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The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 25, 14 at 22:53

Research suggests Americans raised in Christian households are increasingly shunning the faith of their parents.

If current trends continue, the crossing point, whereby atheists, agnostics, and “nones” equals the number of Christians in this country, will be in the year 2062. If that gives you reason to celebrate, consider this: by the year 2130, the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as Christian will equal a little more than 1 percent. To put that into perspective, today roughly 1 percent of the population is Muslim.

We will be like Europe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Perhaps people don't want anything to do with religion because society encourages them to do what they please with little to no accountability.

Who wants religion with tenets and expectations?

Anyway, who wants to worship God when they could be playing golf, nursing a hangover, or doing something fun?

It's of no matter.

We all have choices to make in life.

Those that take solace from their religion, those that take solace from their relationship with God, have no need for others to believe or worship as they do.

As far as being like Europe, yes, less industrious, lazier, more socialistic , more entitled, more crass, and less godly.

I agree.

Exactly what liberalism has brought us.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I don't think that's what the survey found, but if that's how some people see it, we'll......

Anthropologists have often stated that religion evolved to help early man cope with anxiety and insecurity. Barber contends that supernatural belief is in decline everywhere for the fact that ordinary people enjoy a decent standard of living and are secure in their health and finances.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

What just totally astounds me is that organized religion is as big as it still is. How people can possibly get themselves to believe some of the stuff that some of them do, is simply unimaginable to me. I can understand how you can get a small child to believe some of it (along with the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny), but you'd think that by adulthood they would have gained some measure of reason. Amazingly, many of them have no problem pointing out the glaring inconsistencies in other religions, but bury their head in the sand when examining their own beliefs. If you just change the names in their stories or a few small details, they think the whole thing is ludicrous, but they refuse to truly examine their own set of beliefs backed up by familiar stories and traditions.

I don't think that radical regressive Christians can be blamed for the decline of religion though. Some religions are known to be much more moderate in nature, yet their numbers, in some cases, are falling faster than those of Christianity. Some people of some other religions are equally as nutty as some of the more radical regressive Christians, and their numbers seem to correspond pretty closely to or even exceed the growth rate of Christianity.

Admittedly, I haven't done a study on it, but from just considering various religions in different areas of the world, considering conditions where they are more prevalent (or at least what I know of them), and reviewing growth/decline rates of those religions, Barber's hypothesis doesn't really seem (from a cursory review) to be true in many cases.

This post was edited by brandon7 on Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 3:03


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

BTW, take a look at the Wikipedia article on Growth of Religion. The last chart is especially interesting. Compare the projected percentage of population to the number shown in the first chart.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wikipedia on Growth of Religion


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 6:09

Those show a much better perspective, Brandon. Christianity dropped slightly as a percent between the dates 1910 and 2010. We also just came through a surge in religiosity that is tapering off to a more normal level. I don't remember what was happening in 2010.

The Salon quote is silly by itself, and of course even the author doesn't actually believe current trends would continue unchanged. Christianity isn't going anywhere, and I think we should consider what a "decline" is. If numbers of adherents dropped and sincerity rose among the remainder, would a church have declined or been strengthened?

I do agree absolutely that the biggest threat to strength of Christianity in America comes from WITHIN the Christian communities themselves. Demi is entirely right that there is a problem with meeting "tenets and expectations," but wrong in believing it is from without.

As discussed often by Christian religious scholars, many people who call themselves Christians are very uneducated about their religion and uninterested in learning and understanding its tenets and expectations. Claiming religious reasons for immoral and even destructive behaviors undermines the very bedrock of those tenets, and yet this happens everywhere you look these days.

What those inclined to claiming immoral attitudes as religion-based don't realize is that it is very obvious to others. Shabby attitudes don't somehow become moral and true just because the person promoting them has a label saying "Christian" slapped on his forehead.

