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Author Topic: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle  (Read 7481 times)

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Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #100 on: November 29, 2012, 02:16:50 PM »
Yeah, because taking the access to food and beverages out of courtrooms isn't small minded, petty, or mean. Is that your disconnect? Do you think that people are asking to have other people's religions taken out of public places just because they're small minded, petty, and mean? Do you really not understand that to some of us, running across that sort of thing is like a slap in the face? Do you truly not understand that some of us have had horrible, scaring experiences with Christian religion, and want it kept the fuck out of the public places our taxes pay for, which happens to coincide with the separation of church and state?

And what scarring/traumatizing/evil act did the person whose memorial that was do to you?  It was petty and low spirited to go after it and use the pretext of separation of church and state. A LOT of people need to get over themselves and stop looking for reasons to hurt one another.

In the case of the OP, yeah I think that city did the right thing. The CITY showed the maturity and practical sense to end the issue. In the case of the memorial, I see a bit of pettiness dressed up in moral outrage.

My brother, who is fairly well off, donates a building or something else to the community and puts up a placard with a suitable, but religious quote, on it. Does that merit years from now pulling the city into court to pull down the placard because it offends some atheist that someone uses god in justifying their charity?

Why are we SO intent on destroying the good actions of the faithful? Aren't there enough reasons to argue, bicker, demean and degrade one another without looking for more? Take it in the positive spirit it was intended rather than look for reasons to HATE it.

Too any folks on BOTH sides of this ort of issue are looking for reasons to feel hurt and to hurt the other side.

Offline Serephino

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #101 on: November 29, 2012, 03:54:03 PM »
And what scarring/traumatizing/evil act did the person whose memorial that was do to you?  It was petty and low spirited to go after it and use the pretext of separation of church and state. A LOT of people need to get over themselves and stop looking for reasons to hurt one another.

In the case of the OP, yeah I think that city did the right thing. The CITY showed the maturity and practical sense to end the issue. In the case of the memorial, I see a bit of pettiness dressed up in moral outrage.

My brother, who is fairly well off, donates a building or something else to the community and puts up a placard with a suitable, but religious quote, on it. Does that merit years from now pulling the city into court to pull down the placard because it offends some atheist that someone uses god in justifying their charity?

Why are we SO intent on destroying the good actions of the faithful? Aren't there enough reasons to argue, bicker, demean and degrade one another without looking for more? Take it in the positive spirit it was intended rather than look for reasons to HATE it.

Too any folks on BOTH sides of this ort of issue are looking for reasons to feel hurt and to hurt the other side.

+1

Offline Sabby

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #102 on: November 30, 2012, 03:04:21 AM »
r/atheism

Because Athiests can be dicks to x3

Offline Braioch

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #103 on: November 30, 2012, 08:24:15 AM »
And what scarring/traumatizing/evil act did the person whose memorial that was do to you?  It was petty and low spirited to go after it and use the pretext of separation of church and state. A LOT of people need to get over themselves and stop looking for reasons to hurt one another.

In the case of the OP, yeah I think that city did the right thing. The CITY showed the maturity and practical sense to end the issue. In the case of the memorial, I see a bit of pettiness dressed up in moral outrage.

My brother, who is fairly well off, donates a building or something else to the community and puts up a placard with a suitable, but religious quote, on it. Does that merit years from now pulling the city into court to pull down the placard because it offends some atheist that someone uses god in justifying their charity?


If they did it for petty reasons, then yes, I would wholeheartedly disagree with it. Nevertheless, were that it wasn't, then I would support the removal of anything religiously based in a government funded place. Especially somewhere where there are laws, supposed secular laws, that are supposed to be being upheld.

As for the placard, you make it sound like it's a privately owned building, so no. Anyone whining about it might as well not go there, as it's not public/government owned/managed.

Quote
Why are we SO intent on destroying the good actions of the faithful? Aren't there enough reasons to argue, bicker, demean and degrade one another without looking for more? Take it in the positive spirit it was intended rather than look for reasons to HATE it.

Too any folks on BOTH sides of this ort of issue are looking for reasons to feel hurt and to hurt the other side.

Who is we?

Anyways, people are not intent on destroying the good actions of the faithful, at least people who aren't truly dicks. People like myself and other more reasonable people are more of the mind that we see a lot more harm that comes about than good. Also, I have a hard time with sainthood all things consider, look at Mother Theresea after all, she had some rather not so nice policies and behaviors. Not that she didn't do good, but it's discomforting to try to venerate her as this amazing, perfect, saint when reality lacks such a black and white aspect to it. Back onto what I was saying, don't mistake pointing out the bad that is very often ignored for trying to destroy the bad.

