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Excerp: America is not a Christian Nation - Page 4

User Thread
 62yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Actually it says blind faith is good. The term blind faith is not in the bible. The term comes from a lesson that Jesus teaches. Inorder to enter the kingdom of heaven you must believe as a child. A child who doesn't know anybetter yet believes all the greater. Faith cannot be learned, you cannot learn to believe in God. So often we make the mistake of believing that if I knew this for sure or if God showed me this or that I would believe. But truth is, you'd only question it.

But anyways. Blind faith is a weapon used by church leaders against their followers. They have done this for centuries and continue to do this to this day, the bible is a perfect example. We are supposed to believe it is the word of God. Even though it might appear to contridict itself, or parts of seems to sound like God is telling us to do bad things. And God who is supposed to be perfect gets jelouse, etc, etc, etc. We are not to question these things, if it seems wrong, it is only because we don't understand. But I say BS to all that. We are supposed to have blind faith in God, not the church or the bible. We just have to decide what God is. God is not a piece of paper or a building, and if God can speak to others who claim to be our (religous) leaders, then God can speak to me. I don't have to ask them what God said. Yes you must have blind faith, but that does not mean you have to believe that bible is the word of God or that the church Jesus started is still around (a different discussion).


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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 51yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Xris is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"As opposed to Christian Europe? Christian Spain? Even "Christian America" has spent a lot of its time exterminating natives."

Yes as opposed to Europe.

Exterminating Indians? Did you know that more Native Americans are alive today than when Columbus arrived. And yes yes yes I know evils were done but lets keep it in proper context. Many Native Nations were proud warriors who fought back vigorously.

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"Respect, understanding, even mere tolerance would be preferable to the persecutions non-Judeo-Christian religions face in America today."

Persecution? Many Christians could more easily claim they are the ones persecuted today. Lets be honest here - no group in America today is persecuted save maybe the Clan. Lets not abuse a perfectly good word like persecution.

"To deny or deride the existence of alternant views and religions, instigated by anyone of any faith, is in my personal opinion arrogant and selfish. "

And to many people those that claim that there are alternate ways or that all roads are good are as arrogant and dangerous.

"Oh, lets see, India, Japan, China, England, Italy, South America, Canada, Russia... "

Yes you need to go on - with the exception of Canada, none of those nations you listed comes close to America in a historical context. I mean Russia, India and Japan for Pete's sakes? Are you kidding?

"Xris, I in no way attack Christianity as a religion. As I said, it is a wonderful religion when a few members of that faith aren't busy trying to convert the world."

What's wrong with converting?

"The Judeo-Christian God and his Son are not the only Gods of this world"

That's your opinion and that's your right to hold that opinion but that doesn't make it true. Have you ever considered the possibility that you are wrong? All those Christians who were trying to convert you may have been doing nothing more than throwing you a life raft as you slowly drowned and one day you may have to face them and the fact that you refused their help.

"and in my opinion, as soon as that minority in the Christian and Islamic faiths cease their 'Fundie Manifesto', the world will be a much better place. I intend only to provoke thought, to further the ideals of mutual understanding and respect."

Do you really think it wise to compare Xian fundies with Islamic? Is the world that simple for you?

"It has been years since I read the Bible, but I seem to recall a passage relating to the evils of 'blind faith', if someone who is more intimately familiar with the scriptures would be so kind as to supply the referent passages."

You are correct - blind faith is of no eternal or redemptive value. For Christians, faith is having trust in what you hope for. We are called to have the faith of children, who fully and unquestioningly trust the judgment of their elders because they know their elder's judgment is more trustworthy than other children.

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 35yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Angelfire is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Xris your being absurd. Whenever you see a Xstian fundie, like the Crusaders or the Spanish inquisition you just claim they "aren't real Xstians".

Well guess what? A lot of mainstream muslims think suicidal terrorists and executioners by beheading aren't real muslims.

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"Durch Nacht und Blut das Licht"
 51yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Xris is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Im being absurd? We are talking about the present not ancient history. So you completely misunderstood his accusation and twisted my response.

Furthermore, it is not absurd to hold the belief that Catholicism as practiced during the dark ages was not theologically Christian.

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 57yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that TheIrishPagan is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
'Exterminating Indians? Did you know that more Native Americans are alive today than when Columbus arrived.'

As are more Americans of European decent, this argument is moot.

'And yes yes yes I know evils were done but lets keep it in proper context. Many Native Nations were proud warriors who fought back vigorously.'

Besides being mostly Irish, I have a healthy smattering of 1st Nations blood, my paternal grandfather was Oklahoma Cherokee, and my maternal grandfather was Tuscaroran. Even without that heritage, I would find your statement above to be very offensive. Are you trying to justify, by some estimates anywhere from 20 to 100 million men women, children, and elderly killed in the colonization of, and later expansion of, Europeans on this continent? Are you even aware of the hundreds of thousands who did not have the opportunity or will to fight, being killed by virulent disease brought by those invaders? Are you attempting to justify the very need to fight, to defend one's own people, homes, and holy grounds? Or are you saying these heathens just don't count? Please specify.
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'Persecution? Many Christians could more easily claim they are the ones persecuted today. '

Let us concentrate on American Christians, as everyone is well aware of the difficulties faced by Christians, among others, in other countries, but not everyone seems to be aware of what is happening here. Wiccan groups being forced from meeting halls by protesting Christians, non-Christian children beaten by their peers in our schoolyards, and ostracized by adults for following another religion. Forcing those same children and adults to Xian prayers in schools, and school programs and sports. Pagan groups not being allowed to worship in public parks, when Christians are free to do so. Xian slogans on our monies, within the pledge of allegiance (added in 1954 btw), and national songs are not a form of passive persecution? Do a search on the Internet for hate crimes against pagans by Christians, then do the opposite, you will be unpleasantly surprised. Name me just one instance of such active persecution against Christianity in the US today, by pagans, Wiccans, or even American Muslims. I find it very hard to think of a religion as being persecuted, when they so freely enjoy the material wealth of television and radio programs and entire networks, and multitudes of churches, schools, organizations, etc.
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'Yes you need to go on - with the exception of Canada, none of those nations you listed comes close to America in a historical context. I mean Russia, India and Japan for Pete's sakes? Are you kidding?'

http://www.adherents.com/adh_predom.html Is a good place for statistics, and by other websites...

India - Hindu 81.3%, Muslim 12%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parsi 2.5%
Russia – Russian Orthodox, Muslim, other (this was as of 2000, Russia has recently seen a boom of Christianity, Russian Traditional Paganism, and other religions.)
Japan - observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)

You really need to research before you answer. All of these, including the Middle East, have historically been enriched with a diverse religious culture.
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'What's wrong with converting?'

There is nothing wrong with converting, for those who find your faith on their own, and do so voluntarily. The ongoing attempts at forcible conversion, whether passively or aggressively, are a persecution in and of itself. Give me one reason, based on fact and not belief or scripture, which states that your God is the only one. The Judeo-Christian religions are some of the younger traditions in the world. The oldest in the world are nature orientated, and Shamanic in practice. I stand firm on my statement concerning the arrogance of the refusal to respect other religions.
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'That's your opinion and that's your right to hold that opinion but that doesn't make it true. Have you ever considered the possibility that you are wrong? All those Christians who were trying to convert you may have been doing nothing more than throwing you a life raft as you slowly drowned and one day you may have to face them and the fact that you refused their help.'

Do YOU even consider that YOU may be wrong? And why is other people's beliefs only 'opinion'? I am very comfortable with the way I worship my God, and comfortable with my God, thank you very much. I find this 'throwing a life raft' to be intrusive, and insulting to my beliefs. I am very open to theological debate, but not with those who appear to be so insecure that they can only preach. I am very much 'out of the broom closet', and I am therefore subjected to all manner of persecutions. When is the last time someone asked you when you ate your last baby? All 'main-stream' religious institutions, or Churches, have one basic flaw. They are also political entities, striving for political influence through a power base of followers, and their basic tenets reflect this need for a greater number of people, to fill that power base.
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'Do you really think it wise to compare Xian fundies with Islamic? Is the world that simple for you?'

All Fundies, regardless of faith or political motivations, seek to further the ideals of their religion at whatever cost, those who do so utilizing militaristic values and actions are termed Extremists. We are all aware of Muslim Extremists. Are there extremist Christians? Try taking a look at the 'Living Church of God' and other such organizations. And keep in mind, just as you personally might feel about those organizations, so would your Islamic counterpart feel concerning the more fundamental and extremist people of his religion. Do I think the world 'that simple'? I'll let the others on this forum decide who thinks simply.
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'You are correct - blind faith is of no eternal or redemptive value. For Christians, faith is having trust in what you hope for. We are called to have the faith of children, who fully and unquestioningly trust the judgment of their elders because they know their elder's judgment is more trustworthy than other children.'

You contradict yourself in this quote, please explain in more detail your opinions. You appear to state Yes, No, Yes as far as your 'support' for blind faith is concerned. If one is secure in one's beliefs, then what is the problem with understanding and respecting other people's religions, and why the constant struggle to convert the masses? Quite simply to generate the power base I spoke of above. To keep followers among their flock, what easier way than to persuade followers that any other religion is false, and that those followers's very beliefs in their own God will come into question if they should even consider that other religions may have merit? Where exactly do you think the Christian concept of Hell originated? In a pure theocracy, which arguable any religious institution can be termed, the ideals of those 'elders' filter down to the masses. There is simply no room for a democratic style of self-governing, for the concerns of the masses to filter upwards into the hierarchy. If those Elders happen to be mistaken, what happens to the people they are responsible for? Conveniently, according to Church Law they themselves create, these Elders are guided by God, and cannot be wrong in their interpretations of your Scriptures.

