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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:03 AM
Original message
What is the purpose of this board?
This post is 100% flame bait - remember for all your flame bait needs, trust Bryant69.

There are two DU Christian groups, DU groups for Islam, Judaism, Wiccan and other religious beliefs, and a DU Atheists/Agnostics group. And there is this forum where all of these various groups come together to discuss. What is the point to this discussion? Or what questions should this forum address?

I have some of my own ideas - for example how do you negitiate an equitable co-existence between two sides who honestly and geuninely think the other is dead wrong? There's also the popoular, necessary, and neverending task of defining exactly what we mean when we say Atheist, Agnostic, Theist, Gnostic, The Baldwin Brothers, and so on and so forth? And of course we are all opposed to the Fundies/Dominionists.

But beyond that what is the goal of this forum? What things should we be trying to do? What things should we be trying not to do?

Bryant
Check it out --> http://seventysketches.blogspot.com
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
1. It's your forum
Use it any way you want to. But don't expect to tell others what their forum is for.

And why do we have to have a goal? That's your baggage, not a universal burden.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
2. there are voices of faith here that do not preach
flat-earthism, Intel Design, a 6,015 year old universe, the power of prayer, that their god's penis is longer than allah's, the bible's inerrancy, that the founding fathers were christian, and other irrational hogwash.

Good for them. And I do not poke fun at their beliefs or ideas.

The others, listed above, pose a direct threat and danger to our society. This forum serves as a perfect place to discuss the most disgusting examples of their brain-washing, paranoia, child abuse and destruction of civilization with their most important tool - willful ignorance.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. The founding fathers were certainly christian
in the same sense that Hitler was a Christian.

But that's neither here nor there.

Bryant
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. I can suggest several honest and accurate books of history that disagree
as well as the constitution itself, the articles, the letters and individual letters by Adams, Franklin, Madison, Jefferson, Payne, and others.

Of course, if you wish to revel in willful ignorance, ignore the facts and continue claiming that the founding fathers were christian, do so by all means. Obstinancy and ignorance do not make for real debate.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. See my response below
But yeah suggest some books.

Bryant
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. That is a horrible analogy.
The majority of the founding fathers never professed to be Christian nor were they part of a Christian religion. Hitler did and was. The comparison falls apart at a pretty fundamental level.

I don't think apologists get us anywhere.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I think evidence is in the eye of the beholder
And I think the evidence that Hitler was a Christian is on a par with the Evidence that the Founding Fathers were Christian. In neither case was it a traditional standard Christianity - Hitler included germanic mytholgy and occultism in his Faith. The Founding Fathers, being more than one person, believed a number of things, some of which were somewhat close to traditional Christianity, and many of which were closer to deism.

Bryant
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. evidence is manipulated in the eye of the beholder
1. "included germanic mythology and occultism" So you are kicking someone out of Christianity because they co-opt older mythologies and paganism? So there are no Christians? And he isn't christian because he included "occultism"? How is Christianity not part of occultism?
2. The majority of the founding father IDENTIFITED themselves as deists or, rarely, atheists. (I know there were Christian founding fathers; I'm not a moron. My point is that the majority were not Christian as the Christian Right would have everyone believe).
3. Hitler identified himself as a Christian.
4. Hitler was baptised and raised as a Christian.
5. Hitler never denounced his Christianity nor was he excommunicated by the church.

You feel free to be an apologist and tell me that the evidence is in the eye of the beholder. I think the evidence is pretty clear on both the majority of the founding fathers and Hitler.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Who identified himself as an atheist?
Deist and Christian are not mutually exclusive terms, and even more so at that time.

I am not kicking Hitler out of Christianity - I'll admit that he is a Christian, just that his Christianity was a non-traditional kind. Deism in the founding fathers sense is also a non-traditional Christianity.

I would agree that the Christian Right wouldn't recognize most of the founding fathers as Christian. But they also don't recognize the Clintons as Christian despite them attending church pretty regularly by all accounts. So I'm not sure they are the best judges of what is and what isn't a Christian.

How many of the Founding Fathers were baptised and raised as Christians?

How many of the fathers were excommunicated by their respective faiths?

Why do you keep calling me an apologist? I mean what does that term mean to you?

Bryant
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #14
23. The founders were the kind of deists that denied the divinity of Jesus.
Yet you're telling us that's just a type of non-traditional Christianity.

