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Author Topic: Canada abolishes free speech.  (Read 9692 times)
clockworkcanary
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« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2008, 12:00:33 PM »


Clockwork:  "Yes that is frightening.  However, keep in mind, there are many on the right who would gladly agree with laws that executed homosexuals, but we both know the extremes on both sides are a minority and should not be equivocated to represent either side."

I think that is a ridiculous stereotype.  I regularly live, work, and interact with the "so-called" religious right - and there is not one in a hundred that holds that view.  What they resent is an entertainment and news media, and an educational system, that insists that sexual deviancy is a normal, morally neutral behavior.  Our philosophy is that consenting adults are free to do what they wish with each other - but we'd really rather not see sexual deviancy waved in front of our eyes as something good, normal, and fulfilling.

Most people who say things like what you just said have an opinion of us righties that is shaped more by pop culture than by actual acquaintance.


Well it was kinda the point that extreme examples don't reflect the mainstream opinion.  However, my statement about many on the right does not come from the media but comes straight outta the mouth of some very rightwing individuals I know personally.  Sorry, sad but true.  What I'm saying with my post is that I know they're not representative of the mainstream anymore than these extremist leftwing douches that get equivocated to the rest of us leftwing douches lol.

In actuality, I was once a rightwinger myself -very conservative, very very conservative.  I'm just glad people can change.

But now you bring up another discussion: is homosexuality deviant? You state that it is, yet it's been proven that it's normal in both humans and animals on the genetic level.  Now, I don't know what's worse; sexual repression that leads priests to abuse others or mutual consenting adults having feelings for one another <shrugs>. 

But I get your message: those homosexuals should be treated as second class citizens?  Am I understanding you correctly?
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clockworkcanary
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« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2008, 12:07:53 PM »

Interesting...now we see some goal posts moving...it was "based on" to now "influenced by" - maybe we're all splitting hairs here more than anything.

I know the people who wrote the Constitution were influenced by their world view but those same "principles" are not exclusive to your precious religion but are seen across many religions.  See what I'm trying to say.

"the ability and right of mankind to govern himself" -where is this in the Bible?! I remeber reading a whole lot about Kings in the Bible and a large portion describing how Christ was of the same bloodline as other Kings.  Also, I remember in the Christian-dominated Middle Ages, Kings were of divine right by God to rule. 

And if the word of god and the morals of the Bible are infallable and static, why should it make a difference which century we're in?  And again, if this country were founded on Christian principles, there would not have been the raping, pillaging, and theft of land of a culture (and cultures) that were already here.  Unless you're saying those are Christian principles.  I'm saying this land and these resources were founded upon conquest, plain and simple.  Our laws were developed over time and still develop today -if they were based on Christian Biblical laws, slavery would still be legal.  Tell us what the Christian teaching is on Slavery?  Something about not beating them, right?  I love this retro-tooling of an ancient book.  Amusing stuff.  If our Constitution was based on Calvanistic Moral Christian ideas and the right to self-govern, why did these laws only apply to white land owneers while excluding the natives already living here, women, and any non land owners?  Seems like freedom was being a bit selective even then.

And you can't be a cafeteria Christian, choosing and picking what to use and ignore in the Old Testament.  Explain how the Cross itself, a Roman device of capital punishment changed all those other things (no touching pigskin) but had no bearing on views of homosexuality?  Don't you think your god would be upset with you for making his book a cafeteria?

And if you don't mind my asking, what State do you teach in so I can ensure that I never enroll my children there?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 12:33:57 PM by clockworkcanary » Logged

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clockworkcanary
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« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2008, 12:18:53 PM »

Quote
Sorry Cheeze I beg to differ on those foundations.  True, there were a lot of Deists, but those principles you refer to don't belong exclusively to Christianity.  Again, you do not have the monopoly on morality.

Where did I say exclusively?

Somehow I remember there being a conjunction in what I said.

This is what you said:

"This country, like it or not was founded on religious freedom and also Christian principles."