As a note, (not aimed at any specific person) stop clustering all atheists and nontheists together. The only similar trait they share is that ONE facet, otherwise we are as varied in our viewpoints and personalities as it can generally be. Except for the whole agreeing on scientific fact thing, because science kicks ass.

Offline vtboy

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #104 on: November 30, 2012, 11:59:30 AM »
When we all stop being offended by what another person decides about the existence of a higher power in what ever form your culture, etc., decides to worship or when a person decides there is no higher power to subscribe to we will all be better off.  I don't care if you are an atheist, Christian, Catholic, Jew, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Pagan or any other sect/religion/faith you can name.  I never did care and I hope I never start caring. 

Religion does not abuse people.  People abuse religion.
Faith is not about people.  Faith is about belief in God (for want of any other word).

Faith and religion are constructs not individuals.  Individuals, i.e. people, commit the crimes, insult others, preach hate and make this world a sad place to live in at times.  People can be arrogant and that arrogance gives them the self-proclaimed power to speak for others, God included, and decide for everyone what is right.  The only person who has that right to decide for you is you and the only person you may chose for is yourself.

The reason I am offended by religious displays on public property is not that I give a hoot about the beliefs of the people who put them up; it is because, in a pluralistic and secular democracy, such displays do not belong on public property.

I do not object to religious symbols on churches, synagogues and mosques, on my neighbors' homes (as long as the flood lights do not keep me up at night), or on any other private property. But, when it comes to courthouses, city halls, public schools, post offices, public parks, and all the other real estate collectively owned by the citizenry, there is simply no justification for any government in this country ever to erect any sort of display suggesting it favors any particular viewpoint on religion over any other.  And, when some political subdivision inscribes scripture of any sort over the doors of its courthouse, or paints a mural of Abraham offering to sacrifice Isaac on the wall of a juvenile detention center, or begins the school day with excerpts from the Sermon on the Mount or from Sha'ria, it is doing just that -- endorsing some species of religious belief.

Implicit in your statements that "religion does not abuse people" and "people abuse religion" is the notion that evil done in the name of religion is not a consequence of religion's teachings but of some corrupt human understanding of those teachings. If only the matter were that clear. Scripture tends to be cryptic and full of self-contradiction. Like tea leaves, its reading tends more to reflect the sensibilities and prejudices of the reader than of the author. Those who are inclined to find a benificent message from a loving god frequently focus on scripture's lovey-dovey stuff, but elide a lot of its nastier passages, such as those which require the stoning of adulterers and masturbators, or those which condone human slavery (regrettably, in the conventional rather than the sexual sense).

I know that our secular laws prohibit the killing of abortion doctors. I have no idea whether the laws attributed to god do.     
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 06:21:38 AM by vtboy »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #105 on: December 01, 2012, 04:41:23 PM »

I know that our secular laws prohibit the killing of abortion doctors. I have no idea whether the laws attributed to god do.     

I would think it is pretty easily summed up in one of those 'needless bits of religous fippery' you seem to dislike. A list of 10 mandates.. you know the one that says simply.. 'Thou shalt not kill'.

Offline vtboy

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #106 on: December 01, 2012, 05:45:03 PM »
I would think it is pretty easily summed up in one of those 'needless bits of religous fippery' you seem to dislike. A list of 10 mandates.. you know the one that says simply.. 'Thou shalt not kill'.

Here we are reading tea leaves again.

Thou shalt not kill.

The statement is unqualified. Does it apply to the killing of animals, or just to the killing of humans?

Does it prohibit killing in self defense? Though I suspect most people would say "no," nothing in the commandment suggests homicide is ever justifiable.
 
Does it proscribe the waging of war? Military chaplains apparently think not, at least when it comes to the side whose uniform they wear. Nor, apparently, have the clerics and true believers who instigated and fought the many religious wars throughout history thought so. Is the answer different for the winners than it is for the losers? After all, if one believes in an interventionist god, one might infer from victory an endorsement of the victors' ends and means.

How about assisted suicide of the terminally ill? Many think it an obvious transgression. Others believe there is a moral obligation to assist those in or approaching extremis to avoid pointless suffering, and an exemption from the proscription for such acts.

