Christianity is on the decline in America

momj47(7A)

Christianity faces sharp decline as Americans are becoming even less affiliated with religion

Christianity is on the decline in America, not just among younger
generations or in certain regions of the country but across race,
gender, education and geographic barriers. The percentage of adults who
describe themselves as Christians dropped by nearly eight percentage
points in just seven years to about 71 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.

“It’s
remarkably widespread,” said Alan Cooperman, director of religion
research for the Pew Research Center. “The country is becoming less
religious as a whole, and it’s happening across the board.”

1. Millennials are growing even less affiliated with religion as they get older

2. There are more religiously unaffiliated Americans than Catholic Americans or mainline Protestant Americans

3. Those who are unaffiliated are becoming more secular

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mrskjun(9)

Does that make you happy?

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mrskjun(9)

Just so this is clear. 92% of Americans believe in God, even if there has been a slight decline in the numbers of those affiliated with a Christian religion. That is according to Gallup 2014

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jodik_gw

Not the first time I've read this, Mom... it's good news, in my opinion, the freedom of more minds.

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chase_gw

Does the Gallup poll indicate which God?


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momj47(7A)

Does that make you happy?
Yes

92% of Americans SAY they believe in God.

Other than answering a question for a poll, most Americans probably don't give God, any god, another thought all year. It's easy to BS about God.

Seeing how corrupt the faith of the Prince of Peace has become, I'm glad people are rejecting it.

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mrskjun(9)

Also from Gallup

"Very religious Americans in the United States are less likely to report having been diagnosed with depression over the course of their lifetime than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious"

"Very religious Americans are more likely to practice healthy behaviors than those who are moderately religious or nonreligious. The most religious Americans score a 66.3 on the Gallup-Healthways Healthy Behavior Index compared with 60.6 among those who are moderately religious and 58.3 for the nonreligious."

I especially like what Jeff Foxworthy said. " We sing about God because we believe in Him. We are not trying to offend anybody, but the evidence we have seen of Him in our small little lives trumps your opinion on whether or not He exists."

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Iris GW

I don't mind if anyone believes in him at all. What I mind is when people attempt to use those beliefs to dictate how others should live their lives (like through laws).

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paprikash

There's a gravestone in Thurmont, MD that reads "Here lies an atheist. All dressed up and no place to go"

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Pidge(Zone 6)

This finding suggests that at least some Americans are becoming more critical thinkers and less willing to be brainwashed by some huckster--and hopefully unwilling to let their children be brainwashed, either.

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momj47(7A)

Christians are more likely to be fat

Christians are more likely to support torture

Christians are more likely to get divorced. This one doesn't surprise me at all.

Christians are likely to be less educated, and they wallow in their anti-intellectual ignorance.

Christians are more likely to condone violence

So what. I can match your studies and raise you three more statistics

We are not trying to offend anybody

I am always amazed at how often Christians offend, over and over again.

Mike Huckabee certainly offends

Theofascists should offend and scare every American.

And since Christians are more likely to be Republicans........ well, you can see exactly where this is leading. And it offends.

but the evidence we have seen of Him in our small little lives trumps your opinion on whether or not He exists."

That "evidence" is actually evidence of your own strengths, abilities, capabilities, accomplishments and desires, and ascribing it to a god is superstition.


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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

1. Millennials are growing even less affiliated with religion as they get older

This would be keeping with millennials being supportive of gay marriage, and women's reproductive rights.

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mrskjun(9)

A critical thinker...yes, I agree, like C.S. Lewis right?

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mrskjun(9)

gee mom, Chrstian's sure do make you angry. There's a cure for that.

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momj47(7A)

Chrstian's [sic] sure do make you angry.

No, Christians don't make me angry. That would be pointless. A person's faith is irrelevant. It's honest actions that matter.

Hypocrisy makes me angry. And for "christians", there's a cure for that.

I have great respect for people of great, honest, genuine, sincere faith.

There's a gravestone in Thurmont, MD that reads "Here lies an atheist. All dressed up and no place to go"

Faith by anecdote. Too funny.


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mrskjun(9)


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mrskjun(9)


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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

In the case of the millennials, perhaps the social conservatism of the more vocal denominations is a negative force.

Have Protestants come to the same accommodation to antiquated social taboos as have the Catholics; i.e., "cafeteria" Catholics?


Threads such as this demonstrate intolerance of discussion of Christianity. The data are what they are. Why would data negatively affect anyone's faith?

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mrskjun(9)

Just so we are clear nancy...I have no intolerance for nonbelievers. I only have the deepest sympathy for them. But I will speak out when the data is presented in such a way that it does not tell the whole story. I don't think the intolerance is on the part of Christians. When someone is outraged by a cross on a public building...that is intolerance.

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods;
it is a lack of belief in gods.

**************

"I contend we are both atheists,
I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why
you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I
dismiss yours."

Source of the quote

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chase_gw

There is nothing wrong with being a person of faith , and that goes for all faiths not just Christianity, and there is nothing wrong with being an atheist..

What's wrong is trying to force your faith on others in spite of the laws of the land or to prevent people from practicing their faith within the bounds of the law. It's also wrong, to me anyway, is to mock others simply for their beliefs...pro and con. Criticizing the institutions created around faith are fair ball.

Christians also need to understand that when you say you believe in God and then do, or say, things that are contrary to what Christ taught you leave your self open to fair criticism and questions as to your true faith.

Atheists say they don't beleive in God but I have never heard one , not one, say they don't believe in the values that Christ taught. As a matter of fact they are extremely supportive of those values More so than many Christians .........

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chase_gw

"I only have the deepest sympathy for them"... Do you get how instituting that is ? Who exactly is a non believer...do they have to believe in Christ? Why would an atheist need your sympathy ? That can only mean you feel they are wrong minded. What if someone said they have nothing but sympathy for Christians....your back would go right up...and rightly so.

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momj47(7A)

When someone is outraged by a cross on a public building...that is intolerance

That is not intolerance, that is upholding the First Amendment of the Constitution. That is real and true patriotism.


I do have sympathy for people who don't understand our constitutional democracy and attempt to subvert it by forcing religion on those who truly want American democracy to succeed, now and in the future.

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jillinnj

I agree (hope!) that it means there are more critical thinkers.


As I've said many times before, I don't care what your religion is and what you believe in, as long as you do not try to enforce your rules on me. Do not try to use your religious rules to make laws.


MrsK - why are you so defensive? Someone posts an article about the fact that less people are saying they are religious and you post mocking cartoons of atheists. Is that supposed to show us your tolerance you so often speak of?

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ohiomom

"why are you so defensive"

Funny I remember using those same words recently .... (^_^) And it caused that person to become even more defensive.

When we point fingers at someone, there are three pointing back at us.

As far as the millennials, Nancy has probly' come closer to the truth than anyone else. They aren't all hopped up on the hot button issues.

1/2 cent

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jillinnj

"When someone is outraged by a cross on a public building...that is intolerance."


Wrong. Intolerance is insisting your symbol of your religion be displayed on a public building regardless of how non-religious people feel about it.


By the way, you do understand it's not "public" buildings that are the issue. It's government buildings. Right?


"I have no intolerance for nonbelievers. I only have the deepest sympathy for them. "


Gee, could you be more condescending?

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I have no intolerance for nonbelievers.

Tolerance for atheists as long as they keep their mouth shut is what I've seen.

We're not in a homogeneous society, and this will not change any time soon.

I only have the deepest sympathy for them.

Such tolerance; an insult and more goading.

We've been around this track so many times. Next up; a thread claiming that our founding fathers were devout Christians.


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mrskjun(9)

Gee, could you be more condescending?

Yeah, I probably could, but I won't be. I only have myself to blame for being drawn into these topics. I apologize mom, and to the rest of you. This is a topic I have great passion for, and for that very reason, I become unreasonable in my responses. Carry on...going to the garden. One is closer to God in the garden, than anywhere else on earth.

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chase_gw

"Wrong. Intolerance is insisting your symbol of your religion be
displayed on a public building regardless of how non-religious people
feel about it."

Never mind how offensive that may be to persons of other religions !

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momj47(7A)

One is closer to God in the garden, than anywhere else on earth.
Probably true.


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jlhug

"Tolerance for atheists as long as they keep their mouth shut is what I've seen."

IMO, atheists could easily substitute Christians or any other religion in this sentence and many posters here seem to fell exactly that way.

How about we just respect each others' beliefs and leave it at that? There is no need to belittle or make disparaging comments about anyone because of their belief in a higher being or lack of belief in one.

Edited to add: Isn't that what tolerance is all about?


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labrea_gw

does that make you happy? What emotion engendered that question? It makes me hopeful! Looking at quality of life in Sweden, Denmark, Norway. Religion doesn't dominate the quality of their life national or cultural! Pretty good quality also! We come seeking tolerance.....,,,do as we believe!

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Embothrium(Sunset Climate Zone 5, USDA Hardiness Zone 8)

Except that higher beings don't exist. So then when someone starts talking about angels or whatever as fact and nobody will touch such statements out of fear of activating a hot button then mythology is being given the same status and credence as reporting of true reality.

Because certain others embracing mythology can't stand anyone else pointing out that is all it is, and nothing more.

True facts stand on their own because they have been tested by those reporting them and can be re-tested by others, over and over, and found again to be true - by those using sound methodology.

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paprikash

There is more intolerance against Christians on this forum than atheist. Numerous anti-Christian threads pop up constantly. I can't seem to recall anti-atheist threads being started by the Christians here. I can only surmise we are more comfortable in our beliefs and don't need to constantly disparage yours.

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duluthinbloomz4

I see millennials as developing a more reason-based alternative to traditional religion making religious/church affiliation less necessary to their lives. Rather than being toed into teaching and dogma, they've developed their own - and much better - grasp of equality and social justice.

Why do those who claim to be religious and who say they follow the teachings of Christ, fail to see the harm in child abuse, open LGBT discrimination, support for bullying, attacks on women’s rights, support for war, religion in science classrooms, prayer-led public meetings, denying the separation of church and state, withholding medical care in favor of prayer for children...



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Embothrium(Sunset Climate Zone 5, USDA Hardiness Zone 8)

Numerous anti-Christian threads pop up constantly


I can only surmise we are more comfortable in our beliefs


in child abuse, open LGBT discrimination, support for bullying, attacks
on women’s rights, support for war, religion in science classrooms,
prayer-led public meetings, denying the separation of church and state,
withholding medical care in favor of prayer for children...

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paprikash

BS

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jodik_gw

I surely don't want or need anyone's sympathy.

Esh and Lena get it... while others refuse to look.

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

"Looking at quality of life in Sweden, Denmark, Norway. Religion doesn't
dominate the quality of their life national or cultural!"

As long as we Keep Thor in Thursday, I'm cool.


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jillinnj

" Numerous anti-Christian threads pop up constantly."


I disagree. You may perceive them as anti-Christian. This thread is a good example. I don't see how pointing out that the #s of people identifying as Christian could be perceived as anti-Christian. Is the Washington Post anti-Christian for reporting this?


I have seen several posts here that do point out that some people that wear their Christianity on their sleeve do not always act charitable towards those less fortunate. That's also not anti-Christian, IMO, although you may perceive it that way.

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jlhug

Duluith, I believe you are judging everyone who believes by the actions of a few. The vast majority of people who believe in a higher being never make the news. It appears that you and others here are stereotyping "believers" by what you read and see in the news not unlike the way some people form their opinions about people of other races.




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chase_gw

Jhug, much of that judging comes from what some professed Christians post here , things we hear come out of the mouths of people we meet every day, ....and the fact that so many people VOTE for those who spout anything but Christian values all the while invoking Christ's name.






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momj47(7A)

The problem for many Christians is that their denomination or church leaders have stated, repeatedly, that intolerance is an important tenet of their faith, and they expect their adherents to march in lockstep. Deviation is not tolerated.

But real life is not black or white. Real life is a continuum of shades of gray. And the inability and unwillingness of religions and denominations to recognize and accept the complex lives of their people drives people away.

And for people who reject this intolerance but treasure their faith, where do they go?

Which makes religion irrelevant to more and more people, every day, and in every poll.

So get used to seeing more and more reports like this. At least until Christianity sees the error of its ways and embraces the REAL teachings of Jesus

Matthew 11:28

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duluthinbloomz4

I grant you that people - Christian or otherwise, going about their daily lives don't often make news.

But the rigid, repressed, authoritarian ones who capture media attention do. Applying a generalization is usually incorrect and unjust... but how do you form reasonable opinions and ideas or buy into stereotypes without input from outside sources?

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woodnymph2_gw

Add me to those who do not want nor need your sympathy or judgement. Too many Fundamentalists are "in your face" with proselytizing. I am perfectly capable of independent exploration of spiritualities on my own and perfectly capable of making my own decisions about personal matters. And spirituality is personal.


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don_socal

I have belonged to number of christian religions and studied others plus religions that are not christian. I have yet to meet any one that follows the true meaning of the religion except the 97 yo lady that was my neighbor in the early 70s. So many profess to be religious without truly practicing what is the nature of their beliefs. Even in sunday school things are taught that should never be uttered aloud. I trust no one till they prove their intentions and act accordingly.


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jillinnj

"Yeah, I probably could, but I won't be. I only have myself to blame for being drawn into these topics. I apologize mom, and to the rest of you. This is a topic I have great passion for, and for that very reason, I become unreasonable in my responses."


I don't understand. Really, I'm not trying to be argumentative.


You are passionate about your beliefs. That's wonderful. But, why the defensive and nasty comments when others do not have the same belief? This thread was not anti-Christian at all. It was just referring to an article saying that less people are identifying as religious, or Christian. It is not a reflection on you. It doesn't mean you identify as less religious. Or should identify that way.


If you think your religion and beliefs are a good thing, wouldn't a constructive conversation about why people are losing that belief be more appropriate?


I hope when you're back from the garden, you'll consider my points.


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labrea_gw

A Georgia-based pastor had his mind blown when he took a recent trip to Scandinavia and discovered, to his horror, that nobody hated gay people or believed God created the Earth in a week.

Pastor Marty McLain, who describes his religious belief as deriving from a literal interpretation of the Bible, was given the opportunity to see how secular Scandinavia is by a documentary series called The Norden. The concept is simple: find narrow-minded Americans and throw them into countries like Norway, Sweden and Denmark and watch them have panic attacks. It actually sounds like a lot of fun.

McLain wanted to use his time in the north to explore how Scandinavians worship God. Unfortunately, he soon discovers that most of them don’t.


Religion infuses every facet of US life and insists that it has a place in every life like it or not!

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duluthinbloomz4

Now that was interesting. McLain wasn't quite prepared for the responses of the the two clergy members in the clip.

I'd like to see the whole series in the documentary. No doubt it can be found on the web.

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patriciae_gw(07)

Very Interesting video labrea. Don't the Danes have a state church-the place in the video where they were ordered by the government to perform same sex marriages? Is that why they must do them there? You would think a good argument for the preacher guy to want to keep religion out of politics and government. does this man eventually start listening?


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duluthinbloomz4

Evangelical Lutheran Church is the state church of Denmark and it's supported by the state.

Norway recently separated the Lutheran church from the state.

Until 2000, the Lutheran Church of Sweden was the state church of Sweden.

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labrea_gw

Religious Holidays are still official on the Swedish calander even though there is only an 8% attendance rate for religious services. 1 in 3 wedding ceremonies are civil service only. Births are no longer automatically registered as Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church though 60% of the population still officially is recognized members!

Social hostility towards religion are below average (don't bother me I won't bother or be bothered by you) what a concept! If you maintain membership you pay 1% of your annual salary to support the Church of Sweden!

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duluthinbloomz4

I shudder to think what a state church in the US would be cobbled from.

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ohiomom

Church attendance is definitely in decline, and there are many reasons why. I posted part of the article, sorry for the length but didn't know how many want to "click a link". I have to agree with many of the points and those of us who attend church, whether weekly or occasionally can testify to lower attendance. Anyway here are some reasons ...

Trends Impacting Church Decline:

1. The demographic remapping of America.

Whites are the majority today at 64 percent. In 30 to 40 years, they will be the minority. One in every three people you meet on the street in three to four decades will be of Hispanic origin. In other words, if you are not reaching Hispanics today, your church's shelf life is already in question.

