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Author Topic: Oklahoma Vs. Satan  (Read 2282 times)

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Offline Valthazar

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2013, 08:59:56 PM »
I'm not a Christian, but pretty soon the U.S. will have no shared community culture, and we'll just be a collection of sub-cultures in our own sub-group.

Over here, they always put a tree in front of the courthouse, and decorate it with lights during the wintertime.  No religious tones at all, but just a symbolic tradition.  If I wanted to, I could go on a crusade like these satanists, and make an accurate claim that this is heavily influenced by Christianity, and it is in violation of the Constitution - and then campaign to put some obscure religious symbol alongside it.

But what is that accomplishing?  Culturally, my community here is like 85%+ Christian from a historical perspective.  Even among some of my Atheists friends, they like knowing that these cultural traditions still exist that bind a community together.

While the Ten Commandments is a more direct religious reference, I think it holds more of a symbolic meaning, rather than specifically a religious one, for their community's predominant historical past.  Whether or not this particular object exists there, unfortunately we will still have politicians bringing religion into public policy - which is quite a different matter.

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2013, 06:43:21 AM »
While the Ten Commandments is a more direct religious reference, I think it holds more of a symbolic meaning, rather than specifically a religious one, for their community's predominant historical past.  Whether or not this particular object exists there, unfortunately we will still have politicians bringing religion into public policy - which is quite a different matter.

         There are lots of things that have been predominant for much of US history if you look closely: Institutional racism, women having lower wages -- little to no protection from violence by spouses -- fewer property rights outside of marriage, marriage only between different sexes...  Things being around a while in society are hardly accepted anymore as obviously good reasons to maintain them as they always have been. 

       Sure, you can say some people think that's more a general "feel good" statement like the more obviously secularized tree (very commercial, too really -- all those gifts and decorations).  But in a context where often the same people who want the Ten Commandments posted in the schools are dead set against teaching evolution, I don't believe it's just some vague feel good, 'yes obviously everyone agrees' community symbol.  It doesn't convince me.  Which brings things back to where this church started...  Some politicians (or churches, etc.) are putting a big, loud religious message into public space. 

          I think it has a lot of other ideological messages about work, sacrifice, die-hard loyalty even in the face of contradictory evidence and impossible conditions -- the whole Old Testament mythos really -- buried inside too, but enough said I suppose already.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 01:55:50 AM by kylie »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2013, 12:09:36 PM »
Sure, you can say some people think that's more a general "feel good" statement like the more obviously secularized tree (very commercial, too really -- all those gifts and decorations).  But in a context where often the same people who want the Ten Commandments posted in the schools are dead set against teaching evolution, I don't believe it's just some vague feel good, 'yes obviously everyone agrees' community symbol.  It doesn't convince me.  Which brings things back to where this church started...  Some politicians (or churches, etc.) are putting a big, loud religious message into public space.

As I said in my post, it is unfortunate that politicians choose to galvanize their constituents by inserting religion into public policy.  However, nothing in this article discusses removing these symbols.  In fact, the satanists in this article support the existence of these symbols, and simply wants to add-on to this tradition, by having a symbol of their own religion and culture.

It is a shame that when many people think about Christianity now, they only see the overly politicized hot-button issues.  I am not Christian, but I still respect the Christian traditions for what they stand for.

If I wanted to, I could petition to have a Hindu symbol placed next to the Ten Commandments, and many people would respect the historical basis of my cultural traditions - even though just like Christianity, there is a long history of bias and discrimination such as modern day burning of wives, the modern day caste system, and justified indentured servitude.  Just like Christianity, it offers a great deal of cohesion for communities in the United States.  I have seen first hand the generosity of Christians in my community, and contrary to what you may think, the vast majority of them just want to live normal middle class lives, and don't give a darn about what is going on in politics.  If anything, criticize the politicians who are exploiting religion for their political motives.