What about capital punishment? Within the prohibition, or without? Many clerics have endorsed its application, and often in service of their own religious institutions.

Abortion doctors? I suspect that at least some who have killed abortionists believed they enjoyed a pass on the commandment, as their acts prevented the taking of many more innocent lives and, thus, were true to the commandment's purpose. 

On top of all this, there is some controversy as to whether the correct translation of the commandment from Hebrew is "thou shall not kill" or "thou shall not murder," the latter being a legalistic concept.

Here is some of what Lincoln thought about the simplicity of divining the will of the divine:

"Both [sides in the Civil War] read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged."

Perhaps, moral guidance is not quite as apparent in scripture, even in the commandment against killing, as you suggest.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 05:47:12 PM by vtboy »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #107 on: December 01, 2012, 06:15:03 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong but there are copious examples of laws against murder in all it's varieties, levels and incarnations on the books. They don't guide those misguided individuals anymore than the three words I cited earlier.

So please stop taking outrage on what a small percentage does on the rest of the group that believes. Moral distinctions and decisions in the end come down to the individual. Too few folks these days look at thinking for themselves..

Religion.. like guns.. don't kill people. We do, using one as a tool to do it and the other as a justification. And there are plenty of both justification and tools to do it with.

I'm just pointing out you come down pretty hard on religion as a whole rather than trying to look into how it, like anything else, is subverted for those who give lip service to it rather than follow the spirit of the idea.

I'm done. I shan't be reading/posting in here anymore I think.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #108 on: December 01, 2012, 07:15:15 PM »
Just to point out that the actual Commandment is 'Thou Shall Not Murder', not 'Thou Shall Not Kill'. Now, that requires you to pin down if a death is murder or not, but it's better - if more vague - than a flat ban on killing.

Offline KennethNoisewater

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #109 on: December 01, 2012, 09:46:18 PM »
And what scarring/traumatizing/evil act did the person whose memorial that was do to you?  It was petty and low spirited to go after it and use the pretext of separation of church and state. A LOT of people need to get over themselves and stop looking for reasons to hurt one another.

In the case of the OP, yeah I think that city did the right thing. The CITY showed the maturity and practical sense to end the issue. In the case of the memorial, I see a bit of pettiness dressed up in moral outrage.

My brother, who is fairly well off, donates a building or something else to the community and puts up a placard with a suitable, but religious quote, on it. Does that merit years from now pulling the city into court to pull down the placard because it offends some atheist that someone uses god in justifying their charity?

Why are we SO intent on destroying the good actions of the faithful? Aren't there enough reasons to argue, bicker, demean and degrade one another without looking for more? Take it in the positive spirit it was intended rather than look for reasons to HATE it.

Too any folks on BOTH sides of this ort of issue are looking for reasons to feel hurt and to hurt the other side.

I think the real issue is the citing of your brother (or anyone for that mattering) donating anything within a religious context.  Why can it not be done out of the goodness of one's heart?  Why does it have to be tied to the stipulation that it was motivated in part or whole by religion?  Why is it that we have an entire society that does not do good things because they should be done, but because they are attempting to punch a ticket to heaven?  It is not about destroying the actions of the faithful, it is questioning why these actions even need faith attached to them in the first place.

A faith which, is becoming majority belief, criticizes and looks down upon entire groups of our population based off a passage in a book (homosexuality).  But in that same book they turn their cheek the other way when it talks of gang rapes, incest, slavery, mistreatment of women, and on and on.  Yet they choose to pull this one element and say it is the word of god.  Morality and laws did not derive from the bible.  We create morality and laws.  This is exhibited by the fact that so many pick and choose what they want to believe as morality from the books, therefore creating their own parameters of morality.  They will choose to frown upon homosexuality and adultery, but when was the last time you heard a religious person get up and decry the other actions and ideas that are condoned in the bible?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 09:51:12 PM by KennethNoisewater »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #110 on: December 01, 2012, 09:53:15 PM »
I wouldn't say that the donation would have to be in a 'religious context' to incorporate a Bible verse.  I can think of quite a few that would make the average person blush.  Songs 4:5 would be appropriate at a women's clinic, perhaps...

Offline vtboy

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #111 on: December 02, 2012, 07:13:56 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong but there are copious examples of laws against murder in all it's varieties, levels and incarnations on the books. They don't guide those misguided individuals anymore than the three words I cited earlier.

No, you are not wrong in this. You are just missing the point.