Believing Jesus to be the son of god was, I thought, one of those rare non-negotiable aspects of being a Christian. But hey, you've got your fights to pick, so go right ahead.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. OK let's be clear about this
You want the Founding Fathers in your camp because you admire them. Fair enough. And you want Hitler in my camp because you despise him (as well you should). Again fair enough. I certainly can't blame you for trying.

But it's just a more complicated way of say "Well of course George W. Bush isn't a Christian, because Christians aren't like that." In this case the theory is that of course the Founding Fathers aren't Christians, because real Christians aren't capable of that type of nobility and intelligence.

Bryant

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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #24
29. I don't care if the Founders are in my camp.
And in fact, I'm not saying they are. And I don't put Hitler in your camp any more than him being of European descent puts him in my camp. Would you please just stop taking every possible statement by an atheist as some kind of personal affront?
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #29
33. I'm not taking it as a personal affront
I didn't mean to personalize it to myself.

Why is it offensive to say that George W. Bush isn't a Christian? We've been around on this before and I think I know the answer, but please confirm that i'm correct.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #33
37. First, tell me why you say Bush isn't a Christian.
We can go from there.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. I'm very careful not to say President Bush isn't a Christian anymore
Because it is offensive to non-Christians. As you've explained to me.

But when I did say it I meant that he doesn't live up to the ideals of Christianity. He doesn't follow the precepts of Christ - but upon reflection his failure to live up to those standards isn't enough for me to claim he's not a Christian.

Bryant
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. See, that's the part you're not getting.
"he doesn't live up to the ideals of Christianity"

First off, those aren't just ideals of Christianity, they're ideals of humanity. Christianity has no more monopoly on them than Buddhism or any other religion does. And considering we find these ideals (altruism, compassion, etc.) even in some animals with higher intelligence, I doubt any religion can claim them.

"He doesn't follow the precepts of Christ"

Key unsaid words: As you understand them. Of course it could be argued that one "precept of Christ" is believing that he's divine. After all, the guy himself said he was, if you choose to accept those parts of your bible. So this same criteria by which you dismiss Bush from the group of Christians can be used to dismiss Jefferson. Or Washington. Or heck, even you.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. Well it was a short answer wasn't it?
But I apologize for not expressing myself in exactly the fashion you would like me to.

Christian Ideals are a subset of Humanities ideals - if you imagine a Venn Diagram you would see all of the worlds religions and ethical systems like a flower almost - mostly covering the ideals, with a small set of unique beliefs or ideals - like not eating Pork for Jews and Muslims or not eating cows for Hindus. But if I am judging someone to be Christian or non Christian I am only really concerned with that section of the Humanitarian Ideals that covers Christian Ideals.

You're right - by determining who is a real christian by setting up an arbitrary set of standards you can decide that anybody is a Christian or not. My problem is that some Atheists want to use your logic to make sure that Christians accept Hitler or George W. Bush as Christians, while ignoring this logic when it allows us to claim the Founding Fathers. It should be all or nothing - if Hitler is a Christian because he said he was, than Jefferson is a Christian because he said he was.

Bryant
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. Sure, that's the problem.
"I apologize for not expressing myself in exactly the fashion you would like me to."

:eyes:

FWIW, yes, if you are big enough to accept that anyone who says they are a Christian is one, then help yourself to the whole lot - Hitler, Bush, and Jefferson!

But for those who want to dismiss the first two because they don't follow "the precepts of Christ," well they'll have a few problems trying to justify a claim on the likes of Jefferson.
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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #42
54. Well, sometimes I claim that
George Bush is inhuman, so there. :P

(Not really in the mood to argue; I'm trying to be silly. But, it's true! He's NOT human. He's a monster!)
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #41
73. I'm Christian, too, and I find it offensive =P
The guy is an asshole, and he's a lousy Christian, but Christian he is.
We can't just disown him because we don't like what he does.
He's still one of us, at least in name. Just like Pat Robertson, Fred Phelps, and Jerry Falwell. We have to accept that there are people who share our faith that we just plain do not like.
Can't shirk it, either.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #73
79. And you'll notice most atheists don't claim * represents christianity.
Neither does Hitler, Phelps or Falwell.

Most of us believe that the word "christian" is just a label that informs others of which god you worship. We're the ultimate in religious non-bigotry; none of you are any better or any worse than anybody else because of that label.

It does not imply moral superiority or inferiority.

Morality has nothing to do with religion and religion has nothing to do with morality.

