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Author Topic: Religion is a Wedge  (Read 2123 times)

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Offline Pointless DigressionTopic starter

Religion is a Wedge
« on: May 22, 2011, 11:27:11 AM »
While we were all were busy not getting Raptured, Reverend Bradlee Dean was invited to give the opening prayer for the Minnesota House of Representatives on Friday.

Choice bits are at the  2:41 mark:

Quote
I know this is a non-denominational prayer in this chamber and it's not about the Baptists and it's not about the Catholics alone or the Lutherans or the Wesleyans, or the Presbyterians, the evangelicals or any other denomination, but rather the head of the denomination and his name is Jesus. As every President up until 2008 has acknowledged. And we pray it. In Jesus' name.

So...Obama is a Muslim? I can't quite make out what he's saying, he's being so subtle about it. A sampling of Dean's positions include: calling for homosexuals to be jailed for breaking the law, asserting there is no difference between Osama bin Laden and Barack Obama, and that Representative Dean (D-MI) supported homosexuals as part of a Sharia plot.

Quote
Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers apologized for Dean’s appearance and said he had failed to live up to his responsibility to uphold the “decorum and dignity” of the House.

Zellers denounced Dean and said “that type of person will never ever be allowed on this House floor again as long as I have the honor of serving as your Speaker.”

Am I the only person that sees prayer before a government function as a default violation of "decorum and dignity”? To make things worse, the Republicans then debated and voted to let the people of Minnesota decide whether gay marriage should be banned.

Because things always work out so well when we put civil rights up to the popular vote.

Thanks to Roger Ebert.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2011, 12:31:51 PM »
I'd rather let the people decide than those '[noembed]Cool, Considerate Men[/noembed]'.  I have no issues with non-denominational prayer, or even a moment of reflective silence, but it's clear that Rev. Dean was, at the very least, excluding a denomination.

For what it's worth, Islam does acknowledge the existence of Jesus, but as a prophet, not the Son of God.  In fact, traditional Judaism does not acknowledge that Jesus was the Son of God either, so Rev. Dean was also (possibly unintentionally, but that might be giving him too much credit) excluding them as well.

Offline Jude

Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2011, 05:01:23 PM »
I'm going to write the first ever religiously inclusive prayer that respects all well-established religions:

Quote
Dear Allah/Figment of My Imagination/entity of questionable existence/multiple deities comprised of the spiritual essence of the cosmos/Zombie Jesus/Bob/Uncle Ted/Eris.

Thanks for nothing/everything/something/independence/non-invervention/taking my son from me/providing us with your blessed waters/giving us your holy book/creating the universe -- it's a pretty cool place to live.

Would you please protect my family/watch over us all/govern the affairs of me/do whatever pleases your otherworldly genius/give us safe passage on our pilgrimage to Mecca/send me a sign that I can interpret through confirmation bias to answer this burning personal question that is bothering me.

Also:  praise be to Allah/fuck you/please convince Shiva to chill out, good Mr. Vishnu/could you send me photographic proof of your existence/you tasted good in church this morning.

In his name I pray/P.S. what should I do with this letter, shove it up my ass?/Harirara Krisna (spelling?)/Please RSVP if you're coming to my Bris/etc.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2011, 05:18:27 PM »
Too bad the good reverend never had a dream he was butterfly.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2011, 02:28:46 AM »
I have never before and probably never will in the future have a problem with a government function calling on prayer as part of its fuction as long as each individual has the option to decide for themselves if they want to participate or not. I guess it could be best summed up as leave the prayer accessible to everyone and have no expectation of participation

As to the other comments, I loathe having words put into my mouth in any context and would never do the same for someone else. So I wont pretend to speculate on anything that wasnt said by the reverend. Something else jumps out at me though, whats up with the thread title? At first glance it seems so...accusatory, for lack of a better word

Offline Oniya

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Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2011, 02:56:00 AM »
Listening to the audio on the first link below the quote-box (although I'm not sure what a picture of Axl Rose is doing on that video), I'd say that Bradlee Dean's words are sounding pretty accusatory themselves.  He got pretty worked up about the fact that Obama gave Bin Laden appropriate funerary rites on board (paraphrased very slightly because I don't want to listen to it a second time) an American-blood-bought ship.  He claimed that Obama has called us a Muslim nation ('Osama didn't - Obama did!')  He ripped into one caller for daring to suggest that we weren't a Judeo-Christian nation, asking the person to send in his email so that they could get his address and send him a ticket back to see 'Father Stalin'. 

This person is most certainly interested in driving wedges, and he's using his position as a religious figure to do it.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2011, 03:08:53 AM »
It truly angers me to see sanctimonious men stand up and do their 'holier than thou' foolishness. I worked with SEVERAL followers of Islam in the Navy. Good men. Good Americans. I'm tired of seeing the moderates get ignored and denigrated because of the action of a few fanatics. I would bet if one of those Airmen or Petty Officers I worked with were more tolerant than most of my fellow 'Christians'

I'm a lapsed Anglican. Long have been. I was confirmed in a  Church of Ireland cathedral after learning the Catechism, but by the time it was all said and done my study of the violence in Ireland over religion got me thinking about organized religion and it wasn't for me, add in the foolishness of the folks at the PTL Club, Oral Roberts and Jimmy Swaggart when I was in high school I haven't attended a non-funeral/wedding function in a church in over twenty years.