Homicide is rarely the result of vagary in our homicide laws. Occasionally, as in the case of the Treyvon Martin shooting, it may be unclear just how the law should apply in a particular circumstance, but this tends to be the exception rather than the rule. I suspect that most murderers, when they commit murder, realize they are violating man's law.

This stands in contrast to the examples I've provided in which it is not always clear whether the killing violates laws attributed to god. Reasonable people of good faith may come to very different conclusions as to whether, for example, doctor assisted suicide or killing in combat or judicial execution or even the killing of an abortion doctor violates the commandment. In each case, though, I think whether or not the act violates secular law is clear.

It is also worth noting that the bible prescribes death for a variety of acts many moralists no longer consider quite so grave as to warrant the punishment, including adultery, false prophecy, blasphemy, and breaking the Sabbath.

Thus, when someone says, in effect, "god has provided perfect moral guidance through religion and it is only man, in his corruption and feebleness, who has fucked it up," too much credit is given to god, and not enough to man. Or, perhaps, too much blame is assigned man, and not enough to god.

Quote
So please stop taking outrage on what a small percentage does on the rest of the group that believes.

I don't presume to tell you what to be outraged over. Please return the courtesy.

That I blame "what a small percentage does on the rest of the group that believes" is a canard which I would have thought beneath you. While I believe religion has in one way or another caused or contributed to a great deal of human suffering, I can't imagine where you got the idea that I blame all members of any religious group for the bad acts of a few of its members, in the absence of endorsement of those acts. I have never, for example, blamed all Christians (not even all fundamentalist Christians) for murders of abortion doctors committed in the name of Christ. I am likewise certain that many Catholics are critical of the benighted dogma of their religion regarding homosexuality.

Quote
Moral distinctions and decisions in the end come down to the individual. Too few folks these days look at thinking for themselves..

I agree with the latter point. I am not sure what you mean by the former.

Please allow me to remind you of what I said in an earlier post in this thread about those who claim religious justification for their acts: "Scripture tends to be cryptic and full of self-contradiction. Like tea leaves, its reading tends more to reflect the sensibilities and prejudices of the reader than of the author." It seems you agree with this.

Quote
Religion.. like guns.. don't kill people. We do, using one as a tool to do it and the other as a justification. And there are plenty of both justification and tools to do it with.

Religion has frequently provided a ready source of justification to those who would commit barbarous acts. Today's conventional wisdom is that those who found warrant in the bible for launching wars or stoning adulterers or burning witches or flying airplanes into office buildings got its message wrong. The view is comforting to those who like the syrupy view of god and religion, but where, really, is its touchstone?

I don't know that it profits us to distinguish between the role of religion and the role of people in killing or other nastiness, especially for those who believe, as I do, that religion is the handiwork of man. We regulate guns (to the extent we regulate them) in the hope that by so doing we will reduce the number of instances in which people will use them to commit homicide. We regulate religion -- to the extent only of separating it from government and insisting on the primacy of secular laws -- in the hope that we will reduce the number of instances in which people will use it to oppress and harm others. The point here is that both guns and religion are too dangerous to be left entirely unregulated.

Quote
I'm just pointing out you come down pretty hard on religion as a whole rather than trying to look into how it, like anything else, is subverted for those who give lip service to it rather than follow the spirit of the idea.

Your insistence that the failings of religion lie only in its being "subverted" by those who refuse to "follow the spirit of the idea" only begs the question of what, exactly, is "the spirit of the idea?" As I've tried to point out, the expression of the "idea" has been more than a little bit muddy.

 
Quote
I'm done. I shan't be reading/posting in here anymore I think.

Your call, of course.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 07:27:21 AM by vtboy »

Offline Braioch

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #112 on: December 02, 2012, 11:50:38 AM »
I take issue with people stating that the bible is being interpreted incorrectly at times. Because I'm sorry, it is more than obvious about what you are supposed to do at times, and few of them are nice. (NOT EVEN going to go into the steady stream of contradictions and back pedaling that it does on a frequent basis either) Sorry, the way I look at it, the horrible, terrible rules that everyone likes to conveniently ignore is exactly what you're supposed to do in those cases. If you want to take what you feel to be the intended message of love and what have you, then fine, but it doesn't sit well with me when you have a book that tells you to murder over the smallest infraction. The justifications of religion (currently referring strictly to the Judeo Christian ones) for carnage, enslavement, murder and genocide are not corruption of the book, but following the damn instruction manual.