And, of course, extremism repels those not prone to it, a serious problem for American Christians given the ongoing vigorous and empowered noise from religious extremists. Used to be they stood on street corners annoying passersby. Now, courtesy of the communications revolution, they're even more useful than in the past to powerful special interests, who fund and direct their voices and manipulate their voting power, cynically corrupting the attitudes of many to achieve very...secular ends.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Variations of the truth might have sometyhing to do with it.
1054 you have the GREAT SCHISM...pretty much a homgenous group with minor heresy outbreaks now & then but 1054. Both sides excommunicated eachother. OHH Truth Hurts.' Then The whole shebang went crazy with lets start a Reformation. Which from what I see reformed little caused a great deal of bloodshed on both sides. And then all those reformers sprouted reformers sprouted reformers sprouted variations till you have about 41,000 Sects today all purporting to explain & be a channel for the the true message for the LORD.
Somehow "Dominus" as in Dominus Vobsicum became the word LORD. Anyway you got all these sects, Trinitarian, Non trinitarian, Eucharistic without the true presence of Jesus or Christ or God or The Holy Spirit or are they all present in the Eucharist or is it just Jesus body & blood. (I fear a mystery is in it)
Small matters to people who say Follow something it's got Jesus in it after all. PLEASE!
Seventh Day Adventists grew pretty fast a couple of years ago but again the origins of this sect are a murky as so many of the other NON Catholic or Non Orthodox mushrooms that sprang up in the the US.

The Seventh-day Adventist church traces its roots to American preacher William Miller (1782��"1849), a Baptist who predicted the Second Coming would occur between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. Because he and his followers proclaimed Christ’s imminent advent, they were known as "Adventists."

When Christ failed to appear, Miller reluctantly endorsed the position of a group of his followers known as the "seventh-month movement," who claimed Christ would return on October 22, 1844 (in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar).

When this didn’t happen either, Miller forswore predicting the date of the Second Coming, and his followers broke up into a number of competing factions. Miller would have nothing to do with the new theories his followers produced, including ones which attempted to save part of his 1844 doctrine. He rejected this and other teachings being generated by his former followers, including those of Ellen Gould White.

Miller had claimed, based on his interpretation of Daniel and Revelation, that Christ would return in 1843��"44 to cleanse "the sanctuary" (Dan. 8:11��"14, 9:26), which he interpreted as the earth. After the disappointments of 1844, several of his followers proposed an alternative theory. While walking in a cornfield on the morning of October 23, 1844, the day after Christ failed to return, Hiram Edson felt he received a spiritual revelation that indicated that Miller had misidentified the sanctuary. It was not the earth, but the Holy of Holies in God’s heavenly temple. Instead of coming out of the heavenly temple to cleanse the sanctuary of the earth, in 1844 Christ, for the first time, went into the heavenly Holy of Holies to cleanse it instead.

Anyway they grew & they keep holy Saturday!

EG WHITE predicted

"My accompanying angel said, 'Time is almost finished. Get ready, get ready, get ready.' . . . now time is almost finished. . . and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months."
Now we are told in the Bible that not every spirit that speaks to us is a true one and some of the predictions they give us may have a shred of truth in them but if they do not come to pass these are false prophets.
WHOO baby the US is full of them & has been for well over a Century.!
You Had mass spiritualism mixing with Utopians & snake all salesmen. You had revivalism all these unique USIAN you betcha answers of the LORD!

Even the Founder of the Baptists started out Church of England then became a Puritan finally ended up with the Mennonites.
Yeah I agree with Demi's conclusion it must have to do with being libertine & charging interest on loans!
Remember there was never anything more wicked than that !


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Oh look at that the Bishop of Limburg finally resigned. Anyone remember he was building a $37 Million Palace & the people complained.
He also spent $10,000 to fly first class to India to help poor children. He & Francis didn't see eye to eye.
A side note
Since 1900 Catholicism in Africa has grown over 6000%
Now referring to another thread about the AFA demanding a boycott of an International Christian Charity Group.
The AFA is the embodiment of the Christian Politicized right in the country. They are of the selective sin variety. There are countless instruction in Leviticus they are just particular to a few!

I never understood why Solomon was so wise when he built a temple to Chemosh (who was usually hungry for children) (now that does demand faith...unless their someone else children)

"Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites."
Now Moloch also like to eat the kiddies particularly when parent offered them to the fire. EEW!

One place right outside Jerusalem was in the Valley of Gehenna. Sounds like hell to me!
Or lack of health care


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And then there's this.

Tomboy schoolgirl, 8, told she wouldn't be allowed to re-enroll in Christian school after the principal implied that her short hair meant she was sexually immoral

SMH

I think the Christian Right is it's own worst enemy. Embracing extreme ideas, far right wing politics, intolerance, anti-intellectualism - all of these work against them, especially with young people. They see no future for themselves in groups like this.