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2013, 12:13:47 PM »
I'd kind of like to see a copy/replica of the Code of Hammurabi placed in courthouses.  What better symbol for the courts than the first written legal code?

Offline Neysha

Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2013, 12:59:07 PM »
IIRC I saw both the ten commandments and Code of Hammurabi at the Supreme Court.

I've also seen the Magna Carta on display outside my local district courthouse where there are no places for monuments thankfully.

It'd be interesting to show, as long as the reason is not to engage in petty politics, provocation and me tooism.

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2013, 01:22:27 PM »
I was actually thinking of what would be a purely historical display - one that can't really be tied to any extant religion.

(Apologies to any Babylonian reconstructionists - I didn't see you there.)

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2013, 05:19:18 PM »
I'd kind of like to see a copy/replica of the Code of Hammurabi placed in courthouses.  What better symbol for the courts than the first written legal code?
That would be quite fitting. Though I think some people might get upset over the values dissonance given that the nature of some of Hammurabi's laws would seem needlessly harsh to modern people here in the states. Maybe not, but I can see it happening.

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2013, 05:38:25 PM »
Perhaps the very harshness of those laws might make them better appreciate the ones they have to live under.

Assuming, of course, that anyone bothers to read the translation.  ::)

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2013, 05:47:10 PM »
Perhaps the very harshness of those laws might make them better appreciate the ones they have to live under.

Assuming, of course, that anyone bothers to read the translation.  ::)
Fair point. I did not think of it that way.  Of course it assumes that a large amount of people know or remember what Hammurabi's code is. Many might see it as irrelevant because it doesn't have religious significance to them and it's ancient. Some people make the mistake of assuming that things that happened a long time ago have no baring on today. This is not to say that people are completely oblivious or that no one knows a single thing about it, but those are factors.

Offline Sethala

Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2013, 10:49:53 PM »
I'm not a Christian, but pretty soon the U.S. will have no shared community culture, and we'll just be a collection of sub-cultures in our own sub-group.

Over here, they always put a tree in front of the courthouse, and decorate it with lights during the wintertime.  No religious tones at all, but just a symbolic tradition.  If I wanted to, I could go on a crusade like these satanists, and make an accurate claim that this is heavily influenced by Christianity, and it is in violation of the Constitution - and then campaign to put some obscure religious symbol alongside it.

But what is that accomplishing?  Culturally, my community here is like 85%+ Christian from a historical perspective.  Even among some of my Atheists friends, they like knowing that these cultural traditions still exist that bind a community together.

While the Ten Commandments is a more direct religious reference, I think it holds more of a symbolic meaning, rather than specifically a religious one, for their community's predominant historical past.  Whether or not this particular object exists there, unfortunately we will still have politicians bringing religion into public policy - which is quite a different matter.

My personal thought is that Christmas has become enough of a cultural holiday to be easy enough to celebrate it without having to embrace any of the Christian beliefs that come with it.  Decorating trees is actually a tradition that has a lot of pagan roots, for instance.  The nativity scene is pretty much the only common decoration that's actually from Christianity, and I really have no problem with treating it the same as Santa Claus, both mythical figures and children's stories.  This video might be worth checking out if you want to see a bit more about the real roots of Christmas, as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLjHAzqqOm0

As for the thread itself, I don't see anything wrong with them doing this, even if it's not a truly sincere belief.  The problem with ignoring separation of church and state is that a lot of Christians tend to think "I want to be free to express my religion", without realizing that they have to give that freedom to everyone, even those not of their own religion.  Something shocking like this is needed once in a while to make them stop and think "you know, maybe this whole separation thing might be a good idea after all".

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2013, 11:23:42 PM »
My personal thought is that Christmas has become enough of a cultural holiday to be easy enough to celebrate it without having to embrace any of the Christian beliefs that come with it.  Decorating trees is actually a tradition that has a lot of pagan roots, for instance.  The nativity scene is pretty much the only common decoration that's actually from Christianity, and I really have no problem with treating it the same as Santa Claus, both mythical figures and children's stories.