I need to find that quote about people whom would follow the old versus the new testament...

Please hold

....
......
.........

AH!

Here it is, good ole google, and found a few interesting sites and an interesting list of quotes about religion and such, anyways, this is the quote I mean:

"If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane."
-Robert Ingersoll

Even with people backing out of saying they don't follow the Old Testament, or they don't have too, it still stands that it's kind of part of your holy book, part of the codified laws in which one would have to follow. Even the new stuff is wildly contradictory and self-defeating, stuff that I am utterly bewildered that people would stand by with the ferocity that they do. I do not take issue with Faith, with belief, (or as said in Dogma, "having an idea.") But to create religion? Something that has time and time again in history damaged humanity and it's progress time and time again? I just cannot fathom it at all.

Y'all got me on that one.

Offline Sho

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #113 on: December 02, 2012, 03:15:57 PM »
faith which, is becoming majority belief, criticizes and looks down upon entire groups of our population based off a passage in a book (homosexuality).  But in that same book they turn their cheek the other way when it talks of gang rapes, incest, slavery, mistreatment of women, and on and on...[sic]They will choose to frown upon homosexuality and adultery, but when was the last time you heard a religious person get up and decry the other actions and ideas that are condoned in the bible?

Not to nit-pick, but often, actually. I've never heard someone who wasn't a zealot agree with anything that you've mentioned listed - and actually, there are a fair number of Christians who see nothing wrong with homosexuality. It's just a case of the most obnoxious, loud, bigoted Christians being heard over the reasonable ones. It's actually rather insulting to have someone lump all Christians into one bigoted, hateful group that are supposedly close-minded and unaccepting of all groups of people except themselves. Frankly, it's not true - and as much as people say atheists are nowhere near as harmful or mean as the big, bad Christians, it's attitudes like that above which can be just as hurtful. In the same way most atheists don't like to be condemned for their beliefs, we Christians would prefer not to be as well. Just keep it in mind, please.

I take issue with people stating that the bible is being interpreted incorrectly at times...[sic] Sorry, the way I look at it, the horrible, terrible rules that everyone likes to conveniently ignore is exactly what you're supposed to do in those cases. Even with people backing out of saying they don't follow the Old Testament, or they don't have too, it still stands that it's kind of part of your holy book, part of the codified laws in which one would have to follow. Even the new stuff is wildly contradictory and self-defeating, stuff that I am utterly bewildered that people would stand by with the ferocity that they do. I do not take issue with Faith, with belief, (or as said in Dogma, "having an idea.") But to create religion? Something that has time and time again in history damaged humanity and it's progress time and time again? I just cannot fathom it at all.

Aaaaaalrighty. Again, the whole Christian-bashing thing is a little bit tired. But. There are plenty of churches that do not follow the Bible strictly - in fact, in my experience, the majority of churches use the good parts of the Bible as a social code and the bad past as, well, outdated book markers. In the same way that you read a book about, let's say, the Vikings, you wouldn't question women being carried away and raped (not to say that it's not bad, but that it was simply part of the social structure at the time), many Christians are reasonable enough to understand that the Bible is, at best, a very outdated book. That being said, a huge portion of Christians are quite reasonable - we just find that it's generally not worth our time to butt heads because inevitably we end up being painted as evil for supporting a system that is supposedly entirely bad and morally reprehensible.

A little more on topic - I can understand why the city made their decision, and I respect it. It was what they had to do and what was most reasonable - but I can't help but feel that the fact that people would petition the Nativity scene is a bit...small. I understand that it's religious, but frankly, it's also usually just a scene with lights and bright colors. It's a pretty little distraction walking through a park - and I fail to see the similarity between a scene that is meant to inspire feelings of warmth and thanks in our hearts and a billboard meant to criticize and knock-down religion. While they have the right, it just seems to be so far from the spirit of what Christmas is supposed to be (and I mean that in the secular, warm, giving sense, not the Christian sense).

Offline KennethNoisewater

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #114 on: December 02, 2012, 04:11:58 PM »
"Not to nit-pick, but often, actually. I've never heard someone who wasn't a zealot agree with anything that you've mentioned listed - and actually, there are a fair number of Christians who see nothing wrong with homosexuality. It's just a case of the most obnoxious, loud, bigoted Christians being heard over the reasonable ones. It's actually rather insulting to have someone lump all Christians into one bigoted, hateful group that are supposedly close-minded and unaccepting of all groups of people except themselves. Frankly, it's not true - and as much as people say atheists are nowhere near as harmful or mean as the big, bad Christians, it's attitudes like that above which can be just as hurtful. In the same way most atheists don't like to be condemned for their beliefs, we Christians would prefer not to be as well. Just keep it in mind, please."