Furthermore, America is aging. Go into almost any traditional, mainline church in America, observe the attendees and you'll quickly see a disproportionate number of gray-headed folks in comparison to all the others. According to Pew Research, every day for the next 16 years, 10,000 new baby boomers will enter retirement. If you cannot see where this is headed, my friend, there is not much you can see.

2. Technology.

Technology is changing everything we do, including how we "do" church. Yet, there are scores of churches that are still operating in the age of the Industrial Revolution. Instead of embracing the technology and adapting their worship experiences to include the technology, scores of traditional churches, mainline Protestant, and almost all Catholic churches do not utilize the very instruments that, without which, few Millennials would know how to communicate or interact.

However, when I suggest to pastors and priests, as I frequently do, that they should use social media and, even in worship, they should, for example, right smack in the middle of a sermon, ask the youth and young adults to text their questions about the sermon's topic... that you'll retrieve them on your smartphone... and, before dismissing, answer the three best questions about today's sermon, most of the ministers look at me as if I've lost my mind. What they should be more concerned about is why the Millennials have little or no interest in what they have to say.

3. Leadership Crisis

Enough has been written about this in the past. But you can be sure, clergy abuse, the cover-up by the Church, and fundamentalist preachers and congregations have been driving people away from the Church, and continue to drive people away, faster than any other causes combined.

4. Competition

People have more choices on weekends than simply going to church. Further, the feelings of shame and guilt many people used to feel and church leaders used to promote for not attending church every week is gone.

There are still those, however, who want to categorize Christians as an explanation for the church's decline in attendance in a futile effort to make things not look so bad. But this, too, is the illusion that many church leaders and denominational executives are perpetrating but nobody is paying attention. They are just too blind to see that.

For example, in the very same article I referenced above, Ed Stetzer has concocted three different categories of Christians he conveniently thinks explains the dire situation faced by the church.

He says there is a kind of "classification" system between those who "profess Christianity" as their faith choice.

First, he says there are cultural Christians or those who "believe" themselves to be Christians simply because their culture says they are. But, clearly, he implies they are not.

Second, he classifies a group of congregational Christians which he says are not much better off than the first misguided group, except that these are loosely connected to the church.

Third, he notes the third group, which no doubt he ranks as "his" group, that he calls the convictional Christians. These are the true Christians who are actually living their faith, according to Ed Stetzer.

I've got news for you, Mr. Stetzer, there are scores of people who have left the church, not because they possess some phony or inferior faith, as you would like to believe, but precisely because they do not want to be around judgmental people like you. They have left, not to abandon their faith, but precisely because they wish to preserve it. You would be much better off to leave the judgment-making to Someone infinitely more qualified to do so (Matt. 7:1).

5. Religious Pluralism

Speaking of competition, there is a fifth trend impacting the decline of the church in America. People have more choices today. Credit this to the social changes in the '60s, to the Internet, to the influx of immigrants and minorities, to whatever you'd like, but the fact is, people today meet other people today of entirely different faith traditions and, if they are discovering anything at all, it is that there are scores of people who live as much, if not more, like Christ than many of the Christians they used to sit beside in church.

The diversity of this nation is only going to expand. Which is why, you might debate some of Diana Eck's conclusions, the Harvard scholar and researcher, but her basic premise in correctly stated in the title of her book, A New Religious America: How a 'Christian Country' Has Become the World's Most Religiously Diverse Nation.

6. The "Contemporary" Worship Experience

This, too, has contributed to the decline of the church. It's been the trend in the last couple of decades for traditional, mainline churches to pretend to be something they're not. Many of them have experimented with praise bands, the installation of screens, praise music, leisure dress on the platform, and... well... you know how well that's been received.

Frankly, it has largely proven to be a fatal mistake. Of course, there are exceptions to this everywhere and especially in those churches where there is an un-traditional look already, staging, an amphitheater-style seating, as well as the budget to hire the finest musicians to perform for worship. In traditional, mainline churches, however, trying to make a stained-glass atmosphere pass as the contemporary worship place has met with about as much success as a karaoke singer auditioning for The X Factor.

7. Phony Advertising

There's one more trend I'll mention I believe is having devastating impact on the Church and most certainly contributing to its decline. You cannot tell Millennials that your church welcomes everybody -- that all can come to Jesus -- and then, when they come, what they find are few mixed races or no mixed couples.

You cannot say, "Everybody is welcome here if, by that, you really mean, so long as you're like the rest of us, straight and in a traditional family."

In the words of Rachel Evans, a millennial herself and a blogger for CNN, "Having been advertised to our whole lives, we millennials have highly sensitive BS meters."

In other words, cut the bull. If everyone is not really equally welcomed to the table at your church, stop advertising that you are open to anyone. That is not only a lie, but Millennials can see through the phony façade as clearly as an astronomer, looking through the Hubble telescope, can see the infinity of space.

Source of Course

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labrea_gw

NYC just has a group of parish mergers & more than 10 church closings yet the Catholic population of the New York Archdiocese is larger than it's ever been in any time in it's history with 2,634,000 fully a million more than when I was a kid in the late 50's & early 60's when there were at least 30 more parishes just between the Bronx & Manhattan alone. With few nuns remaining there were no teachers for the schools.

Gallup telephone surveys (74% in 1958 and 72% in 1959) attended Sunday Mass.

In 2008, Gallup surveys estimated Catholic Mass attendance in any given week had fallen to 42%. Now when we were kids we were told if we missed mass on Sunday we were on our way to hell as it was a grave mortal sin only forgiven in confession. Protestants didn't have to carry that weight!

Now there are some who suggest Catholics aren't Christians that's a whole hoot in it'self but why go there. Some beautiful old 19th Century buildings will meet the wrecking ball! Or Maybe they will be rescued by some baptists who will convert them. (pardon the pun)

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tibbrix

Unfortunately, within the religious realm, fundamentalism seems to be on the rise, right-wing religious scary stuff.

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duluthinbloomz4

Do you really think it's on the rise? Maybe just what's there is becoming more vocal. A core belief system so rigid it can't flex with new information, modify, or modulate itself might ultimately find itself with no place to go with any decline in the idea of identity.

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elvis

IMO the internet brings expanded awareness of what has been going on for awhile. Just because it's news doesn't mean it is new.

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ohiomom

With the growing Latino population over the next decades, will we see a reversal in this trend?

Labrea 50 Catholic churches were closed here in the city by the lake, 12 were re-opened.

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ohiomom

More from pew research ...

Why Muslims Are Rising Fastest and the Unaffiliated Are Shrinking as a Share of the World’s Population


The religious profile of the world is rapidly changing, driven primarily by differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world’s major religions, as well as by people switching faiths. Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion. If current trends continue, by 2050 …


The number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world.


Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion – though increasing in countries such as the United States and France – will make up a declining share of the world’s total population.


The global Buddhist population will be about the same size it was in 2010, while the Hindu and Jewish populations will be larger than they are today.


In Europe, Muslims will make up 10% of the overall population.


India will retain a Hindu majority but also will have the largest Muslim population of any country in the world, surpassing Indonesia.


In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism will no longer be the largest non-Christian religion. Muslims will be more numerous in the U.S. than people who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion.


Four out of every 10 Christians in the world will live in sub-Saharan Africa.


Source


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labrea_gw

What has been on the rise is the peculiar hybrid of fundamentalism with a twist. New Apostolic Reformation claims to be new prophets & new Apostles some even claim to be able to raise the dead. Politicians don't seem to be to bothered by associations with this crowd. Even though their prophecies often don't come to pass which according to the formulas offered by scripture are a sure sign that they are indeed false prophets.

Then you have the Dominionists who try to stay out of the limelight but they are there a unique hybrid of politics and the cross. Distillations of just what Mike Bickle said God told him a message, and he started the International House of Prayer. It's a new form of Gnosticism dressed up as old time religion it's hardly that. That they continue to receive revelation is in opposition to Sola Scriptura.

Ah well roll double again and they can start a new party!

Bickle's trips to the throne room of the lord are a real treat to read but there about as believable is angels with golden plates and all the other cults & sects that have developed over the last 2000 years.

Ohiomom the vast majority of NYC's Catholics are Latin, Hatian & African and by & far they aren't filling the pews! None of my nephews or nieces go to Mass only one chose to have a Church wedding with a priest!

Still they call themselves Catholic though I doubt one of them has made their Easter duty in the last 10 years. One of my brothers was a Charismatic Catholic for years and now believes in nothing!


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amicus

The title of this thread and the original post, simply mention some statistical data about Christianity. However, it has become very apparent that these seemingly innocuous threads have a way of quickly becoming, yet another, Christian bashing agenda. I say this because there is such devotion to post everything from the media that some idiotic, Theofascist/Zealot 'Christian' said or did, which always seems to perpetuate a negative stereotype of all Christians. Soon the posts include the regular Christian debasing remarks, yet never with a qualifier that they are speaking specifically of the 'Christians' in the article or news feature, and not Christians in general.

Although I am not of the faith myself, I do have some Christian friends, co-workers and relatives married to Christians, who are neither hypocritical in their actions nor intolerant in their views. I'm sure many Christians are, but not all. Perhaps geography plays a factor, I don't know. So I can understand how offensive it would be, to constantly be stereotyped with those who don't represent their beliefs at all. I haven't yet read a thread that infers that all followers of Islam, who happen to be Muslim, must be terrorists, yet Christians seem to be lumped together, as all the same. How could one possibly assume that all followers of any faith or even Atheism, think or act the same?

A number of people on this forum have made it very clear that they do not believe in any god. What gives anyone the right to try to convert, shame or mock them into following something in which they don't believe? But likewise, it has become disappointing to see a new thread almost daily, that inevitably ends up proselytizing anti-Christian rhetoric, ad nauseam. I don't see the Christians on the forum constantly starting threads to antagonize those who might be Atheist, Agnostic or any other religion, for that matter.

Other than answering a question for a poll, most Americans probably don't give God, any god, another thought all year.

I'm neither Christian nor American, but I am curious as to why one would assume to know what most Americans probably think.

Seeing how corrupt the faith of the Prince of Peace has become, I'm glad people are rejecting it.

An assumption is being made that the Christian faith as a whole is corrupt, due to the actions of some, who call themselves Christians, but are un-Christianlike in every way.

So get used to seeing more and more reports like this. At least until Christianity sees the error of its ways and embraces the REAL teachings of Jesus

Are you really judging an entirereligious faith as erroneous, because of the bad sheep among them?

Applying a generalization is usually incorrect and unjust... but how do you form reasonable opinions and ideas or buy into stereotypes without input from outside sources?

44 minutes ago

One does need outside sources to form reasonable opinions and ideas. But one shouldn't use the sources as examples to stereotype everyone of a faith, just as a news article about some people being puppy mill owners shouldn't make us stereotype legitimate dog breeders as being in the same category.

Last, but not least, as someone new, I totally get that Hot Topics is probably the only forum here where one can discuss religion and politics with 'spirited' feedback. I just wish a different religion might pop up for bashing, once in a while, to make it more interesting.

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ohiomom

Welcome picky shopper ... don't be driven away by the responses/defense coming your way. Hang around, this is a pretty good crowd to spend time with.

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jodik_gw

I think it's been made fairly clear within the many discussions we've had on the subject, that those spoken of are those who want to force beliefs on others, whether through legal means or otherwise...

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tibbrix

jodik, one thing I've noticed about nonbelievers is that they mention that a lot, that religious people try to force their beliefs on others. This is true. But what I find interesting is that many atheists do that as well, try to convince believers that they're wrong, and they do so by insult too, referring to God as a "fairy in the sky", among other condescending and derogatory phrases and terms, "fantasy", etc. Personally, I see the loony religious fundies and proselytizers and the loony atheistic fundies and proselytizers as being two sides of the same coin: sharing absolutely no doubt about their own belief, and being condescending and insulting to each other.

As the daughter of an Episcopal minister who devoted his life to ministering to others, it is so offensive to see what fundie loons do to religion. But it's also insulting when fundie atheists imply, as picky points out, that they represent the very nature of religion. they do not! The argument by these people is that religion corrupts and should be done away with because "so many wars have been fought and people have died in the 'name of religion'". For one thing, that is not correct. Religion is often the EXCUSE these warmongers and murderers hide behind to convince themselves there is some piety to their killing, but it is rarely the actual reason. Usually the reason is economics and geopolitics.

Money/resources is probably the top reason for wars and murders. Should we do away with them too because people kill each other over them? What about "love"? People kill each other all the time over passion for another. Do away with love? Condemn these things as ALL BAD because people kill over them? In fact, religion, when not perverted and corrupted by human beings, runs absolutely counter to mayhem and murder! So just because human beings distort something, you don't condemn the something.

Do atheists seriously believe that there would be less killing and fewer wars in the world were there no religion? Talk about fantasy! But uncorrupted faith accounts for an enormous amount of charity and good will too, and these critics roll their eyes when that is pointed out to them. The reason is their fundamental atheism, just like religious loons roll their eyes when you point out some nasty behavior by religious fundamentalists.

It's not about religion or atheism but about human nature.

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labrea_gw

"Do atheists seriously believe that there would be less killing and fewer wars in the world were there no religion?"

What a strange idea and even stranger that there would be a dogmatic rule governing atheists or nontheist. It sounds local USIAN and time bound current politics rather than based in a theological setting. Should religion be less about theological rule & more about it's usefulness in political discourse would seem so.

The most diplomatic reigions of the world pronounce each other deficient (if you listen) (pronounce each other incomplete if you read) while still maintaining the general haze of what they are united against. KUMBAYA!


The Nominally atheistic governments of the world have been bloody in their crushing of religious freedom.

As for Picky shopper what religion might you like to see (bashed)? I have little use for any of them but do love reading & the study of Comparative Religion.

As the US is still majority nominally Christian and as a device often used in political discourse it's as cheap a shot as any I would make in my often topic of the good folk and their "AGENDA" that word alone stinks to high heavens it's so polluted by it's usual associations.



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Iris GW

"But uncorrupted faith accounts for an enormous amount of charity and good will too"

Absolutely, I am always grateful that people do good works and if they need a religion to inspire them to do it, then so be it.

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labrea_gw

Yep I make donations to several religious charities I like. They work & don't preach or seek to influence the laws to the detriment of others!

Have respect for what organizations that continue to seek to influence the laws to make my life hard screw that! That's not respect that's masochism!

Keep track of some of their histories or curious prophecies oh that can be interesting unless your touchy about that kind of stuff!

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rob333 (zone 7a)

Interesting. Seems like this is written about in the end times in Revelations? I think. The world's religious leaders and most of the world's politicians will unite and... something like that. I see "Those who are unaffiliated are becoming more secular" as a step towards that, because so many churches are doing things that seem more secular. Here at least.

____

tangentially: Even more interesting to me, I was watching an interview the other day which had a minister, a theologian, and a devout atheist. When the numbers came up, the theologian said 1% of America identified as atheist. The atheist said it's 5%. I looked and polls said 1-2%. Whatever the number, it's low. I find it really hard to believe that so many on this forum seem to hold the no deity view. Such a concentration of folks all in one place.

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Iris GW

rob, I think it has to do with people feeling comfortable enough in their views to actually say the word "atheist." I personally think that many "non-believers" want to hedge their bets by not admitting it aloud. Agnostic may be a better term for those folks, but they don't always know that one. Don't forget, this is a fairly anonymous forum, people are much more comfortable saying things here than if someone asked them to their face.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

So you're saying the number is far higher? Because even the devout, loudly proclaiming atheist was at 5%. Still not a huge number. I'm not sure I agree with anonymity causing people to say they're nonbelievers?, but that's just an opinion. I could be wrong.

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jillinnj

pickyshopper - welcome! Great name!


Sure there have been Christian bashing words uttered here on HT. And, I do believe there has been Islam bashing here on HT. And there have been many atheist bashing posts as well.


But, overall, what I see people saying (myself included) is the problem we have is when <person of some religion> tries to make laws to meet their faith that do not meet those of other faiths or those that are non-believers. And the vast majority of those people are Christians. In the U.S., for the most part, we don't see people of faiths other than Christianity attempting to force their laws on us.


Although I am not of the faith myself, I do have some Christian friends, co-workers and relatives married to Christians, who are neither hypocritical in their actions nor intolerant in their views.


Also my situation, which is why I don't bash the entire religion. Only the ones who try to force their views on me.


I think if posts are read in context, it is clear that the bashing is of the idiotic, Theofascist/Zealot 'Christian' and not every Christian.