And a final question for you in particular Xris, if the Christian Church is so motivated and supported by Divine Inspiration and Direction, then please explain why it has not remained 'pure' since it's inception. In other words, and ignoring the 'Holidays Debate', why did Christianity HAVE to adjust and incorporate local pagan beliefs, and deities, to facilitate the conversion of new areas of the world's population?

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"Oops, it appears I have run over your dogma with my karma."
 51yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Xris is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"Even without that heritage, I would find your statement above to be very offensive. Are you trying to justify, by some estimates anywhere from 20 to 100 million men women, children, and elderly killed in the colonization of, and later expansion of, Europeans on this continent? Are you even aware of the hundreds of thousands who did not have the opportunity or will to fight, being killed by virulent disease brought by those invaders? Are you attempting to justify the very need to fight, to defend one's own people, homes, and holy grounds? Or are you saying these heathens just don't count? Please specify. "

Since I have a small bit of Native American in my genes as well and since my ancestors are some of the most well respected of all Europeans to this country by different Indian Nations, let me explain in detail. To say that the Indians were exterminated is an offensive statement that implies they were nothing more than sheep led to the slaughter. They were not - they were fierce and strong and proud and capable of defeating European armies and most fought back bravely and many even instigated horrible and savage attacks. Yes those that resisted European domination were ultimately defeated but they rarely gave in without a fight. For you to find this offensive is both perplexing and odd.

"Are you trying to justify, by some estimates anywhere from 20 to 100 million men women, children, and elderly killed in the colonization of, and later expansion of, Europeans on this continent?"

First off, 20 to 100 is a huge leap so lets not play with numbers, since you do not know then don't presume to know. Secondly, the overwhelming majority of deaths were caused by disease which was not really anyone's fault unless you wanna blame Indians for sending syphilis to Europe.

Now are you trying to imply that Native Americans were savage peasants that allowed themselves to be exterminated? That is offensive.

"Wiccan groups being forced from meeting halls by protesting Christians, non-Christian children beaten by their peers in our schoolyards, and ostracized by adults for following another religion."

All of the same things have and are occurring to Xians too. That's my point.

"Forcing those same children and adults to Xian prayers in schools, and school programs and sports."

Forced? You mean you cant abide to hear others practice their freedom of speech?

"Xian slogans on our monies, within the pledge of allegiance (added in 1954 btw), and national songs are not a form of passive persecution?"

No they are not - you live in a Republic and the majority has decided to uphold certain principles first enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the very articles that justify our nation's right to existence. Are you trying to justify a tyranny of the minority?

"Name me just one instance of such active persecution against Christianity in the US today, by pagans, Wiccans, or even American Muslims."

First off I never claimed those were the groups that some Christians claim are trying to persecute them, if any it would be by secularists and atheists. Secondly I clearly claimed that no one is being persecuted.

"I find it very hard to think of a religion as being persecuted, when they so freely enjoy the material wealth of television and radio programs and entire networks, and multitudes of churches, schools, organizations, etc."

Secularism is a religion and they clearly dominate all of those media outlets you mentioned.

"India - Hindu 81.3%, Muslim 12%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other groups including Buddhist, Jain, Parsi 2.5%
Russia – Russian Orthodox, Muslim, other (this was as of 2000, Russia has recently seen a boom of Christianity, Russian Traditional Paganism, and other religions.)
Japan - observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%) "

What do these statistics have to do with what we are discussing? The point is that many of those minority %'s you mentioned find life very difficult in those nations.

"The ongoing attempts at forcible conversion, whether passively or aggressively, are a persecution in and of itself."

Again you seem to despise it when others exercise fee speech that you find offensive. You seem to act like you think people should have the right to not be offended.

"Give me one reason, based on fact and not belief or scripture, which states that your God is the only one."

The universe is finite and temporal which means the cause of nature must be both infinite and eternal. Since there can not be two infinite things there can only be One God. Jesus is an historical figure supported by non-Christian historians. There are multiple first-person written accounts that detail the resurrection of Jesus after his death.

"The Judeo-Christian religions are some of the younger traditions in the world. The oldest in the world are nature orientated, and Shamanic in practice. I stand firm on my statement concerning the arrogance of the refusal to respect other religions."

Your argument is completely subjective. I can just as easily claim that the first religion was the worship of YHWH by Adam and Eve and his Children. And since the Judeo-Christian faith is over 4000 years old I would hardly call it a young religion.

"Do YOU even consider that YOU may be wrong? And why is other people's beliefs only 'opinion'?"

No I don't. Because I fully trust my faith.

"I am very comfortable with the way I worship my God, and comfortable with my God, thank you very much. I find this 'throwing a life raft' to be intrusive, and insulting to my beliefs."

Oh well, many find your beliefs insulting especially in light of their historical practices. Like I said, you don't have a right to not be offended. If people who want to share their Good News with you offends you then don't associate with such people. But from their perspective they are simply trying to save you from perishing so you should at least recognize that their motives are good and their heart is in the right place.

From my perspective there will come a day when you wish you had grabbed one of those life-rafts that my brethren tried to throw to you. Yes I know this offends you but this is what I believe and if you really respect diverse opinions then you should be a little less sensitive.

"I am very open to theological debate, but not with those who appear to be so insecure that they can only preach."

So you want people who are so insecure in their beliefs and so afraid of offending that they will cower to your own beliefs, which they probably find ridiculous? I prefer to debate people are not afraid of defending their beliefs even if I wholeheartedly disagree.

"I am very much 'out of the broom closet', and I am therefore subjected to all manner of persecutions."

You have never been persecuted a day in your life - I think I hear the violins playing - please quit abusing that word when it offends all of those poor souls who have actually suffered real persecution.

"When is the last time someone asked you when you ate your last baby?"

Being spoken to rudely is not persecution - get over it and quit being so sensitive! What would you have done? Would you have the gov't come in and protect you from such speech?

"All 'main-stream' religious institutions, or Churches, have one basic flaw. They are also political entities, striving for political influence through a power base of followers, and their basic tenets reflect this need for a greater number of people, to fill that power base."

They all have many more than just one flaw!

"All Fundies, regardless of faith or political motivations, seek to further the ideals of their religion at whatever cost, those who do so utilizing militaristic values and actions are termed Extremists."

Wrong! All fundies take their beliefs to be true and hold no doubts. If one's belief is to be loving and peaceful and they are a fundie regarding that belief then they will never further the ideals of their religion at whatever cost especially if the cost contradicts their fundamental belief.

Now I hope you come to understand this so that you will reject such simple-minded and truly ridiculous comparisons in the future!

"You contradict yourself in this quote, please explain in more detail your opinions. You appear to state Yes, No, Yes as far as your 'support' for blind faith is concerned"

Since I made no contradictory statement I would appreciate it if you could better explain what you don't understand so I can respond in a more detailed manner.

"If one is secure in one's beliefs, then what is the problem with understanding and respecting other people's religions,"

I see no problem with why anyone should not try to understand other beliefs. But why should anyone respect a lie? I may respect you as a human being and I may respect your right to believe in lies but I shouldn't be forced to respect those lies.

"and why the constant struggle to convert the masses?"

Because those people genuinely hate the idea that you will spend eternity in hell unless you are converted. Shouldn't they feel that way? Would you rather they care not or wish you to be eternally damned?

"To keep followers among their flock, what easier way than to persuade followers that any other religion is false, and that those followers's very beliefs in their own God will come into question if they should even consider that other religions may have merit?"

Yes this is a danger that all religions and paradigms face. However this does not mean that a truth cannot be a truth.

"Where exactly do you think the Christian concept of Hell originated?"

From the mind of God. Hell is a most logical belief - why would a God force people to spend an eternity with him if they have spent their life denying and rejecting him? To do so would be its own hell for these individuals.

"And a final question for you in particular Xris, if the Christian Church is so motivated and supported by Divine Inspiration and Direction, then please explain why it has not remained 'pure' since it's inception. In other words, and ignoring the 'Holidays Debate', why did Christianity HAVE to adjust and incorporate local pagan beliefs, and deities, to facilitate the conversion of new areas of the world's population?"

Who says such incorporations make it impure? Are you saying that you know the standard of the Christian God's purity? Furthermore, how do you know that no essence of divine revelation could be ever found by Christians in those pagan cultures?



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 57yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that TheIrishPagan is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
'...offensive is both perplexing and odd.'

Perplexed at the way you made your statement. Thank you for making your opinion clear.
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'First off, 20 to 100 is a huge leap so lets not play with numbers, since you do not know then don't presume to know. Secondly, the overwhelming majority of deaths were caused by disease which was not really anyone's fault unless you wanna blame Indians for sending syphilis to Europe.'

I utilized the two most commonly used estimates, the lowest and the highest, to give an idea of what the numbers might be. There were simply no accurate accounts kept as to how many 1st Nations peoples were killed, or how, so there can only be estimates. Both sides committed many atrocities, such as killing innocent women, children, and the elderly, the difference in my mind is that the Indians were reacting to a direct threat. Concerning disease that is also debatable, although there are accounts of soldiers purposely selling contaminated blankets to Indians, such as the British selling smallpox-contaminated blankets at Fort Pitt on the Pennsylvania frontier in 1763.
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'Now are you trying to imply that Native Americans were savage peasants that allowed themselves to be exterminated? That is offensive.'

