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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:26 PM
Original message
Right-Wing Hatemongering Fueled by Christianity?
http://www.alternet.org/story/142755/right-wing_hatemon ...

Former president Jimmy Carter went on the record to point out that he believes that racism is at the heart of the great deal of the extreme animosity being leveled at President Obama (NBC News September 15). Carter identified himself as a Southerner with an insider's understanding. There's something he didn't mention however: the special culpability of his own religion -- Evangelical Christianity -- for the anti-Obama hyperventilating and furious reaction to our first black president. And that reaction has less to do with race and more to do with the ugliest side of religion.

-snip-

Here Are The Alternatives To Change the Theologically-Induced Hate Landscape:

A) all sane Americans must become atheists or agnostics,

or...

B) those of us who are Christians must rescue Christianity from the willfully ignorant evangelicals and fundamentalists.

I favor the second alternative. First, having been raised in an evangelical/fundamentalist home I've long since moved beyond my background when it comes to my politics and my theology. That proves something; people can change their minds! I did.

-----------------------

So, what say the Christians here? Is this right? Are the choices correct? Will you take back your religion from the fringe?
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. hasn't this split existed since Luther?
the Catholic argument against Protestantism et al is that there's no control on the crazyness people will believe without some form of theological control. hence the Waco Branch Davidians, Jonestown, Mormons, 7th Day Adventists, Jehovah Witnesses, etc. ad nauseum.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. No, but the RW hijacked some congregations and twisted things for propaganda
Sadly, some (small c) christians let them get away with it. Some folks want to believe what fits their most primitive responses. The RW knows this and twists a narrow (twisted) version of Christianity with their long term, class goals and makes the rope by which the best of both Christianity AND our democracy gets hanged.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. .
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. When I first started college, I was very surprised to fine so many
fellow students who were actively religious. I had attended a religious school all my life and had hoped to find that intelligent people were agnostic or athiest...at least sceptics.
It was one of the greatest disapointments of my life to discover otherwise.

I believe that "religion" is the greatest wrong ever done by humanity to itself, and I still can't understand how any thinking person can believe such sophomoric bullshit.

A vote for option "A".


mark
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Really?
You find that, generally, atheists and agnostics are NOT intelligent?
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. No, I found contrary to my expectations "religious" people who WERE
intelligent - I thought any thoughtful person would be as least sceptical. I have never met a stupid athiest.

I obviously did not make myself clear in my reply.

mark
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Piety strongly correlated with teh stupid at the schools I've been at...
But sure - there are outliers.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Excuse me, but intelligence really doesn't have much to do
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 02:25 PM by liberalhistorian
with religious belief or the lack thereof. I'm not unintelligent because I'm a believer, and I've known quite a few atheists/agnostics who weren't all that bright. And I've known many Christians or adherents of other religions who are and were extremely intelligent. It seems to me that atheists/agnostics can be just as arrogant and theocratic as too many Christians, both are equally bad. You have no more right to force unbelief on people as you do belief.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Lost-in-FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. Stop persecuting christians!1!11!!!
:hide:
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #25
38. ....


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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. Again with the forcing of things...
No one but you keeps talking about forcing something on someone. Why?
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Ron Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #11
47. I think there is a correlation between the CHARACTER of religious belief and intelligence,
or lack thereof. People who hold fast to dogma, inerrancy, ritual and intolerance are not as intelligent as people whose religion encourages tolerance, a quiet mind, scholarship and service.

IMHO.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
24. I found that too. Philosophy class was like a bad acid trip.
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juno jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. Yes, the Christians are going to have to clean house theologically speaking.
Only they can do it, really, if they want their religion to survive.

An emphasis on Jesus's teachings and a step away from the kind of ignorant superstition that makes even a pagan like myself roll their eyes would be a welcome development.(ie: stuff like 'praying out the gay' and 'spiritual mapping' etc. All superstition with no base in the bible)


I was raised to be Christian, albeit the kind with quiet faith. I still dig Jesus. But I don't see many christians with even a basic understandiing of their own faith in religious, spiritual, metaphysical or historical context. They believe 'X' because, by gum, some guy with a title (often *honorary*) told them that that was true and they don't have to reach, think or work any longer. They wish to be 'absolved' without doing any of the heavy lifting involved with emulating Jesus. It saddens me and worries me at the same time.