Good people would still be good without it.
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #79
85. I can't recall...
seeing anyone try to make that implication more than once or twice.
Christians aren't defined by Hitler or Bush anymore than atheists are defined by Stalin or Mao.
And you are right...morality is just morality...it can be taught by a religion, but it doesn't need to be. You can have as religious an upbringing as you like, and still turn out to be George W. Bush. Or you can be totally free from religion, and turn into a Dawkins (whom I assume is a good person, doesn't seem a bad sort at least)
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #85
91. You usually see claims like that made in GD and other forums.
When an atheist does start a thread like that, it often turns into a monumental flame fest and gets thrown in here.

R/T atheists then spend the next few weeks defending ourselves in retaliation threads posted by angry theists.

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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. Bryant isn't exactly alone in this view
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson#Religious...

On matters of religion, Jefferson in 1800 was accused by his political opponents of being an atheist and enemy of religion. But Jefferson wrote at length on religion and many scholars agree with the claim that Jefferson was a deist, a common position held by intellectuals in the late 18th century. As Avery Cardinal Dulles, a leading Roman Catholic theologian reports, "In his college years at William and Mary he (Jefferson) came to admire Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and John Locke as three great paragons of wisdom. Under the influence of several professors he converted to the deist philosophy."(25) Dulles concludes:

Thomas Jefferson
In summary, then, Jefferson was a deist because he believed in one God, in divine providence, in the divine moral law, and in rewards and punishments after death; but did not believe in supernatural revelation. He was a Christian deist because he saw Christianity as the highest expression of natural religion and Jesus as an incomparably great moral teacher. He was not an orthodox Christian because he rejected, among other things, the doctrines that Jesus was the promised Messiah and the incarnate Son of God. Jefferson's religion is fairly typical of the American form of deism in his day.

Thomas Jefferson

Biographer Merrill Peterson summarizes Jefferson's theology:

Thomas Jefferson
First, that the Christianity of the churches was unreasonable, therefore unbelievable, but that stripped of priestly mystery, ritual, and dogma, reinterpreted in the light of historical evidence and human experience, and substituting the Newtonian cosmology for the discredited Biblical one, Christianity could be conformed to reason. Second, morality required no divine sanction or inspiration, no appeal beyond reason and nature, perhaps not even the hope of heaven or the fear of hell; and so the whole edifice of Christian revelation came tumbling to the ground.(26)

Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson used deist terminology in repeatedly stating his belief in a creator, and in the United States Declaration of Independence used the terms "Creator", "Nature's God". Jefferson believed, furthermore, it was this Creator that endowed humanity with a number of inalienable rights, such as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". His experience in France just before the French Revolution made him deeply suspicious of Catholic priests and bishops as a force for reaction and ignorance. Similarly, his experience in America with inter-denominational intolerance served to reinforce this skeptical view of religion. In a letter to Willam Short, Jefferson wrote: "the serious enemies are the priests of the different religious sects, to whose spells on the human mind it's improvement is ominous."(27)

Jefferson was raised in the Church of England, at a time when it was the established church in Virginia and only denomination funded by Virginia tax money. Before the Revolution, Jefferson was a vestryman in his local church, a lay position that was part of political office at the time. He also had friends who were clergy, and he supported some churches financially. During his Presidency, Jefferson attended the weekly church services held in the House of Representatives. Jefferson later expressed general agreement with his friend Joseph Priestley's Unitarianism, that is the rejection of the doctrine of Trinity. In a letter to a pioneer in Ohio he wrote, "I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its conscience to neither kings or priests, the genuine doctrine of only one God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian."(28)

Jefferson did not believe in the divinity of Jesus, but he had high esteem for Jesus' moral teachings, which he viewed as the "principles of a pure deism, and juster notions of the attributes of God, to reform (prior Jewish) moral doctrines to the standard of reason, justice & philanthropy, and to inculcate the belief of a future state."(29) Jefferson did not believe in miracles. He made his own condensed version of the Gospels, primarily leaving only Jesus' moral philosophy, of which he approved. This compilation was published after his death and became known as the Jefferson Bible.

Thomas Jefferson
(The Jefferson Bible) is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what its author never said nor saw.(30)
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #27
30. Funny.
Christians are delighted to expand the definition of their religion to include someone like Jefferson, but loathe to admit old Adolph could have possibly been one of them.