I am sorry; I missed the point where I supposedly implied this.
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" All of the same things have and are occurring to Xians too. That's my point.'

Still waiting for examples of Christian persecution in the States.
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'Forced? You mean you cant abide to hear others practice their freedom of speech?'

What should one call Xian prayer called over the loud speaker in an auditorium? Do you really think I would be allowed to follow with a prayer of mine? Why are Xian prayers considered free speech, but not those of other religions?
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'No they are not - you live in a Republic and the majority has decided to uphold certain principles first enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the very articles that justify our nation's right to existence'

The debate of what our founding fathers intended wages on, though their religious affiliations are a matter of record. The Rev RM Watkins suggested that 'In God We Trust' replace 'E Pluribus Unum' on our currency well after our nation's founding, in 1861. Congress officially enacted this slogan in the Coinage Act of April 22nd, 1865. The latter is the original national motto used by our founding fathers, not the former. The Declaration of Independence never once mentions the Christian God, saying only 'the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God', a decidedly deist approach. Also, according to the historian, Robert T. Handy, "No more than 10 percent-- probably less-- of Americans in 1800 were members of congregations", and in the 1860's this number only increased to just under 60 percent. Notice the increase in that congregational percentage of the voting public, and the date congress passed the Coinage Act? No one can rightly argue against the religious nature of the majority of our founders, and I am in fact sickened to think that some would want to censor our founding documents for mentioning God, as that's another form of Revised History, but the debate supporting the founders 'intentions' for a Christian theocracy are weak at best in my opinion.
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" First off I never claimed those were the groups that some Christians claim are trying to persecute them, if any it would be by secularists and atheists. Secondly I clearly claimed that no one is being persecuted.'

You stated ''Persecution? Many Christians could more easily claim they are the ones persecuted today.' I asked you to give examples of Christian persecution in the US, which you have not.
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" Secularism is a religion and they clearly dominate all of those media outlets you mentioned.'

Dictionary.com states secular as 'Worldly rather than spiritual', and 'not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body'. To state that secularism is a religion is an oxymoron, just as considering atheism, which states 'One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods' is as well. A secular government is one that recognizes ALL religions, to the exclusion of none. My opinion, shared by many, suggests that they cannot accomplish true neutrality in regards to religion, if they show favoritism to any one religion. And I certainly do not see any evidence of secularism on the Christian Broadcasting Network, or EWTN. Or indeed the many broadcasts of individual preachers in the television and radio media.
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'Again you seem to despise it when others exercise fee speech that you find offensive. You seem to act like you think people should have the right to not be offended.'

Free speech does not offend me, what I find offensive is persons who ridicule and actively or passively persecute others for their beliefs, be the victims Christian, Muslim, pagan, Wiccan, or any of the multitude of religions on the planet. What I really find offensive is the total lack of regard and respect some show for my God and my beliefs, as they certainly are not 'lies' as you so blithely suggest several times. Not once have I stated that Christianity is a false religion, nor do I even believe that to be true. By trying to show me 'the errors of my ways' and convert me, they are implying my believes to have no merit, and proclaiming them 'lies'. And it might be very 'un-Christian' of me, but I will not turn the other cheek anymore.
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"The universe is finite and temporal which means the cause of nature must be both infinite and eternal. Since there can not be two infinite things there can only be One God. Jesus is an historical figure supported by non-Christian historians. There are multiple first-person written accounts that detail the resurrection of Jesus after his death.'

Sorry, you offer only more philosophical debate, not facts. In my belief structure, the Gods and Goddesses were created by man (including your God), to act as intermediaries to the insentient Universal Source, that which we are all made of, and which can be utilized to affect change in our lives through prayer to our deities. Does this imply that our deities are erroneous or lack power? Of course not, every one is aware of the power of prayer, and this from hundreds of thousands of people over eons would create very powerful entities indeed. Do these almost two thousand year old 'accounts' and statements by contemporary historians prove the Christ's Godhood? In my opinion, certainly not, if he lived, he was no more a Son of any God than any mortal man is.
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"Your argument is completely subjective. I can just as easily claim that the first religion was the worship of YHWH by Adam and Eve and his Children. And since the Judeo-Christian faith is over 4000 years old I would hardly call it a young religion.'

The concept of Adam and Eve are theological in nature, arguably denied by archeological evidence, and 'almost' 4000 years for only the Jewish tradition btw. You cannot have a religion 2000 years before it's savior is born after all. The polytheistic and Shamanic religions predate even the Jewish religion. This is simple historical fact. Look it up.
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"Oh well, many find your beliefs insulting especially in light of their historical practices. Like I said, you don't have a right to not be offended. If people who want to share their Good News with you offends you then don't associate with such people.'

First off, there are many questionable 'historical practices' committed by Christians also, so that portion of your statement is laughable. And please specify as to what 'questionable practices' you reference that would generate this supposed insult. Secondly, it is impossible NOT to associate with these people. Early Sunday mornings at the front door, in front of malls, walking down the street, etc. It is impossible to conduct one's self in society without being barraged by 'Good News'. Freedom of speech is certainly warrented in this nation, but so is the respect for another persons beliefs.
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"You have never been persecuted a day in your life - I think I hear the violins playing - please quit abusing that word when it offends all of those poor souls who have actually suffered real persecution.'

So I was not persecuted, when as a lad, I was beaten on a regular basis in high school for having a different belief, my peers shouting such slogans as 'yer go'in to hell' and 'you f***ing heathen' as they ganged up on me? I was not persecuted, in 1985, when my younger brother gathered his fellow Baptist congregates and tried to kidnap me, for 'intervention of the lord' as they put it? (Thanks to the Gods for baseball bats!) And of course, I was not persecuted when a pentagram was spray painted on my house in '92, with 'Burn in Hell' rather sloppily added for good measure, and the police refused to prosecute the boys, despite witnesses? I should add however, that when I informed their Pastor, they were indeed brought to task but only for vandalizing property. Should I give you more examples? You have YET to give me one example of Christian persecution in the US, let alone one example of how YOU have been persecuted.
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"Being spoken to rudely is not persecution...'

Christianity is a Death Cult, you worship a guy for dying and your icon shows a dead-guy-on-a-stick!
Are you not offended? I just spoke rudely. And I do deeply apologize to any Christians reading this post, and also to you. When done in a religious context, it certainly is persecution, is it not?
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"Wrong! All fundies take their beliefs to be true and hold no doubts... Now I hope you come to understand this so that you will reject such simple-minded and truly ridiculous comparisons in the future!... I see no problem with why anyone should not try to understand other beliefs. But why should anyone respect a lie? I may respect you as a human being and I may respect your right to believe in lies but I shouldn't be forced to respect those lies... Because those people genuinely hate the idea that you will spend eternity in hell unless you are converted. Shouldn't they feel that way? Would you rather they care not or wish you to be eternally damned'

I rest my case. Many Christian Fundamentalists are not peaceful, and are indeed activley antagonistic towards members of other religions, as would be illustrated by those cases I suggested you look up online. Would you not become upset if I called your religion a lie, as you have repeatedly demanded mine to be? And yes, 'those people' who do convert peacefully to your religion have, in their mind, a valid reason. Your hell does not exist for us, we do not fear it, and therefore we cannot be 'eternally damned', nor 'saved' by you and your God as in our views, we have no reason for being 'saved'. And yes, I do take offense when someone calls my God a lie, wouldn't you?
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"Who says such incorporations make it impure? Are you saying that you know the standard of the Christian God's purity? Furthermore, how do you know that no essence of divine revelation could be ever found by Christians in those pagan cultures?'

Once again, you answer my questions with hyperbole and more questions. Also, the word 'divine' is misused here, as in our founding documents, when it is used to 'prove' the supposed theological motivations of our forefathers. It means, 'Having the nature of or being a deity.' It does not say 'Having the nature of or being God', so to answer you, yes, pagan cultures are in fact deluged with divine revelations constantly, from our own Divine sources, emanating from our own Deities. Do I claim to know the standards of His purity? No, I do not, but I know a shyster when I see one, and that is, in my opinion, what the institution of the Christian Church has devolved into. Have people migrated to the Christian Faith? Certainly, just as people have also migrated AWAY from the Christian Faith. People need to find the way to worship that feels right to them, and look to those Gods they feel apply to themselves. The very nature of the differences in the individual human animal in society demands this. That diversity of the world's population is the underlying reason for all of the different deities and practices in the world today.

=================================

Xris, unless the people here WANT to view our 'debates', may I suggest we take our theological differences to Email? I will leave that up to the Moderators, and I will abide by their decision.


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"Oops, it appears I have run over your dogma with my karma."
 51yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Xris is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"Still waiting for examples of Christian persecution in the States."

Again, for the third time, I said I personally do not believe Xians are being persecuted. But many do: here's a great documentary - funny too - that reveals some of this:
http://academicbias.com/bw101.html

You can also check: http://www.aclj.org/

"What should one call Xian prayer called over the loud speaker in an auditorium?"

One should call it an example of free speech representing the views of the majority of that community.

"Do you really think I would be allowed to follow with a prayer of mine?"

Yes in some communities maybe not in others.

"Why are Xian prayers considered free speech, but not those of other religions?"

