Politics and Progressive Religion

Barak Obama made an incredibly smart speech the other day. He ‘chastised’ Democrats for making religion into a boogeyman to be hunted down and killed where ever it appears in public. Obama’s warning is smart for the simple fact that it is true. Democrats have positioned themselves as the party of anti-religion. Still, despite Obama’s speech I don’t think this will change anytime soon.

So let's talk about the politics of anti-religion in America. Evangelical Christians are demonized routinely in the press and by a broad spectrum of liberal voices. The imagined march to theocracy is a frequent theme. The re-election of Bush in 2004 was even characterized (with the standard snarl of disgust) as being due to the horrible Christian-ness of, "JesusLand." Thus Obama's apparent suggestion is a radical departure from the Democratic party line.

At the same time, he said, "Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square."

As a result, "I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy."  ~WashingtonPost.com
So the admonition of a liberal Senator urging Democrats to, "court evangelicals," is significant. Even though, one could look at this call with advanced scepticism, or as watchblog contributor, Scottie, puts it, "Barack Obama Fakes Interest in Evangelicals."

I agree with Scottie. I think that the view that Obama holds is colored by a significant amount of disinformation. He has one thing right though-- democrats have largely abandoned the field of religious discourse... except to demonize.

What Obama is missing is that the problem comes when they start telling evangelicals what they stand for. Even when, --well, actually scratch that-- especially when the left is religious and attempts to argue leftist policies from a moral-religious perspective, there is such a dichotomy between what evangelicals believe and what 'progressive christians' believe that the gulf seems even wider from that perspective than it does from a merely political one.

Let me explain. 'Progressive christians' are more likely to deny the divinity of Christ, to deny the accuracy and 'truthiness' of the Bible, and to contradict the morality of many of the 'myths' contained therein. In short, they largely do not even look like Christians to Evangelicals to whom many of these kinds of 'innovations' are either heresy or border on apostasy. Case in point (a mild case at that), is this story from the LA Times about Presbyterian's renaming the trinity in order to correct 'patriarchal distortions'.
When referring to the Trinity, most Christians are likely to say "Father, Son and the Holy Spirit."

But leaders of the Presbyterian Church (USA) are suggesting some additional designations: "Compassionate Mother, Beloved Child and Life-giving Womb," or perhaps "Overflowing Font, Living Water, Flowing River."

Then there's "Rock, Cornerstone and Temple" and "Rainbow of Promise, Ark of Salvation and Dove of Peace."

...Written by a diverse panel of working pastors and theologians, the report noted that the traditional language of the Trinity portrays God as male and implies men are superior to women.

"For this and other distortions of Trinitarian doctrine we repent," the report said.  ~LATimes.com
Religious conservatives are precisely that. They want to conserve traditional values. They are not interested in the kind of ecumenical progress that devolves into a repudiation of (literally) all that is holy.

With this in mind, I wanted to do some research on Barak Obama's faith. Is he a 'progressive christian' or more mainstream? I wanted to know a little more. The Associated Press article mentioned Obama's church as being the Trinity United Church of Christ on the Southside of Chicago. So I looked for their website. I found it, but I'm not sure what to think. Their About Page makes me scratch my head.

This isn't supposed to be a trashing of Barak Obama's beliefs or religion. It is meant to highlight the real differences between the two religious groups.

More on the Political

Obama made his speech at a conference for the organization, Sojourners/Call to Renewal, whose tagline is, "A faith-based movement to overcome poverty." I very much doubt that there were any conservative evangelicals in attendence. On their website is a call to, "take action," against Bush's Budget:
Budgets are moral documents. They give a very real picture of what our nation's priorities and values are. Cuts to low- and middle-income families who are empowered by programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, housing assistance for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities, and cuts to community social service programs - while at the same time increasing the deficit by slashing taxes for people who make more than $1 million per year by $600 billion - are out of touch with my values. I hope they are out of touch with your values, too.  ~sojo.net
Obviously, I shouldn't have to point out that budgets are not moral documents in the sense that the mission statements of Churches are. But the bigger point of contention is that the religious right does not believe that the U.S. government is the proper vehicle for Christian work. (I don't care what the leftist propagandists may tell you about the goals of our theocracy.)

Claiming that the Federal government is the proper instrument to implement your Christian charity is actually the definition of theocracy. There can be no clearer violation of the concept of Separation of Church and State than to say that it's budget priorities must conform to a religious purpose.

And this is where the problem exists for the left. Liberalism itself is a religion by this definition. The Democratic Party is in fact a faith-based organization promoting it's morality. Or how many times have I been told, in essence, that Republicans are immoral for having the wrong political view?

Postscript Blessing

May the Rainbow of Promise, Overflowing Font, and  Life-giving womb bless you, and the patriarchal homophobic sexist theocracy of America as well.

Posted by Eric Simonson at July 1, 2006 10:37 AM
Comments
Comment #163927

I believe there is an anti religious movement in America today. To many times the ACLU proves that by the Separation of Church and State thing. I challange anyone to show me where in the constitution it says that. I know of the article where it states the government shall not make any laws concerning the establishment or endorceing any religion. Or something to that effect. When taking God out of the equation, as proved by the history of the jewish nation, everything fell apart for them. This world is falling apart. Earthquakes are up, people starving, wars on the climb, diseases on the rise.

Posted by: Rich at July 1, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #163932

Maybe you know what evangelicalism is, but you are wrong about liberalism. Liberalism is not a religion. When liberals talk about separation of church and state, they do this to make sure that each person is free to follow his conscience: follow a religion or not.

Also, I must protest - the conflict is not between secularism and religion. The conflict is between those who would superimpose their religious tenets upon others and those who believe in a free conscience for all.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at July 1, 2006 2:36 PM
Comment #163938

I believe in religeous liberty. I was raised Baptist, and I see no one keeping any member of my faith of heritage from practicing or professing their beliefs. What I do see, however, is political leaders pushing an agenda that claims that christianity is morally superior to all other faiths. When they do that, they become political, and open themselves up to political arguments and criticism. That is only fair, and it isn’t anti-christian. Religeous leaders are trying to stand behind the Christian shield of infallibilty.

Posted by: Loren at July 1, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #163943

God, however you believe, is an erroding freedom. The ACLU is proving that everyday. Sure today we have the right to worship as we see fit but what about tomorrow.

Posted by: Rich at July 1, 2006 3:12 PM
Comment #163945

Rich,

ACLU… for example?

Posted by: Loren at July 1, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #163946

Paul,

“When liberals talk about separation of church and state, they do this to make sure that each person is free to follow his conscience: follow a religion or not.”

If what you say is true, than Obama’s place of worship may fit with the point of Eric’s article.

Eric,
I read the “about” page at Obama’s church. Sounds to me like His “place of worship” is more focused on secular advancement of African Americans.

Great article!

Posted by: Jim at July 1, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #163949

Rich,

“I believe there is an anti religious movement in America today. To many times the ACLU proves that by the Separation of Church and State thing.”

From the ACLU’s website;

http://www.aclu.org/religion/index.html

“The U.S. Constitution’s framers understood that religious liberty can flourish only if the government leaves religion alone. Americans enjoy a degree of religious freedom unknown in most of the rest of the world, and they take full advantage it: the United States is home to more than 1,500 different religious bodies and 360,000 churches, synagogues and mosques.

The free exercise clause of the First Amendment guarantees the right to practice one’s religion free of government interference. The establishment clause requires the separation of church and state. Combined, they ensure religious liberty. Yet assaults on the freedom to believe continue, both in Washington and in state legislatures around the country.”

Some time you might go to their website and just read what the ACLU actually stands for, instead of taking somebody’s word for it.

Posted by: Rocky at July 1, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #163955
God, however you believe, is an erroding freedom. The ACLU is proving that everyday. Sure today we have the right to worship as we see fit but what about tomorrow.

Rich,

Before you make unfounded accusations about the ACLU you really should do a little research.
THE ACLU FIGHTS FOR CHRISTIANS

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 1, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #163956

The good thing about forum’s like this, it allows the Conservatives to show the world how ignorant they are.

The ACLU does as much work to protect Americans right to practice the religion of their choice, as it does keeping religions from making laws that are based on religious beliefs. Would you like it you were a Christian and made to follow Jewish laws?

So what religion do the conservatives want us to follow, what shall we do to those with different religious beliefs. Shall we deport them, jail them or exterminate them?

Why are “Americans” so opposed to being Americans?

Our Civil Liberties are what makes America unique and great and worth fighting for, it is what the Marines are fighting for. Without these rights, our country would be no better than China, Iran, North Korea, or the old Iraq. When a Soldier, Airmen or Marine starts their service, they take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So, if they are fighting to protect out civil rights, why does everyone put-down the ACLU for protecting these same rights. It does not make sense to me. The ACLU has never taken action to keep people from believing or following a reliigon, it has only had law suits where religion rituals were mandatory or a part of the daily routine everyone was expected to follow, or shows the government accepts one religion over another.

Religious Liberty:
The right to practice religion, or no religion at all, is among the most fundamental of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The ACLU works to ensure that religious liberty is protected by keeping the government out of religion.

The U.S. Constitution’s framers understood that religious liberty can flourish only if the government leaves religion alone. Americans enjoy a degree of religious freedom unknown in most of the rest of the world, and they take full advantage it: the United States is home to more than 1,500 different religious bodies and 360,000 churches, synagogues and mosques.

The free exercise clause of the First Amendment guarantees the right to practice one’s religion free of government interference. The establishment clause requires the separation of church and state. Combined, they ensure religious liberty. Yet assaults on the freedom to believe continue, both in Washington and in state legislatures around the country.

Posted by: mem beth at July 1, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #163958

Rocky
The frist amendment say exacly as you say. Why then can the aclu go to court 99% of the time because some person or group exercises their religious beliefs. How come they can go after one judge because he has a ten commandments monument in a court house but not the SUPREME COURT which has the ten commandments displayed. Seperation of Church and State was written in a letter by Thomas Jefferson. The establishment clause dosen’t require that and I think our founding fathers would agree. It just requires that the government cannot make laws or establish a state run religion as did England have.

Posted by: Rich at July 1, 2006 3:47 PM
Comment #163959

The absence of moral values (religiosity) in liberal leaning persons is the cause of society losing its way - too many relitivisims. The citizen becomes confused and acts out his confusion in lawlessness.
I’m a centerist and have lived most of my adult life out of English speaking countries and have observed that there must be laws above men to inspire men to be better than they are.
The Constitution says freedom of religion, not from religion.
Let me discuss the man who owes his wife a divorce. He has to give a complete divorce - secular and religious. Both componates must be satisfied or no divorce has occured. While the civil courts say the secular side is done but hesitates to enforce, telling a man who has undergone a religious marriage - you are free of your obligations at you promised at one point under an oath and contract.
The same in business. Promise to sell a man something and sell it to someone else - We rely on the man to complain to the court and the court to call the seller to task. Biblical law (and most systems of religion) tell us that the lie and the sale have caused the buyer damages that we are obligated to pay - without going through a legal process. We go through the leagal process to insure that neither party destroys the other by demanding to give too little or demanding to get too much. The court judges equity not responsibility,

Posted by: Kuzriel at July 1, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #163960

mem beth
We do it’s called the ten commandments.

Posted by: Rich at July 1, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #163973

Paul,

…but you are wrong about liberalism. Liberalism is not a religion. When liberals talk about separation of church and state, they do this to make sure that each person is free to follow his conscience: follow a religion or not.

I disagree Paul. I don’t know a single evangelical who actually wants to establish a state religion. This is more of a straw man argument.

The real argument is actually about the dominance of the religion of liberalism. Liberals don’t want to eliminate all religion from politics- their politics is their religion.

All those who disagree are immoral, are they not?

Wars for oil? Immoral.
Tax cuts for the rich? Immoral.
Cuts in entitlement programs? Immoral.
Military spending? Immoral.
Privatizing government services? Immoral.
Karl Rove? The devil.

Also, I must protest - the conflict is not between secularism and religion. The conflict is between those who would superimpose their religious tenets upon others and those who believe in a free conscience for all.

What is the difference between evangelicals demanding an end to abortion on moral grounds and liberals demanding that the budget be prioritized “morally”?