Webster says a Christian is "one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ." Well, one of those teachings was his insistence he was divine. Eh, it's all one big pick and choose fest.
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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. Jefferson claimed himself to be a Christian. (n/t)
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. And so did Hitler. Your point? n/t
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #32
34. That's exactly the point
Thank goodness we've come around to it. Hitler was a Christian. So were the founding fathers. Because they claimed to be Christians.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. "So were the founding fathers"
Well, only Jefferson shown so far. Admitting Hitler was one means you've come a long way. Guess the enticement of grabbing the Founders was enough to push you over the edge, huh?
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #36
40. Push me over the edge?
No I've expressed this opinion before. Mainly out of amusement. President Bush and Hitler were christians and so were the founding fathers - none practices a version of Christianity that is much like mine, but that doesn't give me the right to kick them out of the Christian club.

Bryant
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #40
47. Jefferson was also a slave owner. Christian or Deist slave owner?
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 03:08 PM by kwassa
another piece of history people conveniently forget. He owned 187 slaves. They were sold off to pay his debts after he died, because he was a very poor businessman.

How do you feel about that part of his heritage?

He had a number of children with one of his slaves, too.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. I'm not sure I understand the context of this comment
But yes he was a slave owner, and yes I still honor him as a great, if obviously flawed, man.

Bryant
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #49
50. I'm just wondering if those who claim him claim all of him
Jefferson was also the states rights model for the future Republican party. He believed in a small, weak national government, with power concentrated in the states.

Alexander Hamilton, as a Federalist, is the one Dems should really be calling their own
.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. Actually I agree with you - I really like Hamilton and think he gets a bad rap
That said, both founders legacies are varied enough that people can see what they want to. Our modern labels don't entirely fit them.

Bryant
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. I think that a lot of historical projection goes on here.
People project membership in a group onto past historical figures in ways they themselves might never dream of. This is mostly to serve modern personal agendas.
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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #36
56. I found this list from a website....
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 04:16 PM by Dorian Gray
Religious Affiliation of the Signers of the
Declaration of Independence
Religious Affiliation # of
signers % of
signers
Episcopalian/Anglican 32 57.1%
Congregationalist 13 23.2%
Presbyterian 12 21.4%
Quaker 2 3.6%
Unitarian or Universalist 2 3.6%
Catholic 1 1.8%
TOTAL 56 100%


Signers of the Declaration of Independence:

Name of Signer State Religious Affiliation
Charles Carroll Maryland Catholic
Samuel Huntington Connecticut Congregationalist
Roger Sherman Connecticut Congregationalist
William Williams Connecticut Congregationalist
Oliver Wolcott Connecticut Congregationalist
Lyman Hall Georgia Congregationalist
Samuel Adams Massachusetts Congregationalist
John Hancock Massachusetts Congregationalist
Josiah Bartlett New Hampshire Congregationalist
William Whipple New Hampshire Congregationalist
William Ellery Rhode Island Congregationalist
John Adams Massachusetts Congregationalist; Unitarian
Robert Treat Paine Massachusetts Congregationalist; Unitarian
George Walton Georgia Episcopalian
John Penn North Carolina Episcopalian
George Ross Pennsylvania Episcopalian
Thomas Heyward Jr. South Carolina Episcopalian
Thomas Lynch Jr. South Carolina Episcopalian
Arthur Middleton South Carolina Episcopalian
Edward Rutledge South Carolina Episcopalian
Francis Lightfoot Lee Virginia Episcopalian
Richard Henry Lee Virginia Episcopalian
George Read Delaware Episcopalian
Caesar Rodney Delaware Episcopalian
Samuel Chase Maryland Episcopalian
William Paca Maryland Episcopalian
Thomas Stone Maryland Episcopalian
Elbridge Gerry Massachusetts Episcopalian
Francis Hopkinson New Jersey Episcopalian
Francis Lewis New York Episcopalian
Lewis Morris New York Episcopalian
William Hooper North Carolina Episcopalian
Robert Morris Pennsylvania Episcopalian
John Morton Pennsylvania Episcopalian
Stephen Hopkins Rhode Island Episcopalian
Carter Braxton Virginia Episcopalian
Benjamin Harrison Virginia Episcopalian
Thomas Nelson Jr. Virginia Episcopalian
George Wythe Virginia Episcopalian
Thomas Jefferson Virginia Episcopalian (Deist)
Benjamin Franklin Pennsylvania Episcopalian (Deist)
Button Gwinnett Georgia Episcopalian; Congregationalist
James Wilson Pennsylvania Episcopalian; Presbyterian
Joseph Hewes North Carolina Quaker, Episcopalian
George Clymer Pennsylvania Quaker, Episcopalian
Thomas McKean Delaware Presbyterian
Matthew Thornton New Hampshire Presbyterian
Abraham Clark New Jersey Presbyterian
John Hart New Jersey Presbyterian
Richard Stockton New Jersey Presbyterian
John Witherspoon New Jersey Presbyterian
William Floyd New York Presbyterian
Philip Livingston New York Presbyterian
James Smith Pennsylvania Presbyterian
George Taylor Pennsylvania Presbyterian
Benjamin Rush Pennsylvania Presbyterian