To me they are not. What disturbs me though is when a minority can prevent speech representing the views of the majority. If you live in a community with a majority of Wiccans or Muslims then those groups should have the same right to express their majority beliefs. If the minority continues to suppress the rights of the majority then there will be a great backlash down the road that will lead to problems we should want to avoid.

"but the debate supporting the founders 'intentions' for a Christian theocracy are weak at best in my opinion"

Of course they are weak because the Founders were clearly republicans. However the Founders also recognized Jesus as Lord in the constitution, the Declaration acknowledges God (not gods) as our Nations ultimate Sovereign, the Founders repeatedly expressed their belief in Providence (a most non-deist belief), a Revolutionary rallying cry was 'Jesus is our only King' and a few states even had official Christian religions. Also, from what I understand, Handy's numbers have been roundly disproved. The Supreme Court and Congress both open with a prayer (traditionally a Christian prayer), all official oaths were taken on the Bible, Chaplains have been paid by the govt since our founding, etc.

"To state that secularism is a religion is an oxymoron, just as considering atheism, which states 'One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods' is as well."

I know what the dictionary definition of secularism is. I also know that a court ruling recognized secularism as a religion. We can nitpick on the intrinsic meaning but secularists have clearly become beholden to their beliefs to such a degree that their paradigm now provides answers to the how and why that were questions traditionally left to religions.

"A secular government is one that recognizes ALL religions, to the exclusion of none."

Some are some do not. Not all religions are always recognized such as Satanism.

"My opinion, shared by many, suggests that they cannot accomplish true neutrality in regards to religion, if they show favoritism to any one religion. And I certainly do not see any evidence of secularism on the Christian Broadcasting Network, or EWTN. Or indeed the many broadcasts of individual preachers in the television and radio media."

But Christianity is not a religion (Catholicism, Protestantism, Methodism etc are religions). Religions are always works based - they require their practitioners to abide by certain standards and accomplish certain works in order to be a member of that religion or to attain enlightenment/nirvana/heaven in that religion. Christianity does not have any such requirements and is nothing more than a group of people who recognize an historical truth -works have absolutely no redemptive value to those Christian believers. Our Founders wanted neutrality between religions and rightly so but they also recognized certain spiritual truths that would drive atheists and secular humanists mad. Furthermore, the Founders sought to protect religions from government intrusion and not the other way around.

"Free speech does not offend me, what I find offensive is persons who ridicule and actively or passively persecute others for their beliefs, be the victims Christian, Muslim, pagan, Wiccan, or any of the multitude of religions on the planet. What I really find offensive is the total lack of regard and respect some show for my God and my beliefs, as they certainly are not 'lies' as you so blithely suggest several times. Not once have I stated that Christianity is a false religion, nor do I even believe that to be true. By trying to show me 'the errors of my ways' and convert me, they are implying my believes to have no merit, and proclaiming them 'lies'. And it might be very 'un-Christian' of me, but I will not turn the other cheek anymore."

Like I said, free speech is offensive to you. I guess you would prevent people from saying anything that you found offensive to your religious beliefs?

Let me give you an example of free speech: You worship false gods, ones that are evil and will lead you down the path towards hell. I do not respect your false gods, their lies or your beliefs.

Now I am sure what I said was highly offensive to you as it would be if you said the same to most Christians. However I would fight to the death your right to hold those beliefs and say them freely. I would oppose any law or organization that tried to prevent such speech, regardless of its high levels of offense. Do you agree with me or would you like to have such speech banned?

"Sorry, you offer only more philosophical debate, not facts."

Wrong, the finite and temporal nature of nature is a fact. Jesus is a fact. The evidence for his resurrection is a fact.

"In my belief structure, the Gods and Goddesses were created by man (including your God), to act as intermediaries to the insentient Universal Source, that which we are all made of, and which can be utilized to affect change in our lives through prayer to our deities. Does this imply that our deities are erroneous or lack power? Of course not, every one is aware of the power of prayer, and this from hundreds of thousands of people over eons would create very powerful entities indeed."

Talk about philosophical. Look, the evidence for the One God is scientific and supported by both logic and scientific observation. Man cannot create his god(s) because man was a created being as all of nature is a created effect. The Cause of nature cannot be man because that would violate the law of non-contradiction. Since the created nature is finite the Cause must be infinite because a finite cause would violate the law of infinite regression. Since the Cause of finite nature must be infinite then there cannot be multiple Causes (gods) because that would also violate the law of non-contradiction since it is impossible to have two infinite objects. Since nature contains life the Cause of nature must be alive. I could go on and on...

"Do these almost two thousand year old 'accounts' and statements by contemporary historians prove the Christ's Godhood? In my opinion, certainly not, if he lived, he was no more a Son of any God than any mortal man is."

If he lived? We know for a fact that he did live, we have documentation of his life by Jews, by Roman historians and by archeological evidence as well as first-person historical accounts from his followers. If you deny his Godhood the burden is on you to prove why those first-person accounts are lies. The fact is nor mortal man can rise from the grave after three days dead as Jesus did.

"The concept of Adam and Eve are theological in nature, arguably denied by archeological evidence, and 'almost' 4000 years for only the Jewish tradition btw. "

Theological? They are historical as well since they are written about in ancient documents and not only Jewish ones.

"You cannot have a religion 2000 years before it's savior is born after all."

You sure can if that religion foretells the coming of its savior and gives over 333 different prophecies detailing the birth, life, mission, death and resurrection of that Savior as the Old Testament obviously does.

"The polytheistic and Shamanic religions predate even the Jewish religion. This is simple historical fact. Look it up."

Yeah and Satanism existed in the garden of Eden - what's your point?

"And please specify as to what 'questionable practices' you reference that would generate this supposed insult."

How about human sacrifice? The ancient Irish pagan religion was so miserable that practically the whole nation converted to Christianity within one generation.

"Secondly, it is impossible NOT to associate with these people. Early Sunday mornings at the front door, in front of malls, walking down the street, etc. It is impossible to conduct one's self in society without being barraged by 'Good News'. Freedom of speech is certainly warrented in this nation, but so is the respect for another persons beliefs."

It is not impossible - do as the Christians did - you and your fellow Wiccans found a community somewhere and live amongst your own - that's the beauty of America. And no, respect of all beliefs is not warranted and is clearly a foolish ideal - do you respect nazism? I would hope not!

And if you have been physically beaten or abused for your beliefs then I take back what I say. I, of course, would never condone such unchristian behavior. But if you are including speech as a form of persecution then I will continue to disagree.

"Christianity is a Death Cult, you worship a guy for dying and your icon shows a dead-guy-on-a-stick!
Are you not offended? I just spoke rudely."

No I am not offended. We do worship a God who died on our behalf so that our sins may die forever and be forgiven. We also worship that same God who died on a stick who was resurrected and gave to us an example of what is to come for us.

"And I do deeply apologize to any Christians reading this post, and also to you. When done in a religious context, it certainly is persecution, is it not? "

No, of course not, its is your belief and your right to state that belief. Even if I was offended I would never claim I was being persecuted. And I clearly do not believe I have a right to not be offended. The only way to remove all offensive speech is to remove all diversity of thought - do we really want to try that?

"I rest my case."

Why? I just proved to you that you are wrong when you use the term ALL FUNDIES.

"Many Christian Fundamentalists are not peaceful, and are indeed activley antagonistic towards members of other religions, as would be illustrated by those cases I suggested you look up online."

By what right do you, as a non-Christian, have to classify them as fundamental Christians? Wouldn't it be more proper to classify them as less than Christian?

"Would you not become upset if I called your religion a lie, as you have repeatedly demanded mine to be?"

No since I now that is what you really believe - I would rather you be honest with me in our debate than put on some fake pretense.

"And yes, 'those people' who do convert peacefully to your religion have, in their mind, a valid reason. Your hell does not exist for us, we do not fear it, and therefore we cannot be 'eternally damned', nor 'saved' by you and your God as in our views, we have no reason for being 'saved'."

The denial of a real object does not invalidate its reality. And do you believe you are perfect? Have you never committed an evil? How can you ever reconcile yourself with goodness since your being contains such evil?

"And yes, I do take offense when someone calls my God a lie, wouldn't you?"

I am more saddened by those who are ignorant of the living God than offended.

I see you didn't like my answer about you claiming what standard of purity God demands. But I think you understood my point quiet well - let me know if you did not.

"I know a shyster when I see one, and that is, in my opinion, what the institution of the Christian Church has devolved into."

This may surprise you but I agree with you to a large extent.

"Xris, unless the people here WANT to view our 'debates', may I suggest we take our theological differences to Email? I will leave that up to the Moderators, and I will abide by their decision. "

We are discussing religious issues on a religious board. I am not ashamed by our debate, find it interesting, and do not understand why the moderators would find it inappropriate...?

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 57yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that TheIrishPagan is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
You brought up the suggestion that Christians were being persecuted, but I will drop the point at your insistence. Those two links you provided did not appear to have any relevance anyways.
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On the whole subject of free speech and religions...