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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. For me, its a double edged sword
If "good" religious folks dont become proactive and take back their religion from the fundies, then it will eventually implode and go away. As an atheist, either option works for me and will be good for everyone.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Believe me, we're trying. And you really think you have the right
to force unbelief on unwilling people, like me? That's as bad as the fundies attempting to impose belief on everyone. See how well that went over in communist countries, with believers risking their very lives just to hold services in their own homes, let alone attend church. Why can't DUErs recognize that forcing unbelief is just as bad as forcing belief?
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. Who was trying to force anything?
I certainly did no such thing.
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Lost-in-FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #12
26. Who's forcing you to unbelieve?
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 03:45 PM by Lost-in-FL
Last time I heard, atheists were not going house to house shoving their unbeliefs on people.

Please, cut the drama.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. How about Option A in the OP?
All sane Americans MUST become agnostics or atheists? If that isn't forcing something on people, I don't know what is. It's as bad as the RW fundies demanding that everything be done THEIR way and it's just as theocratic. You don't see that because it's what YOU believe, or disbelieve, so to speak. So it appears to be okay with you that people should be forced to have YOUR beliefs, as in option A. How is that different from fundies demanding that all believe their way?

And I have NEVER gone "door to door shoving my beliefs down other's throats." Nor would I ever, nor would most Christians I know. I've been berated by both Christians, particularly fundies, who don't consider me a "true" Christian 'cause I don't subscribe to their particular theology/doctrine, and atheists/agnostics disdainful and contemptuous of anyone who doesn't share their views. Both are equally wrong and obnoxious. Non-religious bigotry is as bad as religious bigotry, frankly.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Slow down and take a depp breath.
First of all, those are not MY words. I just posted a bit from an article, you should dread the whole thing. Second, I think you are reading an order into what I see as an opinion. The writer states that there are only two choices for religion left: 1- drop the whole thing and become atheist/agnostic or 2- retake your religion from the fundies. I dont see that as forcing anything, I see that a person is writing what they feel are the last two options.
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #29
42. delete - wrong place
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 08:45 PM by darkstar3
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heidler1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. I too am an Atheist. Even though Bush set a near perfect example of the danger that we face when
our leaders push for war against other religions and found no problem with sacrificing American lives to do this "god's work" with no clear advantageous outcome. The controlling religious voters for "nation building" is still sending me E-mails, that I'm supposed to fwd. bitching about any effort to get along with these people. Well anyway I delete them all.

I get a whole lot of E-mails from these same people rubbing my face in their facade of patriotism when they seem oh so proud of our boys/girls in uniform, but neglect being responsible for the lives that are playing religious games with. It's sad that the unemployment rate is so high and doubly sad that enlistments are up due to the unemployment. I'm sure that many people get this twisted into being a opportunity.
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juno jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
28. I can understand that one too.
I'm an atheist on days when I comtemplate the role of brain chemistry in spiritual experience. :)

I'm mostly anti-organized religion. I find people who have thought out their beliefs for themselves after availing themselves of knowledge (and this includes atheists) to be far more interesting persons than those who will take some so-called minister's word for it.(only 60-odd percent of 'ministers' have any sort of degree, and I'm sure many of those are not reflecting in-depth studies of Christian/western history, Gnosticism and the dead sea scrolls, or the deeper symbolic strata of the original aramaic bible)

It also loops around into the authoritarian mindset. Many of these religionists are looking for a 'daddy in the sky' and his presentative on earth to tell them what to do. I suspect many atheists and modern mystics both share a certain lack of respect for so-called spiritual authorities, especially when said authorities say things that are especially hypocritical and heinious.

In the meantimes, it's a beautiful day! See ya 'round! :hi:

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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
39. Exactly.
Christianists love to inform us how much they care for others. Because ever since they found Jesus, his "perfect love" has become a living living testament inside them. Without him they tell us, they'd be lost. And it is this special love of Jesus which allows them to love their enemies. Even if they're Methodist or Presbyterians, whom everyone knows are hardly a Christians at all, being that they're so liberal. Why the love of Jesus makes them all just one BIG HAPPY FAMILY IN THE LORD.