I'm quite familiar with grammar, thank you for your condescending attitude anyway. 
If you say "x was founded on y and z" and that "z" doesn't include any other worldview that kinda implies exlusion.  Again I'll ask how are these Christian princples any different than other tenats of other moral philosophies?

But, you're saying in addition to being founded on Christian principles (or is it now "influenced by"?), it was founded upon religious freedom?  I don't believe I had an argument with that part, which is why I didn't say anything, although I'm not certain people were actually free to practice non-Christian religions at the time.

But I do love how you skip over 99% of a response and nitpick that 1% w/o answering any of the serious questions I asked.  I'm actually quite used to that from Fundies on another board so I guess nothing's new there.  Oh that's right -you don't have time but you had time to lump all of us "libruls" together on a tanget that had less to do with the topic at hand than this post here does.  (You know, because anytime anything bad happens it's the libruls fault of course, even this economy in which the libruls haven't had much controll in the last 8 years).

So...

Do you agree your children shouldn't be forced to pray a certain way? Yeah I bet you would if it weren't "your' religion.
Do you think it's patriotic of Dick Cheney to relocate his headquarters offshore to avoid paying taxes (you know, because he is kinda poor and it would be too much to ask him)?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 12:25:21 PM by clockworkcanary » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2008, 12:35:59 PM »

Personally, I think whether or not this nation was founded on "Christian" principles is irrelevant, as it was also founded on "Slaves are 3/5ths a person" principles and lots of other stuff.  Christianity is not the absolute answer on morality, just as many Christian leaders are not absolute answers on being upstanding citizens.  Morality is bigger than one religion, it existed before Jesus.  General "Do unto others" rules exist in most major religions and non-religious philosophies.  I am a Christian myself, and I am regularly disgusted by the Religious Right and their selective following of the bible.  If Jesus existed today, many TV preachers would have nothing to do with him and his hanging around the dredges of society. 
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clockworkcanary
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« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2008, 12:37:58 PM »

"If Jesus existed today, many TV preachers would have nothing to do with him and his hanging around the dredges of society. "

Indeed.  They'd be the first to crucify him.
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« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2008, 12:56:38 PM »

"If Jesus existed today, many TV preachers would have nothing to do with him and his hanging around the dredges of society. "

Indeed.  They'd be the first to crucify him.

Just like the religious leaders during his life were the ones to push his crucifixion then.

It's always hard on anyone who attacks cherished beliefs.  Some get bit worse than others.
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AndyC
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« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2008, 01:04:11 PM »

I do have some issue with the idea that one must take the entire Bible at face value to be a good Christian.

The Bible is composed of texts written down by people, and selected for inclusion by other people (plenty of texts didn't make the cut). Taking the whole thing literally, as many try to do, is a pointless exercise. To be appreciated, the passages must be put into their proper context - time, place, major events. My wife has degrees in this stuff, and the Bible never made more sense to me than when she explains things in their proper context.

Depending on which Christian scholars you ask, you might hear that some parts of the bible are nothing more than rules pertaining to a specific culture, some are considered legends even by more liberal believers, some parts were written by people with a definite axe to grind or during a particularly troubled time. Some scholars would suggest books that don't belong in the Bible at all, and others that should have been included. They will probably also tell you that some translations are better than others.

I've always maintained that athiests and evangelical Christians have more beliefs in common than either would admit. Both interpret the Bible literally and out of context, and both believe that if it isn't the literal truth, it must be a lie. The only difference is which side of the fence they're on.
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« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2008, 01:32:49 PM »

I'm quite familiar with grammar, thank you for your condescending attitude anyway.

Really? Then I guess saying exclusively Christian was a typo. My bad.

Quote
If you say "x was founded on y and z" and that "z" doesn't include any other worldview that kinda implies exlusion.  Again I'll ask how are these Christian princples any different than other tenats of other moral philosophies?

The country was predominately Christian at the writing of the constitution and it still is.  Would you prefer it was founded on Islamic principles, or Toa or Buddhist or Judaism? Went the vast majority was Christian. I never said they were different, even though they are, it is based on the majority belief at the time.