You are missing my point, AND putting words in my mouth. Or, perhaps I am merely not making myself clear. Yes, Fundies do bother me to the extreme, constantly trying to impose their beliefs on me, and disrespecting mine. This is America and everyone is guaranteed the right to his or her opinion. However, just because Christians are a majority in this country, does not give them the right to try and coerce persons into their religion. Nor to 'brow beat' others for not following their beliefs. There are active campaigns to accomplish the goal of eliminating competing religions, led by Evangelists and others, and include such efforts as the Winton-Salem Baptist Church efforts of 2000. I am well within my rights to worship my God, without being subjected to Government funded and supported slogans plastered on my currency, government buildings, in legal and political forums, etc. I should be allowed to be in my home, without being subjected to JW's knocking on my door (an interesting point, JW's were included in the conversion agenda of the church listed above). We should have equal rights to worship in public parks, as do Xians. If prayers are to be made at the beginning of government sponsored public meetings, non-Christian religions should also be allowed, as in the case of 'Simpson v. Chesterfield Board of Supervisors' in Richmond VA, in November 2003. That is my point, equal rights for all. Am I easily offended, no I am not, if I appeared to be, it is due to my passion for this decades old subject. After nearly twenty-five years (I'm a recovering Roman Catholic btw), it has become like an old cavity, bothersome to the point of distraction.

Am I offended when I see a religious symbol on a church? Certainly not, in fact I enjoy taking out of town visitors to a wonderfully constructed local Basilica. I am an architecture nut, and churches contain some of the best. Does 'In God We Trust' and '...Under God' offend me? Certainly, it not only blatantly shows government approval and endorsement of one religion, it is also not our original national motto, nor was the latter included in our original Pledge. Do Evangelist preachers offend me on my television? They do not; I merely turn the station, although the 'Salvation for Money' scam by one in particular does raise my hackles, and they certainly have no place trying to run for elected office. Was I offended when I attended a recent town board meeting, and the proceedings started with Christian prayer? Yes, I was, simply because it was a government sponsored and chaired event. Was I offended when my sons Scout Leaders would start meetings with prayer? No I was not, as they are a private organization. Am I offended when a Christian says 'God Bless you' when I sneeze? No I am in fact not, I take it as a genuine concern for my physical well being, and will reply with a thank you. Am I offended when a Fundie says, 'May God show you the errors of your ways'? Most certainly, picture me standing on my soapbox, waving the rattlesnake festooned 1775 Naval Jack! I hope I have made my position clear.
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"Of course they are weak because the Founders were clearly republicans. However the Founders also recognized Jesus as Lord in the constitution, the Declaration acknowledges God (not gods) as our Nations ultimate Sovereign, the Founders repeatedly expressed their belief in Providence (a most non-deist belief)...'.

There is absolutely no mention of any Religion, Jesus or God in the Constitution, my friend, nor the Bill of Rights. Also, as is in my previous post, 'Divine' is merely a reference to celestial matters, not God, as arguably 'Providence' does as well. Nor is Jesus even explicitly mentioned in any of our founding documents. And please correct me if I am mistaken, but during the 18th century, God referred to the Father, and not the Son, does it not?
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"Some are some do not. Not all religions are always recognized such as Satanism.'

Just as a side note, have you even researched 'Satanism', or any non-Xian religion for that matter? Either way, I suggest we agree on the semantics, to discourage argument in the future. Can we agree on the dictionary terms for secular and atheist?
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'But Christianity is not a religion (Catholicism, Protestantism, Methodism etc are religions)... Our Founders wanted neutrality between religions and rightly so but they also recognized certain spiritual truths that would drive atheists and secular humanists mad. Furthermore, the Founders sought to protect religions from government intrusion and not the other way around.'

Ok that totally confused me; Christianity is not a religion? Please explain why it is always capitalized then? My Word program berates me with 'the angry red line of typographical error' if I try to spell it lowercase. And yes, I am fully aware that the term 'Christian' includes all of those many different traditions. This is why I use the term Xian, a play on words with Zion as it's base, and perhaps more accurate. Concerning government and religion, why not protections in both directions, please explain exactly what you believe would happen, if religion 'invaded' the government and turned us into a pure theocracy.
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'Talk about philosophical...'

I understand where you are coming from; you did not know my basic believes. I attempted to remedy that, in a very abridged version of my belief structure.
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'How about human sacrifice? The ancient Irish pagan religion was so miserable that practically the whole nation converted to Christianity within one generation.'

Firstly, there are no reliable accounts, or indeed hard evidence, of the ancient Irish pagans sacrificing people. The archival sources are manuscripts written by Xian Monks, generations after the 'fall' of paganism, and can only be considered as 'hostile witness'. Secondly, it took much longer than 'one generation', and was only accomplished with the aid of brilliant and talented PR men from Rome. Why else did they have to incorporate so much of the older religions into the Christian practices? Force of arms also played an important part; tales of pagans choosing death over conversion are many. I would appreciate sources for your opinion of 'miserable'.
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'It is not impossible - do as the Christians did - you and your fellow Wiccans found a community somewhere and live amongst your own - that's the beauty of America. And no, respect of all beliefs is not warranted and is clearly a foolish ideal - do you respect nazism? I would hope not!'

I can see someone did not do his homework. Wicca is not a neo-pagan practice, though it is also a reconstruction of ancient beliefs, and polytheistic in origin. And there are no 'Wicca Communities' anywhere, nor pagan ones for that matter. When I refer to religious communities, it is to reference those people that make up that entire religion, and not a geographical area. And as some geographical communities revile and ostracize lone or even small groups of pagans, do your really think we would be welcomed anywhere en mass? As to 'Nazism', I am a stern and steadfast supporter of secular democracy, just so there are no misunderstandings, or some of those off the wall implications that appear from thin air from time to time in your posts. To respect any negative belief is a foolish idea as you stated, but when that belief is founded on a nurturing, caring, positive and community based religion, then it is plain illogical, and foolishness itself, not to respect that religion for the reasoning you forwarded above.
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'And if you have been physically beaten or abused for your beliefs then I take back what I say. I, of course, would never condone such unchristian behavior. But if you are including speech as a form of persecution then I will continue to disagree.'

I thank you for your apology, and Blessings to you for not condoning such behavior. And yes, we will have to agree to disagree on verbal persecution, even if I am right. :wink: However one could make a the argument as both abuse and persecution are found in the thesaurus under 'oppression', that verbal abuse is in fact a form of persecution.
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"No I am not offended. We do worship a God who died on our behalf so that our sins may die forever and be forgiven. We also worship that same God who died on a stick who was resurrected and gave to us an example of what is to come for us.'

Not offended? I will have to give you much credit then, most people spontaneously combust whenever 'Death Cult' is mentioned. But I hope you did get my point, verbal abuse is illegal in many parts of society, please refer to my response above.
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"By what right do you, as a non-Christian, have to classify them as fundamental Christians? Wouldn't it be more proper to classify them as less than Christian?'

I classify by my right as a victim, and as a victims advocate. This is where I first picked up the term Fundamentalist from the 1964 edition of A Handbook of Theological Terms, by Van A. Harvey:
quote:
Fundamentalism is a name that was attached to the viewpoint of those who, shortly after the turn of the [19th-20th] century, resisted all liberal attempts to modify orthodox Protestant belief or to question the infallibility of the Bible in any respect. The name is derived from a series of tracts published between 1912-14, entitled The Fundamentals that aimed at defining and defending the essentials of Protestant doctrine. The most important of the fundamental doctrines were (1) the inspiration and infallibility of the Bible, (2) the doctrine of the Trinity, (3) the virgin birth and deity of Christ, (4) the substitutionary theory of the atonement, (5) the bodily resurrection, ascension and second coming of Christ...
Since most of these beliefs have been a part of Christian orthodoxy [for fifteen centuries], historians have seen the uniqueness of Fundamentalism to consist in its violent opposition to all beliefs that seem opposed to some teaching of the Bible...

One should note that the author goes on to explain that the term 'Fundamentalist' has evolved to include people of the same mind set in all religions. 'Violent' as used here refers to physical violence, passionate verbal/written reaction, or a combination of the two. I did not want it to appear out of the intended context of the author.
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'No since I now that is what you really believe - I would rather you be honest with me in our debate than put on some fake pretense.'
Define this 'fake pretense' please, particularly when my basic believe structure dictates and demands the merits of all religions and Gods. A quote from one of my posts would be appropriate to support your statement. I am standing up for my rights to worship freely, and in no way degrade Christianity as a religion; I attack the agendas of the proponents of Fundamentalism, and not those people themselves.
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'The denial of a real object does not invalidate its reality. And do you believe you are perfect? Have you never committed an evil? How can you ever reconcile yourself with goodness since your being contains such evil?'
Real for you, yes, but for non-Christians, a simple and resounding no, theosophical debate by itself does not make something 'real'. Reality in and of it self can be philosophically considered subjective. I will answer your first two questions above, by asking you the same questions. As to the third, all religions have check and balances in place, without the threats of your hell. And I assume you are not implying an inherent 'evilness', and that that statement is there to support an inquiry into what 'keeps me in line'.
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'But I think you understood my point quiet well - let me know if you did not. '

No, please explain your point more fully.
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"We are discussing religious issues on a religious board. I am not ashamed by our debate, find it interesting, and do not understand why the moderators would find it inappropriate...?'

It may be considered 'On Topic' here, but we have wandered in other threads, and our theological discussions are becoming quite lengthy; I simply do not wish either of us to overstay our welcome. And the offer of Email correspondence still stands, regardless of what topic we are discussing.


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"Oops, it appears I have run over your dogma with my karma."
 51yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Xris is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"You brought up the suggestion that Christians were being persecuted, but I will drop the point at your insistence. Those two links you provided did not appear to have any relevance anyways."

No, go back and read, I said many Xians believe that but that I did not. The first link, if you watch the movie fully, will show a few examples if memory serves me correctly and the second link is to an organization that represents Xians who have claimed to being persecuted.