Here is a link that might be useful: 8 year old kicked out of Christian school


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 8:26

We used to have a neighbor who was a minister and ran a private religious school. She was sweet, but the suspicious stare he gave me when I introduced us, and the sound of her occasionally crying and asking what she did wrong, including after her children sold us some fund-raiser cookies, kept me from trying to deepen the connection. We'll never run out of dysfunctionals.

Labrea's mention of politicized Christians against selective sin is spot on. For a long time now, anything the Democrats are for, not just abortion, has been focused on as a sin. The origin of that suspicious and eventually quietly hostile glance, I'm sure.


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When religious bodies seek tolerance to worship in peace transform into political machine that say do as we say...Well it's not so much about being a libertine after all it's more resistance to the will of man!

Here's Tony Perkins Louisiana Politician President of the Family Research Council. a marriage made in Gehenna!
(During the time of Chris it was a garbage dump!)

"This isn't neutrality -- it's open rebellion. If we're going to follow Christ, we need to follow Him in every aspect -- including the biblical design for the family. And while there are several areas of Scripture that are open to interpretation, this isn't one of them. I'm grateful for the pastors who have remained true to Scripture, but let's be honest -- it's the pastors and pulpits that have paved the way for this heresy with their silence. And ultimately their silence leads not to the straight and narrow, but to the wide and broad gate of destruction. By choosing this path, World Vision has merged with the culture its supporters entrusted them to minister to. Our family has supported the work of World Vision, with one of my daughters actually participating in one of the group's '30 Hour Famines' this past weekend. But we cannot and will not support an organization that exalts the approval of the world over the authority of the Word. In the end when Christians desire the praise of man over the glory of God: they earn neither. The church should continue to support Christian aid and humanitarianism, but only through organizations that remain true to the word of God." - Hate group leader Tony Perkins, via press release.

This post was edited by labrea on Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 8:34


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"What just totally astounds me is that organized religion is as big as it still is. How people can possibly get themselves to believe some of the stuff that some of them do, is simply unimaginable to me."

It's quite easy when recruitment and indoctrination begin at infancy. There's no choice involved.

By adulthood, however, many people step out into the bright light of reality and shed those previously forced notions... as I did, and as a few others here have done.

I doubt religion will ever wane to the point it becomes a decided minority... there are too many people ripe for the picking.


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  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 9:22

Me either. La Brea's quote of Tony Perkins criticizing mainstream pastors and ministers for their silence is very revelatory. They refuse to preach his Gehenna in their ministries.


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Thanks to labrea for his contributions.

As far as being like Europe, yes, less industrious, lazier, more socialistic , more entitled, more crass, and less godly.

A two-for; provincialism and fluent cliche in the morning. As bracing as a cuppa.

But then I enjoy reading European papers and their view of our barbaric ways in the U.S.


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  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 10:37

I hope we'll be more like Europe.

Let me make that very clear. I think the decline of religion is probably good, BUT.......................it's only in the west. Less developed, less educated, less prosperous countries - religion is growing, and not in a good way.

I don't think the future is very hopeful for most, if not all, of the world.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

It seems as though most undeveloped countries are ripe for continued superstition, or the influence of new superstition as the case may be.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I agree with mom that the less prosperous more dysfunctional countries will accept and cling to religion for a kind of "protection" against the human condition. How many of us wouldn't throw ourselves on the Bible for food or education and some basic social services unobtainable otherwise? How many of us wouldn't buy in to a coping mechanism to assuage the real anxiety want and need produces? I find it hard to accept the idea that a quick conversion for goods and services was/is a true one though they tend to be counted as an overall statistic in the growth of religions still in the business of proselytizing.

Once people become more secure in their daily lives, there is a corresponding indifference to religion and its values, more skepticism of the supernatural, and a declining willingness to be active in a religious institution.


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Not sure why anyone would dis Europe... especially as Europe is the very seat of Catholicism... and other religious beginnings, to boot... and is far beyond us in many other areas not having to do with religion.

I suppose it doesn't occur to some people that one can be atheist and still maintain values and adhere to a code of honor... but we somehow manage to, even in our pagan, godless state.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Who wants religion with tenets and expectations?
Anyway, who wants to worship God when they could be playing golf, nursing a hangover, or doing something fun?

If the imagined entitlement of eternal life was not at the center of Christianity, those church pews would be pretty empty on Sunday. No solace, no sale.

Those that take solace from their religion, those that take solace from their relationship with God, have no need for others to believe or worship as they do.