However, let a scandal hit the wind and they're singing a different tune. Whenever there's a religious scandal (just wait few minutes for the next one) and the Christian apologists are quick to denounce those others. Those, not really true-believers. There "not of us" they're quick to say. It ain't love and togetherness they want then, but separation and distance. And when this happens it ain't about Jesus no more, it's about the DEVIL. All of a sudden that perfect love that cures all ills wasn't enough to keep Lucifer at-bay. Where once Jesus reigned supreme, the DEVIL now controls. And all of a sudden they're ready to kick these fellow believers to the curb in a heartbeat, because of the fear that something untoward could besmirch their own precious reputations if people come to associate or connect them in some way to these evil-doers. They don't want the smell of devil shit getting on them.

This happens in every instance whenever some nutjob like that freak and his wife who kidnapped a young girl so that he could fulfill some bullshit religious belief he found in the bible which gave him the god-given right to steal her life away, then all of a sudden it's his mental state that is at issue, not any of the religious bullshit that fed that insanity and made him into the nut we now read about, to begin with. Why? Because they don't want anyone to believe that they too could do such a thing. But the reality of it is that if they are believers: they could. Particularly when they can go to their religious justification books (AKA: bibles) and find instance after instance where such heinous behavior is blessed by their Lord.

This whole panoply of ineptitude all began with Martin Luther. Once Luther started his own Jesus shop, that meant anybody could. It also meant anybody could interpret what god says, what Jesus means, and who and what the devil is. It was no longer a literal truth, unchanging and sacrosanct. It became a metaphor with many interpretations. Even the interpretation as to its truth and relevancy.

Bottom-line, anyone who is religious today, isn't paying attention. They're either simply ignorant and uneducated and can't really help their circumstances. Or they're willfully ignorant - meaning they're people who see the incongruities of religion and know of its falsehoods (the apple and Eden, Jonah and the whale, Noah and the ark, dragons, sea monsters flat earth, etc.), but ignore them because they lack the courage to stand-up for logic and reason which is what they really believe and depend upon everyday to survive. These are the same people who can be an expert in computers, a whiz at math, they can be scientists and doctors and lawyers. But the logical brain that they depend upon daily to live and make their way in the world in all other areas of life, they are willing to accept these lies without question when it comes to questioning or objecting to religion. They are prepared to smother logic and ignore reality, because the fears that were instilled in them as children rears its ugly head and scares them back into the fold.

- When these fears of hell and damnation rear their ugly heads its usually unseen, subconscious and automatic. But always sad.....
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
8. Hate and intolerance are as much a part of the religon as salvation and love...
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 01:28 PM by Ozymanithrax
You will have to convince the entire right wing Christian movement that John Nelson Darby and Cyrus Scofield were wrong. Tell them that the bible isn't literally true in every word and that God is not going to torture to death most of humanity for denying the literal, holy, and literaly true word of God.

I suspect you will not succede in that endeavor, but I wish you luck.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I am not trying to do anything.
I am asking if christians that feel they are not represented by the fringe right (which seems to be just about EVERY one of them) are going to do anything about it. I feel that they will not.
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Ad's were concidered too Un-PC
I thought the UCC's add campaign of a year or two ago was quite a clever way of putting it. But most stations wouldn't air it for upsetting other folks.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. Who are the "folks" getting upset?
Dont they get upset when the fundies make them all look crazy and hateful?
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. Networks
CBS and NBC, however, declined to show it, citing concerns that it implicitly criticized other churches.

roanoke.com/columnists/lowe/15282.html
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #19
33. Yes, we do, indeed. And talking to them about
it is like spitting into the wind. They just scream louder at you, then claim that you're not a "real" Christian because you don't subscribe to THEIR particular theological perspective. Fortunately, I think the religious left is beginning to recognize that we need to start being more forceful and push back more, instead of trying to always be "nice" and "reasonable" about it.

I think we're realizing that pushing back more doesn't mean being hateful or mean-spirited, and that we're going to have to start doing it. The religious left did that during the abolition movement and the civil rights movement and the "urban" movement of the late 19th-early 20th century (trying to get justice and better working and living conditions for tenement/slum dwellers, factory workers, working against child labor, which was quite common at that time for the lower classes, etc., etc.), when many "traditional" churches just wanted to keep the status quo. We need to do that again, especially the battle for justice in health care.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. I will assist in any way I can.
The task is daunting, for sure. Sometimes you have to take on the tactics of the opposition to beat them. All is fair in love and war......
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
10. I agree with this and, as a proud Christian, I choose option
B, no question I've been trying to do this on an individual level for quite some time. The thing is that many of the loudmouth RW fundies are actually not the majority of Christians, they're just the LOUDEST so it SEEMS like they're the majority. Most of the rest of us have just been going about the work that God demands, that we care for others in whatever they need and that we do so regardless of their "social" status or culpability. We're finally realizing that WE also need to be "loud" to counter those who've hijacked the religion and made it so much more difficult for both the rest of us and the country.