"I am well within my rights to worship my God, without being subjected to Government funded and supported slogans plastered on my currency, government buildings, in legal and political forums, etc. I should be allowed to be in my home, without being subjected to JW's knocking on my door (an interesting point, JW's were included in the conversion agenda of the church listed above). We should have equal rights to worship in public parks, as do Xians. If prayers are to be made at the beginning of government sponsored public meetings, non-Christian religions should also be allowed, as in the case of 'Simpson v. Chesterfield Board of Supervisors' in Richmond VA, in November 2003. That is my point, equal rights for all."

Yes you should have the same right to gain access in a public park as any other group and of course you do have that same right. The rest I disagree with - you do not have a right to not have JW's knock on your door or to have God stripped as our recognized ultimate Sovereign. I am also an ex-Catholic, btw. It is obvious that when many citizens try to use their freedom of speech it greatly offends you if that speech is religious.

"There is absolutely no mention of any Religion, Jesus or God in the Constitution"

Not true - look closely!

providence

n 1: the capital and largest city of Rhode Island; located in northeastern Rhode Island on Narragansett Bay; site of Brown University [syn: Providence, capital of Rhode Island] 2: the guardianship and control exercised by a deity; "divine providence" 3: a manifestation of God's foresightful care for His creatures 4: the prudence and care exercised by someone in the management of resources [ant: improvidence]

Now when the founders speak of providence they clearly are talking about #2 and #3. Would you like me to post example's from different Founders?

"And please correct me if I am mistaken, but during the 18th century, God referred to the Father, and not the Son, does it not?"

Not that I am aware of, especially in light of the Great Awakening.

"Just as a side note, have you even researched 'Satanism', or any non-Xian religion for that matter? Either way, I suggest we agree on the semantics, to discourage argument in the future. Can we agree on the dictionary terms for secular and atheist?"

Yes I have studied other religions. In the future I will write secular humanist to better make my point.

"Ok that totally confused me; Christianity is not a religion?"

Im sorry - I thought I explained it quite well.

"Concerning government and religion, why not protections in both directions, please explain exactly what you believe would happen, if religion 'invaded' the government and turned us into a pure theocracy."

Invaded in what way? Like I said, if only Christians were allowed to run for office this would not turn us into a theocracy - a theocracy is when only Priests can rule.

"Firstly, there are no reliable accounts, or indeed hard evidence, of the ancient Irish pagans sacrificing people."

Sure there is - we have the writings of St. Patrick.

"The archival sources are manuscripts written by Xian Monks, generations after the 'fall' of paganism, and can only be considered as 'hostile witness'."

Wrong again!

"Secondly, it took much longer than 'one generation', and was only accomplished with the aid of brilliant and talented PR men from Rome."

Again, completely untrue - Rome was absent during this period.

" Why else did they have to incorporate so much of the older religions into the Christian practices?"

"Like what? Halloween? And the answer is that it was logical and did not offend God's will.

"Force of arms also played an important part; tales of pagans choosing death over conversion are many."

Extremely untrue!

"I would appreciate sources for your opinion of 'miserable'."

There are many - here is one of my favorites:

Cahill, Thomas. How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Historic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe (New York: Doubleday, 1995).

"Wicca is not a neo-pagan practice"

Of course it is, but I don't see how this has anything to so with what I suggested...???

"And there are no 'Wicca Communities' anywhere, nor pagan ones for that matter."

You are completely missing my point - find some locale where no one lives and found a community - there are numerous examples of this in history - follow their model.

"do your really think we would be welcomed anywhere en mass?"

All the more reason to found one.

And I am glad you do not respect all belief systems.

"But I hope you did get my point, verbal abuse is illegal in many parts of society, please refer to my response above. "

Abuse by a spouse or a parent or a teacher may in some cases go to far and deserve civil punishment but I am very wary of having the government interfere in the free exercise of speech.

fun·da·men·tal·ism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (fnd-mntl-zm)
n.
A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.

Can we agree on this definition?

"Define this 'fake pretense' please, particularly when my basic believe structure dictates and demands the merits of all religions and Gods."

You cannot simultaneously claim you respect Christianity and deny that Jesus is God. To do so is to put on a fake pretense. I would be more happy if you merely admitted your beliefs. Furthermore, YHWH claims that he is the only God and that all others are false so I am sure you do not respect this 'truth' either.

"Real for you, yes, but for non-Christians, a simple and resounding no, theosophical debate by itself does not make something 'real'. Reality in and of it self can be philosophically considered subjective."

I of course understand that you deny its real existence (lol) my point is that your denial does not negate its existence.

"I will answer your first two questions above, by asking you the same questions."

Yes I have committed evils and thus am evil (for I am clearly not perfectly good) and I am reconciled to perfect goodness by the sacrifice of the Godman. How do you reconcile yourself with goodness?

"No, please explain your point more fully."

You are suggesting that Xians are somehow wrong for incorporating certain Pagan practices into the local religion - I am wondering how you arrived at the judgment that it was wrong - by whose standards are you using?

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 62yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that okcitykid is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
You are suggesting that Xians are somehow wrong for incorporating certain Pagan practices into the local religion - I am wondering how you arrived at the judgment that it was wrong - by whose standards are you using?


I don't believe that the Irish Pagan is saying that its wrong - He asks you about this to give validity to the Pagan religion. If the Pagan was so wrong then you wouldn't adopt their holidays. I could be wrong, but I think that is what the Irish Pagan is saying.

But I haven't read all of your guys posts, I don't have time to do all that reading.

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"A fool says I know and a wise man says I wonder."
 57yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that TheIrishPagan is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"... you do not have a right to not have JW's knock on your door or to have God stripped as our recognized ultimate Sovereign... It is obvious that when many citizens try to use their freedom of speech it greatly offends you if that speech is religious.'

Sigh, apparently you are missing the point that I am not offended by free speech. And no, people do NOT have the right to come to my door for solicitation, particularly when it is clearly posted with a 'No Solicitors' sign. People are well within their rights to bar certain individuals from their property. Concerning the stripping of God's sovereignty, do you have a right to impose your religious beliefs on a smaller segment of society? You made the comment of the 'Tyranny' of a small segment of society. I could just as easily make the claim of 'Oppression' by a larger segment. To be concise, I merely support the efforts to return this country to its secular political origins. The very nature of a true democracy is to take into account all of the opinions of all of its citizens, and that includes religion. A democratic government has no business involving itself in religion, or showing apparent support for any one religion. Again, I stress the point that it is the government institution itself I speak of, and not those individual people which makes up that government.
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'"There is absolutely no mention of any Religion, Jesus or God in the Constitution"
'Not true - look closely!''

Article VI, Clause 3 – '...but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.'

Is this what you speak of? After yet another careful reading, this is the only reference to religion of any kind that I can find within the Constitution. If there is another I happened to miss, please post an excerpt.
-------------------------------------------------
'providence
n 1: the capital and largest city of Rhode Island; located in northeastern Rhode Island on Narragansett Bay; site of Brown University [syn: Providence, capital of Rhode Island] 2: the guardianship and control exercised by a deity; "divine providence" 3: a manifestation of God's foresightful care for His creatures 4: the prudence and care exercised by someone in the management of resources [ant: improvidence]...
Now when the founders speak of providence they clearly are talking about #2 and #3. Would you like me to post example's from different Founders?''

Actually, one out of four isn't too bad. Number two clearly states: 'by a deity [as in] divine providence'. Also, the Declaration of Independence is a 'document of intention', directed towards the English Crown. The Constitution is our countries founding document, so the argument of the Declaration of Independence is moot for this discussion.
-------------------------------------------------
'Invaded in what way? Like I said, if only Christians were allowed to run for office this would not turn us into a theocracy - a theocracy is when only Priests can rule.'

The particular denomination of any given elected official is not what I was speaking of, and your comment makes my point concerning the basic religious origin of a secular government, that religiousness held within that institution's employees and elected officials. The argument I have been trying to make concerns only the policies and agenda of such a government, and the removal of all perceived support for any one religion. Also, in reference to your quote above, a person's denomination is considered by what church they attend, not by their actions. With this in mind, then the only denomination of all of our Presidents has been Xian in nature.
-------------------------------------------------
'Sure there is - we have the writings of St. Patrick.'

That's my point, a 'hostile witness'. Saint Patrick may have been born around 390 AD in England or Scotland, but the time and place of his birth are questionable. What is known is that his parents were British-Romans and Christians. His grandfather, Potitus, was a priest, and his father, Calpurnius, was a deacon and a government official. St. Patrick can therefore be considered hostile towards pagans.
-------------------------------------------------
"Again, completely untrue - Rome was absent during this period.'

The Empire of Rome itself was 'absent' as you mentioned, but there were still representatives of The Vatican on the island. Perhaps I should have been more succinct.
-------------------------------------------------
"Like what? Halloween? And the answer is that it was logical and did not offend God's will.'

Holidays, St. Bridget, Gabriel, Osirus, and the building of churches over ancient pagan holy sites are but a few examples. Are you now claiming to 'know God's will'?
-------------------------------------------------
'"Force of arms also played an important part; tales of pagans choosing death over conversion are many."
'Extremely untrue!''