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momj47(7A)

I find it really hard to believe that so many on this forum seem to hold
the no deity view. Such a concentration of folks all in one place.

I don't find it hard to believe at all, and probably no more here than anywhere else. I find most people don't care about labels, whether it's "Christian" or "Atheist". There are clearly, if the poll is correct, many tens of millions of Americans who don't consider themselves to be religious/Christian, and don't associate with any particular religious organization any more. Labels are external identifiers, and can tie you to things you, or others, don't like.

I think many Americans are "cultural Christians". People who grew up attending church, know the hymns, know the prayers, but now have moved away from church attendance, who no longer believe any specific religious creed, and who really don't give much thought to God, one way or the other and find that it doesn't matter. I think many of us have a mish-mash of beliefs and ideas that don't fit anywhere, and don't want to fit anywhere.

We have the important things in our lives - our families, enough money to be comfortable, causes that are important to us. WE own the successes and failures in our lives and we accept responsibility for our lives, such as they are.

IMO intolerance is a greater offense against God than holding a strange or inconsistent belief. Today a label such as Christian screams intolerance. And people actually say that their God sanctions intolerance. Why would any thinking, caring person want that label today. If someone wants to believe in intolerance and still be a "Christian", go join the KKK and stop insulting good, decent people who are Christians, and stop profaning their God.


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labrea_gw

Then there are non theists!

There are Non theistic Christians I've met quite a few non theistic Quakers, The Dean of Washington's National Cathedral has spoken about non theistic Anglicans. I have an AA acquaintance after years of being a Hospital Chaplain he decided he could continue the job & it's rituals for the sake of retirement but had given up any personal belief/faith connection to it's origins!

Calvin was aghast at what he saw as error I have been long aghast at Calvin and all of them.

"The holy breast milk was an extremely popular relic in the middle ages. An entire church was built outside Bethlehem on a rock which had miraculously turned white after coming into contact with the Virgin’s milk as she breastfed Christ. Another legend says that St Bernard was praying before a statue of the Madonna when milk sprayed from its breast into his mouth. Many vials of the milk were taken and transported all over Europe. The French theologian John Calvin said, “Had the virgin been a cow her whole life she could never have produced such a quantity.”

Such Catholic bashing!


When I was a kid we Had the jawbone of St Simon Stock at our Church for a short while . Boy did we line up to kneel & [pray before it not to it as some might think.

Simon supposedly lived in a tree and received the scapula from the Virgin Mary. Scapula's were all the rage in school that year! The Rest of Simon's Skull remained in England!


Can a Husband keep his wife out of Paradise?

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rob333 (zone 7a)

By the way, I was in no way bashing. I just found it interesting that there really do seem to be so many vocally non-deists in one place. Is it the nature of Hot Topics? But esh says it's anonymity. I'm just highly curious about it. You'll see I didn't even say so many here seem to be "atheists"; I said non-deists. I'm avoiding the label :)

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momj47(7A)

I think the critical point is that we are vocal about our beliefs, because we are on a forum and discuss these issues. I certainly don't discuss my beliefs with co-workers, neighbors, friends, family, etc. It just doesn't come up.

I would bet that many, if not most, of your friends, neighbors, co-workers, even family, are non-deists, too, but are not vocal about it.

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ohiomom

None of my nephews or nieces go to Mass only one chose to have a Church wedding with a priest!

Labrea I think the reason for the decline (for some) in attendance is because of the hypocrisy of the church leaders, not always a lack of faith in God, at least that is what it was for me. By the way I had to look up charismatic christian. I always enjoy your history of religion. I appreciate your honesty on this subject.

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Iris GW

But we were talking about polls saying 1-2%, so that was when people were asked about it. So the point was even when people are asked in a poll, they don't say they are atheists. Of course, it would always be interesting to see how the question is phrased. You can't always go by the outcome if you don't know the context. I believe that if more people could anonymously declare they are "non-believers" then they would. Would that be more than 5%, I don't really know. But I do think it would be higher than 2%.

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momj47(7A)

when people are asked in a poll, they don't say they are atheists.

Because most people who don't believe in Christian dogma are NOT ATHEISTS.

Being labeled an atheist is probably just as offensive as being labeled a Christian for most Americans.


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Iris GW

Again, without knowing the questions in the polls, I must admit we don't exactly know what they were asked, so my apologies for continuing that assumption.

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woodnymph2_gw

Why should people need a religion to inspire them to do good works?

Where is the niche for those who remain open to spiritual experiences but who are not grounded in nor limited by dogma?


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don_socal

I'm grateful to intelligent people. That doesn't mean educated. That
doesn't mean intellectual. I mean really intelligent. What black old
people used to call 'mother wit' means intelligence that you had in your
mother's womb. That's what you rely on. You know what's right to do.
Maya Angelou

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

The book titles in Mrskjun's cartoon provide a fascinating glimpse into how *some* Christians view Atheists:


"Why I Hate God"
"God Is Rotten"
"God Is Evil"

To repeat: Atheism is the lack of belief in gods.
Why would an Atheist hate something that does not exist, or waste pages claiming that an imaginary being is rotten or evil?

This is comparable to titling books "Why I hate Unicorns", "Bigfoot is Rotten", or the Philosophy 101 favorite: "Pegasus is Evil".
********
One title stands out:
"Evolution"

Apparently Christians are especially concerned that Atheists support modern science.


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mrskjun(9)

A question Lena. If one does not believe that God exists, why would one be so offended by a cross on a public building. Isn't it just a piece of wood? Or a prayer? Isn't it just words? I am not the least bit concerned that atheists support modern science, I do as well. And contrary to what someone said in a previous post, I have been unable to find one thread that was started to attack atheists. Now, if people have the need to diminish that which they don't understand, we see that about a multitude of things.

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sheesh(5b)

It isn't just a Christian cross that offends, it is ALL symbols of every religion. Surely that is understood. There is no state religion in the US.

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amicus

ohiomom and illinnj, thanks for the welcome! Don't worry, I'm neither intimidated nor turned off by this forum, but rather appreciate the intelligence and diversity of opinions I see, represented here. It appears that most posters are clearly faster thinkers and typists than I am, as multiple posts will appear before I can even get more thoughts together and jump back on board, lol!

tibbrix, I could not have said it better, but alas, I am a much less gifted at expressing my thoughts.

rob, I respect the opinions of everyone on this forum, and am never making personal accusations, or trying to infer to anyone that 'you must be wrong, since I'm obviously right,' as I think most of us would agree that only fools think that way. I'm just disappointed to find that all seemingly innocuous threads about anything Christian related, inevitably end up the same way. They quickly become devoted to bringing down a whole religion, rather than just being critical of the individuals who are gross representations of that religion.

jillinnj, you wrote "I think if posts are read in context, it is clear that the bashing is of the idiotic, Theofascist/Zealot 'Christian' and not every Christian." Unfortunately, I wish that were true. But I've seen far too many examples ofresponses in threads that seem to purposely stray far from the context of the original post, to indeed make it clear that they have nothing but bad things to think and say about all Christians, not just the so called 'Christians' represented in the titled topic.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

I didn't see the OP as an "attack" on Christians. Some posters interpreted it that way, however.

My take on the whole issue is that lots of people give questioners the answer they think the questioner wants--people like to please questioners. In our society, saying you believe in God is more often likely to be the "respectable" answer, so people give what they think is probably the "right" answer.

In truth, I would guess that about 50% of the people who say they believe in God and are Christians (not always the same thing, by the way) are actually what the local preacher would call "nominal Christians"--or Christians in name only. How do I know? I think how often I've asked them a few things about their supposed religion--about Jesus, the Bible, what salvation is, etc.--and they don't have a clue. They know almost nothing about their supposed religion except that saying you believe God created the universe and is probably the God Christians talk about is the "right" answer.

People love being "right" in society's opinion. Even when they are wrong. Or woefully ignorant.

Kate

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

Mrskjun: "A question Lena. If one does not believe that God exists, why would one
be so offended by a cross on a public building. Isn't it just a piece of
wood? Or a prayer? Isn't it just words?"

The issue with the cross is not that it represents a god. A cross represents support of Christian belief (and I have no doubt that Christians exist). A cross is appropriate on a religious building or private home. But a public building belongs to everyone: Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Pagans, Muslims, and Atheists, Agnostics, etc. The US does not favor one type of belief over another.

A prayer is fine among those who believe; but prayers in public either divides people into 'us' versus 'them' or forces people/children to go along against their own beliefs.


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momj47(7A)

If one does not believe that God exists, why would one be so offended by a cross on a public building. Isn't it just a piece of wood?

What a disingenuous comment. Is it "just a piece of wood" to you?

I didn't think so.

What that "piece of wood" says is that this government is "Christian" to anyone and everyone who sees that "piece of wood". That "piece of wood" has very important meaning to Christians, so it's presence on a public building conveys that important meaning to anyone who sees the "piece of wood".

Maybe we can designate public buildings to display the Star of David, or the crescent moon and star. The White House might be a good place for that last one, to confirm everyone's belief that President Obama is a secret Muslim


Let's decide what image goes where so we can get this process started.

Or is the cross going to be the only symbol because "America is a Christian nation"?


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labrea_gw

the whole term Christian obfuscates the terms & the trademark!

St Catherine of Sienna's Head!



Now this one was political the Mummified hand of St Theresa of Avila

Franco supposedly slept with the thing


My family were European peasants & set great stock in relics


Supposedly the arm of Mary Magdalene

According to the Pope the last one the other sects are just that sects denominations but there is only one TRUE CHURCH!

Orson Pratt, Sr. was a leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and an original member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and he suggested "The Roman Catholic, Greek, and Protestant church, is the great corrupt, ecclesiastical power, represented by great Babylon"

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie lists "The Roman Catholic Church specifically—singled out, set apart, described, and designated as being ‘most abominable above all other churches’

According to the Book of Mormon, the "great and abominable church" and "whore of all the earth" refers to any organization that opposes the true Church of Jesus Christ.

And Orson Pratt's ideas were never sanctioned by the over all Church

The offending language was removed in the second edition of Mormon Doctrine and replaced with language more consistent with the Book of Mormon


Back in 1978 Bob Jones ...himself you know that University v=candidates like to visit wrote of the recently deceased Pope Paul VI

"No effort is made to be conciliatory, as the first line demonstrates: "Pope Paul VI, archpriest of Satan, a deceiver and an anti-Christ, has, like Judas, gone to his own place."

When people leave mainline churches they go somewhere else. As Rodney Stark, a sociologist at Baylor University in Waco, Texas describes it, they are not leaving religion so much as they are looking for religion. About 44 percent of Americans say they have a religious affiliation that is different from the religion in which they were raised, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life's "U.S. Religious Landscape Survey."

"Everybody knows that the so-called 'mainline' is now the sideline. The United Church of Christ, Presbyterians, Methodists and the Episcopalians have been shrinking at a rather prodigious rate. But that isn't because people left church, it is because people left THOSE churches," says Stark. "Groups like the Assemblies of God have doubled and redoubled in size in the same period of time."

It all fades into a nice haze!



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jodik_gw

Personally, I don't care what god or gods others believe in... just, keep that to yourself. As stated above... we don't have a state religion.

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jillinnj

If one does not believe that God exists, why would one be so offended by a cross on a public building. Isn't it just a piece of wood? Or a prayer? Isn't it just words?


This is why we can never move forward in these conversations. I'm not sure if you pretend to not understand, really don't understand, or don't even bother to read the explanations.


Put a cross on your roof and your lawn and on top of your car. Wear one around your neck. Does not matter to me. Do not put one on the court house. Pray as often as you like in your house, in your car, in your friends' houses. Does not matter to me. Do not pray in school and tell me that my child can just sit quietly and not participate.


It's really very simple.



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sheesh(5b)

I don't mind if THEY pray in school, as long as they just sit quietly and do it privately without asking everyone else to join them. That's what you meant, I think. (Just to clear up things for the ankle biters.)

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jillinnj

I don't care if they pray to themselves in school. I do care if there is prayer time, even if done quietly and privately.

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mrskjun(9)

Yeah...you might get cooties LOL.

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sheesh(5b)

What does that mean, mrskjn? Do you have cooties?

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patriciae_gw(07)

MrsK, that is dismissive. You rail against the nons for what you perceive as this sort of thing. This is why we don't make any progress. You don't seem to be able to conceive that non believers have feelings.

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labrea_gw

I just want them to loose the dam tax exemptions they can keep the cooties and the true believers!

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mrskjun(9)

patriciae, I'm so sorry, non believers have feelings but Christians don't. I'll write that down.

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jillinnj

Yeah...you might get cooties LOL.

What was the point of that post? Do you think the "LOL" makes it all ok? It doesn't. Talk about hypocritical. You claimed on a different thread that you wouldn't respond to chase's question because of a post I made where I pointed out that valid questions don't get answered. You were objecting to the snark. Yet, you post this.


Let's try to be constructive. Do you understand that having prayer time in school violates the constitution? Do you understand how having that can be intimidating to kids that are not religious and don't pray. Or that are of a different religion?

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momj47(7A)

Yeah...you might get cooties LOL.

I'm so sorry, non believers have feelings but Christians don't. I'll write that down.

What undignified comments


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ohiomom

I have mentioned this before, and I realize I grew up in another century ... but when did public schools start having prayer time? We were taught religion in the home and at church... in school we were taught academics and no mention of any God and/or religion was ever spoken of.

We did do the pledge of allegiance, although as a young child I am sure I had no idea what it meant.

Oh and we boomer babies sang songs like....

From the Halls of Montezuma

To the Shores of Tripoli;We will fight our country's battles
In the air, on land ,and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
of United States Marine.





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momj47(7A)

I grew up in another century

Goodness, what century was that?

I attended public school from kindergarten to 12th grade, mid-century. In elementary school we said the Pledge and we said the Lord's Prayer every morning, and sang a patriotic song.

By the time I got to junior high, we only said the pledge, no prayer, no singing, and in high school, we rarely even said the pledge.


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ohiomom

The 20th century ...

I attended public school from 2nd thru 12th (first two was in parochial school) and we never once prayed in school ... that was done at home/church.

My children did not receive religious instruction and/or pray in their public school.

Where are these public religious schools at ???



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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Never said a prayer in public school -- from kindergarten through university.

Did double duty on Mondays and Fridays with catechism lessons at our parish. Catechism stopped with the 7th or 8th grade; the older children went on a week night iirc and my parents weren't going to play taxi. So close to the neighboring parish, but so constrained to attend the assigned parish farther away.

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ohiomom

Thanks Nancy at least I know you will be believed ... :)

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Omom, I believe you on the militaristic songs. They were a staple in elementary school music class -- accompanied by a stirring autoharp. Oh, the wonders of growing up during the Cold War.

Perhaps the militaristic melodies were supposed to ease our worried minds when we heard DROP!!

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momj47(7A)

Where are these public religious schools at ???

The schools weren't religious, at all. This was public school in Maryland

The practice ended in 1963
Madelyn Murry O'hair was from Baltimore.

Because of these rulings, religion in the public schools has increased, exponentially. It's that viral myth - the war against Christianity.



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matt

I'm bored with the issue about respect for religious believers, non-believers, etc and all of the overly defensive posts by dyed in the wool Christians and Atheists.
I do at times wonder why so many people in this day and age still believe and adhere to one of the organized religions. It seems to me that most acquired their religion as children and did not have the desire, maturity or ability to question the religion they were exposed to. All the gold and candles, myth and legend presented as fact, all of the peer pressure and parental requirements to attend church, Sunday school, catechism..

That probably explains why there so much denial about science and fact. But when will people reach a tipping point between their deeply held indoctrinated and ingrained religious belief and the science and facts that they know all to well contradict that ? Is it alright to just remain in denial just because that is what comes naturally for a religious conservative God fearing people?

We have archaeological findings contradicting the Bible and Natural History Museums that have displays and provide evidence for evolution. We have Biblical scholars questioning the many hearsay accounts in the Bible including the Resurrection, the virgin birth, whether Jesus had brothers as a result of Mary having later natural births (after the virgin birth, an odd concept), and more. And science has an enormously greater understanding of the cosmos, its vastness and Earth's infinitely small place in it.