Quote
But, you're saying in addition to being founded on Christian principles (or is it now "influenced by"?), it was founded upon religious freedom?  I don't believe I had an argument with that part, which is why I didn't say anything, although I'm not certain people were actually free to practice non-Christian religions at the time.

Religious freedom also included freedom FROM religion. This country does not mandate that you belong to this or that religion, you can believe nothing or that God is a big purple fluffy rabbit and do so without fear. That can not be said for many countries around the world.

Quote
But I do love how you skip over 99% of a response and nitpick that 1% w/o answering any of the serious questions I asked.  I'm actually quite used to that from Fundies on another board so I guess nothing's new there.  Oh that's right -you don't have time but you had time to lump all of us "libruls" together on a tanget that had less to do with the topic at hand than this post here does.  (You know, because anytime anything bad happens it's the libruls fault of course, even this economy in which the libruls haven't had much controll in the last 8 years).

Correct I don't have time to respond to a lengthy post, I do work. Lumping liberals? From some of the stuff I read you wrote, talking about lumping and stereotyping ...  Lookingup

It seems you forget who controls congress, the president can not unilaterally control the economy. I seem to recall the liberals running on the campaign promise of lower gas prices in 2006 ... well it's nearly doubled since they took control of congress but somehow that's Bush's fault. Lookingup Yes blame the evil conservatives, it's easier than facing the truth. 

Quote
So...

Do you agree your children shouldn't be forced to pray a certain way? Yeah I bet you would if it weren't "your' religion.

Do you know what my religion is? I believe I states rather clearly I'm not a religious person. Doesn't mean I want to ban religion and force my beliefs on you or anyone else.


Quote
Do you think it's patriotic of Dick Cheney to relocate his headquarters offshore to avoid paying taxes (you know, because he is kinda poor and it would be too much to ask him)?

Sorry, I don't keep tabs on Cheney.


I respect your views and what you have to say, doesn't mean I agree with it.

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clockworkcanary
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« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2008, 02:08:19 PM »

"Really? Then I guess saying exclusively Christian was a typo. My bad."
Maybe you missed the response to this?  You made the claim "founded on a Christian Nation" and sorry man, that sounds pretty exclusive.  I personally don't think laws should be founded on any barbaric tribal religion from the Middle East but on common sense, trial and error, and justice, not from an ancient text that doesn't reflect reality.

"The country was predominately Christian at the writing of the constitution and it still is."


But that's not what you said initially.  See what I mean about moving the goal posts?  This isn't the same as saying "founded on" - the Country was predominantly right-handers too at the time but saying we were founded on a "right-handed" principles is another matter.  I think we're actually arguing different points about the same subject; effectively splitting hairs.

"Religious freedom also included freedom FROM religion. This country does not mandate that you belong to this or that religion, you can believe nothing or that God is a big purple fluffy rabbit and do so without fear. That can not be said for many countries around the world. "

That's how we've retrofitted it to mean, but are you sure it meant the same thing back then?  Weren't people burnt to the stake for witchcraft or was that only before the Constitution.  None the less, it was during the founding of our country, which was predominantly Native American, in actuality.

"It seems you forget who controls congress, the president can not unilaterally control the economy."

Control? Democrats don't have 2/3 majority in either the House or the Senate so using terms like "control" is disengenious.  Influence? maybe.  But what they do have is a President with Veto power who knocks down every single thing nearly ...a President that's been on Vacation more than you and I in a lifetime perhaps.  Besides, what's your excuse for the 7 years before they regained this "control" in 2006?  Sorry, but when conservatives had control over 3 branches of government, they can't blame liberals, which was the point I was making and it still stands, regardless of the world games and number fudging.  Dems have 1 more person in the Senate and about 30-40 more in the House, which makes the available for the blame game of the last 7 years...ok if you say so.

And you didn't actually answer the question about Cheney.  You don't have to keep tabs on him to make a judgement call on whether that kinda act is patriotic or not. 

I find you to be a rather patriotic person (just as I am) so I would think an action such as this would bother you as much as it bothers me.  It's an easy fact to look up - don't take my word for it.   It's just one conservative; it's not like they're going to gome get us with the Patriot Act hehe.