I guess that excludes the Mormons who come knocking on my door periodically.


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  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 11:39

Yes, we "nones" are just as moral and ethical as the most spiritual person.

And then there's this.

Imagine if Jackie-O got arrested for losing her son after smoking.

Seven and a half years ago, a Mississippi teenager named Rennie Gibbs went into premature labor and delivered a stillborn baby girl named Samiya. Initially, experts attributed the baby’s death to the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. But when traces of a cocaine byproduct showed up on the autopsy report, a medical examiner declared the stillbirth a homicide and cited cocaine toxicity as the cause. Shortly afterward, the 16-year-old Gibbs was charged with murder, specifically “depraved heart murder”, a charge that can carry a sentence of up to 20 years to life in prison.

I'm sure these are "fine" christians prosecuting this woman.

Are women only valuable because we have a uterus, a vessel to carry an unborn child?

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

This post was edited by momj47 on Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 12:11


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

You don't need religious affiliation to be a good, decent, and upstanding human being. Having doubts, reevaluating old core beliefs, abandoning those cores doesn't mean a moral decay. It's a moving on.

Many people identify with what they were born in to yet feel no compelling need to practice or actively participate. I really don't know how religious organizations count their numbers (I'm sure someone here does); baptismal records? By showing up for services? Monetary support? Signing on to a parish or congregation at some point in life?


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  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 12:02

We CAN be. :) As can liberals, contrary to the common conceit among some on the right that piety and morality are their province.

It is always amazing to me when someone sincerely believes one cannot be moral without religion. I know we have different "moral IQs" and many are not well equipped to understand complex moral issues, but what goes on in these people's heads that they have never decided on right and wrong without consulting a religious rule, or at least have no conception that they have done that?


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"You don't need religious affiliation to be a good, decent, and upstanding human being. Having doubts, reevaluating old core beliefs, abandoning those cores doesn't mean a moral decay. It's a moving on."

Thank you, Duluth... and thank you, Mom and Rosie.

Religion doesn't hold a patent on morality... morality is subjective. One doesn't require a belief in a higher power to be a decent human being, to know right from wrong and live a decent life.


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I forgot to add... I don't need some promise of eternal life or ultimate forgiveness to behave in a decent manner to my fellow human beings.


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  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 12:32

I don't need some promise of eternal life or ultimate forgiveness to behave in a decent manner to my fellow human beings.

That's a very important point. When life is grim, short and brutal, a promise of a better afterlife is a useful tool for the leaders to use to maintain control of the community. Your good deeds now, in service to the community, will ensure that you will go to a better life when this life ends.

Just look at the Muslim "suicide" bombers - 42 virgins! LOL Not getting any now, you'll get it in paradise.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

The inference taken from some posts might be... "I have morals and values because I'm religious" vs "I have morals and values because it's the right thing to have."

When the truth of the matter is... right and wrong are not connected at religion's hip.


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"Young people are turning away from the church and from basic Christian beliefs." - from the OP's link

For me, the most basic of Christian beliefs are the 10 Commandments (well except for maybe #1 because not being religious it doesn't really apply) but any decent parenting teaches children the rest of them. When stuff like the above is said, it sounds like we are headed for social anarchy and we are not.

The church and religion have, in the past, been the center of the community. The church was the gathering place for discussion and social events with the specific religion being the common denominator that brought a specific group of people together. That isn't the case anymore. People still need social connections but there are other ties that bind people together other than religion - there are running clubs, book clubs, ski groups, coffee shops that run discussion clubs, and yes that foursome on Sunday morning, churches as a center for gathering start to lose their importance.

Churches start to lose their importance as well, at least among my children and their friends, when the young only see wars fought in the name of religion, terrorism in the name of religion, discrimination in the name of religion, unacceptance of those who are not religious - why would they want to be a part of that belief system?

Organized religion has been, and continues to be, one of the most destructive forces in our society. One can be spiritual, have a connection with people, with nature, with a belief system that doesn't have to include going to church every Sunday.

I also have a big problem with people who use *their* interpretation of the bible as a basis for setting policies and laws used to run the government and country. Is the bible going to, at some point, become another amendment to your constitution?


Lots of food for thought in that link.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"Churches start to lose their importance as well, at least among my children and their friends, when the young only see wars fought in the name of religion, terrorism in the name of religion, discrimination in the name of religion, unacceptance of those who are not religious - why would they want to be a part of that belief system?