"He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker and whoever is kind to the needy honors God." Proverbs 14:31.

There are, literally, hundreds of such verses throughout both the Old and New Testaments, that the RW fundies have conveniently ignored in favor of their unbiblical "prosperity" doctrine; not to mention their demonizing of anyone in need, in TOTAL contrast to biblical verses and injunctions. Over and over and over and over again, God expresses his affinity with the poor and needy and contempt and judgment for those who ignore/stomp on them.

As for Option A-you have no more right to force people to NOT believe as you do to force them to believe. That's just another form of theocracy.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #10
22. Why do keep stateing that someone is trying to force things?
No one but you is stating that. Please explain or stop.
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #22
30. Obviously, your reading comprehension
is awry today. Please refer to option A in the OP, all sane Americans must become agnostics or atheists. And I really don't have to "explain" anything to you, just like you don't have to justify your belief, or lack of one, to me. You're the one who really appears arrogant about it, frankly.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. You see an order in what is an opinion.
Do you read the bible so literally as well?
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. No, many parts are meant
figuratively and/or allegorically.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. Which parts are those?
And who gets to decide?
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liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #37
44. Pick up some books on
biblical scholarship, there are plenty that are readily available. I'm not a seminary professor or a theologian here. I almost did attend a seminary, but ended up having and raising my son instead. I may try to do that again in a few years, who knows.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #44
46. Sorry, that was rhetorical.
My point was that there really is no consensus of what is literal and what is not, and is the real center of debate about whether the bible is something to read and learn from or something to rule from. Personally, I think there are some good life lessons to be learned in it, but it is so full of contradiction and hypocrisy that one could never claim it as "law".
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
13. MLKjr. William Sloan Coffin, Ralph Abernathy, Daniel Patric Berrigan,
American Friends Service Committie, James Wallis, Bill Moyers, Desmund TuTu, Dorathea Day,George McGovern, Jimmy Carter himself, Paul Tillich, Rev. Gene Robinson, Sr. Carrie Prejean, Brennan Manning, Ted Kennedy, RFK.JFK, Barack Obama...... and on and on


Many Christians are VERY LIBERAL and LOVING- not hatefilled. Sadly, there are many "chris"tians today who are being manipulated by those whose motives have nothing to do with FAITH or SPIRITUALITY to act against the heart of the gospel- and ignore the call to work for social justice.

Option B is the only option. Christianity hasn't been taken over- but the message that it has, is all that gets out through the media- and that in itself, is destructive.

:shrug:
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
41. Not to get snarky,
but never, under any circumstances, should you use Carrie Prejean as an example of someone who is a loving, liberal Christian. Big mistake.

Second, your first sentence is called an 'appeal to authority', and remember that just because some high profile individuals are loving, liberal Christians, that doesn't mean that the majority of Christians necessarily fall under that heading.

As to the rest of your point, here's my biggest problem. How am I, as someone outside the faith, supposed to tell the difference between a Christian and a "chris"tian? I have no Christian yardstick or balance, I cannot measure the size or worth of their faith, so I must trust to their own self-identification.

You say that it's the message that's been corrupted, but I disagree. It's not just the "willfully ignorant evangelicals and fundamentalists" that are the problem. Even some nominally mainstream denominations in this country, like Lutheranism, are still anti-gay, anti-woman, and anti-choice. Granted, many other religions hit the same trifecta, but that doesn't make any one of them right.

So if you intend to make option B work, you have a whole lot of work ahead of you, and you will be fought tooth and nail the whole way.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 03:10 AM
Response to Reply #41
56. I think it was supposed to be "Sister HELEN Prejean"
Prejean is a pretty common French-American name, shared by the activist nun Sister Helen and the anti-gay "activist" Carrie.

Sister Helen was the inspiration for Dead Man Walking.

--d!
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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #13
50. Carrie Prejean???
So being hateful of gays only is not being "hatefilled"?