St Augustine found scriptural support for his practice of forced conversion of the pagans to Christianity based on Luke 14:23, and was a proponent of forced conversion. The Spanish Inquisition is another example. Although it was motivated by the political ambitions of Isabella, Queen of Spain, this Papal Mandate supplied carte blanche to persecute, torture, and murder people of pagan faiths. I should note, in fairness, that many Christians were also killed during the Inquisition, claimed by officials to be heathens, heretics, or devil worshippers (pagans) to further political gains and political strength. Tiberius ordered, 'Seize as many of them and punish them as their impudence merited, humbling their prude and crucifying and killing them.' Shall I go on?
-------------------------------------------------
"There are many - here is one of my favorites:
Cahill, Thomas. How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Historic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe (New York: Doubleday, 1995).'

A review by 'Publishers Weekly'
quote:
An account of the pivotal role played by Irish monks in transcribing and preserving Classical civilization during the Dark Ages.

Please post excerpts from the book to support your views. This also emphasizes my references to 'hostile witnesses'. All of the small amount of written pagan theology was burned by the Xian Church, there was not much written material, pagan traditions were largely oral. We neo-pagans can only pray that someone will find a treasure trove of ancient pagan writings, stored safely away by a forewarned Druid.
-------------------------------------------------
'"Wicca is not a neo-pagan practice"
'Of course it is, but I don't see how this has anything to so with what I suggested...???'

Neo-pagans seek to reconstruct the old ways of worship; Wicca is based on old beliefs and ritual prayer. I would not wish you to labor under misinformation. I will agree to include Wicca within the term pagan however, to facilitate debate, as we have been including all the Xian traditions under the term Christianity, and these are merely a matter of semantics.
-------------------------------------------------
'You are completely missing my point - find some locale where no one lives and found a community - there are numerous examples of this in history - follow their model.'

We have found a locale, and that is the United States of America. Yes, there are many historical models for what you suggest, the Reservation System comes to mind. May I ask if you support racial segregation as well as religious segregation? And quite simply, such a geographical community would be legally unable to exclude Christians, yes? Evangelical Xians would eventually push us out of 'our own' community; I can almost hear the cries of 'Destroy Sodom'.
-------------------------------------------------
"Abuse by a spouse or a parent or a teacher may in some cases go to far and deserve civil punishment but I am very wary of having the government interfere in the free exercise of speech.'

We can most certainly agree regarding the government and free speech, but I would suggest that the apparent support for Christian prayer and mottos by the government is itself a direct interference upon free speech. By those actions, they attempt to use free speech to coerce and convert, and influence religious beliefs within this country.
-------------------------------------------------
'Can we agree on this definition?' [of Fundamentalism]

Certainly, considering it is merely a more concise definition of what I stated before, and is what the term has evolved to mean.
-------------------------------------------------
"You cannot simultaneously claim you respect Christianity and deny that Jesus is God. To do so is to put on a fake pretense. I would be more happy if you merely admitted your beliefs. Furthermore, YHWH claims that he is the only God and that all others are false so I am sure you do not respect this 'truth' either.'

Please post a quote where I made such a claim. Also, please clarify, as you appear to be stating a polytheistic viewpoint. You appear to state: 'YHWH is the only God, and Jesus is God'. Just because one does not agree with some of the tenets of a particular faith, does not mean one cannot respect that particular faith. When I demand respect for my belief and my God, I am not asking you to convert. Belief and respect are two completely separate concepts, particularly for this discussion.
-------------------------------------------------
"How do you reconcile yourself with goodness?'

Please define reconcile, as it pertains to the above, but in case I have not misunderstood I will explain as follows. I follow social moral codes, such as holding a deep respect and support for Elders, following the laws set by modern society, supporting my local community, and assisting those in need when I am able, just to name a few examples. As for any negative 'threats of Hell' type of motivations, I simply adhere to the Karmic principles.
-------------------------------------------------
"You are suggesting that Xians are somehow wrong for incorporating certain Pagan practices into the local religion...'

Apparently, I have once again failed to make my opinions clear. I do not consider this 'wrong', I am trying to make the point that failing peaceful and spontaneous conversion of the entire populace, those ancient missionaries where required to incorporate older beliefs, to help 'ease' Christianity into place. Once a few were converted, the missionaries were also able to utilize those converted native people to assist their endeavors, by applying peer pressure to their reluctant pagans neighbors. Missionaries were the consummate salesmen, taking advantage of the turmoil occurring in the world at that time to gather more of that political 'Power Base' we spoke of earlier. The only 'wrongness' in that situation, is in the purely political motivations of that ancient Church.

Okcitykid, I apologize for the lengths of my posts, I am trying my hardest not to nitpick and split hairs.

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"Oops, it appears I have run over your dogma with my karma."
 51yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Xris is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Yes you have a right (in most states) to prohibit solicitation and if JW's violate your demands they can be held legally accountable. But without such a sign you do not have that right.

"Concerning the stripping of God's sovereignty, do you have a right to impose your religious beliefs on a smaller segment of society?"

I do if I am not breaking the law.

" I merely support the efforts to return this country to its secular political origins. The very nature of a true democracy is to take into account all of the opinions of all of its citizens, and that includes religion."

Our country has never been more secular than it is today nor have we ever had nor should we ever have a true democracy. Pure Democracies are inherently instable and lead to the tyranny of the majority. It was never intended that our government would take into account all the opinions of its citizens either. Our Founders established a Constitutional Democratic Republic which is a system that protects the universal rights of all citizens and promotes a representative government where the will of the majority is best implemented. The purpose of the Supreme Court is to ensure that the will of the majority is not violating the rights of the minority. But since secularists started dominating the Courts the rights of the majority are being diminished because of a small offended minority that takes a progressive interpretation of the Constitution instead of following the original intent of the Founders. This is radical, dangerous and will lead to Civil War eventually if things don't change.

"Is this what you speak of? After yet another careful reading, this is the only reference to religion of any kind that I can find within the Constitution. If there is another I happened to miss, please post an excerpt."

Nope - keep looking....

"The Constitution is our countries founding document, so the argument of the Declaration of Independence is moot for this discussion. "

Wrong both the Declaration and Constitution are our Founding Documents (see the other thread). The Constitution is the ultimate law of the land and the Declaration is the legal justification for both our Independence from another nation's sovereign control and our Constitution.

"That's my point, a 'hostile witness'. Saint Patrick may have been born around 390 AD in England or Scotland, but the time and place of his birth are questionable. What is known is that his parents were British-Romans and Christians. His grandfather, Potitus, was a priest, and his father, Calpurnius, was a deacon and a government official. St. Patrick can therefore be considered hostile towards pagans."

St. Patrick also was not a Catholic at the time he was kidnapped by Pagans and lived much of his early life in Pagan Ireland. Of course he is a hostile witness - he saw first hand the brutality of the Irish religion. He returned to Ireland after his escape to free his beloved 'people' from that religion. He was so successful that practically the whole nation converted to Patrician Xianity (not Roman Catholicism btw) within one generation. The fact that he is a hostile witness does not diminish his teachings regarding Irish Paganism because he is ultimately supported by those same Irish Pagans that abandoned that Paganism for Patrick's religion. This makes him an extremely credible witness.

"The Empire of Rome itself was 'absent' as you mentioned, but there were still representatives of The Vatican on the island. Perhaps I should have been more succinct."

No, I understood you and that is also not true. Irish Christianity, under Patrick, was almost completely on its own except for the meddling of some British Bishops which Patrick ignored. One of the reasons Irish Xianity was so beautiful is because of the utter lack of Roman involvement.

"Holidays, St. Bridget, Gabriel, Osirus, and the building of churches over ancient pagan holy sites are but a few examples. Are you now claiming to 'know God's will'?"

Me Da always said never answer a question with a question! Are you claiming that you know God's will and that the Xian God would be furious by this? How do you know that he didn't find it to be practical and logical for a transforming community?

"St Augustine found scriptural support for his practice of forced conversion of the pagans to Christianity based on Luke 14:23, and was a proponent of forced conversion. The Spanish Inquisition is another example. Although it was motivated by the political ambitions of Isabella, Queen of Spain, this Papal Mandate supplied carte blanche to persecute, torture, and murder people of pagan faiths. I should note, in fairness, that many Christians were also killed during the Inquisition, claimed by officials to be heathens, heretics, or devil worshippers (pagans) to further political gains and political strength. Tiberius ordered, 'Seize as many of them and punish them as their impudence merited, humbling their prude and crucifying and killing them.' Shall I go on?"

Yes you should because we were talking about Ireland and not Northern Africa or Spain and other such satellites of the Roman church.

"All of the small amount of written pagan theology was burned by the Xian Church, there was not much written material, pagan traditions were largely oral. We neo-pagans can only pray that someone will find a treasure trove of ancient pagan writings, stored safely away by a forewarned Druid."

Actually Irish monks saved large portions of it too as well and many ancient non-Xian Roman and Greek works. You really should read the book, as an Irishman you will highly enjoy it.

"We have found a locale, and that is the United States of America."

The US is not a community but a nation - found your own community of Wiccans within the US where you can open your own schools and run your own businesses & city government etc just as many other 'minority' religious groups have done within the US.

"May I ask if you support racial segregation as well as religious segregation?"

See my thread on mixed-race marriages - Since I don't believe in the concept of race I find it hard to imagine that I would support racial segregation, don't you?

Do I support religious segregation? I neither support it nor oppose it. I do think the genius of our system is that it allows certain peoples of like minds to live together and have the freedom to establish their own communities which, in turn, promotes competition against others states and communities thus allowing us to see who has good ideas and who has bad ones.

Would I support laws enforcing such segregation? Never!

"And quite simply, such a geographical community would be legally unable to exclude Christians, yes?"

Legally, yes!

