out of themselves lumping all religious people into the same category, but it seems obvious to me, as it should to anyone with any kind of information on the matter, that the people who make such comments are just as ignorant as the people they believe they are ridiculing.
A great many of people who are ignorant, stupid, illogical, etc. also happen to NOT be Christian. And as for the pervasiveness, you only need to look at certain posts in this thread. Are those people making asses of themselves?

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You can't criticize pat robertson for his hypocrisy without criticizing him for his piety. In his particular brand of christianity such things are encouraged. Pat robertson is a good christian, as far as him and most of his followers are concerned. Though maybe you'd lump him into that "christian who doesn't think about christ" category of yours.
If he professes to want to help the poor, and talk about Catholic excesses, but siphons money off donations to live like a king, he is being hypocritical. It has nothing to do with his piety.



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First off, are you serious? Do you honestly believe that an amendment outlawing christianity might not be far off? Are you aware of the religious leanings of nearly every american politician? I'm sorry, buddy, but that's tin hat territory.
I don't really think that would come about, I was merely taking part in some hyperbole. However, I do see an active movement to isolate Christians from being allowed to both take part in public affairs and hold religious beliefs.

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Firing someone because of their religious affiliation is illegal. In many places it is completely legal to fire someone because they are gay. What does that tell you about the level of protections afforded christians not afforded homosexuals? As for violence against christians, anecdotal evidence that "supposedly" indicates antichristian bias doesn't cut it. Name me a place in america where being openly christian can result in getting your ass kicked. I don't have enough space to name all the places in this country where being openly gay can result in getting your ass kicked. I know "outside" is one of them.
There are many places where people have to choose between religion and work. And to my knowledge unless it's gov't work it is allowed to fire someone for their religion. And as to the violence aspect, I can't argue that gays have more violence directed at them than Christians. But there are more attacks in the media directed at Christianity than at gays. If someone in the public eye makes a derrogetory comment about homosexuals, they get negative press. If someone makes a similar statement about Christians, not only is there not backlash but they are often hearlded.



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Imagine? That's the status quo. The first state republican senator ever to come out of the closet in minnesota just came out of the closet. The next day the republican leadership in minnesota decided to begin grooming someone else to challenge him for his seat in the coming election. I try to hear the uproar, all i hear is crickets.
Yes, but Gov. McGrevey (sp?) from New Jersey faced a great deal less public scrutiny over his actions because he said he was gay. And there are many times that challengers are groomed in-party over all sorts of issues, not just being gay.

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I don't know where you went to school, but where i went to school, having the misfortune of being labeled as gay meant your days were filled with torment and overt threats. Funny thing is, everyone just assumed everyone else was a christian.
Where I went to school you would also face torment and overt threats if you were labelled a nerd, if you smelled bad, if you were fat, if you were poor, etc. Pretty much any way of not fitting in with the status quo meant you would be tormented.


Quote:
If you want to see less of an anti-christian tone, all you have to do is stop looking for it. People often only notice what they expect they're going to notice.
And I could say the same thing about anti-gay tone, anti-black tone, anti-liberal tone, anti-anything. But you can also find anti-x tone in many places. Maybe people as a whole should be less sensitive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy
i see it as a kind of collective intellectual handicap that these folk submit to willingly, because, apparently, not only would jesus be a bigot were he alive today, but he would also be unable to make this distinction
Here's one of those "imaginary" attacks I was talking about. I will say it's refreshing to see someone so smug and feeling superior about being a bigot. I'm sure many Klansmen also thing that the mud races suffer from collective intellectual handicaps.
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