"I respect your views and what you have to say, doesn't mean I agree with it."
That's cool - I'm not bothered with it either way.  That's the beauty of it actually.  Agreeing is boring.  Just know we're not all the same.  And I'll call out the Fallacy of Equivocation everytime I see it.
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« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2008, 02:12:18 PM »

Let me respond point by point to some of the things Clockwork said:

"the ability and right of mankind to govern himself" -where is this in the Bible?! I remeber reading a whole lot about Kings in the Bible and a large portion describing how Christ was of the same bloodline as other Kings.  Also, I remember in the Christian-dominated Middle Ages, Kings were of divine right by God to rule.  

THAT concept comes from the "natural rights" view of the Enlightenment!!  You accuse me of cherry-picking, and then do the same to me!! Read the entire sentence I wrote, and you will see  I juxtaposed the Enlightenment concept of self-government  IN THE SAME SENTENCE with the Calvinist/Biblical view of the fallen, sinful nature of mankind that causes us to misuse and abuse our freedoms.  I'm not the only one who recognizes this dichotomy within the Constitution - many scholars acknowledge the influence of these two somewhat contradictory influences.

And if the word of god and the morals of the Bible are infallable and static, why should it make a difference which century we're in?  

Do you understand that difference between the Old and New Testament?  There was one covenant given, specifically to the descendants of Jacob known as the nation of Israel, so that they could serve as a "light to the Gentiles" and draw all men to God.  They failed, so God sent his only begotten son into the world to give his message in its pure and final form.  And, frankly, the century we are in makes a huge difference.  In the Middle Ages, 95% of the population was illiterate and the Scriptures were deliberately withheld from the common people.  Today the Word is available in virtually every language and multiple translations, so frankly we understand it much better than we did in an age where it was withheld and in many cases deliberately distorted.

And again, if this country were founded on Christian principles, there would not have been the raping, pillaging, and theft of land of a culture (and cultures) that were already here.  Unless you're saying those are Christian principles.  I'm saying this land and these resources were founded upon conquest, plain and simple.

That is where the Calvinistic view of mankind comes in - which, incidentally, is well-founded in Scripture.  The point is that we are a fallen people, irreparably stained by sin and prone to every sort of depravity imaginable unless restrained by SOME powerful moral force - ideally, a relationship with the Living God.  All societies have moral standards that they strongly believe in and fail to live up to - why should ours be any different.  And, the warlike nature and rampant cannibalism among Indian tribes made it easy to demonize them.

 Our laws were developed over time and still develop today -if they were based on Christian Biblical laws, slavery would still be legal.  Tell us what the Christian teaching is on Slavery?  Something about not beating them, right?  

Christ came to the world to save men's souls and teach them about righteousness, not to reform society.  However, hand in glove with that goes the idea that when enough people embrace the teachings of Christ, evil institutions like slavery can no longer exist, because they deny the fundamental scriptural truth that "God is no respecter of persons."  Who led the abolitionist movement in both England and America?  Evangelical Christians, for the  most part.  Yes, Southerners quoted heavily from Scripture to justify slavery, most often from the Old Testament - which was written at a time when slavery was universal.  But in Israel, accodring to the Levitical law, every seven years all slaves were to be liberated, unless they willingly chose to remain in captivity.  

I love this retro-tooling of an ancient book.  Amusing stuff.  If our Constitution was based on Calvanistic Moral Christian ideas and the right to self-govern, why did these laws only apply to white land owneers while excluding the natives already living here, women, and any non land owners?  Seems like freedom was being a bit selective even then.

Because it was written in the 18th century, when, for thousands of years in Anglo-Saxon and Roman law, most legal rights were held by men and men only.  It sucks by our 21st century standards, but it was the norm around most of the world at that time.  You can't realistically expect 18th century Americans - or ANY group of people, for that matter - to totally transcend the social conventions of their age and live up to a standard of behavior that isn't even invented yet.  However,   if you read IN ITS ENTIRETY what the New Testament says about the relationships between men and women and husbands and wives, you will find it to be REMARKABLY progressive for its time.  Compare what Paul writes about husbands and wives to what is in the Quran, or even the Old Testament.    And all that being said, our Founders also had sense enough to create a document that was flexible and capable of being changed to accommodate shifting sensibilities.  Many of them, especially Alexander Hamilton, denounced slavery as barbaric and looked forward to a  day when it would be completely abolished.