Posted by: esimonson at July 1, 2006 5:09 PM
Comment #163974

Eric

Obama is not talking about Christianity. He said Democrates must recognize the importance of religion and faith to Americans. You went off and started talking about Christianity. And here in lies the problem. To conservatives, there is only one religion..Christianity. Then you went off to see how religious he is.

There is political and public danger in mixing religion with politics. You already started comparing “Progressive Christians” with “Conservative Christians” - Is that what you want, to start dividing us along our individual Christian beliefs? To vote for a candidate based on how he/she sees Christianity. This is divisive.

But what about non-Christian Americans? Is there a place for them in America?

This is the problem with Conservtive thinking on religion and public policy. They only speak about Conservative Christianity as if it is the only true and valid patriotic American Religion. Conservatives have successfully married democracy, freedom (“God’s Gift to humanity” - GW Bush) and Christianity. They have become so interwoven the are one and the same.

Conservatives continually mis-represent the liberal view and position on religion and public policy. You really do not understand it. Liberals are not anti-religion. The ACLU has defended individual religious rights and freedoms more than you probably realize.

Liberals do not side with one religion over another. They all equal; Christians, non-Christians as well as atheists and agnostic. We all Americans free to choose our own path. But Conservatives favor Christianity above all. And, want to impose it on all of us. This is the real difference between the Liberal and Conservative views.

To Liberals, religion is personal and your freedom to choose. Conservatives want to wear Christianity on their sleeves and make it a public spectical.


Posted by: Stefano at July 1, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #163979

Rich

No where in the constitution does it say separation of church and state. But it is a phrase that is hard to take lightly.

The Establishment clause n the Bill of Rights was written by Thomas Jefferson and James Madision. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase “Wall of separtion between church and state”. He did this in a letter to explain why he would not support a national day of prayer. - This statment gives us insight to what the author was saying.

But if you are going as far as to say it is invalid because it is not in the constitution, then I can turn the argument around and ask you to show me, where in the constitution does it mention God, Christianity or mention the US being founded on God and Christian Principals? As a matter of fact, many religious leaders at the time were against ratifying the Constitution because it was a “Godless Document written by infidels”.

Posted by: Stefano at July 1, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #163980

Stefano
Conservatives are not just Christian they are of all faiths and beliefs.

Posted by: Rich at July 1, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #163983

Rich,

What about the Ten Commandments? That is a religious docuument. In America we are free to display them, even on public property, as long we give other religous documents equal time and space. Remember the ten commandments only apply to Christian-Islamic-Judeo religions. All religions, and even those without religion have documents to demonstrate their personal moral beliefs.

Remember Judge Roy Moore. His error was not displaying the ten commandments. His monument was taken down, and He was removed from office for not allowing any other religious documents, along with his, in an impartial way on public property. If he would of allowed that, then the display would be lawful, and it still would be there. But he violated the law, and then refused to comply with federal orders.

I followed the case closely, I live in Montgomery Alabama. Most people, even here, don’t know why the display was taken down and why he was removed from office. The problem was NEVER displaying the monument. Go back and read the legal documents.

Roy Moore was rightfully removed from office by putting his religious beliefs above the law of the land, we can’t of impartial judges sitting in state supreme courts. It was a victory for religious liberty in this state, and a well deserved defeat for religious bigotry.

Look at the way the ten commandments are displayed at the US Supreme Court and you will see other documents that show the foundation of American Law. But don’t take my word for it, go look yourself, that is the only way you will know for sure.

Posted by: mem beth at July 1, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #163984

Stefano
Jefferson in a letter to a Baptist Church wrote SEPARATION OF CHURCH and STATE. So he didn’t support a national day of prayer his right under the constitution. The term separation of church and state has gotten out of hand. The term make people affraid to practice their faith in public,they’re affraid of getting sued. The constitution is in fact based on religious principles. As is the bill of rights.

Posted by: Rich at July 1, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #163989
The constitution is in fact based on religious principles. As is the bill of rights.

Rich,

The basis of the Constitution is in fact based on the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, not anything that is exclusively Christian or religious. People do not need to be “religious” to live a good life or know the difference between right and wrong.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 1, 2006 6:11 PM
Comment #163993

JayJaySnow
Say What. I didn’t know our founding fathers were Iroquois. All this time I thought they were mostly of British decent. Things you learn from liberals. This society was founded on Judeo-Christian principles

Posted by: Rich at July 1, 2006 6:45 PM
Comment #163994

The Founders would be absolutely speechless and aghast to see what we have done to the First Amendment and how we have interpreted it to drive religion from the public arena.

They wrote what they meant and meant what they wrote, simply and plainly stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion …”

But that direct, simple and definitive statement has been so mangled and manipulated by the courts and politicians that it has become irrelevant except when being used to further a political agenda.

And I bet that if Jefferson had known how the politicos would use his “separation of church and state” comment, he would have burned the letter.

And to say the ACLU fights for religious expression in America is like saying the fox in the hen house is blindfolded.

But he still has his sense of smell.

Posted by: ulysses at July 1, 2006 6:54 PM
Comment #163996

The left has an anti-Christian bias.

Posted by: Don at July 1, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #163997

ulysses

AMEN

Posted by: Rich at July 1, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #164000

Rich and Ulysses, keep on posting your opinions, it allows us see the depth of your lack of knowledge on this subject. You guys should research your points before publicizing them.

When the ten commandments were removed from the courtroom here, everybody came to the conclusion that the government was banning the display of the monument, which of course was not true. It seems the Christians conservatives jump to conclusions, or make falisfy the facts, when opposing view is succesfully debated.

In fact most churches in our fine town supported the removal of the monument. Most of the valid religious leaders know that they don’t want the government in the religion business or making decisions based on religious laws. The people that created this country and its government were fleeing that kind of religious persercution in England, and didn’t want to ever have a religion contolling the Government, again. But it seems like the Conservatives want to put a end to the United States and create a new goverment based on faith-based beliefs. I suggest they go try to live in Saudi Arabia for a while and see how a religous-based government works.

Posted by: mem beth at July 1, 2006 7:24 PM
Comment #164003
Say What. I didn’t know our founding fathers were Iroquois. All this time I thought they were mostly of British decent. Things you learn from liberals. This society was founded on Judeo-Christian principles

Rich,

They were also men who wanted to set up a new society that was different than the one they had come from. They learned from and admired the peaceful Iroquois Nation. Ben Franklin was particularly interested in their system of governance.

Colden was writing of a social and political system so old that the immigrant Europeans knew nothing of its origins — a federal union of five (and later six) Indian nations that had put into practice concepts of popular participation and natural rights that the European savants had thus far only theorized. The Iroquoian system, expressed through its constitution, “The Great Law of Peace,” rested on assumptions foreign to the monarchies of Europe: it regarded leaders as servants of the people, rather than their masters, and made provisions for the leaders’ impeachment for errant behavior. The Iroquois’ law and custom upheld freedom of expression in political and religious matters, and it forbade the unauthorized entry of homes. It provided for political participation by women and the relatively equitable distribution of wealth. These distinctly democratic tendencies sound familiar in light of subsequent American political history — yet few people today (other than American Indians and students of their heritage) know that a republic existed on our soil before anyone here had ever heard of John Locke, or Cato, the Magna Charta, Rousseau, Franklin, or Jefferson.

[snip]

Contact with Indians and their ways of ordering life left a definite imprint on Franklin and others who were seeking, during the prerevolutionary period, alternatives to a European order against which revolution would be made. To Jefferson, as well as Franklin, the Indians had what the colonists wanted: societies free of oppression and class stratification. The Iroquois and other Indian nations fired the imaginations of the revolution’s architects. As Henry Steele Commager has written, America acted the Enlightenment as European radicals dreamed it. Extensive, intimate contact with Indian nations was a major reason for this difference. ~F O R G O T T E N
F O U N D E R S


Exemplar of Liberty:Native America and the Evolution of Democracy, Donald A. Grinde, Jr.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 1, 2006 7:42 PM
Comment #164005

mem beth
No I don’t want a religious based Government. That’s why our forefathers left england. All I’m saying is that the SEPARATION OF CHURCH and STATE never was part of the Constitution or the bill of rights. No matter what beliefs you have we should all be treated fairly. Christians have been singled out and this separation of church and state has been blown far out of proportion.

Posted by: Rich at July 1, 2006 7:55 PM
Comment #164008

Rich:

Christians singled themselves out by trying to insert religion into places that OTHER christians and other religions didn’t appreciate.

Yours truly,
A Christian Democrat

Posted by: womanmarine at July 1, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #164009

Rich,

Unfortunely, because Christianity is so popular in the U.S., there are a lot of hypocrites that set a bad example here, and it is easy to “single out” inappropriate behavior by these few “leaders”. But to be fair, the Muslims and Jews have also been the product of much criticism in this country, also because of the bad behavior of a few hypocrites which misrepresent their religion’s views.

Posted by: mem beth at July 1, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #164011

mem beth
Finally I agree

Posted by: Rich at July 1, 2006 8:18 PM
Comment #164013

“[If] the nature of… government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope.” —Thomas Jefferson to Pierrepont Edwards, July 1801. (*)

“Our civil rights have no dependence upon our religious opinions more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” —Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. ME 2:301, Papers 2:545

For those that invoke Thomas Jefferson’s name, claiming we have subverted his words.

Posted by: Cube at July 1, 2006 8:23 PM
Comment #164018

Rich,

“No I don’t want a religious based Government. That’s why our forefathers left england.”

That statement isn’t entirely true.

The first settlers in America came here because the religion of England changed every time the Monarch changed. The citizens of England were required to changed religions along with the Monarch.
They came to America to be able to practice their religion as they chose, not at the whim of the King.

Posted by: Rocky at July 1, 2006 8:47 PM
Comment #164019

Obama is dangerous.

My post has details:

href=”http://expreacherman.wordpress.com/2006/06/29/barak-obama-dangerous-neophyte/”>

ExPreacherman

Posted by: ExPreacherMan at July 1, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #164021

Progressive Theology and the Democratic party have only one problem facing them. Until they can reconcile their beliefs with core Christianity, without the use of flowery translations that are not found in the Aramaic, Hebrew or Greek text, they cannot explain away even these few example passages.

Psalm 139:13,14 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Romans 1:26,28 “In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”

Leviticus 18:22 “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”

Romans 3:7,8 “Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” Why not say—as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say—”Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is deserved.”

2 Timothy 4:2,4 “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

They cannot explain away abortion
They cannot explain away the gay agenda
They cannot explain away twisting thousands of years of Biblical exegesis to fit the “new” interpretations that allow gay Bishops/Clergy, de-emphasizing Jesus and diminishing the core truth of the Trinity.

You can indeed be a christian and be a Democrat, you just can’t be a Bible believing christian and adhere to the Democratic platform espousing things antithetical to Christian principles. The word of God is God, to deny it is to deny God. The truth is hard to hear, but it brings about change, reconciliation and forgiveness. Saying you’re a christian or believing you’re a christian are totally different than knowing you’re a christian. The only way to know for certain you are a christian is to confess it and believe the word of God - not change it’s nature or essence to fit your world view.

If I have to err in my political evaluations, I will err on the side of life over abortion, heterosexual behavior over homosexual behavior and the written word of God, proven through centuries of scholarly, linguistically sound interpretation over “new progressive findings”. And no, this does not mean I think I or like minded indviduals are better than anyone, just fellow sinners who are believing God for our salvation. No, all Democrats are not going to hell - only God knows who is or isn’t. I do know that I can love the sinner, as God calls me to do, yet hate the sin that is consuming them, and so I exhort progressives/liberals to find the truth in Gods word.

Because I’m sure there will be some liberal outrage at my conservative ideals, I’ll end my post like the hick they’ll think or proclaim me to be. “And that’s all I have to say about that…”

p.s. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” AMEN

Posted by: JR at July 1, 2006 8:58 PM
Comment #164022

Rocky
They left for religious freedom.
O by the way. I was looking at some sites on Thomas Jefferson and I found some news. Did you all know that church services were held in the capitol building until after the civil war. Some were held in the supreme court building. Thomas Jefferson attended these services. Separation of Church and State????