That's christianity for you. SOMEONE'S got to go to hell. Better the homos than the rest of us.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 03:12 AM
Response to Reply #50
57. Not Carrie, but Sister HELEN Prejean
I think it was an error based on the news cycle -- see above.

--d!
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
23. Read "The Family" by Jeff Sharlet
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
36. I vote for alternative.....

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.............
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
40. Neither alternative appears to have had much thought
put into it.


all sane Americans must become atheists or agnostics

There can be no must about becoming an atheist or agnostic. It is something that someone can only come to on their own, if it is to be deep-seeded and meaningful.

those of us who are Christians must rescue Christianity from the willfully ignorant evangelicals and fundamentalists

Underlying this alternative is the unspoken, arrogant and unjustified belief by "liberal" or "progressive" Christians that they are real Christians, and have the correct interpretation of scripture nailed, and all of the hundreds of millions of Christians who disagree with them are dead wrong. But what arrogance do they claim any more wisdom about what God really meant (the same God about which so many liberal believers often say, when it's convenient, "sometimes we just can't expect to understand God's plan for us") than fundamentalists have? They claim that something can't be supported by scripture...well, someone else clearly thinks it can. And yet they take on a smug and superior attitude, while never even considering the possibility that it might be THEIR interpretation that is wrong.

And in any event, how exactly are these people to be stripped of their beliefs and prevented from practicing their religion as they see fit? How, in practical terms, is this miraculous "rescue" to take place?

A far more sensible way of approaching things would be to let people believe whatever they want privately, but to make every effort to prevent public policy in any form from being shaped or motivated in any way by religious faith or belief. Take away their political power, and fundies are just a gang of Sunday morning babblers. No easy thing to accomplish either, to be sure, but a far better place to start. The country did use to be that way.
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
43. SHUT UP AND LISTEN PEOPLE!
A lot of people seem to be up in arms about Option A in the OP. That's fine, because it's SUPPOSED TO PISS YOU OFF. It's a false dichotomy, used as a tool by the article writer so that they could make people think for just a few minutes about how they could improve the Christian religion and image.

NO ONE, not even the writer, is ACTUALLY suggesting that we force atheism or agnosticism onto anyone. PERIOD. End of story. No substitutions, exchanges, or refunds.

Why are SO many people here ready and willing to believe that atheists are out to do nothing more or less than crush their faith? Persecution complex much?

:rant: :mad:
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GrilledCheeses Donating Member (60 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:57 AM
Response to Reply #43
45. Exactly. I'm routing for the Lib-Xtians...
to take over. Policy would be improved 3 fold.



(though i see it as silly...can't help myself) :P
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MNDemNY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
48. religion IS the fringe. (of intelligence)
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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
49. I Vote For A
I can't even begin to imagine how advanced we might be as a nation if we didn't have to continually bow to the unabashed ignorance that is organized religion.
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
51. my faith never had anything to do with the right wing hate-mongers
so there's nothing to be taken away.

They can posture as they choose - they hold no power over me. Nor do they define my religion or my faith.
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Leontius Donating Member (380 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. That's the thing the religion haters don't understand
they don't control our faith, they just scream the loudest and get the most attention. Besides it's easier to ridicule and hate any group if you take the worst example of that group.
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. Yes, it is.
And welcome to DU!
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 01:21 AM
Response to Original message
52. Ummm, telling the liberal Christians to rein in the fundies
is like telling the Democrats to rein in the Maoists.

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jemelanson Donating Member (254 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #52
55. Until and unless the people who support these religious sects
refuse to support them with their donations and labor, the sects will continue down a path that would be as terrible or maybe even worse than it was to begin with. Wake up and smell the coffee. The moderate Christians can no more rein in the fundies than the moderate Muslims can rein in their fundies. The fundies of both sects/religions do not recognize the moderates as having the authority to rein them in. It begins with the courage to question the teaching of their church. It continues with education and asking those questions that have been forbidden to be asked. Go to your favorite book store. Not the one your church runs. Books I would suggest would begin with "The Dark Side of Christian History" by Helen Ellerby and with " When God was a Woman." by Merlin Stone. Inform yourself how having a State Religion in other counties has led to the loss of Human rights, loss of freedom, intolerance of any other religion, and how the government has been used as a tool of the state religion to control the people, to inflict their morals on the people, and punish those who do not go along. It is not just to control the morals and lives but to also control their spirituality. To control how they see God, how they interact with each other and how they find their spiritual path. The founders of our country had experienced this first hand in Europe. That is why there is a seperation or Church and State. Most people are brought up not to question our religion as it is presented to us. That is the way and the truth and the light. any deviation from that path leads to Satan and eternity in Hell. We are brought up not to question or think on such things. Skills like critical thinking and analysis, that we use as adults are not allowed to be turned on religion. Think on that for a while. Ask those questions.
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 03:20 AM
Response to Reply #52
58. Au contraire.....
...Maoists ain't never been accused of being Democrats. But ALL Fundies are definitely members of the Christian religion.