http://www.adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion....


I have no idea how reputable that website is, but I suspect this information is easy enough to verify by cross referencing with other sites.

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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. Ack!
When I initially posted this, I set it up to be more readable. Now it's a jumbled mess. Sorry. But, you can get the gist of it....
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #56
63. Affiliation with a church does not always correspond with personal beliefs.
The number of atheists today who are still "counted" as Catholics because the church hasn't taken them off its rolls is an example of that.

We learn the most from studying the writings, in particular the private letters, of these men, and those documents tell a different story indeed. But no matter what religious affiliation one might assign to them, it is clear they were secularists, first and foremost, by the nature of the government they gave us.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #63
65. Secularist is not the opposite of Christian
I am a secularist, when it comes to political matters.

Bryant
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #65
66. Didn't say it was. n/t
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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #63
70. Sure.,,,,, of course,,,
but that argument was the same that some made about Hitler and the Catholic Church (and not disavowing his Christianity, either, with that statement. I do believe he fell away from the Catholic Church, however). Look, I know that this is imperfect. We can't definitively state what any person is, so we have to take them for their word. We only have history and their word to go by. So..... I just want to make sure that we are keeping the standards the same for the good and the bad. If we are going to claim that Hitler was Christian because of his affiliations and his (conflicted) words, then I think that we should do the same for the founding fathers. If we are going to deny Hitler's Christianity for other reasons, then we should hold the founding fathers up to the same scrutiny.

Personally, I don't really care about defining anybody as Christians or non-Christians. I do think that the standards, however, should be the same.

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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. Now THAT is flame bait
The founding fathers, at least a large percentage of them, were deists who actually believed the stuff they were spouting, and we're much the better for it.

Hitler, on the other hand, was nominally Christian and used it extensively in his speeches to the weak minded and desperate. He was besotted with the old Germanic collection of gods and goddesses, though, and frequently confused their omnipotence with his own anatomy.

That's the difference. Now go sit in a corner and think about it.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. SO your argument is that
Hitler was not a Christian while the Founding Fathers were?

Or what?

It would be amusing to fight this battle from both sides. But Hitler, regardless of his less orthodox beliefs, claimed to be a Christian and so he's a Christian. Certainly he was an evil bastard, but all faiths and creeds have their bastards.

Bryant
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #19
25. First, look up "deist."
Then read a decent bio of Hitler, and I mean one on paper with a hard cover.

Then get back to me.

In the meantime, don't try to attribute words to me I didn't say. You won't like the result.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. Ok - what are you saying? Please state your position clearly
Was Hitler a Christian?

Were the Founding Fathers Christians?

Bryant
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Dupe n/t
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 09:30 AM by bryant69
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
67. Um, Paine was an atheist.
Try again.

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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #67
71. Paine wasn't the only founding father
Bryant
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
3. I think it's purpose is to help steer Creationists away from the Science Forum
I say that with my tongue only partly in my cheek...

:P

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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #3
69. I think the number of creationists on DU
could probably be counted on the fingers of one hand. The small number that I have seen did not seem to be particularly shy about posting on the science forum. :)
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More Than A Feeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
5. Specifically to piss you off.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 08:34 AM by Heaven and Earth
;-)

On edit: In all seriousness, the purpose of the board is to discuss religion and theology, just as advertised. It just doesn't go as you might expect it to, because it is hard to get down to the nitty-gritty of specific theologians and their ideas (for example) when you have people asking fundamental questions that the church hasn't put to rest in 2000 years (OTOH, isn't the purpose of theology to answer and explain the answer to those questions? That doesn't usually work here because atheists don't accept those answers). You always have to deal with those first before you can move on to anything else, and sometimes (most of the time?) you don't get there.