Posted by: Rich at July 1, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #164025

Ulysses,

“The Founders would be absolutely speechless and aghast to see what we have done to the First Amendment and how we have interpreted it to drive religion from the public arena.”

“And I bet that if Jefferson had known how the politicos would use his “separation of church and state” comment, he would have burned the letter.”

Baloney.
You may be entitled to your opinion, but it doesn’t make it fact.
While Jefferson did regularly attend the services at the Capitol, he was himself a Deist.

“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.” Dulles concludes:

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.”

From two of his letters;

http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff0800.htm

“I am no believer in the amalgamation of parties, nor do I consider it as either desirable or useful for the public; but only that, like religious differences, a difference in politics should never be permitted to enter into social intercourse or to disturb its friendships, its charities or justice. In that form, they are censors of the conduct of each other and useful watchmen for the public.”
Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824.

“I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”
Thomas Jefferson to Francis Hopkinson, 1789

There are at least two times he used the term;
“wall of sepaeation”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson#Church_and_state

He used the phrase “wall of separation” again in an 1808 letter to Virginia Baptists:

Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the ‘wall of separation between church and state,’ therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”


Posted by: Rocky at July 1, 2006 9:11 PM
Comment #164026

No matter if Jefferson was a diest or whatever the fact remains that religious services were held at the capitol and supreme court buildings. The one thing was that ministers of every denomination presided over these services. Now if the government ran back then without some nut case crying separation of church and state why prevent things like that happening now as long as it don’t endorse one faith over another.

Posted by: Rich at July 1, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #164027

Eric,
Just what this country needs. More hate-filled rhetoric from the extreme wrong wing.

Posted by: ElliottBay at July 1, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #164029

Rich,

“No matter if Jefferson was a deist or whatever the fact remains that religious services were held at the capitol and supreme court buildings. The one thing was that ministers of every denomination presided over these services. Now if the government ran back then without some nut case crying separation of church and state why prevent things like that happening now as long as it don’t endorse one faith over another.”

How many Buddhists were in this country at it’s founding?
Hindus?
Muslims?
Baha’i?
Zoroastrianists?

Is it ok with you to have any one of these religions hold a service in the Capitol Building?

Jefferson said what he said.

Posted by: Rocky at July 1, 2006 9:33 PM
Comment #164032

This is a topic of great interest to me, and, I believe, to our nation’s future. For now, I wanted to chime in beacause there is one fallacy that I see repeated time and again, and it just isn’t so. I am by no means an expert, but to those who would argue that the constitution was founded on biblical principles and/or the Ten Commandments, I respectfully ask that they take the time to research those claims. Our constitution was not based on any one document or doctrine. Our founders read Plato and Aristotle, both of whom lived before Christianity existed and wrote extensively on the nature and the role of human beings in civil society. Our founders read Livy and Cicero, and the Twelve Tables of Roman Law which greatly informed the way they conceived of a just and lawful society. Closer to their own time, they read Thomas Hobbes, Montesqieu (sp?), Montaigne, Voltaire, John Locke, to name a few. Our founders sought to establish a new kind of government, a new kind of civil society in the light especially of religious wars—between sects of the same religion!— and monarchical tyranny that had plagued Europe for centuries before 1776 or 1787. The ideals of life, liberty, and property (changed to the more elegant ‘pursuit of happiness’) was taken directly from Locke’s Second Treatise on Government. Jefferson also wrote his own ‘bible’, in which he essentially removed the divinity of Jesus, yet retained the immensely useful teachings of the Bible, for which he was roundly criticized and feared. Christians and Christian leaders in this country warned, as many do today, of the impendiong doom to befall the US should Jefferson (today: pick a favorite liberal demon)win the election of 1800. Christians hid their bibles, awaiting the day a Jefferson-led administration would kick in the door and demand all bibles confiscated. Preachers forecast the dire consequences of a Jefferson presidency, e.g. Yale president Timothy Dwight: “Can serious and reflecting men look about them and doubt that, if Jefferson is elected, those morals which protect our lives from the knife of the assassin, which guard the chastity of our wives and daughters from seduction and violence, defend our property from plunder and devastation and shield our religion from contempt and profanation, will not be trampled upon? For what end? That our churches may become temples of reason, the Bible cast into a bonfire, and that we may see our wives and daughters the victims of legal prostitution?”
Well, you get the idea; please note I have not disparaged Christianity or its adherents here. I ask only that both sides seek a better understanding of the other before declaring that they know what the founders of our nation thought, or especially would feel today. I would argue that none of us are really qualified to do so. Our nation was founded on much more than just the Bible, or even just the Constitution. I could go on and on and on … But for now, thanks for considering my views … I hope that someday, liberals and conservatives, Christians and non-Christians will be able to debate and communicate with less sarcasm, self-assured cockiness, and downright name-calling than I have seen in the blogs, other media, and our own government.

Posted by: Wolly at July 1, 2006 9:45 PM
Comment #164033

The conservatives can get on their high horse about religion, but faced with day to day reality, they fall off just as often.

Homosexuality is considered a sin in the bible, but it’s a minor sin in respect to others. The reality of it is that it’s a fairly rare thing to be truly gay, in comparison with the rest of society. It wasn’t the big honking worry in olden days that it is now. Sins of Heterosexuality are addressed with much greater frequency and depth, as are other sins that the Republicans are not all that concerned with confronting.

The very essence of the issues on gays is that by attacking them, you’re attacking people who are a distinct minority in the culture for biological reasons alone, much less their lifestyle. They’re the scapegoat that keeps on giving. Marriage isn’t going bad because the heterosexuals are doing something wrong with it, it’s going bad because secular society’s trying to give the right to gays.

As for abortion? It’s a fundamental divide between those who believe strongly in the divine gift of life, and those who believe that gift is given by nature, the unborn fetus has not yet the full recipient of its graces.

Yet again, it’s a scapegoat that keeps giving, people to point to show the uncaring, evil nature of our society, and to scare people into the arms of religious conservatives.

The thing is, there is a danger in scapegoating others for the sins of society, and maintaining such a focus on these particular sins to the exception of such common ones.

We are told to go on moral crusades against these particular sins, and that in our focus on them, we show ourselves virtuous. But then, by absolving ourselves of fault this way, we become merciless and unforgiving zealots.

Mercy and forgiveness are not just there because they are nice for Christians to have, but because they are necessary. Moreover, we are called to remember that we really are no better, no less human, than those we would consider less than us.

Verses in the bible might call being gay an abomination, but if you take Jesus and the Prophets at their words, so are the people who claim that God hates them. Perhaps even moreso, because they’ve been warned what the price of the mercy and forgiveness shown them is.

Meanwhile, we are left to deal with a world of other sins, that while great, have been rendered seemingly lesser in the eyes of the world. Lying, cheating, stealing, corruption, and a number of other major sins are justified or overlooked by the Christian Right in their blind quest to win the culture war against the liberals

We have seen the results. When are we going to get back to the basics, and admit we’re all beginners in the game of religion and morality?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 1, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #164040

I know I’ve seen that whole separation of church and state thing somewhere before. Where was that? Oh, yeah - now I remember….

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION (1933)
SECTION ONE
Chapter 1. The Fundamentals of the Constitutional System
Article 14.
The Russian Federation shall be a secular state. No religion may be instituted as state-sponsored or mandatory religion.
Religious associations shall be separated from the state, and shall be equal before the law.


How does ours read?
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;’

Merriam-Webster:
Main Entry: established church
Function: noun
: a church recognized by law as the official church of a nation or state and supported by civil authority

Thats what it was about in 1787 - not prayer in school, the ten commandments on the wall or if “In God we trust” can be on our monies. If religion is a part of a nations heritage, why go so far as to block the “free exercise thereof” wherever citizens wish to exercise that freedom? No, I don’t want the Christian Church of the United States either - but if our history is of a christian nation why try to forget about it or dissolve it from our schools, courts and money?
Pray to God, however, wherever, whenever and with whomever you chose, at home - school - at work - in a government office, that’s the 1st amendment. Not running willy nilly around trying not to offend a small minority of atheists or agnostics or deists by removing any semblance of religion from their sight or ears.

Posted by: JR at July 1, 2006 10:26 PM
Comment #164042

JR,

You are operating under the asumption that the Bible is inerrant. It is not. The Bible contains at least three types of errors. Unintentional scribal errors, diliberate alterations, and misinterpretations. If something is out of step with the teachings of Christ (love), then I would call it into serious question.

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! ~2 Corinthians 3
Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 1, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #164046

There is no blind culture war against liberals. Christians simply want to be allowed to follow God as they chose, not be ignored in todays culture as insignificant while things we clearly hold to be religiously offensive to us are pushed more and more to the mainstream. What you see as a culture war, we see as a war on our Christian sensibilities. While there is the occasional nutball who screams for the death of gays and the like - the majority of Christians truly love their fellow man and wish for them to see the error of their ways. We don’t demand to be a controlling power in the government, just to not be marginalized by a much too liberal lifestyle that is fully recognized in todays society as “acceptable”, while our choice to live our life our way is scorned - mocked and trivialized. Liberal inclusiveness excludes our life choices and includes only those they are comfortable with or understand - kinda what you accuse conservatives of all the time.

Posted by: JR at July 1, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #164048

JR,

“Thats what it was about in 1787 - not prayer in school, the ten commandments on the wall or if “In God we trust” can be on our monies.”

Please take the time to read and learn;

http://www.ustreas.gov/education/fact-sheets/currency/in-god-we-trust.shtml

“The Congress passed the Act of April 22, 1864. This legislation changed the composition of the one-cent coin and authorized the minting of the two-cent coin. The Mint Director was directed to develop the designs for these coins for final approval of the Secretary. IN GOD WE TRUST first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin.

Another Act of Congress passed on March 3, 1865. It allowed the Mint Director, with the Secretary’s approval, to place the motto on all gold and silver coins that “shall admit the inscription thereon.” Under the Act, the motto was placed on the gold double-eagle coin, the gold eagle coin, and the gold half-eagle coin. It was also placed on the silver dollar coin, the half-dollar coin and the quarter-dollar coin, and on the nickel three-cent coin beginning in 1866. Later, Congress passed the Coinage Act of February 12, 1873. It also said that the Secretary “may cause the motto IN GOD WE TRUST to be inscribed on such coins as shall admit of such motto.”

On the Pledge of Allegiance;

http://www.homeofheroes.com/hallofheroes/1st_floor/flag/1bfc_pledge.html

“The Pledge of Allegiance continued to be recited daily by children in schools across America, and gained heightened popularity among adults during the patriotic fervor created by World War II. It still was an “unofficial” pledge until June 22, 1942 when the United States Congress included the Pledge to the Flag in the United States Flag Code (Title 36). This was the first Official sanction given to the words that had been recited each day by children for almost fifty years. One year after receiving this official sanction, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to recite the Pledge as part of their daily routine.”

Under God wasn’t added until 1954.

Posted by: Rocky at July 1, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #164051

JR-
Congress shall make no law establishing a religion, period. It doesn’t matter whether we’re establishing them by ones or twos or multitudes. The two clauses together were meant to prevent both positive and negative measures aimed at taking away people’s religious liberties.

Positive to prevent the government lending it’s hefty support and favor to one religion, or a particular set of them, and thereby making things unfair for dissenting religions. Negative, aimed at preventing a government from imposing restrictions on religions not favored.

Judges and officials get their authority from the constitution. Their courtrooms represent that authority. It is an inherent contradiction of the establishment clause for an official to represent that authority with the symbols and codes of a religion, to use their power as officials to promote their personal faith. As I’ve said before, a judge can pray to Jesus, Adonai, Buddha, Satan, or a stack of bills whenever they want to, but if they act in the course of their jobs as advocates for their religion, they are forgetting the neutral stance required of public officials.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 1, 2006 10:50 PM
Comment #164052

JR,

What exactly do you want people to do? Put their lives in the closet to satisfy your Christian sensibilities? You may not like the way others lead their lives, but it is their life to lead. Nobody is stoping you from your religion.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 1, 2006 10:52 PM
Comment #164055

JR-
I did not see Jerry Falwell decrying the thieves at Enron, nor any televangelist or religious conservative. Theft and fraud are vintage ten-commandment sins.