And there in lies the issue.  You are right, there are a very large percentage of Christians that take no issue with homosexuality.  But they do not speak against that oh so sacred book and those groups that do take issue.  Instead they sit in the corner and remain silent.  Sure there are a handful of them that will stand alongside those that are gay and defend them.  But it is few and far between.  But as I said, the majority will sit in the corner and say nothing.  And saying nothing is just as bad as supporting it.  They still read the "good book" knowing that the bad, wrong, evil, and immoral message is just as prevalent in it as the good.  So rather than putting it aside and being good just for the sake of being good, they still choose to stand shoulder to shoulder with those that are the loudest and the biggest bigots they can find all in the hopes that they can punch that shiny gold ticket to heaven.  And that is a selfish motive, and if I am not mistaken, selfish is looked down upon in the bible.  Yet the entire premise of the religious culture is selfish.  No one associated with the church can do good just to do good.  They have to attach religion to it, make sure that everyone knows that religion is attached to it, and hope that it wins some sort of universal approval because of it.

But your statement of the majority not taking issue is incorrect.  If that were the case we wouldn't see these ballot measures to provide equal rights and marriage fail so miserably.  Because if a majority of the Christians out there didn't believe the same as those loud mouthed "minorities" then they would get out and show their solidarity with the the rest of the non-bigots and help pass a ballot for those that are gay.  You can't choose a religion and then cherry pick what you want to believe in from it.  It completely defeats the entire premise behind religion.  That it guides and creates morality, that it promotes and guides what is good.  Yet each individual who decides to the dissect the bible and take what they wish from it is already establishing their own case of morality and good, independent of what that antiquated, racists, sexist, historically inaccurate, brain washing, war starting, culture dividing, bigoted book.

Offline Sho

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #115 on: December 03, 2012, 01:43:22 AM »
But they do not speak against that oh so sacred book and those groups that do take issue.  Instead they sit in the corner and remain silent.  Sure there are a handful of them that will stand alongside those that are gay and defend them.  But it is few and far between.  But as I said, the majority will sit in the corner and say nothing.  And saying nothing is just as bad as supporting it.  They still read the "good book" knowing that the bad, wrong, evil, and immoral message is just as prevalent in it as the good.  So rather than putting it aside and being good just for the sake of being good, they still choose to stand shoulder to shoulder with those that are the loudest and the biggest bigots they can find all in the hopes that they can punch that shiny gold ticket to heaven. 

Well, it's fairly clear to me that I'm not going to change your mind, if you assume that because we're quiet, all Christians align themselves with hateful groups that claim to be Christian (a la Westboro Baptist Church). Is a Christian who doesn't march in a gay pride rally any less of a good person than a regular person who doesn't do it? There are plenty of people who whole-heartedly support gay rights but don't march in rallies, don't drive hours out of their way to get into debates, don't want to waste their time puffing hot air at the zealot Christians who obviously are not going to change their minds. It doesn't mean that we don't support those rights, and in fact, we will vote for them and encourage our friends to do so as well. It just means that, to a certain extent, those bigoted Christians are a lost cause that unfortunately have been taken to represent the whole, and we're so tired of trying to deal with them that we've stepped back.

Take, for example, the Republicans. The Tea Party has come to be a universal representative of the party (at least in popular opinion), but there are quite a few reasonable Republicans. They're just drowned out by the angry, screaming mob. They try to make their point heard but eventually give up.

In short, I guess what I'm saying, is that those rational Christians don't want to stick their necks out because the zealots will try to knock them down, as will heavily opinionated non-religious folks. Either they're bad people because they're Christian, period, or they're bad because they're not Christian enough. You hit a point where if everyone is going to hate you, it's just easier to stick to your enclave.

As far as the Bible being horribly immoral - yeah, parts of it are bad. I'm not even going to try to argue that fact. Anyone shoving the Bible down someone else's throat is doing a terrible job of being a Christian. To condemn an entire book as being unworthy or as burnable, though, because of it containing some things you object to, is...odd. It brings to mind the groups that try to ban books because of sexual content, violent content, or because the book contains a message that they don't agree with. As far as I see it (and this is solely my opinion and I wouldn't claim to speak for all Christians, particularly on this point), it's a wonderful book for literary purposes, since much of Western canon literature draws on Biblical references. Beyond that, it's a slightly outdated social code that can have some nice tips, but that's about the extent of it.