And you can't be a cafeteria Christian, choosing and picking what to use and ignore in the Old Testament.  Explain how the Cross itself, a Roman device of capital punishment changed all those other things (no touching pigskin) but had no bearing on views of homosexuality?  Don't you think your god would be upset with you for making his book a cafeteria?

Again, even a superficial understanding of basic Christian theology should enable you to recognize that we were liberated from the Old Testament Law by the sacrifice of Christ.  In the Old Testament you find laws that were given specifically to the theocratic nation of Israel - a "peculiar people" is how Yawheh God himself described them.  In the New Testament you find moral guidelines given by Christ Himself, and His disciples, on how believers are to live in a fallen world.  The New Testament describes homosexuality as a sinful behavior, along with adultery, theft, murder, lust, envy, and drunkenness.  It is not presented as being any worse than other sins.  Here is a cornerstone principle of Christian theology - the believer is NOT obliged to punish sin.  That is God's domain.  What we are called upon to do is to recognize sin for what it is and condemn it as such, while loving those who are trapped in it and recognizing that ALL men are sinners, saved by grace.  The Church has sadly gotten that concept WRONG more often than not, but that is the concept clearly presented in Scripture.

And if you don't mind my asking, what State do you teach in so I can ensure that I never enroll my children there?

Unless you plan to enroll your children in a private, Christian school, you need have no fear of them being "corrupted" by my radical right ideas.  Personally, I think that was a bit of a cheap shot - I have been nothing but respectful to you, and the comments I have made about our Constitution are not that radical, nor are they original to me.



Now, a quick reply to AndyC -

I have specialized for  years in the study of the writing and selection of the books that make up the New Testament.  Many of the statements that are being thrown around today about the canonization of the New Testament works are frankly false, especially some of the ideas dramatized in popular fiction like the DA VINCI CODE, etc.  I really don't want to retype the considerable amount that I have written, but you might check an old thread entitled MY ISSUES WITH THE DA VINCI CODE to see where I am coming from.  

I will say this - there is not an example of a single authentic, apostolic work that was excluded from the New Testament on doctrinal grounds.  The stuff that was excluded was excluded because it was written more than a century after Jesus' life, when all the eyewitnesses were dead.  Compare the bizarre theology and weird contradictions in the Gnostic gospels to the teachings of Jesus in the biblical Gospels, and you will see that those later authors simply had no clue what Jesus really taught.
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clockworkcanary
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« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2008, 02:20:01 PM »

I do have some issue with the idea that one must take the entire Bible at face value to be a good Christian.

The Bible is composed of texts written down by people, and selected for inclusion by other people (plenty of texts didn't make the cut). Taking the whole thing literally, as many try to do, is a pointless exercise. To be appreciated, the passages must be put into their proper context - time, place, major events. My wife has degrees in this stuff, and the Bible never made more sense to me than when she explains things in their proper context.

Depending on which Christian scholars you ask, you might hear that some parts of the bible are nothing more than rules pertaining to a specific culture, some are considered legends even by more liberal believers, some parts were written by people with a definite axe to grind or during a particularly troubled time. Some scholars would suggest books that don't belong in the Bible at all, and others that should have been included. They will probably also tell you that some translations are better than others.

I've always maintained that athiests and evangelical Christians have more beliefs in common than either would admit. Both interpret the Bible literally and out of context, and both believe that if it isn't the literal truth, it must be a lie. The only difference is which side of the fence they're on.

That's all interesting but who gets to decide what's in the proper context, what's to be taken literal and what's just a metaphor or poem.  Seems to be quite a difference in the Christian community for one.  You don't have to be Atheist to wonder about that? Doesn't the mere fact that it's easily interpreted in multiple ways by just about anyone that it cannot be of divine origin?  Any god worth its salt would know written word is corruptable.    To me, it's used in the fundamental attribution error and used to justify preset beliefs.  Like dude said in Heathers, they believe it because they wanna believe it - an appeal to emotion.