As for insignificance, it’s long past time we recognize that our influence is not insignificant. Moreover we should see the dangers of constantly fighting to force people to approve of us. Whose approval should we be struggling to attain in this crazy world of ours. We will be mocked and worse for our beliefs. We were told this at the beginning.

Love and bless your enemies. It’s worth a heck of a lot more than stewing in resentments, striking in anger.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 1, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #164058

Other than the assertion that Religion is regulary attacked, that Progressive Christianity is somehow less a faith, or that any criticism of evangelicals apparently is verboten in your world, I completely and utterly think this is a specious attack on the left. You quoted a Libertarian column while attacking the Dems.

I have no problems with the church in politics, just pay your damn taxes like everbody else.

I was getting scared. I was beginning to agree with you to much.

Posted by: gergle at July 1, 2006 11:13 PM
Comment #164061

Rich

The constitution is in fact based on religious principles. As is the bill of rights”

What do you base this on? Where does it say this in constitution or the federal papers? What facts do you have to support this claim? And which religious principals are they based on? Your statement is not based on fact, but an opinion and your interpretation of history. There are no facts to support this claim.

The Wall of separation is meant to keep the government out of religion. Why do you want the government involved? What religious practice do you want to do in public that you can’t? Depsite what you think you are not religiously repressed. You can pray in public and you can express yourself religiously.As long as the government or US tax dollars are not involved.

But Christian Conservatives feel a need to braodcast there religion publically and cry repression. I do not hear American Jews, Muslims or any other minority faith complain like Christian Conservatives. And you guys are the majority.

You guys want to take your religion public and impose your Christian Conservative values on the rest of the country. As a result you are meeting opposition and anyone opposed to you is the anti-religious liberal.

The Wall of seperation has not been interpretd too far, you Conservative Christians are pushing its limits.

Posted by: Stefano at July 1, 2006 11:28 PM
Comment #164064

JR

When you start quoting scripture you end rational debate.

Posted by: Stefano at July 1, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #164065
Christians simply want to be allowed to follow God as they chose, not be ignored in todays culture as insignificant while things we clearly hold to be religiously offensive to us are pushed more and more to the mainstream.

JR,

You do not want anyone to disparage your religious beliefs, but you have no problem disparaging the religious beliefs of others:

They cannot explain away abortion They cannot explain away the gay agenda They cannot explain away twisting thousands of years of Biblical exegesis to fit the “new” interpretations that allow gay Bishops/Clergy, de-emphasizing Jesus and diminishing the core truth of the Trinity.

You can indeed be a christian and be a Democrat, you just can’t be a Bible believing christian and adhere to the Democratic platform espousing things antithetical to Christian principles. The word of God is God, to deny it is to deny God. The truth is hard to hear, but it brings about change, reconciliation and forgiveness. Saying you’re a christian or believing you’re a christian are totally different than knowing you’re a christian. The only way to know for certain you are a christian is to confess it and believe the word of God - not change it’s nature or essence to fit your world view.

Nobody says that you have to believe alternative interpretations of the Bible, but if you want your beliefs to be respected then you need to start by respecting the beliefs of others.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 1, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #164067

JR,
It is your opinion that today’s mainstream society is way too “liberal”, and while I would not agree with that characterization, I would suggest that the views you present, and ones I’ve heard from many Christians about being marginalized or mocked sounds very hollow considering that the arguments and issues raised from the opposing side have been mocked and derided to the point of annihilation from those claiming to fight for “true American principles” for generations. Look at our history: How conveniently simple has it been historically to just utter the words Communist, athiest, tree-hugger, nigger-lover, faggot, Jew-lover (please excuse such language, but history ain’t always pretty), Christ-hater, bleeding heart—many more—and thus be given a pass on actually listening to someone with whom the Christian might disagree. Please understand, I am not accusing every Christian or conservative, of being a bigot, and I have heard unkind and disrespectful language regarding Christianity from the left, but let’s be real. Who has been in the majority, who has held the economic, political, and military power? For a Christian to cry persecution strikes me, and I dare say others, as devoid of a true understanding of what it is like to be persecuted, scorned, or marginalized. I do believe that a vast majority of Christians, as others, when it comes down to it, are decent people who care about the welfare of their fellow man/woman; but they care first and foremost, like others I believe, about validating their own beliefs. I, for one, do not begrudge any human being for following their reason and faith wherever it may lead them—I am only doing the same—but when human beings hold any ideology or religion as infallible, to the point of being unable to tolerate the idea that they may be in error about any part of it, I believe that they are prone to accept things that are not true, to see things that are not there. I do not believe, as you do, that the Bible is the word of G-d. I do not believe that Jesus is the son of G-d. In my humble opinion, Christians everywhere are deluded. Perhaps many Christians would pray for me—some I know have—but how many would want to strike me? One, fifty, hundreds of thousands? Who is more likely to be persecuted, trivialized, hated or mocked? If a Christian and I travelled across this nation, lecturing and/or electioneering, whom do you think is more likely to be accosted—or beaten—depending on the locale? Who has been more persecuted: the athiest working for abolition in the South or the Christian preacher anywhere? How many people voted for GWB because he’s a “good Christian man”? Which reminds me that the Constitution also dictates that there shall be no religious test for election to public office … How likely is it, in your opinion, that an avowed athiest could ever receive his/her party’s nomination for the presidency, the senate, etc.? I do not mean to imply that any citizen does not have the right to vote according to his/her conscience, to allow their religious beliefs to inform their participation in our democracy, but if one applies their own personal religious test for qualification for office, please do not try to argue that Christians are under attack from anyone. Most, not all, of the objections or views which you have raised simply strike me, and perhaps many of the same mind, as nothing but the vast majority simply being unwilling or incapable of tolerating or understanding that many of their countrymen do not see things as they do. One last thing: anyone dissatisfied or disgusted with our mainstream culture, which includes me, would do well to look to the corporatization of our country and the world, not “liberals”—transnational corporations and those who dominate the global economy (these, I can assure you, are not leftists) are largely responsible for every mindless piece of garbage we find on the radio, in advertising, in TV, and movies, not a bunch of hippies.

Posted by: wolly at July 2, 2006 12:04 AM
Comment #164072

What the left is missing from the original post, is the fact that dems, who have ostracized Christian beliefs in their platforms, believing in the left to carry them to victory, have finally realized the fallacy of their position. They are trying to swing to the right and appear to be nuetral. What Eric was trying to say is conservative Christians are not going to be fooled. Being neutral is akin to being lukewarm. Our God tells us he would prefer us to be hot or cold, but if we are lukewarm he will spew us from his mouth. I, too, would prefer a lefty who was truely a lefty and believed in their lefty ideals instead of a lefty pretending to be nuetral, talking about understanding my beliefs all in an effort to get my vote. Hillary and Barack don’t insult my intelligence.

Posted by: lllplus2 at July 2, 2006 12:22 AM
Comment #164076

As for why conservs hate the aclu, they pick and choose which civil liberties they support. Maybe if they were more consistant with supporting ALL of the constitution and supporting Americans, we wouldn’t see them as supporters of the vile.

Posted by: lllplus2 at July 2, 2006 12:37 AM
Comment #164081

Thank you Elliot!

Eric, Just what this country needs. More hate-filled rhetoric from the extreme wrong wing.

Posted by: ElliottBay at July 1, 2006 09:25 PM

I love your quotes! They’re awesome. I’m adding this one to my collection… I think I have another one of yours in there already. I’ll have to look.

Posted by: eric simonson at July 2, 2006 1:17 AM
Comment #164084

IIIplus2,
Yes, actiually, we have gotten a bit off the point of the original post. One small observation, it was the second post, the very next one, from Rich (I’m guessing not from the left) that seems to have missed the point of the original post and got us off on the ACLU, anti-Christianism, and the perils of: “taking G-d out of the equation, as proved by the history of the jewish nation, everything fell apart for them. This world is falling apart. Earthquakes are up, people starving, wars on the climb, diseases on the rise.” It’s hard not to respond to and refute such a post as that one (I mean its entirety, the constitution, etc.) When ulysses chimed in, we, I guess the left, were compelled to respond and did so, yes, resoundingly.
As to the Obama situation, I am by the way from Illinois and a big fan of the senator, on a political level, he’s clearly making sense: democrats cannot let themselves be portrayed as hostile toward religion, and specifically (evangelical) Christians if they want to get elected. Seems a bit blunt, but don’t senators and presidents get where where they are by thinking politically?
Speaking more …ethically, I agree with your sentiment about sincerity and forthrightness being primary to everything else. I mean, I probably fit most conventional stereotypes—policywise, let’s say—of those leftys you’re talking about. And I get sick when I see or hear someone who is a t least supposed to be a “liberal” apologizing from it or backing off from it. But (a) neither you nor I can really know what motivates certain beliefs; none of us is wholly consistent, nor simply a “liberal” or “conservative”; (b) I do believe, and I addressed this in an earlier rsponse to the cries of anti-Christianism, that the right has successfully made ‘liberal’ into a dirty word for a great number of people. It seems to me that in all too many quarters, all one must say is, “he’s one of those liberals”, and that’s all that needs be said. That is a large assumption on my part, I admit, but one which seems to me verified every time I hear some of the louder voices on the right consistently blaming the liberals, the media and Hollywood …
Finally, I think maybe it’s the right that’s missing the point … Read those quotes from Sen. Obama: “Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square.” As a result, “I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy.”
I mean, I think his point was not that Democrats should/must prove to Christains or anyone that they share the same faith, but that they are capable of faith, that they (perhaps we all) have faith in something. But it has to be within certain parameters and expressed in certain ways for one’s opinions to count, for one to be a “real American”. If your faith, as you understand it, teaches you that some behaviors or beliefs must not be tolerated, I promise you, I fully support your right and duty to follow where your reason and faith take you. But I can and must only do the same (Obama’s first point). Probably you and I differ immesurably on the nature of human existence, as well as on the pol;itical issues of the day, but unless we express our true faiths in a gracious manner, and really try (both of us) to respect at least the other’s sincerity of belief, then our nation really may divide to an irreconcilable point (Obama’s second point).

Posted by: wolly at July 2, 2006 1:24 AM
Comment #164085
It is meant to highlight the real differences between the two religious groups.

Eric,

There are many more fractures within Christianity than just these two.

But the bigger point of contention is that the religious right does not believe that the U.S. government is the proper vehicle for Christian work.

If this is true then tell your religious right friends to stop using the Government as their gay bashing vehicle. Oh, wait that’s not really “Christian” work, is it?

The real argument is actually about the dominance of the religion of liberalism. Liberals don’t want to eliminate all religion from politics- their politics is their religion.

So, Eric, if the things you mention are really part of the “religion of liberalism,” as you and Ann Coulter call it, then why have these not been done away with over the last 5 years? Why has medicare been expanded? Cons control all branches of government. Liberals have little to no power in Washington. Why are they expanding social programs? Why don’t they take an axe to all those pesky social programs?

The Cons know that if they eliminated those programs the backlash would make Katrina look like light spring showers. Those programs are very popular with Americans (not just liberals), if the Cons axed them, they might as well kiss their arses good-bye.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 2, 2006 1:30 AM
Comment #164096

As an atheist, I’m amazed how many people have been able to grow up and dismiss such ludicrous superstitions as the tooth fairy, the easter bunny and santa claus, but have trouble dismissing the equally ludicrous notion of god. In this universe there are trillions of stars, each with a possibility of planets. If even one out of a trillion planets had the potential for life and, as on earth there are billions of species per life-sustainable planet, how significant is man? Even on Earth the dinosaurs were on the earth for hundreds of millions of years and man has only been around for about a million. How significant is man? Yet there are some unbelievably vain morons who believe that man was created in god’s image and other mental midgets who feel that god created the heavens and earth is seven days.

Do you want me imposing my values on you and your kids? Well I don’t want you imposing yours on me or mine either.

Go to your church. Spend every waking moment practicing your idiotic religion. No one is stopping you. But don’t feel you have the right to impose your idocy on me.