Finally, given the above, how is Biblical Creation even viewed as being factually plausible any more? Similarly how are the Biblical accounts of the Virgin birth and a Resurrection plausible let alone believable given that there were no eyewitness accounts? Weren't there other religions prior to Christianity that had similar beliefs and legends? Didn't some of the anonymous authors of the gospels use some myth and legend in their writings?

Religious belief is forever. We are talking about some data that is so deeply stored in your brain and covered over that there is no way to ever go back and rethink the why and how.


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duluthinbloomz4

I went through Catholic schools from grades 1 thru 16 (and a little beyond). We had our Pledge of Allegiance and little "offer it up" prayer grades 1-8 as well as the perfunctory Baltimore Catechism drills early on. Not so much starting the day with prayer/pledge during HS and nothing in college beyond a compulsory, I believe, 3 credit comparative religions course and some elective offerings to fill up a schedule if one were so inclined.

Militaristic or patriotic tunes would have been pretty alien despite the Drop Drills and the every Friday "goiter pill" (potassium iodide? ) to counteract the fall-out blowing East from the test sands. Thyroids protected; the rest of your organs were fair game.

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jillinnj

In the schools I attended, no prayers were said during the normal school day. They were said at things like graduation and that always bothered me.


Today in my kid's schools, no prayers are said.


But, there are those that would like for prayer time to be added in school and see no problem with doing that.

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ohiomom

Nope no graduation prayer either ...

I NEVER heard a prayer during my public school education and neither did my children. My grandchildren did not pray in their public school.

Interestingly though we "danced around the maypole" with all the little girls dressed in all white. OMG you think they were trying to indoctrinate us, not into christianity, but paganism.

Nancy "drop drills" ... under the desk.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

No maypoles.

But we had to learn about Father Junipero Serra, and the California Missions. And El Camino Real as well, to keep the transit-oriented secular included. Missions San Gabriel and San Fernando are the closest to Los Angeles, with San Buenaventura and Santa Barbara farther up the coast. A lot of our families took a trip south when the you-know-whats returned to Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Drop drills were also for earthquakes as well as nuclear annihilation.


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Pidge(Zone 6)

i went to Catholic schools through high school, so prayers were de rigeur every day. Big whoop, I didn’t think it was a big deal at the time. Thinking back on it, I realize it was mumbo-jumbo and feel a bit sorry for kids who still have to endure it. But it’s none of my business what others do. As a “recovering Catholic,” I’m still shedding all the guilt and absurd mythology shoved down my throat as a child.

Rush Limbaugh has an hypothesis about why Christianity is in decline--1,000,000 gay people! See? That was easy, wasn’t it?

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Pidge(Zone 6)

Maypoles! I taught for a while at Bryn Mawr College and the annual May Pole dance was a big deal with the president of the college arriving on the scene riding a horse. Being Bryn Mawr, some of the students objected to the phallic nature of the May pole and instituted a new practice, the May hole. Also being Bryn Mawr, the college simply institutionalized the latter practice. That was an interesting place.

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duluthinbloomz4

More ease... Bill O'Reilly says rap music is a contributing factor to the decline. Maybe Rush and Bill can duke it out for Imperial Supreme Media Loon.

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Pidge(Zone 6)

Limbaugh and O’Reilly: proof that critical thinking is in very short supply among some right wing spokespersons. Blech.

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momj47(7A)

pidge, I think this explains it

Satire alert - Borowitz report

Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans

Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of
fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to
sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

The
research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a
virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of
verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat
them.

“These
humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and
process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who
contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed
defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those
faculties totally inactive.”

More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

While
scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent
the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the
strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard
information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal
functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,”
Logsdon said.

While reaffirming the gloomy
assessments of the study, Logsdon held out hope that the threat of
fact-resistant humans could be mitigated in the future. “Our research is
very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more
receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water,
or oxygen,” he said.





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labrea_gw

Went to 12 Years of Catholic School we did Pledge of Allegiance in school and prayer in Church or during May day processions we did the rosary & sand hymns. There was religion class through 8th grade where I first learned about Mythology. That's what they called other gods. Forget using a Bible my father & I decided to read that over the course of a year and when finished he shook his head & said it's really hard to believe half of that bud. He went to Mass at least twice to 3 times a week his whole life and was always skeptical of church hierarchy! We used the controversial Dutch Catechism in HS and some basic theology!

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Since my parents were enthusiastic supporters of the prayer in school movement as well as the "under God" inserted in the pledge of allegiance, I can say that I remember the mid 1950s as a high point for them when "under God" got added to the pledge. From then on, they pressured, hassled, lobbied. etc., for prayer in schools. They firmly believed that would "save" America from the slough of sin it was slowly sinking into (aided by rock and roll, I might add). They were in genuine distress when, time after time, the prayer in school movement got set back by the courts.

When I was in high school, some kind of trade off with the churches was arranged. I don't remember exactly how it worked, but a couple time a week, we were allowed out of Study Hall to go to the church across the street (which happened to be my parents' church--I don't know what members of other churches did) for a 30 minute Bible Study. The only thing is that I do not remember any studying of any kind being done there. I don't even remember engaging in a prayer. But I do remember my parents thinking it was a fine thing--since the State would not allow prayer in the schools.

That is the only "religious" event I remember in my K through 12 public school experience. Oh wait, I do remember one episode in the mid-50s--as the teacher made us repeat over and over again "under God" in the pledge until we got it right. To tell you the truth, even today I'm not always sure where the "under God" is supposed to be inserted, so I must have been saying the pledge a lot, prior to the mid-50s, with no "under God" in it--but I don't remember ever saying it before the teacher drilled us on inserting the new phrase.

The drop-drills--didn't happen in my public schools--though I do remember being seriously warned to never ride a raft down the Mississippi River like Huck Finn did. That puzzled me mightily since I didn't know who Huck Finn was, but I did know that the Mississippi River did NOT run through my state--so it was unclear to me how I would ever be tempted to raft it.

Such helpful things we were taught.

Kate

Edited to add: In first grade, we did do the pagan Maypole dance--which we messed up considerably. I doubt the sweet teacher had a clue about phallic symbols.

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matt

The Church knows that in order to survive they have to continue to bring new believers in at a young age. They know that once they have you hooked, you are probably in for life.
Parents oblige the Church because they feel morally obligated to have their kids indoctrinated with the same beliefs that were drilled into them decades earlier. So the wheel goes round and round, generation after generation. Whatever percentage of the population that Christians were 30 years ago, that's probably pretty close to what it is now.


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labrea_gw

Mainline decline non denominational rising as well a curious non scriptural pseudo christic sounding groups!


Orthodox Jewish birth rates continue to rise! More than 25% of Jews under the age of 18 live in Orthodox households.

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jodik_gw

I was made to endure parochial school through 8th grade, partake of the sacraments... I've even been confirmed, though I never felt a darn thing.

I was given a choice to attend public high school or more parochial school, and I chose public... thank reason.

As an adult, I couldn't tell you what prompts some people to keep up what I see as a huge charade... but whatever. We taught our kids to think for themselves... to choose for themselves. None are religious... go figure.

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Pidge(Zone 6)

I read that Phyllis Schlafly is on the bandwagon claiming that gay marriage is at fault for the decline. Joining Limbaugh and O’Reilly is a dubious enterprise. She was always such a jerk.

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jodik_gw

I saw that, too, Pidge... her and others claiming anything and everything.

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redtartan(5a)

Last night there was a news segment about a the same thing but for Canadians. I came late into the program because I was making brownies, but I believe they said the number of non-believers was 26% in Canada now. I would imagine this included agnostics, though non-believer implies atheism in my mind (perhaps poor choice of words.

I come from a fairly religious background and I think I'm the only member of my entire large extended family that is an atheist.

I see the increase as a good thing. It creates more diversity. I know all too well what it's like to be the "odd man out". We moved from a very diverse city to a highly Christian, caucasian area. The school my kids go to is very small, with my youngest having just 14 kids in his grade. My son has always been a kid who questions EVERYTHING. For example at 3 years old one Christmas he bombarded me with questions as to whether Santa was real or not. It was one thing after the other (well how does this happen, how is that possible). The wheels are always turning in that kid's head. He's been identified as gifted and his strengths are in logic and reasoning (hence his questioning). My children all identify as atheists at this point in their lives. They have been exposed to religion through their grandparents.

After moving, my youngest son started his new school in grade 2 was approached by several girls in the class and asked if he believed in God. He said no. Almost the entire class ganged up on him to the point he was in tears.

In grade 4 at 10 years old, again he was asked if he believed in God and he and friend both said no. There was again several kids (not as many this time) that gave both the boys a hard time.


We are quiet atheists. We don't tend to have conversations with others about it. I feel that's up to someone to come to on their own. I do however find it crazy just how many times in my adult life that I've had conversations with people and they automatically assume I am a Christian. This happen frequently when we homeschooled for 5 years.

So in my mind, getting some more diverse thought is a great thing and religion has no place in publically funded schools. It's still occurring where I live with activities that have Christian overtones. Religion also has no place in government and that too is still occurring in my area where town councils are still saying the Lord's Prayer before meetings.

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labrea_gw

http://www.christianhumanist.net/

Christianity Without God

Introduction

Belief in a god has become difficult for people today but many of these same people also find it difficult to walk away from Christianity. So we ask ourselves whether it is possible to be a Christian without believing in god, and the answer I came to for myself is that being a non-theistic Christian is not only possible, it is necessary for those of us who find the life and teachings of Jesus attractive and compelling as a guide for life but who have difficulty with the concept of god as understood in traditional Christian theology.

The various articles on this website—and in my book The Possibility of Christian Humanism—make the case for a form of Christianity that does not involve a belief in god, a non-theistic non-religious form of Christianity that we call Christian Humanism.

Religionless Christianity

“Put another way, once we have worked our way through the mythological and theological baggage that has accumulated through the ages, we are left with a fundamentally important truth—those who had met this itinerant teacher and who heard his teaching were sufficiently captivated by his personality and engaged by his message that they were compelled to take up the cause for which he had been killed and to continue his teaching….”


Christianity without insisting on parting gifts is how a non theist Quaker put her faith & practice

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Pidge(Zone 6)

littlemonkeys, I recognize much of my experience in yours. I do not label myself an atheist, merely a non-deist. But I also don’t talk about it much and, because my husband professes himself to be a Catholic, it’s often just assumed that I am in the same frame of mind.

What happened to your son is not limited to children, which I’m sure you know. When I gradually dropped away from Catholicism, started college at a late age, and went on to a professional life, I was absolutely stunned at the number of my Catholic “friends” who not only tended to avoid me but actively insulted me on various occasions. Breaking away from that group was very hard for me and on me, but it taught me the value of critical thinking and independent thought--and the terrible power of religion to coerce people into being followers.

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Pidge(Zone 6)

I posted before I read your comment, labrea. Exceptionally interesting.

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jodik_gw

It is interesting... because that's something I would be more likely to arrive at... the possibility of a human being, long ago, teaching a positive message, minus all the supernatural baggage. That would make a lot more sense to me.

That it was co-opted by mankind for his own personal uses is kind of obvious to me.

I don't really care whether someone labels me atheist or non-believer... or whatever. I passed through agnosticism to arrive at my present state of realism, though what I see in the bigger picture surely doesn't place the morality of humankind in the hands of any religion... there's way too much hypocrisy... and greed.

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momj47(7A)

This from the NPR website today. About the Pew Research Center Survey

Merging Global Values In A More Secular America

Central to these questions is an old one, familiar to secular humanists:

Can a secular society be moral?

Traditionally,
people cling to religion for a moral compass. In fact, much of the
apprehension against atheists and agnostics comes from the belief that
those without a faith cannot be moral. Can someone live a moral life
without following the Ten Commandments?

Which of the Ten Commandments and other commandments from different
faiths point toward a universal moral code that we should follow
collectively, irrespective of particular religious choices?

A good start is the Golden Rule, which one can find in different
versions around different faiths, but is most familiar in the West from
Matthew 7:12, "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also
to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." This is way better than
the vindictive "eye for an eye" rule. Buddhists have known this for a
long time.

The key commandment, and one of universal appeal, is the fifth, "You
shall not kill." The sanctity of life should hold above anything else.
And this should be the case for all life, not just human life.

There are three lessons coming out of modern science that can show us
the way. One is that we are made of stardust, connected to the universe
through our origins

The second lesson is the rarity of our planet, as compared to the
hundreds of billions of other worlds out there. Earth is an oasis for
life

The third lesson is the rarity of human life. Given how natural
selection works, in tandem with a planet's unique history, we are the
only humans in the cosmos — an intelligence capable of self-awareness.


Interesting commentary, still mulling it over.


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jodik_gw

Why do we 'cling to religion for a moral compass'? It's not like they've proven to be so utterly moral.

Doesn't our basic understanding of how we, ourselves, feel contribute to how we treat others? And isn't it nicer to be treated decently? Yes, I think so...

I think it's fairly obvious that organized religion cannot be the keepers of morality, simply given what they've shown... they are not very moral, themselves.


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mrskjun(9)

Without God, what is moral?

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momj47(7A)

Huh

What does "moral" have to do with any god?


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duluthinbloomz4

It's the idea of "good" being only that of which God approves. That's an arrogance and a prejudice in itself... arrogance to claim to know the mind of God and a prejudice to hold those who don't can't be moral.

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mrskjun(9)

Not trying to be arrogant Duluth. It's a serious question. Without God, what is morality based on?

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Iris GW

Is the Golden Rule rooted in religion? I am not sure.

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

Kind of scary that some people have no concept of ethical behavior for its own sake, and would run wild if not for an imagined punishment/reward at a later date.

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duluthinbloomz4

A natural law, mrsk. Humans are neither innately good nor inherently evil.

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jodik_gw

I would agree Lena... minus those things I've been taught, I look to how I want to be treated as a guide to how I generally treat others. But our basic conscience tells us when we feel guilty, etc... it's really a no-brainer.

I don't require a punishment/reward system in order to be decent. Why would I?

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mrskjun(9)

Where does that ethical behavior come from Lena? Just that...no punishment/reward.

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mrskjun(9)

How would natural law dictate objective morality Duluth?


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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

"Where does that ethical behavior come from Lena?"

That is a worthy philosophical question.

I'd say that at its root is what is known as The Golden Rule: "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself," which I hope is a guiding principle for all adults.

I can see that there might be an age where a child would be too young to understand this, or have not yet developed empathy for others -- in that case punishment/rewards might be needed.

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redtartan(5a)

mrskjun(9) You asked, "Without God, what is morality based on?"

For myself personally and I believe for a great deal of other people, morality is built on the belief on treating others how you'd expect to be treated. Someone who grew up without religion or specifically a belief in a god is no less moral than those that do. As humans, we have the capacity for empathy and the ability to understand how our actions may affect others and therefore enable us to have set morals which we abide by, which by the way is different for all people. Just because someone is religious doesn't mean they live a "moral" life.

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redtartan(5a)

I was writing the my post before Lena M posted heres, so sorry for the pretty much double response. LOL

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duluthinbloomz4

Find me a confirmed source of objective morality - one that doesn't become subjective by what one feels about an ethical system.

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momj47(7A)

Without God, what is morality based on?

I assume you are referring to the Christian God?

Was there no morality until 2000 years ago?

What about people who don't believe in the Christian God? Are they, therefore, immoral?

There were certainly legal codes before Jesus, even before Moses

Mankind has been around for much longer than 2000 years, and mankind has been moral for much longer than 2000 years. There's the Code of Hammurabi, almost 4000 years old, the Code of Ur-Nammu, more than 4000 years old, the Urukagina, 4300 years old, cited as the oldest legal code in recoded history. These were laws written by Kings, not gods.

The Ten Commandments are about 3000 years old.

Yes, it is drummed into us, at Sunday School and church, that without OUR (Christian) God, there is nothing good, that life is empty and meaningless, and because mankind is basically evil, there will be anarchy and chaos without belief in Jesus. Just look at the description of the End Times in Revelation.

But that is wrong. And it takes courage to step away from those ideas and look at them somewhat dispassionately, but it's worth it.

I remember, in Sunday School, during the early days of the Vietnam War, when the issue of thousands of Asians being killed (collateral damage we call it now), and being told that Asians don't see death the same way we do. They don't really care about their families, their children dying, because they don't believe in Jesus and eternal life. So it's no big deal when their children are killed by American soldiers.

How arrogant. How contemptuous, how sickening.