At any rate, why is it that the whole pig skin thing can be brushed aside but he homosexual reference in the same book can't be? Seems to me that those upset about other people's private life says more about "themselves" than anything else.

And you can say what you want about Atheists but I think you're grouping those who are anti-christian with those who lack belief in all gods.  Some Atheists have never been introduced to religion of any sort -the best example is a child who has yet to develop a brain capable of learning about it or a person of a culture never introduced to it.

IMO, it makes sense to those who want to believe it made sense.  Back when I was religious, I believed it first no matter what, then I read it.  Then I thought about it.  Then I looked at the world around me and thought about that.  I ignored it for years.  Denied it.  Repressed it.  Then I read the other religious texts and cults of personilities.  Sorry, I'm just not capable of buying it anymore.  And it avoids the 400lb gorilla in the room - why is it my responsibility to prove this missing being who doesn't show up to speak for itself (among a million other proposed ones) actually exists, has contradictory properties, and wants stuff.  If he exists, he knows my phone number.  What's with the hide n seek? 

Why would a god want text to be written by unknown authors, tinkered with by others, and not exactly clear in other areas especially for a populace where the majority couldn't even read and even among them, only "special" people were allowed to read.  It was this way for years up until a few hundred years ago.

Anyway, this has gotten far far off topic.  Damn those Canadians being denied their free speech.  I'm all for anyone, especially people I don't agree with to be able to say anything.  I say push that microphone up to Pat Robertson because I have the right to make fun of it.  Denying people the right to speak puts more of a spotlight on what they said than anything else.
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clockworkcanary
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« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2008, 02:40:07 PM »

Let me respond point by point to some of the things Clockwork said:

"the ability and right of mankind to govern himself" -where is this in the Bible?! I remeber reading a whole lot about Kings in the Bible and a large portion describing how Christ was of the same bloodline as other Kings.  Also, I remember in the Christian-dominated Middle Ages, Kings were of divine right by God to rule. 

THAT concept comes from the "natural rights" view of the Enlightenment!!..."

Which IS NOT IN THE BIBLE thank you -it's someone's newer, interpretation of the Bible.  If it's in there, verse please?  Otherwise the cherry-picking you accuse is incorrect and rather moot.

"Do you understand that difference between the Old and New Testament? "

That's my question to you - the whole "homosexuality is abomination" is in the OT.  So why do you continue with that line of thought?
 
"There was one covenant given, specifically to the descendants of Jacob known as the nation of Israel, so that they could serve as a "light to the Gentiles" and draw all men to God.  They failed, so God sent his only begotten son into the world to give his message in its pure and final form.  "

This is supposed to make me understand the difference between the OT and NT?  God is Nationalistic?  Riiiight.  You realize this only makes sense to those who already believe it right?  Let's talk about God for a second: he's perfect than the whole "change" to God Lite(TM) implodes the defnition of God.  I understand you believe this.  But I seriously don't understand how god built everything to fall apart right away (when a perfect being shouldn't need to create a thing) to sacrifice himself to himself for some reason.  It begs the question on just why God needs a bloody viscious sacrifice to begin with but that's your can of worms.  I don't buy this message and it doesn't stand up to the least bit of scrutiny.  Sorry.


That is where the Calvinistic view of mankind comes in - which, incidentally, is well-founded in Scripture."
Says you...but I'm sure you'll find Christians who don't believe in such.  We do have some Calvanistic complexes in our culture no-doubt, including the repressive sexual hangups, but that's another topic.   And how does your statement here explain why Christians came to a foreign land, gladly butchered and pillaged, all the while denying these same fundamentalist rights you speak of to women, non-land owners, and native americans?! 

Christ came to the world to save men's souls and teach them about righteousness, not to reform society."

I think Christians about everywhere will disagree with that last part.  How did he save anyone's souls?! Believe me or go to Hell? ...um ok. And what about women?  "Never suffer a witch to live" - what's that all about?