Posted by: atheist at July 2, 2006 2:58 AM
Comment #164101

To everyone who is losing their minds because I refer to scripture. Do you now understand how it is for Christians to voice an opinion? Look through the blog. I’m being told the Bible is not inerrant, I’m clinging to the law and not the spirit of Christ, that I end all rational debate when I refer to scripture. Those who oppose are the very same people who yell the loudest for other groups to be “included” in society. Marginalization by liberal attacks on my freedom should be a HUGE concern to others. If the religious ideology of Christianity is the one professed to by @75+% of our country and they feel they are being isolated, trivialized and ignored - how should other groups, who don’t claim nearly as many adherents feel? Should they be worried? I am. Everyone is to be considered a brother or sister in the Lord, sin is to all of us what water is to the oceans - it’s who we are. I only wish to make known to everyone that to ignore Biblical truth, ignore Christ and his message of repentance and forgiveness, is to throw away the greatest gift in the world. Freedom Of Religion. Why is it in the last 30 years that it’s OK to mock religion, but not OK to question the choices of secular life? Why support a platform of death? I choose life. Why support the homosexual agenda? Choice? Ok. Your choice can be a topic of debate just as my religious convictions can be. But lately it’s Gay OK - religion, well lets tear down any symbols of that in American life and keep it behind the closed doors of the church - out of the public venue. I can’t let that be so and claim to be a Christian. That’s why Christians are willing to get out and vote, to speak our minds and demand the same “social courtesy” demanded by others.

Matthew 21:32 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.”

Posted by: JR at July 2, 2006 3:40 AM
Comment #164112

atheist

“Do you want me imposing my values on you and your kids?”

Your values are imposed on me and mine everyday my kids go to school.

“As an atheist, I’m amazed how many people have been able to grow up and dismiss such ludicrous superstitions as the tooth fairy, the easter bunny and santa claus, but have trouble dismissing the equally ludicrous notion of god….. Yet there are some unbelievably vain morons who believe that man was created in god’s image and other mental midgets who feel that god created the heavens and earth is seven days.”

Then there are other “vain morons” who believe that through science they(man) can explain the unexplainable. Which one of these “mental midgets” has created life on their own? Not cloning but taking amino acids and whatever else they say in their theories resulted in the creation of life, which by the way is taught as fact in the schools. Theories taught as fact, how ludicrous!!!

Isn’t men’s vainness in controlling everything with science the leading cause of the “greenhouse effect”?

Posted by: lllplus2 at July 2, 2006 4:25 AM
Comment #164127

I don’t support a state sponsored religion, but I think what frustrates many Christians si two-fold. First, the MORAL CHARACTER of our nation, as distinct from its legal foundations, was Christian. These moral foundations are being destroyed. Judges attempt to bar the Pledge of Alliegence, sanction flag burning, allow abortion, condone the glorification of vice, mysogeny, violence, drug abuse, and every other type of anti-social behavior in the entertainment industry, then treat Christians as criminals for wanting to express our faith in a public fashion. We are a society that has lost its morals to relativism, narcissism, and hedonism. Whatever “feels good” is considered ok. Meanwhile, just about every measure of social behavior, crime, drug abuse rates, violence, divorce, illiteracy, abortion, illegitimate childbirth, is up since the so called revolution of the 50s and 60s.

The other issue is the rank hypocrisy of liberals who claim Christians are forcing their beliefs on others. In point of fact, it is the radical, secularist, morally relativistic culture that was forced on America by a cabal of liberal activists and their crony judges. They are the ones who are intolerant and force thier views on everyone else. They tolerate no dissent and demand that Christians stand silent as everything we believe is mocked and ridiculed. The social revolution of the 60s has broken this nation. To fix it, we must return to our founding moral values and reject the cultrue of relativism and death forced upon us.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 2, 2006 8:50 AM
Comment #164128

atheist

You have much more faith than I do. Despite billions of dollars, years of research and multitudes of scientists - not one life sustaining planet other than our own has been found. Is the universe huge? You bet! I can’t put any limits on God’s power and can fully believe in the Big Bang Theory — God said Bang and there it is.

JR

I agree with you and loved your scriptural basis. However, I have found on these boards that scripture isn’t even skimmed by the left. It’s totally ignored. That’s why they are in the state they are in. Morals are different from values. They have values that differ from us - such as: it’s perfectly ok to kill an innocent child because the mother is too stupid, lazy or selfish to let it be born, but it is monsterous to kill an adult who has committed horrible crimes against society. Morals need a higher authority, values only reflect the society. Sodom and Gommorah had values, but no morals. Homosexuality has always been practiced in the world. Has it ever been moral? No. Look at any religion and you will see that it is prohibited, but the values of the society, only answerable to themselves, allows all types of repugnant behavior. The same people who scream for freedom for gay practices will support laws making prostitution illegal. What’s the difference? Both involve sex. Oh, one’s for money….that must make it bad…… Hypocrisy, my dear……the way of the left. That’s why Obama’s speech is so important. His hypocrisy is showing. He’s a very smart man. He’s a polititian with goals, and he’s a Democrat - not stupid, just woefuly uninformed about what an Evangelical Christian ACTUALLY is and believes, and ignorant about how false he sounds to our ears.

Posted by: Ilsa at July 2, 2006 8:53 AM
Comment #164130

Atheist,

What truly amazes me is how vain people like yourself are to simply dismiss God. Secular Darwinism is a religion all its own with its own “fables.” Science cannot prove or disprove God, but it does throw out some interesting facts you may want to consider. First, science has proven that spontaneous generation, ie the creation of life from inanimate objects cannot occur. The closest it has come to this to create amino acids, not even a protein. Of course, the Darwinist fable says life came from comets or some other space debris. Sounds more believable than a God you can’t see, but where, praytell, did the original life come from? Science says spontaneous generation is impossible, so where did this organic matter come from?

Beyond this, science has proven that matter and energy cannot be created. Science says that in the Big Bang, all of the matter and energy in the universe were contained in an incredibly small volume of space that exploded, creating the universe. Where did this pre-matter and pre-energy that was the stuff of the pre-Big Bang come from? Even if one believes in a cyclical universe, something had to have created the stuff of the universe from nothing.

Of course, a God to a secularist is apostasy. With the idea of God comes the ideas of absolute moral values, the inherent dignity of the human person, and a foundation for moral values that extends beyond whatever I want at this second. By the way Atheist, let me know when you can answer those questions. I’m sure Einstien would like to know, he couldn’t.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 2, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #164131

JR
When you use religion as your basis for argument, you open your religion up to valid criticism based on the opinion of others. You can’t have it both ways, so stop being a baby.

The secular life is criticized every single minute of every single day by those whose idea of freedom of religion is to impose theirs on everyone else. Some of the criticism is valid. We learn and adjust. That is our strong point. Can’t say the same for your beliefs.

Posted by: Loren at July 2, 2006 9:06 AM
Comment #164132

1LT
Good post.

Atheist
Answer?

Doubt we’ll get it…..

Posted by: Ilsa at July 2, 2006 9:06 AM
Comment #164134
Do you now understand how it is for Christians to voice an opinion?

Wow. I didn’t think I was going to agree with you, but now I see your point. I mean, in a political discussion, you refer to words from your holy text, and people who disagree with you political and spiritually challenge you on it! They think that it might not be valid to base a political discussion on your favored interpretation of your personal religious text? They don’t accept your favored religious text as a conversation stopper? It works in Sunday School and your Bible Study, so why wouldn’t it work in a political discussion in a heterogeneous, pluralistic society? After all, it’s not like we’re talking about the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita (they wouldn’t accept those texts either) - we’re talking about the Bible!

You poor, poor member of the dominant group.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 2, 2006 9:10 AM
Comment #164135

IIIplus2

The basis for the greenhouse effect is not using what we know in order to stop destroying our civilization and planet

Posted by: Loren at July 2, 2006 9:12 AM
Comment #164137

Loren,

One example please? Name one time in your life that religion was imposed on you against your will. You don’t have to read, listen to or participate in any religious activity and yet you feel qualified to contradict or argue with people you don’t know about a subject you obviously are ignorant of. All secular means is “outside of religion”.

This is why Christians as well as other religous people (Jews, Muslims, etc….) complaine that our freedoms are curtailed. We should just be good little idiots and get IN the closet, huh? Yeah, you sound pretty tolerant - learning and adjusting - to me.

Posted by: Ilsa at July 2, 2006 9:13 AM
Comment #164138

JR et al

you only prove the point that it is possible to use scripture that is true to make a point that isn’t.

Posted by: Loren at July 2, 2006 9:14 AM
Comment #164139

Ilsa and 1LT B,

Do you really want to get into a discussion about the intellectual wasteland that is Intelligent Design and Creationism?

I’ll answer the questions for athiest. 1 LT B is wrong about what has and hasn’t been proven. Over billions of years with enough chemicals, a self-replicating process could very well be created - that hasn’t been disproven. Here’s a good article on the current science of spontaneous generation. And the evidence for the Big Bang is striking.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 2, 2006 9:16 AM
Comment #164140

I should have added that we shouldn’t hijack the thread for this discussion. I just want you to know that you wouldn’t get away with making such challenges unanswered.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 2, 2006 9:19 AM
Comment #164142

Ilsa

Number one I never said that YOU or JR are forcing religion down anyone’s throat. I said that your definition of freedom of religion is forcing your beliefs on others. You complain about people not reading the verses that are posted, try reading what I ACTUALLY said.

Number two you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I was raised Baptist, and attended a Baptist college. I’ve read the entire Bible completely through twice, and took courses in the Old Test and Teachings of Jesus. Religion was forced down my throat my entire life until I got an a clue that I could think for myself. Maybe you will too someday, but I doubt it.

Posted by: Loren at July 2, 2006 9:22 AM
Comment #164143

Lawnboy,

To a Christian who believes in the Bible as the inerrant word of God, Creationism is a fact - a givin. I feel no need to argue it. That is my belief and my right. You have yours. And that is your belief and right.

However! The post from 1LT asks, correctly, just WHERE did all the matter and energy come from? It can not be created out of whole cloth and without matter and energy, you don’t get chemicals. If you can’t explain why my belief is wrong then you can not explain why your belief (apparently based on “faith”) is right. Spontaneous generation is kind of like spontaneous combustion - tabloid fodder, not science.

Posted by: Ilsa at July 2, 2006 9:24 AM
Comment #164144

Loren,

Your parents taught you thier values and morals based on thier religion, as did mine. I was raised Catholic, switched to Epsicipalian ( not much different, I admit), then went through many different protestant demominations, including Baptist. Finally, I ended up agnositic. Many years later, I got saved. I know you know what that means and how important I consider that moment in my life. Your trivilization of my core belief, my Holy Scripture is insulting and typical of the way Christians are regarded.

Reading the Bible does not constitute understanding - I read it repeatedly and never fully understood it for years. Attending a Baptist college means that you PAID MONEY to be taught a certain way - doesn’t sound to me like it was rammed dowm your throat at that point. I’m sorry that you have fallen away from your unbringing and I’m sure your parents pray for you daily. Mine prayed for me.

BTW, Thinking for myself is EXACTLY what got me to my present way of life and belief. You just sound like me 20 years ago. Don’t assume that you know everything just because you can think……

Posted by: Ilsa at July 2, 2006 9:34 AM
Comment #164145

Ilsa,

“Spontaneous generation is kind of like spontaneous combustion - tabloid fodder, not science.”

Spontaneous combustion does actually exit in nature and can be proved.

Spontaneous human combustion is another thing entirely.

Please be a little more specific, when you try to make fun of someone
.

Posted by: Rocky at July 2, 2006 9:35 AM
Comment #164147
To a Christian who believes in the Bible as the inerrant word of God, Creationism is a fact - a givin. I feel no need to argue it.

Yes, you base your arguments and evidence in a Scientific discussion on an assumption of the conclusion. While you seem to be proud of this, it means that you have explicitly left the realm of evidence-based scientific discussion. Feel free to believe that in your church and your home, but leave public school curricula alone.

Actually, I gave a link to a pages that answers 1LT B’s question. Here’s a more direct link.

That you refuse to read what science says on the topic does not mean that science is tabloid fodder.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 2, 2006 9:37 AM
Comment #164148

That should be “exists in nature”.