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mrskjun(9)

Luke 6:31
Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Romans 13:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:10
Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Galatians 5:14
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

James 2:8
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.

mom, I think God has been around for a little bit longer than 2000 years. Like eternally.

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jodik_gw

And there you have it... thanks, Mom.

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mrskjun(9)

btw mom, I am so sorry that you were subjected to teachings other than God finds all life precious.

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

"I am so sorry that you were subjected to teachings other than God finds all life precious."

You mean like:

For everything there is a season ... a time to kill. Ecclesiastes 3:1-3

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Exodus 22:18

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination:
they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Leviticus 20:13

He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death,
and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. Leviticus 24:16

Ye shall keep the sabbath ... every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death.
Exodus 31:14

I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance
that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. ... And all flesh died that moved
upon the earth. Genesis 7:4-21







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momj47(7A)

mom, I think God has been around for a little bit longer than 2000 years. Like eternally.

Whose God? Certainly not the "Christian" God, and certainly not worshiped as the "Christian" God. Even the God of Moses didn't "exist" before about 3000 years ago. And EVERY religion thinks their god is eternal.

Therefore, the Bible is not a valid source for supporting the idea that there even is a God, much less that he/she is the "Christian" God.

btw mom, I am so sorry that you were subjected to teachings other than God finds all life precious.

Oh, we, as your church does I'm sure, were taught that all life is precious. It's not the lives, but the fact that they weren't Christians, that made Christians believe they THEY did not think all lives were precious, and that we, Christians, are therefore better than they are.

BTW - does your church support capital punishment? I'm pretty sure, back in those dark ages, mine did.

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haydayhayday

"mrskjun(9)

Without God, what is moral?



mrskjun(9)

Not trying to be arrogant Duluth. It's a serious question. Without God, what is morality based on?


mrskjun(9)

Where does that ethical behavior come from Lena? Just that...no punishment/reward.



mrskjun(9)

How would natural law dictate objective morality Duluth?"


Mrskjun, do yourself a favor. For a week or just a few days, lay aside your Bible, open up your mind and read some of this.

Origins of Morality


Hay



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mrskjun(9)

Luke 12:6-7

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

You are quoting from the old testament Lena. When Jesus died on the cross, His blood was sufficient to cover all of the old laws. But that being said, God is God, if He chooses He could flick me like a flea. I'm not in a position to argue with Him.

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

Oh, Just ignore Part I.

Ok, more from Luke...

12:5
But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which
after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

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haydayhayday

"His blood was sufficient to cover all of the old laws."

Some morality your God has.

Now go read some science.

I'd like to hear what you have to say about the scientific studies of morality.

Hay

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mrskjun(9)

Been there, done that hay. My conclusions and beliefs are from many years of questioning and study. I came to where I am with an open mind.

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sheesh(5b)

You are quoting from the old testament Lena. When Jesus died on the cross, His blood was sufficient to cover all of the old laws. But that being said, God is God, if He chooses He could flick me like a flea. I'm not in a position to argue with Him.

That says it all for me, mrskjun. I cannot imagine how an all loving, all knowing God could flick his image and likeness like a flea.

How can a person who believes that think God is moral? Or ethical? After all, God also set up all the traps for failure in Eden…heck, even before that if you believe the archangel/devil stories.

How a just, loving God can can allow a single one of his creatures to suffer is beyond me. A mere mortal father would be arrested and condemned for what God oversees.

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haydayhayday

It's not really Christianity that gets attacked. It's ignorance. That can be fixed.

Hay

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haydayhayday

"Been there, done that hay."

So, after all these years of reading the work coming out of the studies coming out of the Yerkes group, what do you have to say about that. How do these scientific studies jive with your questions above?

Hay

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haydayhayday

Do you think other animals, (we're animals, too), have an apparent sense of what we'd call morality?

No?

The scientists are wrong.?

Yes?

Where did it originate?

Hay

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mrskjun(9)

Can you point me to a paper that proves that morality comes through evolution hay?

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haydayhayday

How many papers by Frans de Waal have you read? What was the last one you read?

Hay

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haydayhayday

I just gave you a whole Google search to start with. Pick one, any one, stop posting for the day, come back and lets discuss it.

You do have an open mind, don't you?

Hay

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Iris GW

"you are of more value than many sparrows."

I hope not. The sparrow and I are equal.

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haydayhayday

You really are not going to convince anyone on this forum by quoting the Bible to support your argument.

People use the logical expression, "begs the question", almost always wrong. The real meaning is exactly what you do with your Bible quoting defense of the Bible.

Hay

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mrskjun(9)

That is probably true hay. But I find the Bible to be a most informative book, that can answer most questions. I think the question was asked, where does the golden rule come from...that got that started.

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haydayhayday

I'll read yours if you'll read mine.

Hay

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duluthinbloomz4

Sometimes you and I don't agree, Hay, but I, too, would like to see threads such as this one not rely on the Battle of Bible Bits to make a point.

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haydayhayday

I just read your article. No mention of God. Basically said that we're not exactly like the "other animals". OK, I'll buy that. So? I knew that already.

You have a chance yet to read any of mine?

Hay

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sheesh(5b)

mrskjun(9)

Been there, done that hay. My conclusions and beliefs are from many years of questioning and study. I came to where I am with an open mind.

Is your mind still open. "A mind is a terrible thing to lose." Or close. Please continue with an open mind. Are you open to studying what has been learned since the Bible was written?

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Pidge(Zone 6)

If there is any book in the universe that I am very glad I do not read, it’s the Bible. I also think the the people who do read it and endlessly quote also endlessly cherry-pick the bits that suit them whether they make sense or not.

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jillinnj

Without God, what is moral?

I know it's already been addressed above, but had to add on.


I do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Not out of fear. Out of knowing it's the right thing to do.


If you're only doing the right thing because you fear repercussions from your God if you do not, that's very worrisome to me. As you can see from some of the quotes above, that may not lead you to be a good person. Some passages from the bible don't lead to being a good person. But, actually, now that I think about it, it does tend to explain how some that profess to be "good Christians" can say the things they do right here on HT. And how those religious politicians can try to pass the laws they do.


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chase_gw

Morals and ethics aren't bestowed upon us by God. They are created by man as a means of creating behaviours that support the social and cultural norms of the time.

If God is reponsible, does he perform regular audits and adjust them as society changes? Behaviours that were considered moral several hundred years ago are no longer considered moral and vice versa.

If God is responsible why are there such vast differences from culture to culture ...what about the difference in morals between various Christian sects? What is moral to an Anglican could be totally immoral to an Evangelical.

Man establishes the rules that govern their society, not God, however I will admit that morals and ethics....especially morals.....are often established by man in the mame of God.

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duluthinbloomz4

Seems this idea has come up before - we create God in our image. Thence, it stands to reason, by some, God shares what one loves, hates, indulges in prejudice towards...

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

God is apparently a lot like Santa Claus:

"He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!"

Most kids get to an age where they figure out the true essence of Santa.


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patriciae_gw(07)

As Chase says

" Morals and ethics aren't bestowed upon us by God. They are created by man as a means of creating behaviours that support the social and cultural norms of the time."

And that is the truth

How else do you account for Buddhists being all moral when they don't believe in a god? That is a lot of morality from nothing.

My cats have a moral sense. They have a very finely tuned sense of fairness. I have never had a pet that didn't have it. It is part of getting along I suppose. We evolve rules that work for us.

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momj47(7A)

where does the golden rule come from...that got that started.

The Golden Rule exists in some form in every religion, and every culture, whether religious or not religious.


Can you point me to a paper that proves that morality comes through evolution hay?

Altruism or selflessness is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others. Altruism is the basis for the Golden Rule. I doubt marmosets or meerkats are aware of the Golden Rule, yet they are altruistic.

Altruism is the basis for human (primate) morality, and altruism has evolved from lower primates to humans. Without altruism there is no morality

Human altruism traces back to the origins of humanity

The Roots of Human altruism

The evolutionary origin of human hyper-cooperation

The Roots of human altruism

The evolution of morality



This has been interesting. There's a lot of good reading in those sources.


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elvis

Patricia said: "How else do you account for Buddhists being all moral when they don't believe in a god? That is a lot of morality from nothing."


Well...like many things, it's not so simple. Then again, maybe it is.


snip-"A Tibetan Buddhist teacher once said, when asked about God, "God and Buddha may appear to be different, but when we speak of the nature of God and the nature of Buddha there may be more closeness." I learned in Christian seminary that St. Anselm's definition of God was "that than which nothing greater can be conceived." Shunryu Suzuki often spoke of the inconceivability of Buddha in similar language. In Zen meditation we seek to express and embody this inconceivability."

The Idea of God

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momj47(7A)

And there it is

The IDEA of GOD

God is an idea. He/she is in our heads. And each person's idea is different. Each God fits the needs of each individual. And each idea is drawn from the needs, the culture, the heritage of the individual. There may be many similarities, there may be few things in common.

Even in a fairly homegeneous society, where everyone proclaims to believe in the "same" God, every person, when queried, will have a slightly different vision of their God. And some may be quite different, and some may have none.

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Pidge(Zone 6)

The idea of God is a good metaphor for how most people believe. I recall when one of my sons was only 10 that he said the best thing about God was that he could be whatever anyone wanted him to be. Smart kid.


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labrea_gw

Daisetz Suzuki an old Zen master, author, philosopher describing the mythology of the Judeo Christianity.

“God against man, man against God, man against nature, nature against man, nature against God, God against nature. Very funny religion.”


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momj47(7A)

Here's an interesting interview with Rachel Held Evans

Can this woman make evangelical christianity sane again?

Held Evans: I still see value in church and Christian community. Christian community can be hurtful and wounding and cruel. It can be helpful and healing. Not all churches are bad. A person can
simultaneously acknowledge that the church does incredible wounding but
the church can also do incredible healing

Held Evans: I've long felt that if evangelical Christianity continues to
align itself to a single political party, the danger will be that it
will rise or fall along with that political party, that it will assume
the identity of the Republican Party rather than the identity of Jesus
Christ. I think we're seeing some of the fallout from that, as
Evangelicals are growing more defensive and defeatist as they lose
political ground, particularly in the so-called "culture wars." But I
also see this as an opportunity for Evangelicals to have some tough but
important conversations about what it means to be evangelical, to be
Christian, in the U.S. If it's not about winning elections and
maintaining power, what's it about? Maybe it's about loving and serving
the culture rather than trying to control it.


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Campanula UK Z8

Buddhists being 'all moral'. Oh, ha ha - like those Buddhist monks busy slaughtering Rohingya muslims (along with other Burmese muslims OF THE RIGHT COLOUR - ie. not those brown Bengali types).

People are shitters all over and religious ones get no special moral preference whatsoever, whatever bloody pantomime deity they choose to place their skewed values on.

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labrea_gw

Yep slaughter is the word!

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batyabeth

MRS K Oh for goodness sake. Not being Christian does not mean not being religious. When will you understand this? Religion is not only Christ-based. Faith does not mean New and/or Old Testaments. You are being ethno-centric and hand-on-ears-la-la-la-la when you continue to insist that Christianity is the only "real" religion and that any human spirituality from before 2000 years ago (2000 years ago!!) was bogus. People can be good humans and good people/citizens, etc without being religious, and definitely without being Christians. You have found a faith that keeps you happy and feeling safe and helps you find your true path - lovely. How arrogant do you have to be to insist that it's the ONLY path to happiness? Are you really that clueless that when others say "I am not Christian" you must pity them in their obvious spiritual poverty?

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mrskjun(9)

batyabeth, I haven't said that anyone has to be a Christian. I don't bash atheists, I don't start threads to bash atheists. My son happens to be an atheist and I love him with all my heart. Would I like it to be otherwise, of course I would. But we have mutual respect. He never denigrates my beliefs, and in turn I treat him the same.

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momj47(7A)

I
haven't said that anyone has to be a Christian. I don't bash atheists, I
don't start threads to bash atheists. My son happens to be an atheist
and I love him with all my heart. Would I like it to be otherwise, of
course I would. But we have mutual respect. He never denigrates my
beliefs, and in turn I treat him the same.

Well, religion, politics and sex are wisely off the table in most families, at least if they want peaceful visits and a happy family.

Mrskjun
, this is a forum for discussing Hot Topics - and religion is one of those. Are you trying to make religion off-limits? Do you want us to only say good things about Christians?

This forum is THE appropriate place to discuss religion, in all it's forms and functions. We don't have to have mutual respect for ideas, we don't have to have any respect. We can start threads to bash atheists, and Christians, we can bash Buddhists and Muslims and animists and Democrats and Republicans, and Presidents and Popes, and men and women, within, of course, the parameters set by the forum managers.

The problem for some people is that they can't separate a discussion about an idea or issue, from a personal attack, and react defensively, rather than carrying on a more or less dispassionate discussion, or staying out of it entirely. The give and take about strongly held beliefs are the most interesting discussions, until they sink to personal attacks.

It's better to discuss these issues here, than at the table at Sunday dinner. Less indigestion

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enmc

Buddhists being 'all moral'. Oh, ha ha - like those Buddhist monks busy slaughtering Rohingya muslims (along with other Burmese muslims OF THE RIGHT COLOUR - ie. not those brown Bengali types).



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labrea_gw

Not hard to find some clown carrying on about sodomites on You tube or doing exorcisms.

Rare you hear anyone screaming about haughty eyes or A sower of discord ( you just need to go to congress for that) those are AB BAW min ATIONS sayeth the old testament.

A false balance or scale an abaaaaawmination I have a laundry dryer in my building hasn't given correct time in 10 years an abaaaawmination!

Wearing clothes of the opposite sex.....awwww lord how many women I know used to wear men's jeans because they fit better!

Once that Marlena D Track put on them men's trousers women were lost to the lord!

  • Lending with interest to a brother (Ezek. 18: 6-13)...for who is my brother or my sister? Was probably the lowest thing you could be a money lender charging interest! Till till...well when?

  • Christian church in medieval Europe banned the charging of interest at any rate.

  • Lateran III decreed that persons who accepted interest on loans could receive neither the sacraments nor Christian burial.....oh no you mean most of my relatives are in hell geeez I thought they all had good jobs!

  • "the doctrine [of usury] was enunciated by popes, expressed by three ecumenical councils, proclaimed by bishops, and taught unanimously by theologians."

  • Deuteronomy 23:19 Thou shalt not lend upon interest to thy brother: interest of money, interest of victuals, interest of any thing that is lent upon interest.

    Deuteronomy 23:20 Unto a foreigner thou mayest lend upon interest; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon interest; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou puttest thy hand unto, in the land whither thou goest in to possess it.[

Anway Chuckles the clown here is all wound up



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jodik_gw

Wow... nothing is off limits in our family. We don't always agree, but if we can't talk about anything, how close are we, and how well do we want to know each other as we grow and change?

This is clearly, by description, the place to bring controversial discussion within a forum... which would indicate to me that no subject is off limits.

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labrea_gw

Nothing was ever off limit's in our family except the F word other than that sharpen your tongue grab your mace & chain & lets boogie!

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patriciae_gw(07)

People like Donnie make me wish there really was a god. Oh well.


Campanula, you are of course right about Buddhists. Only some of them have morals but they are supposed to and based on what would be the question if you have to have a God for that.

We never really get past this do we. We have discussed this over and over again and the same people seem to go on believing you must have a god for morals to exist. This is of course tantamount to saying I don't have morals but I do.

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Embothrium(Sunset Climate Zone 5, USDA Hardiness Zone 8)

As in Holier than Thou.


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duluthinbloomz4

But that's the judgment of the crowd decrying against making judgments.

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jillinnj

My son happens to be an atheist and I love him with all my heart. Would I like it to be otherwise, of course I would. But we have mutual respect. He never denigrates my beliefs, and in turn I treat him the same.


That's nice and I'm sure you do love him.


Let's not forget your earlier comment:


I have no intolerance for nonbelievers. I only have the deepest sympathy for them.


Do you also have the deepest sympathy for him? Do you say that to him? Is that treating him with respect?

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elvis

"Do you also have the deepest sympathy for him? Do you say that to him? Is that treating him with respect?"


In my world, we have sympathy for people whom we respect. How 'bout you, jill? When you extend your sympathies does that mean you disrespect those people? Do you tell them that?

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david52 Zone 6

Rastafarianism seems to be on the upswing in Colorado.