Steering more firmly back onto the topic, though (I'll try not to harp on the whole Christian-bashing bit since it's counterproductive, and I don't want things to get heated or personal)...the city did the right thing, legislatively speaking. I can't help but be sad, though, that groups felt it necessary to take down something that has quite a warm message. Even if one disagrees with the religious aspect, the overall message is one of hope, and love, and peace. It's about wondrement, and the celebration of new life and old, and of the humblest beginnings giving birth to greatness. It's about reminding us to give thanks for what we do have, even if we're in what seem like dirty, humble surroundings. It's about the appreciation of the world around us and the daily gifts that we're given. I just find it unfortunate that that message isn't appreciated and instead it's villified as a Christian, hateful scene meant to psychologically torment people.

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #116 on: December 03, 2012, 07:27:08 AM »
In short, I guess what I'm saying, is that those rational Christians don't want to stick their necks out because the zealots will try to knock them down, as will heavily opinionated non-religious folks.

Or a more likely answer is that some folks still adhere to the notion that their faith and religious beliefs are very personal and private, and not meant for public discourse.


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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #117 on: December 03, 2012, 08:19:45 AM »
Bashing?

No, that's taking notice of something and calling it out.

As for calling out Christianity, I hear the argument all the time. "Why do you have to pick on Christianity so much?" For the same reason that so many people become Christian rather than Taoist or Muslim around here. I live in the US, just take a look at the percentage of Christians in this country and you'll see how often I run into Christianity and it's bizarre beliefs everyday. I'm not being a bully, I'm not picking on one because it's the easiest to beat up on, or because I like tormenting and taunting Christians. I do it because this is the religion I have to deal with everyday, with it's beliefs, the habits of it's followers, every destructive (for oneself and others) and head scratching behavior.

Side note: The bible doesn't like much of anyone unless you're a white, heterosexual male for the most part and even then it's not all that guaranteed. So no, I wasn't just addressing homosexuality, don't assume that's what I meant. (In reference to your parenthesis addition to my post)

As for not lumping them altogether and not all thinking the way the bible tells them, I don't and I'm sure they don't. And yet those that would think contrary still sit idly by while their more oppressive and aggressive co-members bowl over people and shout hate from the rooftops. If you're quiet, than I have no choice but to think that you either support the hate, or perfectly content to let it happen without a peep. Which happens all to often, as it's said, evil happens when good people let the bad things happen (paraphrase) and I'm not going to look kindly on the silent or the verbal hate spewers.

Offline Caela

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #118 on: December 03, 2012, 08:50:30 AM »
Bashing?

No, that's taking notice of something and calling it out.

As for calling out Christianity, I hear the argument all the time. "Why do you have to pick on Christianity so much?" For the same reason that so many people become Christian rather than Taoist or Muslim around here. I live in the US, just take a look at the percentage of Christians in this country and you'll see how often I run into Christianity and it's bizarre beliefs everyday. I'm not being a bully, I'm not picking on one because it's the easiest to beat up on, or because I like tormenting and taunting Christians. I do it because this is the religion I have to deal with everyday, with it's beliefs, the habits of it's followers, every destructive (for oneself and others) and head scratching behavior.

Side note: The bible doesn't like much of anyone unless you're a white, heterosexual male for the most part and even then it's not all that guaranteed. So no, I wasn't just addressing homosexuality, don't assume that's what I meant. (In reference to your parenthesis addition to my post)

As for not lumping them altogether and not all thinking the way the bible tells them, I don't and I'm sure they don't. And yet those that would think contrary still sit idly by while their more oppressive and aggressive co-members bowl over people and shout hate from the rooftops. If you're quiet, than I have no choice but to think that you either support the hate, or perfectly content to let it happen without a peep. Which happens all to often, as it's said, evil happens when good people let the bad things happen (paraphrase) and I'm not going to look kindly on the silent or the verbal hate spewers.

Bolded the part that stuck in my head....actually the Bible (Particularly the Old Testament!) doesn't like much of anyone who isn't a Jewish heterosexual male. The whole Old Testament is actually meant to be a covenant between the tribes of Israel and God...anyone else need not apply.