I agree with what you are saying. 

But I know many people would be insulted by the idea that we are even celebrating the cultural aspects of Christmas on a community level.  For example, why is it the cultural aspects and traditions of a Christian holiday (debatable, like you said) that are being celebrated, and not those of another culture?  The answer, obviously, is that it represents the traditions of America's past, and most of its demographic.  At this point, a lot of people will make the argument that the local government is involving itself in the traditions/culture of one segment of its populous - and thus, alienating itself from citizens who may not subscribe to the same historically-religious traditions.

Like I said, I have the same view as you, but this seems to be the argument a lot of people are making - which I think is more destructive than productive for all of us.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 11:41:59 PM by ValthazarElite »

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2013, 12:47:28 AM »
Quote
I'd kind of like to see a copy/replica of the Code of Hammurabi placed in courthouses.  What better symbol for the courts than the first written legal code?

I'll support this wholeheartedly.  Hammurabi was pretty awesome as far as Bronze Age despots went, considering the era.  Though, for my two cents, I'd rather have the complete, rediscovered Epic of Gilgamesh posted as well, in cuneiform and on simulated stone tablets, with accompanying translations in several modern languages next to them.  Enkidu FTW!!!

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2013, 02:03:51 AM »
As I said in my post, it is unfortunate that politicians choose to galvanize their constituents by inserting religion into public policy.  However, nothing in this article discusses removing these symbols.  In fact, the satanists in this article support the existence of these symbols, and simply wants to add-on to this tradition, by having a symbol of their own religion and culture.
         I think if you look at it, what they have said is more, certain Christians have put forward one set of symbols and those particular symbols have been, or could be used, for some pretty problematic purposes.  Now that they have done that, we will put forward our own, partly with the express purpose of making the point that this is public space and therefore, you cannot limit it to expressing those ideals.  (Or perhaps more broadly:  You cannot limit it to only the symbols you choose, whatever the ideals.)  If it's really going to be open for debate and comparison, then so be it.   

---- Which is to say, I don't think that church would be upset if no one was allowed to represent religiously there.  I think they'd consider it as much of a victory as if they were allowed to put up the monument. 

         You're missing the point of how they say they think, if you imagine that all they ever wanted was to positively occupy that space themselves.  I suppose it's possible a few followers don't think like the leaders interviewed, or maybe the leaders have more than one possible agenda, but still.  I don't have a reason to believe they're being outright hypocritical.  And even if they were, they could serve the agenda they claim to be, by doing this.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 02:06:17 AM by kylie »

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2013, 11:08:38 AM »
I'll support this wholeheartedly.  Hammurabi was pretty awesome as far as Bronze Age despots went, considering the era.  Though, for my two cents, I'd rather have the complete, rediscovered Epic of Gilgamesh posted as well, in cuneiform and on simulated stone tablets, with accompanying translations in several modern languages next to them.  Enkidu FTW!!!

I'd reserve that for my personal collection.  :-)  Set it right next to the line-by-line translation of Beowulf.

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #39 on: December 14, 2013, 11:20:39 AM »
As long as they allow me to set up a meaningful shrine to the Flying Spaghetti Monster and his divine noodley appendages, I'm cool with it.

God, yes, snark!

I've gone from being raised staunch Catholic, to Baptist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Buddhist for a time, open-minded Deist, hesitant agnostic, then finally, sanefully, atheist.  Since there is no mention of Jesus or Christianity in the Constitution, and at the most a tepid Creator by the predominantly Deist framers of the Declaration of Independence, I'm assuming religion or any of its trappings has no place on government-managed public property.  I don't force anyone to believe there is no god or goddess or pantheon of such--to the contrary, I only want someone who came to that conclusion by dint of their own reason and choice--and I don't want to be harried by overt representations of other citizen's personal beliefs on land that is shared by all of us, majority or minority.  Leave the fucking public property for its intended usage--the coming together of the citizenry to find solutions to problems, not create them.