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momj47(7A)

I have no intolerance for nonbelievers. I only have the deepest sympathy for them.

I take this to mean pity, because they don't believe what you believe and therefore are going to hell.

In my world, we have sympathy for people whom we respect

So I take it you actually respect non-believers.

Can we have sympathy for people we don't respect?

Sympathy actually has nothing to do with respect.

sympathy - feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune.

sympathy - the perception, understanding, and reaction to the distress or need of another human being

sympathy - understanding between people; common feeling.

Clearly you don't share religious views with your son, so there's no common feeling.

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elvis

Woohoo, that is twisted. You go, girl!

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momj47(7A)

I think you must be confused.

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matt

No, she is trying to mock someone and be funny at the same time.

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Pidge(Zone 6)

I once had a student who asked me if I believed in God. When I said no, she said, “I feel sorry for you.” And I thought to myself, “You arrogant little twit."

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jodik_gw

That's sort of what I think when people tell me the same thing, Pidge... only I am usually unable to keep it in thought form. ;-)

The F-word, Joe, is a part of regular language in our family... used as a descriptor or exclamation... it shows up in the most benign sentence structures. ;-)

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momj47(7A)

Not trying to be funny at all heri, there's nothing funny about this.

Well, maybe to you.

I've seen families implode because of this issue.


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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

A few days ago the National Catholic Reporter had an article on the Pew Study of Religion in the U.S. Not once did the article take offense and claim that Christianity is persecuted in the U.S. The reporter actually discussed and analyzed the data. Imagine that!

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momj47(7A)

Nominals to Nones: 3 Key Takeaways From Pew’s Religious Landscape Survey

And this from Christianity Today.

And like the National Catholic Reporter, no offense was taken and there is no claim that Christians or Christianity is being persecuted in America

Christianity isn’t dying and no research says it is; the statistics
about Christians in America are simply starting to show a clearer
picture of what American Christianity is becoming—less nominal, more
defined, and more outside of the mainstream of American culture.

In short, and as I put it, the "nominals" are becoming the "nones" AND
convictional Christian practice is a minority, but generally stable,
population. If that is the case, and that is what the data is showing,
than the decline is primarily (not exclusively) that nominal Christians
are becoming honest reporters.


So, Christians, we need not run around with our hands in the air and say, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”


Christianity is losing, and will continue to lose, its home field
advantage; no one can (or should) deny this. However, the numerical
decline of self-identified American Christianity is more of a purifying
bloodletting than it is an arrow to the heart of the church.


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Campanula UK Z8

While | have an awful lot of problems with the idea of Jesus being the 'son of God', I have no problem whatsoever with Christian political theory...but you know, a lot of it sounds dangerously close to (whisper it) socialism.

Naturally, we end up with the problem of interpretation...as my idea of socialism (while making it quite clear it is NOTHING like the totalitarian Stalinist regime)...probably differs somewhat from yours - a question of propaganda, maybe....or merely other competing political and philosophical theories?


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patriciae_gw(07)

I personally prefer to put the shoe on the other foot. I have been grateful all my life that I was not raised Catholic or Baptist or Mormon or any of the fringy fundamentalist beliefs because I have seen too many people hagridden by the beliefs that are supposed to save you for eternity. I have the deepest sympathy for some of them, the ones who don't look happy to send me to hell. Now some people seem happy in their beliefs and I am glad to see them finding peace and contentment in them. They seldom seem to feel it necessary to make me feel unease about my own.

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matt

momj47:

Not trying to be funny at all heri, there's nothing funny about this.

Well, maybe to you.

My comment was directed at "Elvis" which is pretty clear if you read the posts in succession.


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elvis

Pidge said she "once had a student who asked me if I believed in God. When I said no, she said, “I feel sorry for you.” And I thought to myself, “You arrogant little twit."


Obviously it would have been better if this student had simply thought the sentiment instead of verbalizing it. See when Patricia does it, it's so much better: " I have been grateful all my life that I was not raised Catholic or Baptist or Mormon or any of the fringy fundamentalist beliefs because I have seen too many people hagridden by the beliefs that are supposed to save you for eternity. I have the deepest sympathy for some of them..."


Much better!

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momj47(7A)

Why?

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duluthinbloomz4

I'll repeat mom's "why". Seems the feeling sorry for is a bit condescending doesn't it? Maybe a bit ethnocentric. For many of us it was merely an accident of birth and a carry over from the dim reaches of family history. Whatever it took to not be that anymore is hardly an occasion for sympathy.


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chase_gw

Just elvis being elvis

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elvis

Forgive me for being dim. So do you (anyone?) think that telling someone you feel sorry for them and simply feeling sorry for them is different? When patricia said she felt deep sympathy for some of them (only the ones who "don't look happy to send me to hell") and pidge's student said she felt sorry for pidge when pidge told the student that she didn't believe in God, how is that different? Or the same? I'm thinking that they both felt sorry for the people whom they feel are misguided. One verbalized it and the other didn't.


Unless "feeling sorry" and "feeling deepest sympathy" is so very different. "Sympathy": "

1.

feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune.





2.

understanding between people; common feeling.

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duluthinbloomz4

Who are they to make the judgment someone is misguided. Since when is another rational person deemed unfortunate in the choice of a belief system, or lack thereof.


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elvis

"Misguided" is my word, Duluth, lest we compound the confusion.

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Pidge(Zone 6)

elvis, please do not confuse what I said with anything any other poster says. My comment stands on its own.

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chase_gw

"Forgive me for being dim".........forgiven ......you are what you are....and that's OK

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jodik_gw

Let's just lay it out there... we don't want your bleepin' sympathy! Ain't nothin' wrong with us! Keep it to your own self!

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jillinnj

In my world, we have sympathy for people whom we respect. How 'bout you, jill? When you extend your sympathies does that mean you disrespect those people? Do you tell them that?


Nice job trying to twist my words again, Elvis. But, yet again you fail.


If I am sick, or have been in an accident, or there's a death in the family, for example, one's sympathy is appreciated. Expressing sympathy for me just because we don't believe in the same thing is arrogant and disingenuous.


I'm sure you knew that, but as chase said, Just elvis being elvis

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rob333 (zone 7a)

This is still going? I am only just now seeing:

"rob, I respect the opinions of everyone on this forum, and am never making personal accusations, or trying to infer to anyone that 'you must be wrong, since I'm obviously right,' as I think most of us would agree that only fools think that way. I'm just disappointed to find that all seemingly innocuous threads about anything Christian related, inevitably end up the same way. They quickly become devoted to bringing down a whole religion, rather than just being critical of the individuals who are gross representations of that religion."

If you are directing that at me, I have no idea about which you're speaking. It's really confusing, picky. I'm not into bringing down any religion, or lack thereof. Hence my avoidance of a label earlier. Ever. I do not nor will I demean anyone's religious belief.


Since you're being welcomed, I'll assume you're new. I have always commented that the three "main" religions have more in common than they have differences. And I fully respect people who don't hold a religious belief about deities. That's their choice. Same as other religions, however they wish to define it. Even when I disagree with the belief.


Who is "bringing down a whole religion"?

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labrea_gw

I f you could bring down a religion it wouldn't be much of one to begin with ! Time took care of Zeus & ISIS & all the ones who's names most of us never even heard from though thousands died in their name sometimes as a form of worship. Ah well the beat goes on

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jodik_gw

Yes it does, yes it does...

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amicus

rob, I haven't checked this thread since last Wed. and just saw your last post. You are rightfully confused. I went back and read my last post and I do recall changing some paragraphs as I was typing. My third paragraph was supposed to be my closing paragraph. It was just a general summation of my feelings that it seems difficult to have a thread about anything Christian related, without the actions/viewpoints of crazy zealot 'Christians' being used to represent all Christians, which leads to 'bringing down the whole religion' IMO. However, I honestly don't know how I managed to switch my closing paragraph to my third paragraph, and type 'rob' in front of it, when I wasn't directing it at you or anyone else, specifically! Please accept my apologies for the goof up.

labrea, in response to me writing 'I just wish a different religion might pop up for bashing, once in a while, to make it more interesting.' you wrote '...what religion might you like to see (bashed)?' I was just being facetious, as I have no desire to see anyone's religion 'bashed.' I have no problem with religious people who practice their own faith without harming, offending or trying to convert others to their cause. I was just expressing, that as someone who isn't even of the Christian religion myself, I noticed in my first few weeks here, a propensity for threads about crackpot 'Christians' (as opposed to those in other religions) that inevitably seem to engender stereotyping in the responses.



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labrea_gw

I most certainly do my part to keep those threads alive (I always have plenty of fresh material)

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labrea_gw

I haven't really kept up on my arrests of pastors & Clerics in awhile, True you could get the same kind of sampling from any profession. Just most professions don't get tax breaks or come with a suggestion of being morally sound, Tailors or the moral fabric of society!

“Anti-Gang Pastor” Shaun Harrison Arrested For Drug-Dealing and Shooting 17-Year-Old Student In the Head"

MARCH 05, 2015

To the kids at Boston’s English High School, where the Rev. Shaun O. Harrison Sr. was considered the dean of students, the pastor and prominent antigang activist was known by the nickname that adorned his office door: “Rev.” He was dealing drugs!

Feb 2015

Toronto police said that United Spiritual Baptist Church Pastor Wayne Marlon Jones, 53, assaulted the women during “spiritual guidance” sessions between May 2011 and May 2013, The Hamilton Spectator reported.

The sessions included exorcisms, when the alleged assault took place.

Jones was also accused of defrauding the woman of more than $5,000 in money and property. He was charged with sexual assault and three counts of fraud.

Jan 8 2015

WASHINGTON, DC: A visiting Catholic priest from India, Rev. Jose Palimattom, was arrested by Florida’s Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies on charges of indecency for asking a 14-year-old boy for help in deleting some alleged child pornography items off of his cellphone.

Wilmington Island pastor and former Bryan County teacher arrested on child porn charges

April 23, 2015

Bruce Fehr, 54, of Savannah, and Zachary Giebner, 33, of Savannah were arrested following an investigation that began two months ago. During the investigation, investigators with the Southeast Georgia Child Exploitation Task Force discovered that both Fehr and Giebner were downloading child pornography. Giebner was formerly a teacher at Bryan County High School, according to the Effingham Sheriff's Office.

Fehr is the reverend at St. Francis Episcopal Church on Wilmington Island,

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (WLS) --An assistant pastor at a northwest suburban church appeared in Cook County Court Wednesday on felony child pornography charges.

Clovis Vilchez-Parra, 34, is charged with charged with possessing and reproducing child pornography.

"The depictions show some children that appear to be as young as 5 years old," said Lorna Amado-Chevlin, assistant state's attorney.

May 18 at 11:30 AM

WASHINGTON — A D.C. Superior Court judge on Friday (May 15) sentenced a prominent Orthodox rabbi to nearly 6 1/2 years in prison for secretly videotaping dozens of naked women in a mikvah, or Jewish ritual bath.

Rabbi Barry Freundel pleaded guilty in February to 52 counts of voyeurism, one for each of the 52 women who prosecutors said were the victims of Freundel’s spying with a hidden camera during the three years for which the statute of limitations applies.

March 01, 2015

Crown Heights Chabad Rabbi Arrested On Child Sex Abuse Charges


Rabbi Gershon Selinger was arrested Friday and charged with multiple accounts of sexual abuse of a minor. Selinger has reportedly taught in a number of Chabad schools in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York.


Local

Ohio Rabbi Arrested In Sex Abuse Of Baltimore County Girl

January 22, 2015 6:11 PM

NYPD Cop and Pastor Arrested, Charged With Rape of 16-Year-Old Girl

Officer Vladimir Sosa is also a pastor at Iglesia Metodista Libre el Remanente in the Bronx, where he yaddayadda yadda yadda!

On April 2 Pastor Francisco Moran, 57, of Clinton, was arrested on two outstanding warrants after a long investigation that revealed he had unwanted sexual contact with two parishioners. He is the pastor at The Good Samaritan Church in Old Lyme.


a sampling from the last month or so!

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momj47(7A)

I noticed in my first few weeks here, a propensity for threads about
crackpot 'Christians' (as opposed to those in other religions) that
inevitably seem to engender stereotyping in the responses.


These "crackpot Christians" you so casually write about are hell-bent on changing America into an intolerant theofascist country. State by state, these hypocrites are changing laws to destroy our freedoms and rights as Americans, in health care, education, in business, in every aspect of our daily lives, small and large.

And if we, the tolerant heathens, don't stand up to them, state by state, our grandchildren may well be living in an America a lot like the country that the Founding Fathers fought to free us from.

Those "crackpot Christians" are out front, leading the march, and there are plenty of crackpots behind them. The religious people who practice their own faith without harming or offending are going to pay a heavy price for their silent acquiescence.

This has nothing to do with the Christian faith, this has EVERYTHING to do with American Constitutional Democracy and our rights as Americans.

Sinclair Lewis got it right.

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labrea_gw

I only tolerate the ones that don't molest little children's heads with stories of damnation & being defective plus the suffering blood & gore that's called salvation! Black habits & habitual indoctrination into spiritual canibalism did I say suffering,supernatural creatures lurking around every bend bent on my distraction & destruction. Mary Hartman what a backpack of baggage to foist on so many little innocents

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rob333 (zone 7a)

Sure thing picky. I really was totally confused!

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amicus

mom, I agree with and fully support everything you said in your last post and don't envy Americans for having to contend with this worsening problem. (Not to say that it doesn't occur in Canada, but the 'crackpot Christians' I referred to, are not nearly as numerous here, so there is less concern.) I especially agree with your statement that "The religious people who practice their own faith without harming or offending are going to pay a heavy price for their silent acquiescence."

My point was only that I've noticed that all the threads I've read relating to anything about 'Christians,' inevitably begin to slide into criticism and stereotyping of the Christian faith as a whole, rather than only towards the ones being referenced, who you so aptly described as "hell-bent on changing America into an intolerant theofascist country."

It was mentioned to me earlier that "I think if posts are read in context, it is clear that the bashing is of the idiotic, Theofascist/Zealot 'Christian' and not every Christian." So I re-read some of the 'Christian' threads, but found that many responses in fact make it clear, IMO, that the mud is indeed being slung at the whole Christian faith and not merely the ones in the subject at hand. It's apparent that some are unable (or don't care) to differentiate between the two, which causes a repetitive trend of tit for tat between some posters of the Christian faith and some of the anti-Christian faith posters. Hence my remark that I wished a different religion might pop up for bashing once in a while, to make it more interesting. Just being facetious of course, as I don't have cause to 'bash' anyone's religious faith, just the 'evil doers' among them.



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labrea_gw

As constructed most of the evil doers are those who do not except THE FAITH (just couch the term evil doer in polite terms for some of them..they call it sin) No eternal reward if you reject Jesus only eternal suffering for those who accept the fiery lake metaphor.

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matt

Questioning the logical and factual basis for religious belief is not bashing but that is the perception of one who finds this kind of discussion to be unsettling, unnerving and even intolerable. So go ahead, "bash" some other religion, but leave mine alone. Well instead of reacting so defensively, try to remain open to facts and arguments that question your religious beliefs. Yes, it is OK for you to question the supernatural, concepts like life after death, Biblical Creation, resurrection from ashes after death to serve in Heaven or Hell, Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, a virgin birth, and the rest. That sort of scrutiny may be difficult to abide, but it could be a real awakening to a world free of supernatural explanations, denial of facts and science, and a lot of unnecessary and often self-inflicted fear and guilt.

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chase_gw

Picky, I take your point. I think there are four different levels of criticism posted here.

Most here are very vocal in their displeasure at the mixing of religion with government, politics or the practicing of any religion in publicly owned or financed facilities. That includes schools.

There are also those who will callout the hypocrisy of those who call themselves Christians and act anything but

Then there is the pushback at those who insist on putting their religion in someone elses face, feeling sorry for them because they made a wrong choice.

Last are those, and there are only a few, who bash all religion and are less than respectful towads those who practice any religion

The frst three I get. ..........but not the last one. It is simply unnecessary in my view.

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mrskjun(9)

chase, I know that you are a Christian, so I'm addressing you as such. I'm not sure what your definition of a Christian is though. When you say... "There are also those who will callout the hypocrisy of those who call themselves Christians and act anything but". It is my understanding that a Christian is a sinner who knows they are in need of a savior. If we all "acted" like Christians, then there would have been no need for Jesus to die on a cross. We strive to act like Christians, sorry when we don't, but usually fall short. I always remember what a pastor of mine said...."Church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners."