However, compare the traffic this board gets versus the traffic the Christian Liberal board gets, or any of the other non-atheist religious groups get. The Religion/Theology forum is a vibrant place because you have both atheists and religious liberals together. So maybe that is its purpose. To get believers and atheists who'd otherwise never get to make their cases to eachother and interact with each other together and see what happens...

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Meshuga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
10. I'd say...
Cut the whining on all sides. People get too emotional and take themselves too seriously. Both sides have thin skins and that's very surprising.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
12. This forum is available to everyone
but the groups, I believe, are available only for those who contribute and have stars by their names. So this is the one place where everyone who visits DU can discuss (or maybe cuss and discuss) religious and theological matters.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
13. it is good to have the side communicate.. it eliminates a lot of preconceptions, an misconceptions
the dialog just might help both sides realize they are both wrong and deluded and manipulated by devious elements with alterior motives..for profit and power.

i say talk it up people..
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Both sides???
There may be more than two sides here. Which two did you have in mind?
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Paper or plastic?
Bryant
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. whatever... whatever it takes to end the boring debate about gOD.. there is a function in the brain
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 09:17 AM by sam sarrha
that automatically fills in the blank holes in perception that arise do to the mind not being able or designed to understand something.. sometimes before you can scratch your head and say Hmmmm??? the mind fills in the holes with whatever.. in this case just bullshit.. it just sounds good.

this is explained in the book 'A natural way to draw'.. perspective is an exp ample of this.. if you make a grid to look thru and make a grid on paper and connect the dots you 'see' thru the grid onto the paper.. of someone laying down with their feet toward you.. the drawing will suddenly show really BIG.. i mean REALLY BIG FEET.. it is NOT what you see.!! religion is the same process,.. it is just natural for the mind to smooth out the confusing wrinkles.. that is why the Christians are so against evolution.. they may evolve out of their ignorance and then what the hell would they do.. their time in delusion has not prepared them for the real world.. they cant think for them selves, that is a really scary thing to face..

i really feel for them.. Maybe in the future there will be a 12 step anonymous self help program for them..

after i had been meditating for 4 years.. during a group meditation at our Buddhist Group meeting, i had a universal revolation... Buddhism was sort of an A.A. group for people addicted to 'Conventional' thought.. Meditation was a system to train the mind to ignore the automatic alterations to reality it does automatically if you are not watching it.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. That's sorta funny
Since A.A. requires a belief in a higher power.

But I see your point.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #21
62. not really, i went to meetings with native americans who thought that amusing, the white man missing
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 08:07 PM by sam sarrha
the point again.

as a buddhist we are all one.. and that means no one is higher than anyone else.. Indras WEB..!! when one imporves themselves it reflects on us all.. we are all improved because we are all one.
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #17
72. The world is easier...
when you let others make your decisions for it. Ignorance is bliss, knowledge is pain.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #17
80. sigh...
that is why the Christians are so against evolution.. they may evolve out of their ignorance and then what the hell would they do.. their time in delusion has not prepared them for the real world.. they cant think for them selves, that is a really scary thing to face..


I think I understand what you're trying to say, but it's intolerant to use a broad brush and inferences of mental illness when discussing christians.

Please clarify whether or not you are referring to fundamentalists.

If you are, no harm no foul.

If you're not, you'd better get those shields up, Mr. Sulu. ;)
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toddaa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
22. There is no purpose
Just like life.


Eat, breed, die. Lather, rinse, repeat.
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
28. I for one...
...have no problem with atheists whatsoever. I don't think they're 'dead wrong' either. I think we can co-exist. We are co-existing, at least on DU. =) It's just that certain people want to make out that there's a problem where a problem isn't.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
35. It helps stop people from using religion as justification in the main forums
or from cluttering up the main forums with arguments that tend to go on multiple days.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
38. There is no goal....we are here to talk about religious issues, and everything related to religion.
Thats it. Its also a "dump" forum, so that the main pages don't get to clogged with religious topics. Since you can start a topic about anything religioun related, I find it annoying that so many people complain that atheism has "taken over the board and does not allow real deep religous talk". ITs just a lot more interesting when when we have debates between atheists and religous people....for everybody. But we can talk about whatever you want.
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
39. I call it the arena.
But it's not a fight to the death.

This is probably the most civilized theist/atheist encounter on the internet.