"Evangelical Xians would eventually push us out of 'our own' community; I can almost hear the cries of 'Destroy Sodom'.

Now you are sounding like a bigot.

"I would suggest that the apparent support for Christian prayer and mottos by the government is itself a direct interference upon free speech. By those actions, they attempt to use free speech to coerce and convert, and influence religious beliefs within this country."

There is a price to having free speech in a Republic and you are offended by that price. I am sorry that such speech offends you but the kind of actions you would take to eliminate such free speech is truly frightening and would lead to the slippery slope.

"Please post a quote where I made such a claim."

Did you not say Jesus, if he lived at all, was only a mortal man that did not resurrect?

"Also, please clarify, as you appear to be stating a polytheistic viewpoint. You appear to state: 'YHWH is the only God, and Jesus is God'."

Jesus is YHWH as he himself stated during his trial. Jesus is the manifestation of YHWH in the life of a human being. Furthermore, the fact that the Trinity is a difficult theory to grasp makes it more plausible as the true nature of God would always be more difficult for his creation to understand than the other way around. Xians believe in One God - one being made up of three persons. Each person is fully and equally a member of the same one God being.

"Just because one does not agree with some of the tenets of a particular faith, does not mean one cannot respect that particular faith."

CS Lewis destroys such an argument when used against Xianity for Jesus leaves you only three options. Either you believe Jesus is Lord or you must believe he is either a Liar or a Lunatic.

"When I demand respect for my belief and my God, I am not asking you to convert. Belief and respect are two completely separate concepts, particularly for this discussion."

But I don't respect lies or half-truths. I respect your right to believe whatever you want but not the whatever. Actually you know that's not true - I don't respect your right to believe whatever - there are some things that any moral human being should be above falling for - I do not respect Germans, for example, that bought into Nazism.

"I simply adhere to the Karmic principles."

So just as long as you are a little bit more good than you are bad you will be ok? Will you never ultimately be held accountable for all the bad things you have gotten away with? What happens to you when you die? Will you go on being imperfect for all eternity?

"The only 'wrongness' in that situation, is in the purely political motivations of that ancient Church."

Again, I fail to understand why this is wrong? Seems both practical and logical to me. Also it was often the newly converted themselves that did the incorporating and not the Missionaries because they didn't feel it necessary or sinful to give certain things up.

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 57yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that TheIrishPagan is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
'Yes you have a right (in most states) to prohibit solicitation and if JW's violate your demands they can be held legally accountable. But without such a sign you do not have that right.'

Are you are suggesting that just anyone can amble onto anyone's private property? Private Property laws, which have become Common Law nationwide, uphold the right to 'exclude others' from your property. Signage is not required, in areas that are obviously private property, one's front lawn for example.
------------------------------------------
'Our country has never been more secular than it is today nor have we ever had nor should we ever have a true democracy. Pure Democracies are inherently instable and lead to the tyranny of the majority... progressive interpretation of the Constitution instead of following the original intent of the Founders...' AND "... The Constitution is the ultimate law of the land and the Declaration is the legal justification for both our Independence from another nation's sovereign control and our Constitution.'

I see we can agree on the present tyranny of the majority. The original intent of our Founders can be read in the Constitution, their correspondences, and in documents created after the founding of the US. An example of 'Original Intent' can be found in The Treaty of Tripoli, (1797) passed by the Congress and signed by President John Adams, which states in Article 11:
quote:
As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion - ...
I find it very difficult to think that those grand and honorable gentlemen who created our country, would pass a treaty which explicitly states language contrary to this alleged 'Christian intention' in creating the US. The Declaration represents a document indicating their rebellious intentions towards Great Britain, at a time before the formation of our independent government. Therefore, although certainly an important historical document, it simply does not have any bearing on the laws of this country. That was the purpose of our Constitution. If our Founding Fathers had intended to found a Christian Republic, I find it highly unlikely that they would have forgotten to leave out their 'Christian Intentions' in the very document that lays down the Supreme Law of the Land. Once again, nowhere in the Constitution do we have a single mention of Christianity, God, Jesus, or any Supreme Being. Again, please post quotes from the Constitution, supporting your opposing position.
---------------------------------------------
On the entire debate of St. Patrick, this is off topic; if you wish to continue this portion of the discussion, please begin a new thread.
--------------------------------------------
"See my thread on mixed-race marriages - Since I don't believe in the concept of race I find it hard to imagine that I would support racial segregation, don't you?'

Just checking to be sure, it seems hypocritical to not be concerned about a persons skin colour, but to appear to be so antagonistic towards other religions. Your statement of 'It is not impossible - do as the Christians did - you and your fellow Wiccans found a community somewhere and live amongst your own...' was the source of this confusion, thank you for clarifying.
---------------------------------------------
'"And quite simply, such a geographical community would be legally unable to exclude Christians, yes?"
'Legally, yes! ''

Such a community would be doomed from the start, as Evangelists, Extremist, and many Fundamentalists would move in to break up 'this bed of iniquity', and/or attack us legally. There is nothing bigoted about that statement, such language and actions occur around the nation, against individuals and groups of non-Christians. Those people listed above would simply view such a community as an even greater threat. We are guaranteed by Constitutional Rights to worship as we see fit, free from oppression and persecution, wherever we may reside in this country. Pagans are simply not going to be shoved onto our own little Religious Reservations. Like it or not, we are here to stay. The whole hotly debated topic of secularism of government, in my opinion, originates in some Christians who do not appreciate the disappearance of their 'Clear Majority', which can be found in Christian mottos and references currently supported by the government and taxpayers, including pagan taxpayers.
---------------------------------------------
"There is a price to having free speech in a Republic and you are offended by that price. I am sorry that such speech offends you but the kind of actions you would take to eliminate such free speech is truly frightening and would lead to the slippery slope.'

Government and taxpayer supported religion, does not come under the auspices of free speech. And some day, perhaps, you will understand that I am an advocate of free speech, for private citizens.
---------------------------------------------
" Did you not say Jesus, if he lived at all, was only a mortal man that did not resurrect?'
"CS Lewis destroys such an argument when used against Xianity for Jesus leaves you only three options. Either you believe Jesus is Lord or you must believe he is either a Liar or a Lunatic.'

One does not have to believe a religion to respect it or it's followers. This is a basic social courtesy some people, here and abroad, seems to be unable to grasp. One person's biased view and opinions do not affect my personal respect for other religions. You quote someone from your own religion; of course his opinion will appear to be correct to you. This person's theological opinion simply does not apply to non-Christians.
---------------------------------------------
I will refuse to discuss the matter of respect for another's religion within this thread again, since you obviously lack that capacity in any manner whatsoever, nor will I debate the differences in our basic doctrines. Your personal attacks against my religion are off-topic for this thread. Free Speech certainly allows you to continue that antagonistic policy, just as free speech allows me to completely ignore it.

| Permalink
"Oops, it appears I have run over your dogma with my karma."
 51yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Xris is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion - ..."

I agree with that statement

"Therefore, although certainly an important historical document, it simply does not have any bearing on the laws of this country."

Tell that to Abraham Lincoln and all freed slaves!

"If our Founding Fathers had intended to found a Christian Republic!

They didn't - they intended to found a constitutional democratic Republic in and for a nation of Protestants. The Christian part was apparent as the elected representatives would obviously be heavily Christian. However, they were smart enough not to create a system that would legally elevate any one dogma. This is smart because if the nation turns away from God such an action will be visible in their representatives and accordingly the law - thus the nation will suffer which will prompt many citizens to turn back to God.

"Such a community would be doomed from the start, as Evangelists, Extremist, and many Fundamentalists would move in to break up 'this bed of iniquity', and/or attack us legally."

I'm sorry but I find this belief on your part ridiculous and somewhat bigoted. You don't see radical Xians moving in mass into Muslim dominated communities, like the ones in Michigan. Even in light of the fact that those Muslim Americans used their local government to get their daily prayers played over a loud speaker throughout the city.

"Pagans are simply not going to be shoved onto our own little Religious Reservations."

Don't twist my words - I said nothing about anyone creating those communities for you - I said it is an option that Wiccans have a right to employ if they so choose.

"The whole hotly debated topic of secularism of government, in my opinion, originates in some Christians who do not appreciate the disappearance of their 'Clear Majority', which can be found in Christian mottos and references currently supported by the government and taxpayers, including pagan taxpayers."

I disagree - it appeared when human secularists found strength in numbers and used the Courts to mandate their own unconstitutional religious views because they knew they didn't have the numbers to get any such changes passed through the Congress.

"Government and taxpayer supported religion, does not come under the auspices of free speech. And some day, perhaps, you will understand that I am an advocate of free speech, for private citizens."

There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the government from supporting religion with or without taxpayer dollars. And you are now arguing that if someone says a 'religious' word it ceases to be speech? And such people who like to use religious words don't have the same right to free speech as people who like to use secular humanistic words? Wow!

"I will refuse to discuss the matter of respect for another's religion within this thread again, since you obviously lack that capacity in any manner whatsoever, nor will I debate the differences in our basic doctrines. Your personal attacks against my religion are off-topic for this thread. Free Speech certainly allows you to continue that antagonistic policy, just as free speech allows me to completely ignore it."

Geez - you are so hot under the collar. Personal attacks? I made none that I am aware of. I guess you think I should enter some Soviet-style re-education camp and be forced to respect all dogmas? Talk about intolerance! lol

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Excerp: America is not a Christian Nation - Page 4
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