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rob333 (zone 7a)

Mrs K, Yep, we're put here to heal.

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Pidge(Zone 6)

What a bizarre definition of “Christian.” And all along I thought it meant trying to be Christ-like.

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ann_t

I'm with Pidge. Very bizarre definition.


"It is my understanding that a Christian is a sinner who knows they are in need of a savior. If we all acted" like Christians, then there would have been no need for Jesus to die on a cross."


I don't think I have ever heard someone who professes to be Christian, actually use an excuse for when they act anything but....


~Ann


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rob333 (zone 7a)

"It is my understanding that a Christian is a sinner who knows they are in need of a savior." Do you mean this pidge/Ann? Because I really can't tell which thing is bothering you. That could be construed as "bizarre" if one didn't understand from where she's coming.

She did start out saying she was addressing Chase as a Christian. I have to say, it means something totally different to someone who strives to be Christ-like than someone who doesn't. I think, for someone who is making the effort, the continual trying to be Christ-like is truly understood only by someone who is also trying. If that makes any sense. And I don't think it was an excuse, but an explanation.

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ann_t

Rob, no, it was

"If we all acted" like Christians, then there would have been no need for Jesus to die on a cross."

Easy to pardon ones self when acting less than Christian like.

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mrskjun(9)

No ann, it was exactly as rob said. That is why I addressed the post specifically to chase, because she has said she is a Christian, and I think, knows exactly what I mean.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

I think the difference, for me, is quite opposite of what you might think Ann, since you're qualifying it that way. I understand (not as deeply as it was meant, I'm just too dense!) why He had to do what He had to do. I do my best to behave like Him, giving my utmost out of gratitude and respect. But it is tempered with the knowledge that I am, and have been, guilty of wrong doing in my life. I can never undo what I've done, so I try hard not to be like that any more.

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chase_gw

Actually Mrs I do not subscribe to your definition.

To me Christians believe in Christ as the son of God and live their life by his teachings.

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ann_t


Rob, And I believe that of you. What little I know about you, from both our years on Gardenweb tells me that you are a very good person. But unlike others, I can't imagine you as a Christian, giving yourself a pass or pardon if you make a mistake or do something wrong.


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haydayhayday

One hallmark of a Christian is that they spend half their lives chastising other Christians for not really being true Christians.

Hay

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momj47(7A)

Was there really an actual "He"?

Most scholars don't think so.


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rob333 (zone 7a)

Kind of you to say, Ann. I have to believe I am not alone in this way of thinking, though? I hope!

:)

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

live their life by his teachings.

Other denominations may differ, but I was taught that "walking the walk" is important and not so much "talking the talk."

We were never taught nor encouraged to go on and on about our relation with God and/or Christ.

The parable of the Pharisee and the Publican was emphasized.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

So where's the line between a discussion and "going on and on"? One is not to answer questions? Or comment? Not even in reply? I'm totally just curious. I'd hate to cross that line. I try hard not to. But I don't want to try and hide it either. It's hard line to live.

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haydayhayday

"Other denominations may differ, but I was taught that "walking the walk" is important and not so much "talking the talk."

We were never taught nor encouraged to go on and on about our relation with God and/or Christ.."

But, here we are.

Under the Nitpicking Rules, you're right.

Christians, at least on this forum, spend much of their time going on about "other" Christians and their relations with God. Talk, talk, talk....

Hay

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mrskjun(9)

Well chase if you have never sinned in any way shape or form, you certainly don't need a savior. I have to strive every day to walk the walk of Jesus. Sometimes I fail, but I never stop trying.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

MsK, you are deliberately twisting what chase has said.

If we are to believe your claims of being familiar with Catholicism, you would know that confession and penance is one of the Church's sacraments.

So no credibility for your comments about a Savior.

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duluthinbloomz4

What kind of daily life (for the average person) is so fraught with the angst of sin? Not being presumptuous to know God's will, I have to go on what I am - someone who pays just debts, thinks kindly of others, accepting of things beyond my control without rage, not too fixed on the temporal and what pleasure that might entail.

Maybe it's just that we all have a different concept of what constitutes sin and those things that require a kind of absolution or forgiveness.

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mrskjun(9)

That makes no sense nancy...sorry, it just doesn't.

I think you have that backwards mom. "There is near unanimity among scholars that Jesus existed historically"

link

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

That makes no sense nancy...sorry, it just doesn't.


If what I wrote makes no sense to you then you are not as familiar with the Catholic Church as you have claimed in the past. You have no idea of the function of the sacrament of confession and penance, what is symbolizes.

Please do not lecture chase on her religion of which you have little knowledge.

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momj47(7A)

Or not


Did historical Jesus really exist? The evidence just doesn’t add up.

Did the historical Jesus exist? A growing number of scholars don’t think so

Historical Jesus? Not So Fast.

5 Reasons to Suspect Jesus Never Existed


There does not exist a singular Jesus of the Bible. Each of the Gospels
(and for that matter the writings of Paul) present a portrait of Jesus
that disagrees with the others on basic facts, starting with the
circumstances of his own birth.

When was he born? That's a trickier question than it should be. Grab a
bible and read along. According to Luke, that would be during the first
census of Israel by Quirinius, governor of Syria (Luke 2:2). According
to Matthew, that would be during the reign of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1). The problem? Quirinius' census got underway in 6 CE. Herod had been dead for a good decade.

The oldest Gospel, Mark, does not say that Jesus resurrected at all in
its original form. The resurrection was added at a later date. Most
bibles even footnote within the text that the resurrection portion does
not appear in the "earliest manuscripts.


New Testament scholar and James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of
Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Bart Ehrman

There are no birth records, no trial transcripts, no death certificates;
there are no expressions of interest, no heated slanders, no passing
references - nothing. In fact, if we broaden our field of concern to the
years after his death - even if we include the entire first century of
the Common Era - there is not so much as a solitary reference to Jesus
in any non-Christian, non-Jewish source of any kind. I should stress
that we do have a large number of documents from the time - the writings
of poets, philosophers, historians, scientists, and government
officials, for example, not to mention the large collection of surviving
inscriptions on stone and private letters and legal documents on
papyrus. In none of this vast array of surviving writings is Jesus' name
ever so much as mentioned.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

MsK, once again we're at the point where you wish to ascribe the beliefs of your Christian Protestant denomination to all other Christian denominations.

Hay wrote the comments in this thread, but I've often commented that no one bashes Christians like other Christians. And you're doing it now.

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rob333 (zone 7a)

(((group hug!))))

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mrskjun(9)

No nancy...I was speaking to chase, I was not bashing any religion, and here we go off the rails again. bye

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haydayhayday

"bye"

That might be the smartest thing you've said on this thread.

Now, the smart thing for you to do might be to live by your words.

Thread has a bit of deja vu to it, don't you think?

You've been warned.


Hay

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amicus

heri, I'm not sure if you are referring to me (since I'm the one who used the word 'bashing') when you wrote "Questioning the logical and factual basis for religious belief is not bashing but that is the perception of one who finds this kind of discussion to be unsettling, unnerving and even intolerable. So go ahead, "bash" some other religion, but leave mine alone."


If so, I guess I need to clarify again that I was just being facetious when I remarked that I wished "a different religion might pop up for bashing once in a while, to make it more interesting." I'm not a member of any faith, so there's no need for anyone to 'leave mine alone' as you mentioned. This obviously includes having never been a member of the Christian faith, so I'm certainly not trying to defend the so called 'Christians' that many here are posting about.


My point was that I've noticed a tendency for these threads to get quickly side tracked from the subject at hand (through no fault of the OP) because of some who are clearly not ONLY referring to the (my word) 'crackpot Christians', but to the Christian faith as a whole. It seems to be an ongoing occurrence.


Others love putting down anything remotely religious, it doesn't have to be 'Christians.' I'm assuming there has been much the same occur, where the extremely religious posters stereotype the Agnostics/Deists and Atheists all the time, but I just haven't seen it in the several weeks since I've been here, I guess. I'm just puzzled that for some, there is no difference between 'discussing' and 'debasing.'


chase, you nailed it.

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chase_gw

Mrs I do not discuss my religious beliefs here. They are personal not for others to judge.

However in no way did I say or even infer that I have not sinned, although near as often as some would like me believe growing up, . I simply do not subscribe to the idea that we are sinners awaiting Christ salvation....He already did that......and forgives us each and every day. I do not believe in a perpetual state of sin.

Nancy gets it. ...

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Pidge(Zone 6)

I do, too, chase. I am really surprised that mrs has defined any kind of Christian faith in such a way.

And what is “sin” anyway? “Sin” is an abstraction, one of those slippery terms that is often defined to suit whatever the definer believes, and may or may not have doodly squat to do with any religion, Christian or otherwise. Is it breaking some kind of rule set down by a religious belief system, like missing mass or believing in women’s reproductive rights? Is it a failure of basic ethical principles, like harmful lying or not shoving someone off a cliff, forms of behavior that one inherently knows are wrong but that have nothing to do with belief in a religion? Is it NOT killing if your religion tells you must, like those who dutifully go to church and believe in a god of love and mercy yet support the death penalty? Is it a “sin” to believe that gay marriage is ethically and morally correct if one’s religion says it is not but one believes that all people are equal?

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momj47(7A)

Isn't it ironic that the people who most resent "government", who want smaller government, and less government "intrusion" in their lives, are more than happy to submit, unquestioning, to the unyielding rules of an authoritarian, monolithic organization based on writings that must be accepted on faith, and whose beliefs can not be supported by any kind of rigorous intellectual scrutiny.

Hmm......

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matt

Chase said:

<i>Mrs I do not discuss my religious beliefs here. They are personal not for others to judge.</i>

Chase:

A shot across mrskj's bow. I think you did at one time indicate what your religion was as mrskj said. You also choose to discuss religious concepts like sin and state what you believe and don't believe. So apparently you want to have it both ways. At least mrskj states what she believes and has the courage of her convictions.


picky said:

I am not of the faith myself, I do have some Christian friends,
co-workers and relatives married to Christians, who are neither
hypocritical in their actions nor intolerant in their views. I'm sure
many Christians are, but not all. Perhaps geography plays a factor, I
don't know.

A number of people on this forum have made it very clear that they do
not believe in any god. What gives anyone the right to try to convert,
shame or mock them into following something in which they don't believe?
But likewise, it has become disappointing to see a new thread almost
daily, that inevitably ends up proselytizing anti-Christian rhetoric, ad
nauseam. I don't see the Christians on the forum constantly starting
threads to antagonize those who might be Atheist, Agnostic or any other
religion, for that matter.

I'm neither Christian nor American, but I am curious as to why one would assume to know what most Americans probably think.

I need to clarify again that I was just being facetious when I remarked that I wished "a different religion might pop up for bashing once in a while, to make it more interesting." I'm not a member of any faith, so there's no need for anyone to 'leave mine alone'
as you mentioned. This obviously includes having never been a member of
the Christian faith, so I'm certainly not trying to defend the so
called 'Christians' that many here are posting about.

My point was that I've noticed a tendency for these threads to get
quickly side tracked from the subject at hand (through no fault of the
OP) because of some who are clearly not ONLY referring to the (my word)
'crackpot Christians', but to the Christian faith as a whole. It seems
to be an ongoing occurrence.

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

Picky: The portion of my comment that pertained to you was about your repeated denials of any religious affiliation while at the same time seeking to defend main stream Christianity from "bashing" (your word), You then stated your desire that all Christians should not be lumped in with the crackpot Christians. Would a discussion of Mormonism or Islam as opposed to mainstream Christianity be the sort of thing you would be OK with ? Personally I feel that there are a lot of crackpot Mormons, Christians and crack pot Islamic people but that is my own opinion for which I do not wish to be judged.



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BarbJP 15-16/9B CA Bay Area(9)

If we all acted" like Christians, then there would have been no need for Jesus to die on a cross."

This right here is why I am not a Catholic nor a Christian anymore. (And yes Catholics are Christians) The first time I was taught this as a child, directly taught it, not just hearing adults say it, was during Catechism leading up to my first communion. I immediately had a problem with it.

Why? Why would killing another person, son of god or not, pardon anything that anyone else had done? It made no sense to me. And why would God want to punish anyway? He set the whole thing up, if you believe the story, he gave people free will so why punish them for using it? Shouldn't they be punished by those they transgressed against? Seemed to me God had better things to do.

Like if I went out and killed one ant and told the rest of the ants, "I forgive you for crawling all over my food because I killed this one particular ant and that takes care of it." while they were still crawling all over my food.

And if people did not really have free will as some of my friends from other Christian faiths believed, then it was really just cruel.

But as a child I could kinda see the logic of punishing someone for misbehaving, we punished our dog for peeing in the house, (of course we were the ones who brought the dog into the house in the first place), but punishing someone for another's fault, let alone a whole species, just made no sense what so ever.

And when I asked it was just chalked up to; it's one of God's mysteries. Sounds kinda like "Cause I said so" which never washed with me from my parents either. So at 7 years old I stopped believing, right about the same time I stopped believing in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, by applying the same logic to the stories.

As a child and still as an adult, I never understood the concept and logic of sacrificial beings, whether they be birds, animal, humans or deities. How does that help anything? I does not undo the wrongs, it doesn't keep it from happening again? And how does guilt transfer to someone/something else?

I'm sure someone will tell me I'm bashing them, but this is just what I think. They can think what they want. But when they start making laws that I have to follow based on their stories, in which I do not believe, then I object.

This country was not founded as a Christian nation. It was founded as a Secular nation with religious freedom. The freedom to believe what you want, and freedom from a State Enforced Religion. That was what they had back in Europe, and DID NOT want to repeat that here.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

momj, let's suppose that Christianity were to be accepted as our national religion (although that would be wrong, wrong, wrong). Can you imagine the knock-down-drag-out fights to determine which Christian denomination would prevail?


For example, which church would prevail on abortion rights?

Pew Research Center

/quote/ Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)


In 2006, the Presbyterian Church’s national governing body, the
General Assembly, reaffirmed its belief that the termination of a
pregnancy is a personal decision. While the church disapproves of
abortion as a means of birth control or as a method of convenience, it
seeks “to maintain within its fellowship those who, on the basis of a
study of Scripture and prayerful decision, come to diverse conclusions
and actions” on the issue. /end quote/


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momj47(7A)

It's tough enough having two parties battling it out in Congress. I can't begin to imagine the chaos.

Be careful what you wish for.


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rob333 (zone 7a)

"submit, unquestioning, to the unyielding rules of an authoritarian, monolithic organization"


Um, no I don't.

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duluthinbloomz4

But that's you, rob. Surely you must concede there are those that do.

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Pidge(Zone 6)

As duluth says, rob, while you may live your life on principles you have established for yourself, there are plenty of people who live by the unyielding rules of a religious organization. Some of them are related to me, and sometimes their behavior toward me is insufferable. On this forum, I can walk away, but that’s not always possible in a family situation.

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fouquieria(10b)

I have no problems with a person's personal beliefs...it's the organized fanatacism and intolerance I have issues with. That's why I want "God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance, off our currency, crosses off government property and everywhere else it infringes on the separation of Church and State.


-Ron-

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chase_gw

heri, I know attacking me is an obsession with you but I have NEVER discussed my personal religious beliefs here nor have I ever asked anyone else to do so. I made an exception this time only because Mrs asked me a direct question and I have always been one to answer questions posed me.

One time and one time only I took exception to a term being used and asked that it not be....that has been the extent of my discussing my personal beliefs. No one, most certainly you, will ever tell me what I should or should not discuss about my personal beliefs.

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momj47(7A)

submit, unquestioning, to the unyielding rules of an authoritarian, monolithic organization"

If you are an adherent of any religion or denomination, you are expected to submit unquestioningly, and resistance is futile. You are either in or you are out. Anyone who is keeping their own counsel with heretical or dissenting ideas is a hypocrite, and will most certainly be excluded if they are found out.

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duluthinbloomz4

I believe we've crossed way over the line to the point where removing outward and visible infringements on the separation of church and state would be a simpler task than removing them from the actions and attitudes of some of our citizens.