It isn't until Christ's death and Resurrection in the New Testament that Gentiles (everyone not Jewish) is given a path to God. So in actuality, anyone calling themselves Christian, should note the Old Testament simply as a, "The is where we came from" but not as a religious text because the only part of that book that is actually supposed to apply to them is the New Testament.

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #119 on: December 03, 2012, 10:13:36 AM »
Bolded the part that stuck in my head....actually the Bible (Particularly the Old Testament!) doesn't like much of anyone who isn't a Jewish heterosexual male. The whole Old Testament is actually meant to be a covenant between the tribes of Israel and God...anyone else need not apply.

It isn't until Christ's death and Resurrection in the New Testament that Gentiles (everyone not Jewish) is given a path to God. So in actuality, anyone calling themselves Christian, should note the Old Testament simply as a, "The is where we came from" but not as a religious text because the only part of that book that is actually supposed to apply to them is the New Testament.

As for the first paragraph, touche and I concede to your point, your very accurate point. :P

As to the second, it still goes back to what has already been said. It is too vague and relative to the preconceptions and motivations of the reader to really so definitively be taken as such. People of course claim that is how it is to be taken, a great deal of more modern day thinkers of biblical texts are stating to say this nowadays, this is true. And yet, nowhere is it explicitly stated in this holy book of moral laws, this handbook to being a Christian, that that is how it is supposed to be. It is again, another thing that people have personally interpreted from the text, from their own desires and are putting it out there as the answer.

Simply put, the Bible is being used to justify another viewpoint...again.

Offline vtboy

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #120 on: December 03, 2012, 10:35:22 AM »
Bolded the part that stuck in my head....actually the Bible (Particularly the Old Testament!) doesn't like much of anyone who isn't a Jewish heterosexual male. The whole Old Testament is actually meant to be a covenant between the tribes of Israel and God...anyone else need not apply.

It isn't until Christ's death and Resurrection in the New Testament that Gentiles (everyone not Jewish) is given a path to God. So in actuality, anyone calling themselves Christian, should note the Old Testament simply as a, "The is where we came from" but not as a religious text because the only part of that book that is actually supposed to apply to them is the New Testament.

As I recall, all that OT stuff about Adam and Eve, the Flood, Lot's wife, Moses and the Ten Commandments, David and Goliath, Abrahan and Isaac, Job, etc., etc., is preached from Christian pulpits, as well as Jewish ones.

I am not a biblical scholar by any means, but I don't believe I've ever heard that the NT superseded the OT or that the former authorized disregard of the contents of the latter. I also suspect that Joshua, a Jew, likely observed the religious rituals and prohibitions of his day and his people. In my view, notwithstanding the NT, Christians take a serious risk if they wear mixed fabrics, place more than one beast of burden under a single yoke, or sacrifice blemished animals.

Forewarned is forearmed. 
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 10:37:14 AM by vtboy »

Offline Stattick

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #121 on: December 03, 2012, 11:09:43 AM »
Jeremiah 10 prohibits Christmas trees. *nods*

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #122 on: December 03, 2012, 11:14:38 AM »
I would love to have a Talmudic scholar read this thread and enlighten all of us.

In line with that I've been wondering how Hitler, Stalin and Mao would fare if viewed with the same microscope as the members of religious communities are being view.

Offline Sabby

Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #123 on: December 03, 2012, 11:34:09 AM »
In line with that I've been wondering how Hitler, Stalin and Mao would fare if viewed with the same microscope as the members of religious communities are being view.

That really depends on whose holding the microscope... if you mean looking into Hitler in the same way an Atheist views the Theists leaders, they would probably say something very similar to what we already know.

But give the microscope to someone cut from the same cloth as Kent Hovind, Ray Comfort, or any VLOGer who likes to quote them (A Nazi Apologist in this case I guess) and you'd hear a whole lot about the economics of Pre-WW2 Germany, and not a lot about that whole genocide business... probably because Hitler had no idea it was happening. There's evidence to support that, ya know.

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Re: Christians vs Atheists in California Nativity Debacle
« Reply #124 on: December 03, 2012, 11:40:48 AM »
Suppose the allegations that all three were atheists or had atheistic leanings for some of most of their adult lives are accurate how did that philosophy (atheism) contribute to the mass murders of ethnic and religious groups, the suppression of child bearing by the government and the attempts to eradicate certain deviants and defectives (so-call by them) from the gene pool?  Conservative estimates support a death toll of 26,000,000 million between Hitler and Stalin alone.