Posted by: Rocky at July 2, 2006 9:37 AM
Comment #164149

Lawnboy,

FYI, I never said that I thought Creationism should be taught in schools - you made an assumption based on your own preconcieved notions. I am an RN with an extensive scientific education. My son is a bio/chem major at a large public university. My other son is studying physics. Religion and Science are not mutually exclusive. But I will take time to read your link. You see, maybe us crazy Christians are just a little more open minded than you previously thought. Just because we already know what happened, doesn’t mean we understand HOW it happened.

Rocky,

I meant Human combustion. sorry. As for spontaneous combustion, it usually requires specific circumstances/chemical reactions/etc…. not common.

Posted by: Ilsa at July 2, 2006 9:47 AM
Comment #164150

Lawnboy,

Okay, went to your link. Sorry, not very helpful. there’s alot of “if’s and maybe’s and in theory”. And, it isn’t an actual scientific site. Maybe something a little more mainstream - recognized by anyone as an authority on the subject?

Posted by: Ilsa at July 2, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #164152

Ilsa,

I’m glad you don’t want to force Creationism into public school (or, at least, I hope so - you never actually said you don’t). I apologize if I made an invalid assumption.

I hope you take the time to read the link. It’s not that I think you’re too closed-minded to read it - it’s that you told me I didn’t answer the question.

Just because we already know what happened, doesn’t mean we understand HOW it happened.

There you go, assuming the conclusion again.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 2, 2006 9:55 AM
Comment #164153

Ilsa

I guess as someone who is saved it is OK for you to insult me, but not the other way around.

As far as moral and spiritual values go, I haven’t left my faith, but rather expanded it beyond the limits of my upbringing. You seem to be unable to accept that I might be able to accept science and the religion of my family at the same time.

The Bible verses quoted here by JR are words of a spiritual walk with God and the rules for life at another time. You cheapen them by bringing them into political discourse. They are, obviously your words to live by, and help you practice your faith, but they do not prove a point on this blog.

Posted by: Loren at July 2, 2006 9:55 AM
Comment #164155

Time for church, so I gotta go…..

It’s been fun, but really, you guys need to understand that Christianity, as with any other religion, has specific ideals, ideas, beliefs, mores, values and lifestyles. If you are intolerant of even one, then you are intolerant of all. Which is actually an invitation for others to be intolerant of you. A great theme to live by: Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Christian? Buddist? Islamic? Jewish? Secular? Does it really matter? No. It’s a good idea for most humans.

Posted by: Ilsa at July 2, 2006 9:59 AM
Comment #164157

Loren,

I’ll check back later….I’m not sure who insulted who, but I’d really like to understand how I insulted you. Now, please go back a reread the original post and the links to Obama’s speech and tell me who brought religion into a political discussion……You might want to review your posts also.

God Bless (whether you want it or not).

Posted by: Ilsa at July 2, 2006 10:03 AM
Comment #164158
there’s alot of “if’s and maybe’s and in theory”. And, it isn’t an actual scientific site.

Actually, it uses “if’s and maybe’s and in theory” because it is a scientific site. They are very good about saying what they know and what they don’t know, and the cite their sources very well.

Maybe something a little more mainstream - recognized by anyone as an authority on the subject?

What would you accept?
Wikipedia?
University of California?

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 2, 2006 10:03 AM
Comment #164159

Wikpedia, I think, allows anyone to make entries. I’ll check our the Uof C later. Thanks.

Posted by: Ilsa at July 2, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #164160

Wikpedia, I think, allows anyone to make entries. I’ll check our the Uof C later. Thanks.

Posted by: Ilsa at July 2, 2006 10:06 AM
Comment #164167

Another trusted resource would be your local public library. Check out a a good college Physics textbook, and you should have all the information you need.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 2, 2006 10:33 AM
Comment #164168

So this all seems to come down to the chicken/egg thing between man and God.

Do you believe in a benevolent/vengeful God, and assume the he/she takes responsibility for your life, i.e. God’s will?

Did the Sumerians and Babylonians version of Genesis plagiarize Moses et al., or was it the other way around?

I do not claim to be a “Christian” even though I do adhere to some precepts that have been ascribed to “Christian” doctrine.
Those precepts, BTW, were practiced long before “Christianity”, by civilizations that had never even heard of the Bible.

Ilsa,

You claim that you don’t wish that Creationism be taught in public schools, yet don’t seem to acknowledge that there are many “Christians” demanding that it should be.

JR,

Do you truly think that just because I don’t feel the need to hear you proselytize you’re not being allowed to “practice” your religion?
Do you truly feel because someone insults your religion, you’re being persecuted?
What ever happened to “turn the other cheek”, or even “sticks and stones”?

1LT B,

You rail about the way the entertainment industry has hijacked the moral fabric of America, yet surely someone from the “Christian” right is also watching these abominations because they make tons of money, and if they didn’t make “tons of money” they wouldn’t be made.

Posted by: Rocky at July 2, 2006 10:35 AM
Comment #164169

Can one of you Christians explain to me what it is you want they you do not have? What is being done to you that you cannot practice your religion and faith they way you want? Honestly I do not understand what you are arguing and fighting for.

I am very happy with the freedom of religion I have. I have no complaints. I do not hear “Progressive Christians” and othe non-christian faiths complain.

So please educate me…How are you being singled out and denied religious freedom?

Posted by: Stefano at July 2, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #164175

LawnBoy,

You mistook my argument. As far as the Big Bang goes, yes, there is evidence for it. In point of fact, I don’t find evolution to be a threat to my faith either. I can believe in both at the same time. However, I find the evidence to be a bit scanty.

With regards to the Big Bang, I was not arguing that it did not happen, though it is not proven. Even if the Big Bang did occur, where did the material come from? I have read a theory that the universe is cyclical, ie a “Big Bang” occurs, the universe expands until gravity overcomes the force of the explosion, and the universe then collapses back on itself to the same state that existed before the Big Bang. If this were plotted on a graph with the size of the universe as the X-axis and time elapsed over the Y-axis, it would look like a sine wave.

The larger point is this. We know that based on the laws of physics, you cannot have creation from nothing. Ergo, something beyond our understanding must have been involved in the original creative act. The Ancient Greek philosophers made the same argument, dubbing the Creator the “Unmoved Mover.” This was more a philosophical than scientific argument, but it still applies.

Ultimately, both sides of this debate fall into error as they try to do more than what was intended with thier discipline. Christians who read Genesis and get wrapped around the axle of literalism miss the point. Whether or not God created us from dust or over the process of evolution, the point is that he created us and endowed us with a soul and inherent dignity out of love. People who try to use science to somehow disprove God are also wrong. God, by his nature, cannot be proved or disproved. Science can answer HOW things happen, but cannot answer WHY.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 2, 2006 11:11 AM
Comment #164176

Let’s see.

A dot of matter no bigger than a few atomic particles explodes and, presto chango, the universe is born.

A few billion years later, lightning strikes a pool of water on an insignificant ball of dirt and, presto chango, the primordial soup kitchen of life springs into existance on Earth.

Reminds me of the old adage that if you give a monkey a typewriter and enough time, he will eventually write Shakespeare.

I think the old Billy Preston song sums up my beliefs about evolution vs creatiionism.

“Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.”

I believe there is an unimaginable intelligence at work here, an intelligence that is beyond the ability of the human mind to grasp.

Maybe that is why it is so easily dismissed by many.

But I’m not out to change anybody’s mind or evangelize the world. I don’t care whether or not anyone else believes as I do.

It’s only important to me that I believe.

Posted by: ulysses at July 2, 2006 11:12 AM
Comment #164180

1LT B,

You’re right, it seems I did misjudge your argument. In answer to your question, no one knows for sure where the material came from, but there are several plausible hypotheses. Because of the peculiar nature of the Big Bang, it’s quite possible that we’ll never figure out the answer.

I like your last paragraph.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 2, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #164181

Again, the original post was about someone thinking being “religious” would get Evangelical Christians to vote for them. Everywhere I turn in the world I am told to pray in quiet or keep your religion in the “closet”.

My religion - belief in God and Jesus Christ that can’t be proven. Based on faith.

Your religion - belief in a “big bang” that can’t be proven. Based on? No scientist has said without a doubt this is what happened and here is the proof.

So tell me if neither can be proven or disproved, why is your “religion” being taught in schools. Scientist also said the earth is flat.

If you are offended by JR’s scriptures, why? They make up his belief system and he is doing what our God commands. “Spread the word.”

Rocky, before Jesus Christ walked the earth Jews believe in creationism. Christians inherited the Old Testament from them.

Stefano, what Christians want is an end to liberal hypocrisy. Why do we have to called idiots, sheep, snowed, just insert your adjective because we believe by faith in something that can’t be proven or disproven when science can’t prove their theories, not facts, about creation.You can’t understand what all the fighting is about because you have become intolerant of others beliefs.

Posted by: lllplus2 at July 2, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #164182
So tell me if neither can be proven or disproved, why is your “religion” being taught in schools.

Because what you erroneously call our “religion” is based on a rigorous evidence-based process that finds new information by continuously challenging the old beliefs and changing them when called for by new information. It’s building knowledge by evidence and logic, not by having a specific set of beliefs mandated from above.

It’s the opposite of a religion.

While the “Big Bang” can’t be proved, there is significant independent evidence to support it. It has earned its position in public schools.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 2, 2006 11:33 AM
Comment #164186

Your “religion” is science tested, found to be wrong and then has to unlearned and retaught. Still, it is theory and not fact. You have faith in it as I have faith in God. Why is yours not a religion? Religion is a dirty word for liberals. If my religion should keep quiet why does yours have the right to “free speech”?

Posted by: lllplus2 at July 2, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #164189

lllplus2,

“Rocky, before Jesus Christ walked the earth Jews believe in creationism. Christians inherited the Old Testament from them.”

Apparently you didn”t understand the question so I’ll repeat it;

Did the Sumerians and Babylonians version of Genesis plagiarize Moses et al., or was it the other way around?

That seems pretty simple, and there is no mention of Christianity, or Christians, or Jews belief, in that question.

Posted by: Rocky at July 2, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #164191
Do you now understand how it is for Christians to voice an opinion? Look through the blog. I’m being told the Bible is not inerrant, I’m clinging to the law and not the spirit of Christ, that I end all rational debate when I refer to scripture. Those who oppose are the very same people who yell the loudest for other groups to be “included” in society.

JR,

Why do you think that you are the only one entitled to an opinion? You voiced your opinion, now others are voicing theirs. What’s the problem?

Marginalization by liberal attacks on my freedom should be a HUGE concern to others. If the religious ideology of Christianity is the one professed to by @75+% of our country and they feel they are being isolated, trivialized and ignored - how should other groups, who don’t claim nearly as many adherents feel? Should they be worried? I am. Everyone is to be considered a brother or sister in the Lord, sin is to all of us what water is to the oceans - it’s who we are.

In order to get respect you need to give respect. Gays and lesbians are Marginalized all the time by Cons, and yes that worries me.

I only wish to make known to everyone that to ignore Biblical truth, ignore Christ and his message of repentance and forgiveness, is to throw away the greatest gift in the world. Freedom Of Religion. Why is it in the last 30 years that it’s OK to mock religion, but not OK to question the choices of secular life? Why support a platform of death? I choose life. Why support the homosexual agenda? Choice? Ok. Your choice can be a topic of debate just as my religious convictions can be. But lately it’s Gay OK - religion, well lets tear down any symbols of that in American life and keep it behind the closed doors of the church - out of the public venue.

But whose Biblical truth? I see something totally different going on in the Bible than what is taught by those behind the pulpit. My views were discussed at length in a thread on the liberal side, Religious Free Speech, so I will not repeat them here. Biblical truth is not as clear cut as some make it out to be. When did it become gay OK? Last time I checked the right was still fighting for discrimination.

I can’t let that be so and claim to be a Christian. That’s why Christians are willing to get out and vote, to speak our minds and demand the same “social courtesy” demanded by others.

You say you cannot let that be and claim to be a Christian, yet you want others to be something they are not to please you. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. I have to answer to God for my life, and quite frankly it is none of your business. That is between me and the big guy.