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matt

Chase said:
<i>. No one, most certainly you, will ever tell me what I should or should not discuss about my personal beliefs.</i>
Well you are becoming the forum thug but I am not intimidated by you. Your comments are extremely hypocritical on this . No one asked you to defend your personal beliefs or for you to opine about sinning and what is moral and what isn't. If you want to keep it to yourself, then do that.

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Pidge(Zone 6)

Mom said, "Anyone who is keeping their own counsel with heretical or dissenting ideas is a hypocrite, and will most certainly be excluded if they are found out.” And that is a fine line to walk, mom. Sometimes when I keep my mouth shut I know I am giving tacit approval to things with which I don’t agree, and when I do speak up I get the stink eye or much worse. Life with so-called “Christians” is not always comfortable..

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chase_gw

"Well you are becoming the forum thug but I am not intimidated by you."

Really?

Anyone else find Heri's preoccupation with me a bit odd.....

Edited to add.........I am quite sure that you can show NO evidence of me being a forum thug...that is so far beyond absurd that it is worrisome. It is time for me to ask you NEVER to address me again. If you should EVER address me again I will have to report you to the monitors for your obsession with me. ..and I am certain that there will be many who will collaborate my claim.

Heri, Please never address me again....I am very serious about what I will find necessary to do.

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Iris GW

I sure don't see the thug connection at all, chase.

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momj47(7A)

Anyone else find Heri's preoccupation with me a bit odd.....

It's creepy. I've never understood stalking someone like this.

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jillinnj

chase is the opposite of a forum thug. I have no idea where that comment came from. I've known heri has something against chase, but that is just beyond ridiculous, and more than a bit odd.

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ann_t

Yes, it is creepy and way off base.


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elvis

"If you are an adherent of any religion or denomination, you are expected to submit unquestioningly, and resistance is futile. You are either in or you are out. Anyone who is keeping their own counsel with heretical or dissenting ideas is a hypocrite, and will most certainly be excluded if they are found out."

If that has been your experience, that is a shame. IMO.


BTW, heri calling chase a thug is ridiculous. IMO. Puh-leeze!

1.

a violent person, especially a criminal.

synonyms:ruffian, hooligan, vandal, hoodlum, gangster, villain, criminal

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jodik_gw

Well, I hate to say it... but if they're stalking Chase, they're leaving me alone. ;-)

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enmc

Nice ducking.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Heri, I think you're wrong in your characterization of chase as a bully. The real forum bullies were banned a little before houzz assumed the reins.

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momj47(7A)

If that has been your experience, that is a shame. IMO.

Shame is a big deal for you, isn't it? No, it hasn't been my experience, sorry to disappoint you.

No one has attacked you personally for your beliefs, why do you find it necessary to attack others?

Did you read the commentary from Christianity Today I posted a few days ago? Nominals to Nones: 3 Key Takeaways From Pew’s Religious Landscape Survey I think it extracts the important information from the Pew study and explains the results in a very important, and accurate way.

In your religion/church do people toe the line, keep their head down, so any unorthodox ideas they might have won't be found out? We all have these ideas. If we don't, we are basically brain dead.

Or are they more than happy to submit, unquestioningly, to the unyielding rules of
an authoritarian, monolithic organization based on writings that must
be accepted on faith, and whose beliefs can not be supported by any kind
of rigorous intellectual scrutiny?


Those are the only two choices a monolithic organization, like a religion, offers. There is no third path.

If you think, even briefly, about the makeup of an organization like a religion, it's very obvious where it's "strength" lies. Not in it's beliefs, but in it's power over the thoughts of it's members.

A religion is a closed society. You have to meet certain requirements to get in, and if you step out of line, you are out.

Which is more important, the beliefs or the fellowship? I'm not sure there's a right answer. Mormons and Amish, for example, who have been excommunicated and shunned suffer terribly because of the loss of fellowship, the loss of their families. They still have their beliefs. And the leadership knows this, so the threat of excommunication is a very effective tool for keeping members in line.

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matt

Chase and friends:

Since some have chosen to cowardly gang up on me after Chase's call, I will stand up for myself, address what he/she has stated and refute his/her (and others) false claims and characterizations of what I have said and what my intentions have been. If you wish Chase, report me to the forum moderators, but I have done nothing improper or in violation of the TOS, no matter what you or any of your apologists or antagonists here say. I respect the rules here, and every poster here, even those like Hay who I disagree with more than anyone.

First you have no proof that I have any preoccupation with you, none, and nothing could be further from the truth. Do I frequently disagree with you? Of course. However, I disagree with mrskj, Elvis and others far more than I do with you. And I have to say, mrskj is a person of her convictions who defends herself, without needing a posse behind her or threatening to report poster for frequent disagreement. The subjects of my disagreement with you have ranged from your hypocrisy on the KXL pipeline, your belief that Obama was too divisive and you preference for Jon Huntsman, and your extremely sarcastic refusal to stop using "thug", knowing that this was objected to repeatedly by minorities and by me. And of course, there was your false and outrages accusation thatI was a bigot.

If you cannot accept frequent disagreement perhaps you should remove yourself from the forum, since lively debate on issues and defending your positions forcefully is what Hot Topics is dedicated to. I do not know you or care to ever know you or anything about you, but I dislike hypocrisy greatly. Unfortunately you have repeatedly demonstrated that on several issues from religion, to energy issues, to racial issues to politics. That explains my frequent disagreements with you. I am not surprised now that you cower, ask for reinforcement and lob a threat threat at me while ducking under the parapet wall.

Now will you discontinue using 'thug" here to intimidate me ? It's gotten old.

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ann_t

"Well you are becoming the forum thug but I am not intimidated by you."

Heri, You called Chase a thug and then ask her to discontinue using the word thug?Seriously????

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matt

Elvis said:
BTW, heri calling chase a thug is ridiculous. IMO. Puh-leeze!

I said "forum thug" and, if you have followed some of the threads, you would realize that this was done with tongue-in-cheek as a response to Chase having used "thug" repeatedly, despite requests to stop using the term in the racially charged context of the Baltimore riots and on other threads. Perhaps you can appreciate irony and sarcasm since you probably use that here as much as anyone.


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rob333 (zone 7a)

I know many many many who operate like I do. Not just me. I am sorry you have to tolerate those who would blindly follow and not find out the Truth (((Pidge)))


mom, I adhere to nothing more than to heed words He brought here. I don't follow any "church"

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enmc

Since some have chosen to cowardly gang up on me after Chase's call,

Oh, look.... the forum bully is now the forum crybaby.

Tongue-in cheek? Please! You weren't expecting Nancy to weigh in.

Typical bully tactics.. picks it's shots

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momj47(7A)

Then I guess this isn't about you rob, is it?

No one here is questioning or attacking the faith of any other individual on this forum. This study was about the changing religious landscape, and the results show that fewer people self-identify themselves as "Christian", in the US in 2015.

If you read the commentary in Christianity Today, you'll learn that more people are identifying themselves as evangelical Christians. So while people on the fringes of the Christian churches are less likely to identify themselves as Christian, those with strong, solid beliefs are not leaving the churches.

To some extent, this seems to be a phenomenon in which people with low
levels of religious commitment are now more likely to identify as
religiously unaffiliated, whereas in earlier decades such people would
have identified as Christian, Jewish, or as part of some other religious
group.


In short, ... the "nominals" are becoming the "nones" and
convictional Christian practice is a minority, but generally stable,
population. If that is the case, and that is what the data is showing,
than the decline is primarily (not exclusively) that nominal Christians
are becoming honest reporters.

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jillinnj

Oh, I see. "Forum thug" is good, but "thug" is not good.


So hard to keep up with the rules here. (now that was tongue-in-cheek!)


Not sure how you get that anyone ganged up on you. Several expressed their opinion of Chase.


It's clear you disagree with several folks here. Everyone disagrees with several folks here. You constantly attack chase. There's a difference. And the most ridiculous thing is you attack her for things that aren't even true. She didn't support Hunstman, as has been explained to you on so many occasions it's ridiculous.


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rob333 (zone 7a)

Here come bad news talking this and that

Yeah, give me all you got, don't hold back

Yeah, well I should probably warn you I'll be just fine

Yeah, no offense to you don't waste your time

Here's why

Because I'm happy

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

Because I'm happy

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

Because I'm happy

Clap along if you know what happiness is to you

Because I'm happy

Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do


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momj47(7A)

Huh?

Do you need a cup of coffee, maybe, rob?


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rob333 (zone 7a)

I know in my heart of hearts there are many like me. And there are many like you outline. I'm not alone. All of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam aren't the fringes. Try to show me all you want, but you'll not change my mind about that. Any more than you'll change your mind.

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mrskjun(9)

This is so rich!! Let's see, I say something that chase decides is offensive to her and the gang piles on in droves, I'm not supposed to say it. So chase says something that heri finds offensive, and the gang piles on in droves. Only now, she every right to say it. What I said, and what chase said, neither breaks the forum rules. But thanks, this is my best laugh of the morning.

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momj47(7A)

rob333, what on earth are you talking about?

I think you have missed the point, entirely. And no one is trying to change your mind.


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mrskjun(9)

rob...I've really thought about this thread, and I have come to one conclusion, it is meant for us. We are to do as Jesus commanded and go out and spread the gospel, share the good news, offer the gift. If people choose not to accept it, you certainly can't beat them over the head with a Bible, love them period.

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momj47(7A)

Seems like you've missed the point too, mrskjun.


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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

We are to do as Jesus commanded and go out and spread the gospel, share the good news, offer the gift.

Not all Christian denominations emphasize the above. As I previously stated, my catechism classes were about "walking the walk" not "talking the talk" -- what could be more powerful than offering (or trying your best to offer) an example by your behavior.

Protestant evangelical belief does not define Christianity; it is but one of numerous interpretations. To refuse to recognize this fact is insulting to other denominations.

If other Christian denominations and traditions cannot be acknowledged, what does that lack of respect tell us?

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ann_t

Big difference Mrsk. between using a word like thug, and what you continued to do. And lets not forget that apology you issued to Chase. Again, apparently it wasn't sincere or you wouldn't keep bringing this up.


As for Heri, I think he likes Chase. He just has a funny way of showing it. He is like the little boy in kindergarten who, hits or pulls the hair of the little girl he has a crush on. The only explanation I can see for his continued fascination with Chase.

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mrskjun(9)

You get the prize ann...I actually figured it would be someone else that said...oh, but this is different. lol

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ann_t

And that you can't see the difference doesn't surprise me in the least.

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mrskjun(9)

The use of that offends me....the use of that offends me. Surprise!

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dockside_gw

"If you are an adherent of any religion or denomination, you are expected to submit unquestioningly, and resistance is futile. You are either in or you are out. Anyone who is keeping their own counsel with heretical or dissenting ideas is a hypocrite, and will most certainly be excluded if they are found out."

That is flat-out wrong. The United Church of Christ does not have a dogma that anyone who is a member must subscribe to. It is a church that is welcoming to all and supportive of people on their spiritual journey. It proclaims that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God who died for mankind's sins but does not require that its members believe this. No creed is recited in its services. Many of its members are former "recovering" members of other denominations and Roman Catholicism. It's the only church where I could be a member.

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Campanula UK Z8

My friend has recently left a UK evangelical church - one of those modeled on the US mega-church. He has not lost his faith...but he certainly has lost faith in the institution.
'Why did you leave, James?'
It was mainly the relentless emails - "tithing, don't forget to tithe, are you still tithing?"


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rob333 (zone 7a)

There is no plate passed nor are tithes asked for in one of the churches I attend. I can see why now. I couldn't figure it out. Guess they're trying to avoid that perception.

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jillinnj

If people choose not to accept it, you certainly can't beat them over the head with a Bible, love them period.


This is the part I do not get. Why do you need to convince other people to think the way you do? And the condescending attitude towards those that don't believe the way you do is uncalled for.,


I've said it before I'll say it again.... I do not care what your beliefs are, but do not try to create laws that enforce those beliefs on me. Why does it even matter to you that other people do not believe the same thing you do? Isn't your belief enough for you?

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BarbJP 15-16/9B CA Bay Area(9)

Because it makes them sad that those who don't believe the same way will be going to hell. They feel they have to save you from that fate, I guess.

We had one of those fellows who prothlesize stop by our house a few years ago. My husband asked him why does he feel the need to do this? He was genuinely curious. The fellow said, "If you saw your neighbors roof on fire wouldn't you feel the need to get his attention and tell him about it?" My husband said, "Yes, of course. The difference is I don't see fires on all my neighbors roofs."

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woodnymph2_gw

Good grief, I leave the forum for a few days and find Chase is being labeled a "thug."


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enmc

"If you saw your neighbors roof on fire wouldn't you feel the need to get his attention and tell him about it?" My husband said, "Yes, of course. The difference is I don't see fires on all my neighbors roofs."


I like the way your husband thinks lol

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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

My best friend and her husband are Christians. They never talk about it but they live honorable, ethical and kind lives. My husband and I are atheists. We live honorable, ethical and kind lives. We and our friends are completely compatible because we have similar values and we also enjoy laughing a lot, often about ourselves. At work I have been preached at "about the Lord" numerous times by co-workers and I just nod and smile. Never would I presume to bother them with my belief system because they've made theirs so very clear. Yet, because they feel they're in the majority and on the side of "right", which is rather an arrogant thing to believe, I can be preached at with impunity at the work place. I'm completely sickened by "religious" politicians who parade their abysmal ignorance on a daily basis and have the gall to tell me how I should live my life. And yes, there is no scientific proof of their beliefs. That's why it's called faith and not science. It would be lovely to live in a country like Sweden where you are not accosted by people who are less educated than you, have never traveled to foreign countries and never seeks to find out what is beyond their own belief system, which for some unknown reason is considered to be the only right one. The whole thing is immensely puzzling.

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elvis

"Yet, because they feel they're in the majority and on the side of "right", which is rather an arrogant thing to believe, I can be preached at with impunity..."


We conservatives on this forum know what THAT feels like, LOL!

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momj47(7A)

We conservatives on this forum know what THAT feels like, LOL!

No, you don't.

Conservatives on this forum take everything so personally, that when one of them asks a question and someone answers it in a way the doesn't please one of the conservatives, it becomes a "personal attack" and everyone starts whining. This is especially true when a conservative asks another forum member what they believe or think about something that a conservative has strong beliefs about.

It's very predictable. We can almost count down to the angry retort.

The only people on this forum who do any preaching are the religious conservatives. THE ONLY ONES.


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jillinnj

Ingrid - I agree with you completely and have a similar situation with a close friend. She is Catholic and fairly religious. I am an atheist. However, we have very similar morals and more in common than not. She doesn't feel the need to convince me that she is right and I have no need to convince her I am right. She walks the walk and doesn't just talk. We both know people (some from her church) that do not walk the walk, but sure do a lot of talking. We both feel exactly the same way about those people and distance ourselves from them.

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elvis

Jill, that sounds like a sensible arrangement. That is how I deal with everyone, regardless of our similar or dissimilar beliefs. One close co-worker of 21 years is a born-again Christian (his service as a Marine sniper in Viet Nam affected him very deeply, and this is how he copes), and we got along just fine, despite the fact that he knew I didn't share his concept of how to live. 21 years. IMO, that's an indication of mutual respect.

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chase_gw

I can honestly say that I don't have a clue about the religious beliefs, or lack there of ,of most people I know. It I do for my friends but only to the extent that they are "Church goers " or not. It simply is not something that comes up in conversation........except for my family and when it does .....duck!

Religion is not as much a part of the social fabric here as it is in the States....not sure why but it just isn't.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Religion is not as much a part of the social fabric here as it is in the States.

This varies by region.

It's not for nothing that we have an area called the Bible Belt.

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elvis

I didn't realize the Bible Belt extended up here...nancy, you are out of touch. There are plenty of people everywhere with various religious beliefs, many of which involve Christianity in some form. It sounds as if you are stereotyping again. Tch tch. Better check your intolerance meter.

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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

elvis, you seem to be intentionally misunderstanding chase's remark, and my response.

I'm not referring to religious beliefs but to those who feel compelled to inject their personal religious beliefs into everyday interactions with friends, neighbors, and strangers.

It sounds as if you are misunderstanding yet again. Tch tch. Better check your comprehension meter.

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chase_gw

Must be the weekend,,,,,,and a long one to boot!

When I used the term social fabric it is for a reason. I am not talking about people with "various religious beliefs." I am talking about religion being an integral part of the community, the politics