- You may not want 'em, but they're yourin'.........

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #58
59. THEY don't think they're ours
Their preachers preach against us and call us corrupt and tainted by the world. We have no organizational ties--they're not even in the National Council of Churches, because they think it's a "Communist front." When fundies say "Christian" they are NOT referring to us.

To an uninformed outsider (like a Rushbot), Democrats, Socialists, Communists, Maoists, Marxists,are all the same thing. I'm sure you've heard right-wing fanatics refer to Obama as a Socialist Marxist or something equally absurd.

It is also uninformed to think that mainstream Christians have ANY authority or clout with the fundies.


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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-26-09 03:43 AM
Response to Reply #59
70. Agreed, they don't think you're there's(or something like that)....
Edited on Sat Sep-26-09 03:51 AM by DeSwiss
...but you must admit that it is their "squeaky wheel" that's getting the oil. They're the ones who're defining the debate, and are saying that their harsh immovable doctrines and positions are what is right, what god wants. All based upon their flawed, uneducated and unscientific thinking. I mean please. "Creationism?" A belief that includes the idea that god sent the devil back in time so that he could plant dinosaur fossils to confound man into thinking that people like Fred and Wilma really did exist? Okay?

All I'm saying is this: since around Reagan, the moderate and liberal wing religionists have basically sat back on their asses and allowed these nuts to define religion in this country. While to their credit they once eschewed close political affiliations and instead targeted their energies toward addressing the needs of worldwide poverty and education as their Christian duty, goals and purpose. Meanwhile Falwell, Robertson and James Dobson (et al), sewed everything else up. The Moral Majority was born and thus began our troubles. But their political block (as with the ideology that goes with it) is what decided elections. In the absence of any alternative views spoken just as loudly and politically.

It has been that 'diseased' relationship that the Far Religious-Right Wingnuts have had with politicians, is the very reason how we could end up with George W. Bush as President of the United States. A man who claimed to believe in the existence of the fabled demons of Gog and Magog, whom he would do battle. And at one time, he had the nuclear codes. Think about that for a second. So what happens in that vacuum?, now when people think of American Religion, who do you think comes to mind? The anti-Semite Billy Graham? The racist Jerry Falwell? The sado-masochist James Dodson who hated Dr. Spock and taught his parents that children will come to accept the pain and become obedient. Sounds like he has some heavy submission fantasies going-on there too.

But you can name them yourself - Oral, Jimmy, Jim, Tammy, Creflo, Rev. Ike, Rob Schuller and his Glass Menagerie. Just to name a few. They are all bit players playing their parts as one of the cast from Great American Religious soap-opera. A play intended by its author to be a religious farce, except no one gets the joke.

- They keep believing that the religion angle is for real!

on edit: spelling
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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #52
60. Fine. Then Don't Get Pissy When We Blame Christians For Anti-Gay, Anti-Abortion Shit
If you won't take responsibility for your own religious beliefs, don't expect the people being persecuted to pick and choose which christian assholes are oppressing them.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. Then why don't you white folk rein in your rapists, murderers, and Republicans
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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. Um...You Can't Choose Your Race, Or Your Sexual Orientation.
You CAN choose your religion. And if you choose one that has an eons-old history of oppression of gays and women (and blacks, and Jews, and other races), which practices much the same policies in the present day, then don't whine when the persecuted call you all hateful, ignorant assholes.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. All right the, reign in those Republicans - you've both chosen to be political,
therefore, by your logic, you are responsible for their behavior.

Obviously, since some small segment of those who choose to be political (such as Cheney, Margaret Thatcher, that dick in charge of Iran, Bill Frist, and so on) are evil assclowns who hate people, then ALL people who are political are criminal shitbags, either for being directly a criminal shitbag or for not having reigned their brothers and sisters in for being criminal shitbags.