Do I believe in God? Yes. Life is too incredible and miraculous for me to not consider the hand of a higher being at work. Do I think he's happy with the way we worship him in groups and look down on one another because of this or that sect? No.

I honestly think he cries a bit from time to time at what we do to one another in his name.

Islam gets a bad rap in the media. I've seen what it's like in the more moderate nations, such as the UAE, some parts of Asia and elsewhere. They are just like me and you. There are good people, bad people, tolerant ones and ones that hate. We all bleed, and we all die. It should be the manner of which we celebrate coming into (and out of)the world but the path we live and practice living with one another that should matter. (A MUSLIM friend once told me something like that.. but he was better spoken in the way he said it. I do my best to do no evil to any man or woman and give aid to those in need as I can. I think THAT is what God wants. For us to do the best we can while striving to improve.
 

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2011, 03:10:15 AM »
This person is most certainly interested in driving wedges, and he's using his position as a religious figure to do it.

That is exactly what I was trying to elude to. Thank you Oniya

Offline Oniya

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Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2011, 03:40:36 AM »
Located this while looking at the page of the person who uploaded the Obama/Osama video.

http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/cco/journals/2011-12/J0521062.pdf

If you scroll down to the next to the last page, at the bottom, there is a protest from 52 of the Minnesota Representatives regarding Dean's speech and even his selection as 'Chaplain of the day, as 'Mr. Dean, by his own admission during the invocation, intentionally violated the House policy on offering nondenominational prayers.'


Offline Pointless DigressionTopic starter

Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2011, 10:37:36 AM »
Something else jumps out at me though, whats up with the thread title? At first glance it seems so...accusatory, for lack of a better word

Yes, it is. I am one of those dratted "Gnu Atheists" who does not believe in sugar-coating his opinions on religion.

Offline Sabby

Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2011, 01:58:55 PM »
Prayer before this kind of thing is stupid, just like it is in schools... because it gives people like this man their window of opportunity and then they get to hide behind the curtain and claim its just a cultural thing. Church and State are separate and they should remain separate. Blur the lines, and people will exploit that loss of integrity for every thing they can.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2011, 04:23:13 PM »
Yes, it is. I am one of those dratted "Gnu Atheists" who does not believe in sugar-coating his opinions on religion.

Where I stand on this and where I have always stood is to lay blame purely on individuals who misuse a cultural standpoint instead of using a blanket statement like you did. You are blatantly and factually wrong to blame everyone whether they have some involvement or even none when blame should fall squarely and completely on the Reverend

Offline Trieste

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Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2011, 04:37:57 PM »
... who is using religion as a wedge.

Calm down, please, and try to remember not to look for ways to take offense.

Yes, it is. I am one of those dratted "Gnu Atheists" who does not believe in sugar-coating his opinions on religion.

Likewise, a certain amount of sugar coating is required in order to remain civil, and civility is not only expected of this site's members, but required.

Thank you.

Offline Pointless DigressionTopic starter

Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2011, 05:16:18 PM »
Likewise, a certain amount of sugar coating is required in order to remain civil, and civility is not only expected of this site's members, but required.

Thank you.

Fair enough, Cap'n. I was trying for a tone of jolly irreverence, but must have neglected to include the [/jolly irreverence] tag.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2011, 05:18:41 PM »
Given that the majority of our communication with other people is through tone, expression, and body language, you lose a whole lot of subtlety when you lose your nonverbal communication. :)

Offline Jude

Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2011, 06:15:08 PM »
To Pointless:  it's only tangentially related, but would you like to have a debate in the dialogue forums on "new atheism" versus "accommodationalistic atheism/agnosticism?"

Offline Pointless DigressionTopic starter

Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2011, 06:17:04 PM »
Jude,

Elated interest: Sure!

Offline Jude

Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2011, 06:58:24 PM »
http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=107828.new#new

A bit long, sorry.  You shouldn't need to respond to a lot of it -- I bet you already know everything I said, but I just wanted to lay some groundwork.

Offline Pointless DigressionTopic starter

Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2011, 07:28:17 PM »
Hey there, Jude. I'm going to C&P your post into a word document and work on my response there. I'll let you know when I've done so.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Religion is a Wedge
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2011, 01:14:25 PM »
I'm with Onyia and Brandon on this.
part of me wants to kick this preacher in the balls for being an idiot.
Religon isn't a problem, idiots who use it as a justification for otherwise irrational actions and ideas they would hold anyway.
sorry to break it to ya bitch, but Obama isn't a muslim, he's a baptist, and a rational one at that, and does not believe his actions are ordained by the Almighty.
He wasn't born in Africa, his birth certificate has been up on the whitehouse website for two years now, he was born near Honnolulu, spent time in africa with distant family, came home to the US at around 8 and grew up in chicago, becoming a political activist, eventually senator, and the president.
(sorry that's somthing that pisses me off. let it go already!)

people believing in the divine isn't bad, evil people who use that to justify their vilianious actions are.