"However, hand in glove with that goes the idea that when enough people embrace the teachings of Christ, evil institutions like slavery can no longer exist, because they deny the fundamental scriptural truth that "God is no respecter of persons."

The only thing Christ had to save about slaves and slavery is to treat your slaves well.  You're retrofitting to make your case, which is basically what I'm saying has been going on since the old days.  If the Bible was so on parr with this Enlightenmen policy, why did it take 1760ish years for us to get the message and why did it spend a great deal of text on the Kingship blood relation of Christ and why did, for nearly two thousand years did Christian Nation Kingdom's claim Divine Right in Europe?

"Who led the abolitionist movement in both England and America?  Evangelical Christians, for the  most part.  Yes, Southerners quoted heavily from Scripture to justify slavery, most often from the Old Testament - which was written at a time when slavery was universal.  But in Israel, accodring to the Levitical law, every seven years all slaves were to be liberated, unless they willingly chose to remain in captivity. 


Well looks like you got outta that law since Christ's coming invalidated those Levitical laws, so looks like you don't have to free them in the NT afterall.  But You seem to know your Bible well.  Which verse was it where God told someone they could kill off their neighbors and keep the women and children as sex slaves?  And how is it that after the great change does it erase such barbaric instructions just because it was in the OT?

Because it was written in the 18th century, when, for thousands of years in Anglo-Saxon and Roman law, most legal rights were held by men and men only.  It sucks by our 21st century standards, but it was the norm around most of the world at that time.  You can't realistically expect 18th century Americans - or ANY group of people, for that matter - to totally transcend the social conventions of their age and live up to a standard of behavior that isn't even invented yet. "

And why didn't Jesus stand up for women? He's God after all -he made emperor penguins show up at Noah's arc all at once (even though they weren't discoverd until the 1800s) but he couldn't magically change peoples' views on slavery and women?

"However,   if you read IN ITS ENTIRETY what the New Testament says about the relationships between men and women and husbands and wives, you will find it to be REMARKABLY progressive for its time. "

I'm remembering something written about women being subserviant to men and having to obey...kinda like they're property...kinda like some factions praise today?

"And all that being said, our Founders also had sense enough to create a document that was flexible and capable of being changed to accommodate shifting sensibilities. "
Exactly in agreement here, which is why it's diametrically opposed to any religious dogma, which is to never be questioned and never be changed (well, except for that one time of course).

"Many of them, especially Alexander Hamilton, denounced slavery as barbaric and looked forward to a  day when it would be completely abolished."

Good, he's one step ahead of Christ there.

"Again, even a superficial understanding of basic Christian theology should enable you to recognize that we were liberated from the Old Testament Law by the sacrifice of Christ."

Then why is homosexuality still an abomination in your eyes?  More importantly, is this how you apologize for the atrocious god in the OT?  Why was it ever ok to follow those laws that were now allowed to ignore?  It was ok because god said it was?!  God said it was ok to rape and kill but now that's all changed?!  And you expect me (or anyone) to buy that? Insanity.

The New Testament describes homosexuality as a sinful behavior, along with adultery, theft, murder, lust, envy, and drunkenness.  It is not presented as being any worse than other sins. "

Where does it say this in the NT? I believe it might; I'd just like to know.  Beyond that, why is it considered sinful? Who's it harming? And why is lust a sin? Do you think a married couple don't lust for each other? Preposterious!

"Here is a cornerstone principle of Christian theology - the believer is NOT obliged to punish sin.  That is God's domain.  "

That brings me to my other question: do you think homosexuals should be treated as second class citizens?

Me: And if you don't mind my asking, what State do you teach in so I can ensure that I never enroll my children there?

Unless you plan to enroll your children in a private, Christian school, you need have no fear of them being "corrupted" by my radical right ideas.  Personally, I think that was a bit of a cheap shot - I have been nothing but respectful to you, and the comments I have made about our Constitution are not that radical, nor are they original to me.