Your values are imposed on me and mine everyday my kids go to school.

lllplus2,

Then send them to a private religious school. Or let the teachers in the public schools do their jobs and let the churches, one on every street corner, do theirs. I’m not sure why anybody would want a total stranger in a public school teaching their child about religion.

The other issue is the rank hypocrisy of liberals who claim Christians are forcing their beliefs on others. In point of fact, it is the radical, secularist, morally relativistic culture that was forced on America by a cabal of liberal activists and their crony judges. They are the ones who are intolerant and force thier views on everyone else. They tolerate no dissent and demand that Christians stand silent as everything we believe is mocked and ridiculed.

1LT B,

And the right does the same thing to the liberals. There are many, many liberal Christians, yet the right always tries to charactorize liberals as Atheists. So what is the difference between what you are complaining about and what you do?

Sounds more believable than a God you can’t see, but where, praytell, did the original life come from? Science says spontaneous generation is impossible, so where did this organic matter come from?

Spontaneous generation happened at some point that is a fact. It is just a question of where you believe it started. I can never seem to get a straight answer to this question, so maybe you can answer it. Where did God come from? Just to say that he always was and always will be is not an answer. At some point he came into being. How? Spontaneous generation?

I have found on these boards that scripture isn’t even skimmed by the left. It’s totally ignored. That’s why they are in the state they are in.

Ilsa,

That’s because you haven’t been paying attention. There was just a whole discussion of scripture on the liberal side of this blog, Religious Free Speech.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 2, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #164194
One example please? Name one time in your life that religion was imposed on you against your will.

Ilsa,

I cannot answer for Loren, but as a gay male I have people’s religion imposed on me against my will all the time! One example- marriage discrimination.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 2, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #164195

rocky,

I was referring to you saying,

“Those precepts, BTW, were practiced long before “Christianity”, by civilizations that had never even heard of the Bible.”

I ,btw, believe 100% in the Bible and in Moses writing the Torah. Can you prove to me why I shouldn’t? Is that written simple enough for you to understand?

Posted by: lllplus2 at July 2, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #164196

What it all comes down to is that conservative christianity is used to driving their big fat car down the road, and they don’t like sharing it with anyone else. Your slice of the pie is smaller because there are more Americans who are other than you. Get used to it. It isn’t changing.

Our Constitution was written to be able to adapt to change. As our population and their heritages change, our govt is great in that it can too. No one is being discriminated against, but many are being brought into the protection of our constitution. That’s the basis of our govt.

Posted by: Loren at July 2, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #164197

JayJay Snow

“Then send them to a private religious school. Or let the teachers in the public schools do their jobs and let the churches, one on every street corner, do theirs. I’m not sure why anybody would want a total stranger in a public school teaching their child about religion.”

As soon as the govenment uses my tax money to fund private christian schools that can’t be a consideration. I never said nor do I want religion taught in school. NO RELIGION. That includes theories not facts that contradict my religious beliefs.

Posted by: lllplus2 at July 2, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #164204

The contadictions between science and your religious beliefs are a figment of your imagination. wake up and smell the DNA.

Posted by: Loren at July 2, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #164205

lllplus2

“I ,btw, believe 100% in the Bible and in Moses writing the Torah. Can you prove to me why I shouldn’t? Is that written simple enough for you to understand?

Why should I even care, and why would I feel the need to prove you wrong in your beliefs?

You don’t seem to understand. I don’t give a rat’s ass if you worship the tooth fairy, it doesn’t, in any way, effect me, or my beliefs.

BTW the Sumerian and the Babylonian Genesis both predate the Moses version.

Posted by: Rocky at July 2, 2006 12:28 PM
Comment #164209

1LTB:
You ask some intriguing questions. You and others in this stream have asked me to answer them. I appreciate that you give me credit for being able to answer them, but I have to admit that I am but one of the billions or organisms that we call human that have walked this small planet. One of the trillions of trillions of all organisms that have experienced what we call life. I don’t know the answers to the many questions of the universe. I’ve never pretended to know and never expect to know.

Only the religious fundamentalist is actually vain enough to claim he knows. He knows, presumably, based on some fairy tale someone put down on paper thousands of years ago.

The scientist (and I am not one) makes a hypothesis and begins to test it. As empirical evidence bears it out, that hypothesis gains credibility. As empirical evidence fails to bear it out, the hypothesis loses credibility and is ultimately abandoned. Reputable scientists don’t claim to know the answers. They only know which theories seem to make the most sense based on observable, or provable data.

The religious fundamentalist claims to know the answers. As the things he knows are challenged by reality he retreats to claim that the scriptures are merely metaphorical.


Illplus2:

“Your values are imposed on me and mine everyday my kids go to school.”

Which values are those? What I’m seeing here in this thread is Christians stating that evolution and empirical evidence about the age of the universe do not disprove the creationist theory. So how is anyone imposing my values on you. You are free to go to your church and explain to your children how you can twist your fairy tales so that they are still consistent with empirical evidence. No one in school, or in government is saying there is no god. Quite to the contrary, courts still have us swear on your book of fairy tales to tell the truth. Our pledge of allegiance still says “one nation under god.” Our currency still says “in god we trust.” Where are my values being imposed on you and your children. Please do not mistake empirical evidence with my values.

If you want to teach your children the stork theory of childbirth, or the immaculate conception theory of how god figured out, in his infinite wisdom, how to get his one and only son onto this earth, go ahead. Not only do you have your churches where you can teach these things, but you can reinforce them at home all you want. You can even have your own religious schools where you can teach your children whatever you want. Just stop trying to proselytize.

Posted by: atheist at July 2, 2006 12:32 PM
Comment #164231

Lawnboy, thanks for showing me how to spell Bhgavad Gita. I’ve wondered ever since I heard J Robert Oppenheimer quote it.(not directly, TV stories about him, I’m not that old)

Posted by: gergle at July 2, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #164243

lllplus2

Many religions believe in things that cannot be proven. But you haven’t answered my question, why are Conservative Christians complaining and other religions are not..?

The reason I see is that Christians feel that their beliefs and moral values need to be brought into the public square and made into policy. You really do not want to be treated equally, you want to be treated superior to all other faiths.

You come under attack because you bring it upon yourseleves. When you come public and want to influenece public policy, people are going to disagree with you and challange your position. And you interpret it as attacking your religion and beliefs. Well yes it is when public policy is at stake.

For example in this blog Evolution and Bing bang are labled as “Liberal Religion”. It is not religion, not belief, but scientific theory. When you come public and want to change public school science curiculum, you will be challanged. And your beliefs will be challanged. But no other other religious group is involved in this self-exposing destructive beahvior. So they are not attacked.

Posted by: Stefano at July 2, 2006 1:52 PM
Comment #164255

LawnBoy,

Glad we understand each other. I do think that both sides try to do things fundamentally beyond thier scope. The Bible was not written as a scientific document. It was written to inspire people in God. I think that God gave us our senses and reason to better understand the majesty and beauty of His Creation and to help us be better stewards of it as He commanded.

JayJaySnow and Atheist,

I think you are right that at some point spontaneous generation happened, but I characterize that as the spark of the Divine Presence in the world, not random chance. However, you should be careful. You are making an argument based on science, what is observable to the senses. If you cannot prove in a verifiable and reproducible way that spontaneous generation occurred, then your argument is false.

Evolution seems to make sense, but is riddled with problems. For instance, evolution teaches that through natural selection and random mutation, traits evolve that lead to new species. This cannot be proven as the fossil record doesn’t support it. The fossil record is replete with gaps that evolution cannot explain. Further, why are such creatures as sharks, turtles, crocodiles, and the famous Celocanth (spelling?) essentially unchanged after millions upon millions of years? Did their DNA somehow become fixed? Furthermore, science has yet to demonstrate, even in single celled organisms, one change of species. With the methods we have now, we can subject single celled organisms to a wide battery of conditions to force adaption, but no new species, nor even a major new trait has come about. Evolution is a theory, yet it is treated like dogma.

One of the fundamental aspects of religion is mystery. There are some questions we will never be able to answer, such as what happens after death. Almost all religions offer answers to fundamental needs that the senses cannot answer. We reach out for God because we recognize our own failings and through faith and the Holy Spirit. Atheist, just so you know, I’m Roman Catholic. Traditional to a fault, yes. A fundamentalist or Biblical literalist, no.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 2, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #164266
Your “religion” is science tested, found to be wrong and then has to unlearned and retaught.

Yes, and by that strength, it is shown not to be religion. Religion imposes answers, and all questions are reframed within the answer. Science asks the questions and lets the evidence guide them to the answers. When a previous scientific answer is shown to be wrong, science accepts the change and improves. Religions almost never allow that.

This is pretty much the same thing I said before, so I expect you not to understand this time, either. However, faith and science are completely different concepts that came into being completely differently. Calling science a religion is invalid, and repetition does not make it so.

Still, it is theory and not fact.

I have the feeling that you don’t understand the difference between the meaning of “theory” in science compared the meaning of the word in daily use.

When used within Science, a Theory is “A comprehensive explanation of a given set of data that has been repeatedly confirmed by observation and experimentation and has gained general acceptance within the scientific community but has not yet been decisively proven.” Some theories are so well understood that they are considered as strong as fact (Plate Tectonics, Atomic Theory, and yes, Evolution), but those ideas are not called facts because facts are smaller, discrete units, while theories are large, complex ideas.

That Evolution and the Big Bang are theories does not mean our understanding of them is weak; it’s just an honest appraisal of their complexity.

In contrast, the principles of Creationism, Intelligent Design, etc. are not Scientific Theories. They are hypotheses at best, and hypotheses that do not match the evidence.

This is why Evolution and the Big Bang should be taught in public schools and Creationism shouldn’t: they are based on honest, independent appraisals independent of religion.

You have faith in it as I have faith in God. Why is yours not a religion?

Because religion is a set of ideas based on belief alone. Science is a set of ideas based on evidence and logic. They are orthogonal concepts.

Religion is a dirty word for liberals.

No - your misuse of the word is dirty.

If my religion should keep quiet why does yours have the right to “free speech”?

Both of use have the right to free speech, and both science and religion have the right to their own spheres. What we ask is that you do not force your religion into the scientific sphere, just as we don’t force you to teach evolution in church.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 2, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #164279
evolution teaches that through natural selection and random mutation, traits evolve that lead to new species. This cannot be proven as the fossil record doesn’t support it. The fossil record is replete with gaps that evolution cannot explain.

Actually, the fossil record supports evolution exceedingly well. The changes over time of species and the divergence of ancestors into various decendant species can be seen clearly.

While there are gaps, those gaps do not pose a problem that “evolution cannot explain.” Science easily explains the gaps because fossilization is a difficult process; only a tiny percentage of creatures become fossilized. In fact, an analysis of the expected number of fossils shows that we have about what we would expect.

The unfortunate history of the gap argument against Evolution is that it can never be answered. A creationist will point at a gap in the record and yell loudly “There’s a gap.” Then, someone finds a fossil that fits in the gap perfectly. Instead of accepting that the concern had been addressed, the reaction is “Now there are two gaps!”. It’s tiring and useless.

Further, why are such creatures as sharks, turtles, crocodiles, and the famous Celocanth (spelling?) essentially unchanged after millions upon millions of years? Did their DNA somehow become fixed?

No, nothing unusual happened to the DNA. What has happened in those cases is that the species found a niche, adapted to the niche, and fit it very well. There have been mutations since, but the early adaptations were so successful that later mutations do not provide much new advantage.

Furthermore, science has yet to demonstrate, even in single celled organisms, one change of species.

That is not true. There have been many instances of observed speciation.

Evolution is a theory, yet it is treated like dogma.

It is unfortunate that Evolution has dogma wars around it, but it’s not because science treats it differently. Evolution research is no more dogmatic than research into Plate Tectonics. However, there are not major religions that feel threatened by Plate Tectonics, so there are no dogmatic attacks on it. Unfortunately, that’s not true for Evolution, so defense of that Scientific Theory becomes much more of a battle.