--IMM
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #39
45. I absolutely agree with your civilized comment
though you would have a hard time getting some people in here to admit it. I wish I could send them to some of the really brutal sites.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #39
46. Absolutely concur.
This is probably the most civilized theist/atheist encounter on the internet.

By far. I can only assume those who complain the most about it have never been to any others, because they would undoubtedly see just how nice it is here.
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #39
48. Indeed
I've been to sites specifically for atheist/theist debate that make this forum look like a gathering of like-minded good friends. The "attacks" here are toothless by comparison.
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #48
59. "...like-minded good friends." is the key...
I mean we're all DUers, so our approach to life is basically compatible. This forum is a side dish.

--IMM
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. True
We're dealing with minor differences of opinion among people who are generally "on the same side" here. The forums I speak of are of the knock-down drag out variety where vitriol is the dish du jour.
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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
53. No goal...
though I would like to see a little more discussion of World Religions and their tenants. I find the sociological impact of religion to be fascinating, and I love reading other people's takes.

I truly wish that this forum wasn't as much Theist Vs. Atheist as it is. That disheartens me. I get it. I would love to learn more about Buddhism, Sufism, Zoroastrianism, Bahaiism, Wiccanism, Shintoism, Sihkism, and many others.

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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
55. polls (NT)
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #55
58. you should really post a poll on that
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
61. The purpose of this board
is to discuss all things dealing with religion and theology. Unlike the other boards you mentioned this board is not dedicated to a particular belief. Thus it exists as a place for those of differing positions to discuss their differences and similarities in regards to their beliefs concerning gods. Religion and Theology.

In such an open format there are going to be supporters and critics of various positions. They exist whether this board is provided or not. And matters of religion will come up in political discussions because there is a heavy push on the part of certain religious groups to impose their religious beliefs. The upshot is that our society is politically impacted by religion.

Now politics is already a tricky subject to discuss. Adding religion to the mix can often ignite things beyond reason. So DU created this board in order to provide those of us who wish to discuss religion a forum in order to hash out our issues with others of differing positions. Christians in the Christian board tend to discuss things from a Christian only perspective. Atheists in the Atheist board tend to discuss things from an atheist position. Not much learning goes on in that way. Thus having a meeting ground where all positions can come together to learn and discuss with one another seems to me to be a logical and sensible solution to a potential tempest in a teapot kind of situation.
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
64. I don't know. I LIKE hearing about others' beliefs, and throwing
ideas around.

I'm attracted by the illusive hope of some sort of synthesis, I think.

It's such a tease.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
68. I honestly think the main goal of this forum
is to try to keep this crap out of the main DU forums. I don't mean to suggest that all of the discussions on here are crap, but they do tend to be rather inflammatory, and full of rather nasty attacks on people of divergent views. Many of the threads here turn into incredibly nasty flame wars. I think that keeping it out of the main forums is a very sensible policy.
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
74. WHO THE FUCK CARES???
WHO GIVES A RAT'S ASS WHETHER THE FOUNDING FATHERS OR HITLER WERE CHRISTIAN OR NOT???
I mean, COME ON. America was NOT founded as a 'Christian nation'...it was meant to have no official or 'state' religion. The founding fathers were great...regardless of whether or not they were specifically Christian. Their faith, or lack thereof, has NOT impact in how totally fanfuckingtastic they were.
Likewise, Hitler was a piece of shit, and his faith has NO bearing on how much of a piece of shit he was. He would've been a pestulant wart on the ass of humanity no matter what his beliefs were. And, likewise likewise, George W. Bush is a Christian, DEAL WITH IT.
The purpose of this forum? Pointless, waste your time flamebait threads =P
I swear, this pointless arguing about ridiculously inconsequential points is going to make my head explode. :argh: :rant: :banghead:
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Meshuga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #74
75. No shit!
I also followed that debate and it went nowhere. :-)
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #74
76. Check the time stamps on the posts
It took only 10 minutes to turn into a Hitler thread. And it wasn't hijacked either. It was the original poster who turned it into a Hitler thread. :shrug:
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Meshuga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #76
77. You forgot to give Kudos
to Goblinmonger for also being able to keep this "ultra insteresting" debate alive. You know, it takes two to tango... and when others come in it turns into a full party! :-)
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #77
82. Fine, as long as you also give Goblinmonger kudos for his R/T pledge.
Edited on Sun Dec-17-06 12:26 PM by beam me up scottie
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Meshuga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #82
86. Good for him
(or her?).