I'm sorry you feel that way but respectful or not, your thought process and outlook on your fellow human beings regardless of lifestyle or whatever, frankly scares the crap out of me and I would not want my children subject to that kind of thought.  Sorry but that is the truth.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 02:54:10 PM by clockworkcanary » Logged

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« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2008, 02:53:58 PM »


Doesn't the mere fact that it's easily interpreted in multiple ways by just about anyone that it cannot be of divine origin? 


The fact that it can be easily interpreted in many ways is EXACTLY the point to many Christians serious about their study.

You have to understand something.  The Bible is not "book of answers" or a "book of rules."  It is full of mystery and uncertainty (to us) precisely because it is about something, God, which is beyond OUR full and complete understanding.  It is a whole, not a collection of parts.

The story in the Old Testament is very, very important to setting the underlying theology of the New Testament.  Without all the legalism of Leviticus and some other things that anti-Christians always wave their fists at, the New Testament would not have made ANY sense to those coming into the early church.

In a nutshell, these two Testaments set up the juxtaposition between "man's way" and "God's way."  The Bible is a story about how there is something else to follow than just what you see and hear around you, at least in terms of your own wants, desires and pleasures.

Said another way, it's about serving something larger than yourself.  A part of that "something" is the community in which you live, and that's one reason why the 600 some odd "laws" are presented in the Old Testament - to show the formation of community as a central idea.

Ah, context.  One can take individual sentences out of context and one can take entire books out of context. 

The laws in Leviticus (and elsewhere) in general, and the Ten Commandments in particular, came from a society that was just forming itself.  The people had been slaves in Egypt for a long time, and really did not know anything about setting up their own social framework without some overseer telling them how to live, what was okay, when to work, when to play, etc.  One day everything was decided for them, the next they were on their own.

When asked what was the most important of the laws, Jesus answered to first love God above all else and second to love your neighbor as yourself.  Those were the only two he mentioned, and he actually said of the first that it was the main law.

Incidentally, "Love God First above all else" appears in both Exodus and Deuteronomy.  This law is foundational and in the ordering of scripture, comes before the Leviticus laws so many rail against (or cling to).

So, to those of us that believe Jesus is divine, there is no ambiguity about the role the Old Testament laws play in our lives.

It's great that we can have discussions like this IN PUBLIC.  I propose we take a minute to thank those 18th Century Christians for the wisdom to include the First Amendment to the US Constitution, even though they, as men, were not wholly perfect in every way.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 02:57:39 PM by ulthar » Logged

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« Reply #43 on: June 13, 2008, 03:05:44 PM »

I understand it's a common apologetic that one must have some magic decoder ring to understand that which can't possibly be understood.  Maybe that explaination works for some but you can't expect it to work for all.

And just how are we supposed to take this passage in the proper context?

(and this is all under God's orders):

Numbers 31:15 
And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.   
31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves

Now "that" is an abomination...but you guys apologize away.  No amount of a guy sacrificing himself to himself for us and having a real bad weekend explains how the old laws were any less barbaric.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 03:09:54 PM by clockworkcanary » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2008, 03:06:41 PM »

Hey, a lot of scholarship has been devoted to the subject of interpreting the Bible, and a lot more is going on. Has less to do with interpreting it any way you want than simply getting to the meaning of the text and applying what wisdom it contains to the modern world. And yes, lots of ancient texts contain similar wisdom.

And I'm not sure why you keep going on about the bible being the divine word of God? I recall distinctly saying that the Bible was written by people, compiled by people and translated by people. It's an ancient book that happens to be central to a number of religions. People will claim to have a monopoly on the name Christian, and they will pick and choose passages to suit their purpose and say that it's the word of God. I, and many other Christians cringe at that.

I personally believe in a God, or something like that, because the universe makes more sense to me that way. I attend a mainline Christian church because that is how I was raised and what I'm comfortable with. I also like the sense of community. I view the Bible with an open but critical mind. I would never claim to know the exact nature of God or what God wants. You could almost call it a variety of agnostic deism. This is not an uncommon belief, it's just usually drowned out by the noisy evangelicals.

Am I imagining things, or are you arguing with somebody who isn't here? It appears you have a specific beef with somebody, but it seems somewhat disconnected from what's being said here.
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