Quote
v

+1!  And don't forget The Three Kingdoms, the Chinese version of The Iliad, but with more excitement and better characters...did I say Enkidu?  Zhuge Liang FTWx10!!!  Seriously, look him up--he makes Sherlock Holmes, Gandalf, and Indiana Jones all look like Dumb and Dumber.

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #40 on: December 14, 2013, 11:23:06 AM »
+1!  And don't forget The Three Kingdoms, the Chinese version of The Iliad, but with more excitement and better characters...did I say Enkidu?  Zhuge Liang FTWx10!!!  Seriously, look him up--he makes Sherlock Holmes, Gandalf, and Indiana Jones all look like Dumb and Dumber.

I might do that.  Been looking for something new and exciting to read with the little Oni, and she enjoyed The Iliad.

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #41 on: December 14, 2013, 11:45:36 AM »
I loved The Iliad as the progenitor of all Western novels, but... the whole 'Castor, the Many-Thewed One, Blessed Son of Ares, Hurler of One Thousand Spears, He who brought low the vain and orgy-compliant King of Syracuse, He of the Shining Mane of Purest Spun Gold, He who plowed ten thousand myriad furrows of grain, He who was the Shearer of countless sheep,' etc., etc., etc., got old after a very short time :D  But I did like how, even at that formative moment of literature, we still could see the progenitor of the prima-donna athlete in Achilles, and the tragic, noble Hector and family...

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Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #42 on: December 14, 2013, 04:55:07 PM »
I might do that.  Been looking for something new and exciting to read with the little Oni, and she enjoyed The Iliad.

Journey to the West?

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #43 on: December 18, 2013, 10:16:05 AM »
In my opinion, appealing to tradition does not add any validity to showing preferential treatment to any one religion.  I also believe suggesting those 'uppity [insert minority group here]' shouldn't be so provocative is hiding behind privilege.  Injustice and unfairness should be exposed for what it is.  Politeness and civility all too often only make it easier to push aside and ignore.

Offline Neysha

Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #44 on: December 18, 2013, 11:15:36 AM »
What privileged Elliquians were using that language? I'm curious.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #45 on: December 18, 2013, 11:52:03 AM »
I do believe he is referring to the posts you have made discussing the comments like "I won't say that the act in itself bothers me, though I do find it disrespectful since it seems to be rooted in, according to your links, simple anti-religious behavior and mockery."

Offline Neysha

Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #46 on: December 18, 2013, 12:51:49 PM »
I do believe he is referring to the posts you have made discussing the comments like "I won't say that the act in itself bothers me, though I do find it disrespectful since it seems to be rooted in, according to your links, simple anti-religious behavior and mockery."

*gasps in shock*

Nice to be part of the privileged classes then!  ;D

And that the use of civil and polite discourse is my 'classes' MO as opposed to mockery and disrespect.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #47 on: December 18, 2013, 12:59:04 PM »
And yet he has a point. Polite and civil tend to get shoved aside, swept under the rug and ignored. I mean, do you think America would have won it's independence from Britain if we had just sent a painfully polite letter asking to be set free? Answer to that is no.

When something like religion is in place, the majority tends to ignore the minority. They even have a tendency to think that their religion is the only one that deserves to be acknowledged and followed. I know this because I listen to my parents rant and rave how every person who worships other than christianity should be shipped out of this country because 'by God America is a christian nation!'

It takes moves like this to smack people awake. To get them to sit up and make them realize that there are others with differing beliefs around and that this country was founded on religious freedom as well as has a separation of church and state. If they want to have their religious beliefs displayed in government/public places then every other religion should be granted the same privilege. If they do not want to grant that privilege, then they should lose it as well.