That's a nice initiative!
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #86
89. Gobby's a he. And about as tolerant as they come.
Edited on Sun Dec-17-06 12:57 PM by beam me up scottie
There is a lot of history in this forum and for the most part, both believers and non know what buttons to push and not to push.

And while none of us are innocent when it comes to pushing them, I think most of us who post here regularly try not to offend whenever possible.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #74
78. Er... see thats the problem
There is an active attempt going on to revise history and posit that this nation was in fact supposed to be a Christian nation. And while the faction involved in this revision does not have sufficient numbers to pull it off on their own the GOP is dependent on them and their consistant voting block to such an extent that they are enpowered beyond their reach. So ... yeah.... it kinda makes a difference.
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #78
84. This is true...
And people will lie, make up quotes, and the like, to try to 'prove' it.
As 'America: The Book' said about the agenda of the Christian Coalition 'One Nation Under a Very Specific God'...
contrary to the principles of Christianity and the Constitution, they desire to transform the U.S. into a theocracy.
Then the terrorists win.
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Meshuga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #78
93. I would assume
that people here in DU are aware of that issue (revising of history) and agree with you. Or am I being too optimistic? :-)

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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #93
97. Well... I have had discussions with some
who would argue the point. But in general most here at DU get the big tent thing. Otherwise they quickly find out one of the ironies of the tolerant group is that they tend to be intolerant of intolerance.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #74
81. Look up the No True Scotsman fallacy.
DUers are hardly the first people to address this issue.

And just like I would never tell you that Hitler was a bad man because he was christian, I would appreciate the same courtesy from christians who say that because he was a bad man, he had to be one of us.

Both of those claims are offensive.


If it's getting to you, Elrond, take a break. Quite a few of us do it on a regular basis.
Visit some of the other religion forums on the internet. They make DU's R/T look like a walk in the park.

For that matter, so does GD most of the time... :D

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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #81
83. That's what I'm sayin'...
that it's pointless to try to label him as Christian or atheist because one or the other doesn't want him associated with him.
It's silly to say 'he's no Christian!' just because he's evil, just as it's silly to say 'he MUST be christian' just because he's evil. Evil is as evil does. Many evil people do their evil in the name of a faith...many do not. Religion is a FANTASTIC motivator of hate and violence, however, perhaps the best.
People who try to disown bad Christians are just plain silly. They just can't seem to accept that truly horrible people follow the same religion (more or less) as you?
I've never seen atheists do the same thing for Stalin or Kim Jong Il. Guess it must be a (stupid) religious thing.
i think i'll stay away from the other R/T forums on the net...i prefer to avoid trogolodytes.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #83
88. Yep, you got what the point was right away.
It's natural to want to disown * and other losers.

Hell, if I could kick him out of the human race, I would.

Except that would be unfair to all of the other species who are much more noble.

Even slime mold deserves respect.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #81
87. Heck, I nearly took a year long break
In the end the secret is .... the words can't bug you if you don't actually read them.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #87
92. We were worried and wondered what happened to you.
I've never taken a break that long, they usually send out a search party for me after a couple of weeks.

I love my friends on DU. :hug:
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Meshuga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #81
90. Hitler
To suggest Hitler was probably atheist because of his attroceties is offensive.

Sure, he was not bad because he was a Christian although he did use hateful quotes from Martin Luther to entice the murder of 6 million Jews. Luther himself used the NT to create disdain for the Jews.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold your house is left unto you desolate. (Matthew 23.37,38) Then answered all the people (Jews) and said, His blood be on us and on our children (Matthew 27:25). 1 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you to councils, and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten (Mark 13.9)

Stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so you do. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers (Acts 7.51-53)

The Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God and are contrary to all men: forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. (l Thessalonians 2.14-16)

I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan ... (Revelation 2.9,10)

Behold I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews and are not but do lie; behold I will make them to come and worship before thy feet... (Revelation 3.9)

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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #90
94. Yes, it is. But it's not just the claims that he's an atheist.
It's the inference that he's a non-christian because of his immoral behaviour.

The history of christianity is filled with horrible atrocities, to pretend christians are too morally superior to commit them is denial squared.
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #94
95. ....and it's kind of funny, too...
funny and a little bit pitiful
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #95
96. We should learn from history.
Not revise or hide it.
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TRYPHO Donating Member (299 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
98. It stops me playing poker.
And only one other thing does that, and you aint half as pretty.

TRYPHO
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