END ALL POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS! POLITICS LEADS TO WAR, DEATH, FINANCIAL MAYHEM, AND GENOCIDE!!!!!

:eyes:

Fer fuck's sake.

:eyes:

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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #63
64. No, I'm Afraid You Still Fail.
I am white, but I am not a Republican. You are a christian, and Fred Phelps is a christian. See the difference? You can scream til you're blue in the face that he's not a "real" christian (whatever that means to you), but it doesn't make him any less a christian. Also, are you aware of just WHERE the money that you tithe to your church goes? Are you sure that none of it went to any pro-Prop 8 groups? Anti-abortion groups? Fees for lawyers fighting to have creationism taught in schools? To send missionaries over to Africa to preach abstinence and withhold condoms?

You own your religion. It's broken. What are you doing to fix it?
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jemelanson Donating Member (254 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #64
65. I totally agree with you. , Toasterlad.
In July of this year Jimmy Carter (former President) cut his ties with the Southern Baptist Convention because of their stand on the equality of Women.
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/losing-my-religion-for...

Losing my religion for equality
JIMMY CARTER
July 15, 2009


Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries.

If they will not listen, then cut the amount that you give them and do not support them with your time. ie unpaid labor. If enough people do this they will eventually listen.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #64
66. Two things: 1) I dropped the race thing already, and talked about "being political"
which you utterly ignored; and 2) yes, I *do* know that none of my money went to those things.

Sorry to batter down the door of your smug righteousness.

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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. Two More Things.
1) Your analogy is inane. I didn't say, "You're religious, therefore, you're responsible for all the terrible things religion has brought to the world.", which would be the only way your analogy would work. You claim to be a CHRISTIAN, so you are only responsible for the terrible things CHRISTIANITY does, not Islam or Mormon or Scientology or any other. It's really not that hard.

2) I don't believe you. Care to name the church you belong to, so I can check it out for myself?
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-25-09 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #67
68. Since you've judged me to be a liar, why should I bother?
:eyes:

Try this tack: replace "political" with whatever nationality you are. Now the analogy has no faults. You choose to live in whatever country you live in, and so therefore you are responsible for everything that anyone does in that country. If you are American, then that makes you responsible for Republicans, murderers, rapists, and the bombing of innocents. Among other things. Until you, personally, fix the problems, I shall decry you and consider you an ignorant boob for so freely associating with such abject evil.
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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-26-09 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #68
69. You Still Don't Get It.
Edited on Sat Sep-26-09 01:37 AM by Toasterlad
By claiming to be a christian, you are subscribing to a set of beliefs, and a certain code of conduct. The same is not true of someone born to a country, or one who moves there. In a democracy, we are certainly partly responsible for the decisions of our elected officials, because we vote for them, but we are in no way responsible for the actions of private citizens, simply because we share the same country. You, on the other hand, presumably contribute money to a religious organization, and even if you do not, you help spread the "brand" by identifying yourself as a christian, and therefore help perpetuate it. That makes you partly responsible for the actions of your faith. Like many, many christians, you try to dodge that responsibility by claiming that those who publicly perform ignorant and hateful acts aren't really "christian", and yet, they have the same affiliation you do. You're like the catholics who claim that they don't support the enabling of pedophilia, homophobia and misogyny of the church, and yet contribute money to support all of these practices. You are guilty of all that your church is guilty of, whether you believe yourself to be or not. If you were an honorable person, you'd admit it, instead of trying to deflect your guilt by drawing ludicrous analogies that can be easily disproved by any third grader.

Your refusal to expose your church to scrutiny is noted.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-26-09 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #69
71. Oh, okay - now I see the truth. Guilt by association is only in those groups you don't like
Edited on Sat Sep-26-09 08:32 AM by Rabrrrrrr
or are not yourself participating in.

Gotcha!

Thanks for clarifying. You're right - if we could just get rid of religion, crime would go away, violence would disappear, and the earth would become a total fucking utopia of ego-less sharing and harmony in which everyone helped each other and lived in perfect bliss.

p.s. - Your continued insistence that I am a liar is noted. As is your claim that I am a dishonorable person. And then you wonder why people don't bother answering your accusations.

:eyes:

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