Offline Neysha

Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #48 on: December 18, 2013, 02:19:11 PM »
And yet he has a point. Polite and civil tend to get shoved aside, swept under the rug and ignored. I mean, do you think America would have won it's independence from Britain if we had just sent a painfully polite letter asking to be set free? Answer to that is no.
What rights have these Satanists lost that's comparable to that of the American colonists that requires armed insurrection?

Quote
When something like religion is in place, the majority tends to ignore the minority. They even have a tendency to think that their religion is the only one that deserves to be acknowledged and followed.

So this isn't some sort of separation of church and state issue or pertaining to religious symbols in public areas but actually a case of Satanists not being allowed to worship or be recognized?

Quote
I know this because I listen to my parents rant and rave how every person who worships other than christianity should be shipped out of this country because 'by God America is a christian nation!'

Anecdotal.

Quote
It takes moves like this to smack people awake. To get them to sit up

So in order to get people to sit up, one would act more like your monstrous parents then a civil and respectful person and anyone who disagrees is well... privileged and trying to keep those uppity Satanists/Queers/Niggers/Injuns/Monarchists/Pinkos/Breeders down?

Quote
and make them realize that there are others with differing beliefs around

People in general don't realize that? (besides your parents)

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and that this country was founded on religious freedom

That too is not realized in general? (besides your parents)

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as well as has a separation of church and state. If they want to have their religious beliefs displayed in government/public places then every other religion should be granted the same privilege. If they do not want to grant that privilege, then they should lose it as well.[/size][/font][/center]

I agree, as long as it's practical to do so. I'd hate to see these public places being used to to foment divisive discourse and petty politics by turning into a cornucopia of iconography. I think it'd be great to see public displays of Hindu or Islamic or Jewish etc imagery if permitted and practical. If not at that courthouse, then maybe another one. Or perhaps a university would be appropriate, such as how the positive use of the zero IIRC is rooted in Jainism, one of the most ancient religions. Or maybe discourses in mathematics that were originally found in the Vedas or something. I'm sure something appropriate can be found for other public buildings to help celebrate diversity as well as long as it's done in an respectful manner. And in fact, I'm pretty positive such things have already been stated by other privileged posters in this thread.

It just seems too often that people see some symbol and get a kneejerk reaction to wish to counter it like in this case when (I'm assuming) they could just as easily apply for erecting their own monument or what have you in another location that might even be more appropriate or practical or popular or educational or celebratory of their own traditions and whatnot.

Quote from: MasterMischief
In my opinion, appealing to tradition does not add any validity to showing preferential treatment to any one religion.



So would you remove two of the five rays of the Seal of Oklahoma because they are showing religious preference to only two instead of all of the 'uppity' minorities in the State of Oklahoma? Or is there a caveat that only the privileged religious classes, whatever they maybe, should be affected by your appeals?



How about the seal of the Oklahoma City? There's a subtle cross (easily interpreted as Christian) over the shield which ostensibly refers to a shield of law and protection. Almost as disturbing (if your privileged like me) is that there is a pendant of eagle feathers which according to the city of Oklahoma City, is a symbol of the Great Eagle which is revered in many Native American cultures and religions. (which it is)

Offline Sabby

Re: Oklahoma Vs. Satan
« Reply #49 on: December 18, 2013, 03:57:34 PM »
Eh, this happens all the time. Someone puts up a Christian display in public, then a non-Christian group does the same. Then another one does. Then another. The first group gets more and more upset, and the people in charge finally say 'no more guys, seriously'.

If your going to allow one, you must allow all. The only alternative is to allow none. If your going to let the Ten Commandments be erected in front of a Government building, then you have to allow a 12 foot tall statue of Satan, Krishna, Muhammad, The Flying Speghetti Monster and a Hollow Earth as well. It's both unfeasible and unnecessary to do that.

And from my understanding, there's already talk of a Hindu statue being erected alongside the Satanic one, so the flood gates are already open. The only real choice here is how long they wanna let this go before they make the sensible decision.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 03:58:55 PM by Sabby »