If it were up to the people who care about Evolution, it wouldn’t be that way.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 2, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #164302

Stefano,

It is not just conservative Christians who complain about defamation our religion. I don’t know if you have forgotten already, but muslims rioted over a newspaper cartoon. What do you think they would do if a movie or TV show was to air showing Muhammad as anything but holy? How about a recording artist singing lyrics that insult their prophet? It doesn’t happen to them as much because of the threat of violence from them.

On February 14, 1989, the Ayatollah broadcast the following message on Iranian radio: “I inform the proud Muslim people of the world that the author of the Satanic Verses book, which is against Islam, the Prophet and the Qur’an, and all those involved in its publication who are aware of its content are sentenced to death” 1. As a result, Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator of the book was stabbed to death in July 1991, Ettore Capriolo, the Italian translator, was seriously injured in a stabbing the same month, and William Nygaard, the publisher in Norway, survived an attempted assassination in Oslo in October 1991. On February 14, 2006, the Iranian state news agency reported that the fatwa will remain in place permanently. Wikipedia

I guess violence is preferrable to complaining. Many liberal post on this blog talked about tolerance in the aftermath of the cartoon riots. I read very little from the left holding muslims who destroyed whatever they could get their hands during riots accountable. There was a lot of giving them hugs and it is o.k. that they dance in the streets as Americans died on 9/11. “It is all Bush’s fault for not embracing them.” That his become the left’s secondary battle cry, behind of course, “What about rape and incest?”

Posted by: lllplus2 at July 2, 2006 4:37 PM
Comment #164305

Rocky,

If you don’t like the answers you get, stop asking questions. If you don’t like hearing about people’s faith go to the liberal blog. If you choose to stay quit crying about responses to your questions.

Posted by: lllplus2 at July 2, 2006 4:45 PM
Comment #164308

lllplus2,

WTF?

Posted by: Rocky at July 2, 2006 4:53 PM
Comment #164314

Rocky,

I don’t understand, either :)

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 2, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #164324

Loren,

Have you followed the DNA mapping that is going on? Human history has been traced back some 70,000 years to a very few common ancestors.

So much for the ‘literal’ truth of the 6,000 year old world!

Check out a book called: SCARS OF EVOLUTION by an author named Elaine Morgan. It will blow your mind. It even posits an origin for the flood myth.

Posted by: RGF at July 2, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #164340

lllplus2,

I don’t know what you are talking about. When the cartoon riots were happening my liberal friends and I were saying how ridiculous religious extremism is.

Posted by: bushflipflops at July 2, 2006 6:31 PM
Comment #164352

I read stuff about how hard it is to say Christian things in today’s world. It shouldn’t be that hard. Look who you have on your side. Besides, the constitution guarantees you your freedom. You can pray in school. Just don’t have an official leading it, or the proceedings disturbing class. You can be a judge and a committed Christian. Just realize that your expression of religion is to be personal, whether you’re private or public about it, not official. If you want a public display of the Ten commandments, then put it on private land and speak at the opening of it.

The Public sphere belongs to us all. It should not be anybody’s right to seize their part of it and force it to advocate their religion when the government is barred from such advocation.

This government was never meant to be controlled by any religion, any denomination. It was meant to be shared among many, all equally at disadvantage in terms of control.

Aside from judges and officials who have to represent in their official capacity a system greater than just themselves, there is no restriction on the average person’s religious attitudes that they do not impose themselves.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 2, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #164394

Tell me something Why should a man of G-d speak out against what we all know is wrong. It is not his job to publically point out a man’s sin unless he and others like him have done their best to help him make right the wrong he has done. Further, Why would you want to publically accuse a man with out the due process of law, unless one wants sensationalism to rule and not proper law.
The goal of religion is to teach men how to live in this world with each other. Speculations and rumor abound. Speaking, using these rumors as truth is just as forbidden as murder, adultry - from a Biblical point of view (even til now).
Religion is suppose to help us become better. It is to spark the prosuit of Justice - Justice, you shall always preform justice.
Religion was a part of our forefathers live - they were quite liberal for their day. But they were grounded in the wisdom men had gathered over our existance. They knew some men were bad - religious or not. But they knew one this many on the left fail to grasp: There is hope in this world, there is love - take the time and you will see it every where. Doom and gloom are doors to destruction.
There is another part of this discussion that bothers me. Creation is beyond us - from our view point we see and understand many principles. These help us live in our world.
Creation is like a painting from a modern master. We cannot understand what was in the artist’s mind unless he tells us. Above all we assume that there was an artist who painted it. Why not the world? It is like scientists who would like to create life - find your own dirt. You cannot create life, you can mimick it like the golem of Prauge, no soul, no will and no direction without someone always commanding.

Posted by: Kuzriel at July 2, 2006 11:47 PM
Comment #164448

I find this sooooo frustrating
The Christians that are soooo upset about the “removal of RELIGION” from public life.
There is not “removal of RELIGION” from public life, just the removal of a CHRISTIAN BIAS from publically funded arenas.
A quick test for those of you who are so concerned about the “removal of RELIGION”
If Judge Roy Moore had erected a monument of the KORAN and did not allow any other document equal (or any) space — would you be so upset at his ouster and the removal of the offending object?
Or would you yourself have called for his ouster and removal of the blasphemeous document?
Or the Tao?
Or what about a Hindu document?
The point isn’t that “religion is under attack”
What is under attack is Christian fundelmentalist efforts to put Christianity in places it doesn’t belong.
for example — Prayer in school
Whose prayer?
Which prayer?
Do you see these “religious leaders” asking for ANY prayer?—- NOOOO only the “right one” Christian prayer.
which child is not allowed to pray on their own, in their own way? (as long as it does not disrupt the class, nor other students)
(and any teacher who would prohibit personal prayer by a student is wrong as far as I am concerned)
Again, this is all BS
It is not about “religion” it is about CHRISTIANITY and the fundalmentalists that do NOT even PRACTICE the TRUE teachings of Christ trying to insert THEIR religion into the public practices of government.
Boo Hoo, the bully is being criticized
feel sorry for the bully
Can dish it out but can’t take it.

Posted by: Russ at July 3, 2006 10:34 AM
Comment #164451

Evolution?
PLEASE GET THIS RIGHT.
What most people feel is a “theory” is NOT evolution, but the explanation of how evolution works.
the THEORY is of Natural Selection (the idea of the mechanizm for evolution)
NOT EVOLUTION
the theory is about HOW evolution works, not whether or not it exists
It exists, get over it
HOW it works, how it happens, now THERE are the areas for theory.

and by the way
if you feel that sience is “godless” — try REALLY studying the natural world (or even just as a start your own body) — the mechanizms for life are just so beautiful, and the more we learn, the more we understand HOW they work, the MORE astonishing and beautiful they become — as an engineer I am astounded at how all this works!!
AND
I have no doubt that God created it
Not the finished product like some people adamently hold onto
But the mechanizm that allows these creations to occur
The processes by which these elegant solutions to making living organizms work
Plants converting sunlight and air to food for themselves.
The Redwoods being able to get moisture to their uppermost limbs
the human body filtering waste products from the bloodstream
It is all totally aweinspiring and beautiful and wonderful.
AND
You can see God in it all
If you look,
But does a God have to do it in the unsubtle way that the fundlementalists cling so strongly to?
Or is it just possible that God can do it in ways that offer us a chance to discover and learn, little by little, as we advance in our knowledge and understanding
Could it be that God knew that we could not “handle the truth” if it were revealed all at once?
Also, if God is master of the universe, why would there NOT be other living systems somewhere in the Universe?
Why wouldn’t God want more of this sort of beauty throughout the universe?
and over time maybe we are meant to contact one another and teach each other what we have learned?
I find fundalmentalizm too confining, too restricting and too dismissive of God’s capability.
Give God a bit more credit than what your narrow beliefs allow.

Posted by: Russ at July 3, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #164491

Reading through these posts I am reminded of just how high Christianity is on the list of things liberals hate. You can talk to a liberal about Mohammed or Buddha, or any of the eastern religions without any problem but just mention the name of Jesus Christ and their blood begins to boil.

Posted by: Carnak at July 3, 2006 1:22 PM
Comment #164501

Carnak,

“You can talk to a liberal about Mohammed or Buddha, or any of the eastern religions without any problem but just mention the name of Jesus Christ and their blood begins to boil.”

I don’t claim to speak for any liberals, siding myself toward the moderate.

What makes my blood boil is the ignorance of comments like this one that don’t address any issue, but in reality, only attempt to stir the pot of polarization, and in doing so, also attempt to bait those on either side to a negative that cannot be proved.

Posted by: Rocky at July 3, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #164502
Reading through these posts I am reminded of just how high Christianity is on the list of things liberals hate.

Carnak, there’s a difference between hating something and not favoring that thing taking over society.

We don’t hate Christianity. No one’s blood is boiling except perhaps yours.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 3, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #164531
Reading through these posts I am reminded of just how high Christianity is on the list of things liberals hate. You can talk to a liberal about Mohammed or Buddha, or any of the eastern religions without any problem but just mention the name of Jesus Christ and their blood begins to boil. Posted by: Carnak at July 3, 2006 01:22 PM

Carnak,

This is an empty statement. I am a liberal, if you want to talk about Jesus Christ then lets do it. What do you want to know? Alternatively you can read the thread on the LIBERAL side of this blog that talked extensivly about Jesus Christ: Religious Free Speech.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 3, 2006 4:47 PM
Comment #164536

LawnBoy,

Your response that you don’t hate Christianity, you just don’t want it taking over society is the standard liberal response on this issue. I’m sure you feel that Christians can believe whatever we want to believe. Of coarse with the caveat that we not express our opinions at school, work, or in public policy debates. That would be in violation of the separation of church and state. So anytime a liberal disagrees with a Christian on a policy issue he simply plays his trump card of separation of church and state and says “you lose” because as a Christian your opinion is at some level tied to your religion. You love us Christians but we just need to learn that our opinions on public policy just can’t be taken into consideration due to the fact that they are Constitutionaly invalid. I guess we are just to dumb to understand this.
No you don’t hate us. You just want to keep us in line.

Posted by: Carnak at July 3, 2006 5:06 PM
Comment #164542

Carnak,

I won’t go into all the baiting and strawmen you set up there. I’ll just say that you’re very bitter about things that no one here has said.

Of coarse with the caveat that we not express our opinions at school, work, or in public policy debates.

I will, though, respond to this. You are wrong in this impression. Our position is not that you can’t express your opinion in those environments. It’s that the opinions cannot be given the force or the impression of Governmental approval.

While you complain about Liberals using the trump card of the Constitution, it’s equally prevalent for someone to try to use the Bible as the trump card to end discussion. In the world of the church, the Bible is the proper trump card. In the world of politics, the Constitution is the proper trump card.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 3, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #164564

lllplus2

My reference is only about the American experience. American Christian Conservatives and their view on how they feel they are treated here in the USA. or maybe you have answered my question….

Your comparision to Islamic Fundementalist is not very faltering to American Christians and your position. Are you implying that Christain conservatives are irrational religious fundementalists? That is why you complain?

You really lost me on this, especially your last paragraph..I have no idea what you are so angry about and especially towards liberals. We are not talking about Iran and the Arab muslim world. We are talking about the American experience.

Again…Why is it that American Christian Conservatives feel they are religiously repressed in the USA? Why are they the only religious group in the USA that complains of being treated unfairly and cannot practice their religion they way they want?

I have no personal complaints. I practice my religion freely and without interruption or repression. I consider myself fortunate to live here and have this opportunity. I want to understand why you feel you do not have the same experience as me. How is your religious practice being repressed. What is it that you want that is being denied?

It is not my intention to challange you or put you on the defenseive. I really want to understand.

Posted by: Stefano at July 3, 2006 7:08 PM
Comment #244704

I think that you all have the wrong idea about separation of church and state. Churches should not endorse a canidate or even discuss politics in a house of God. Church members should make their own choices in the privacy of their home.

I live in a small town with a mayor and five councilman/woman form of local government. The incumbent mayor and board was doing a wonderful job,however a few were disgruntled and were very influential in the multidenominational chapel.
These few were able to use the chapel as a platform to sway a small election their way.
Politics should stay out of the church.

Jerry B.

Posted by: Jerry Baker at February 5, 2008 8:33 PM
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