Organized religion has been, and continues to be, one of the most destructive forces in our society. One can be spiritual, have a connection with people, with nature, with a belief system that doesn't have to include going to church every Sunday.

I also have a big problem with people who use *their* interpretation of the bible as a basis for setting policies and laws used to run the government and country. Is the bible going to, at some point, become another amendment to your constitution?"

Food for thought, indeed. I, too, have a big problem with war, terrorism, discrimination, nonacceptance, etc... all perpetrated in the name of specific religions. It's so detrimental.

I surely hope our nation maintains its secular state of being.


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Nearly ever year the most religious states come in with the highest teen pregnancy rates!
Most were taught to abstain but some how never did maintain & lack of education about contraception is to blame!
Stories from these storied states usually sound the same!
God & Guns lock & load

This post was edited by labrea on Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 13:45


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 13:46

I suspect the 10 Commandments are derivative - there are certainly much older legal and religious codes with basically the same ideas.

I don't think the 10 commandments were really anything new to Moses and the Jews. Just more compact. I imagine people were pretty familiar with the ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link


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Completely suspect, Mom, as any society needs some basic rules in order to maintain some kind of order.


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True religion, imo. is more a matter of spiritual practice than belief. Those who do pure meditation are probably fulfilling the objective of much of religion.

Imo religion has much to offer those who have not yet realized that point'

I was just reading about the Japanese Shinto practices, which seem to facilitate connection with invisible nature forces, and thinking of how this may intuitively connect us with the dark matter of the universe which we cannot see but yet is there, usually seen as "empty" space.

I read long ago that this awareness of the "something" in empty space is a distinguishing characteristic of Japanese painting.

Thanks for this thread and the contributions to it; got me thinking.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I think what the Christian right is doing is drawing a line in the sand and trying to close ranks with those who have similar thoughts. This undoubtedly drives many from that religion but there will still be many intelligent critical thinkers who still find their spirituality to be an important component of their life and will seek out like minded people. I suspect some of Christianity will change or be changed by such individuals.

While I have not "left" the religion of my mother, so to speak, my interpretation of things and viewpoints differ greatly from hers which would be appropriate as the time I came of age and am raising my children differs quite a bit from the times she experienced. My kids will undoubtedly experience a different world than me as well. Interestingly, at this point in their lives, they tend to be more conservative than I am. As an individual I was more conservative for a while and as I got older, have become more liberal. Which way they will ultimately go, I have no idea but as long as they are kind, compassionate and generous, I will be pleased.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I am thinking that Europe having been around longer than we have has seen the negative impacts of religion gone mad intimately enough for long enough to have learned something from it. We were watching a program last night on the history of Jews and oh my what a lovely thing it is, as Christianity gains ascendency the murdering begins in earnest after the feckless picking off of the Romans. When you consider that Christendom allowed the slaughter of 6 million of them as recently as the 1940's with barely a peep it is hard to maintain a belief in the essential morality of being Christian. We wont even discuss here the internal genocidal tendencies though Labrea could supply us with the details. Nothing like being drawn(gutted out) and burned for praying the wrong way


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Lots of good posts... thanks for bringing the facts to bear, Patriciae. Great reasons I can no longer follow such systems and organizations.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Conversely, religion has also been used as an excuse to do much good, such as education, many who fought against slavery did so on religious grounds, many charitable hospitals were founded religious grounds (although this continues to have negatives with it). Many of the large organized religions could use their infrastructure and capital to do good in the world. It is not all bad. In my area, many of the no-questions asked, no-strings attached food pantries are serviced by churches.


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I'm listening to so many of you bashing faith and belief and now I know why our country is such a mess. Barack Obama proclaims he trusted Jesus Christ as his savior.
That's it! It's Jesus' fault!

“It was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead-- being my brother's and sister's keeper, treating others as they would treat me,” he added.

“And I think also understanding that, you know, that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings-- that we're sinful and we’re flawed and we make mistakes, and that we ... achieve salvation through the grace of God.” Barack Obama.

This post was edited by brushworks on Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 15:28


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 15:33

Conversely, religion has also been used as an excuse to do much good, such as education, many who fought against slavery did so on religious grounds, many charitable hospitals were founded religious grounds (although this continues to have negatives with it). Many of the large organized religions could use their infrastructure and capital to do good in the world. It is not all bad. In my area, many of the no-questions asked, no-strings attached food pantries are serviced by churches.

Religion should never be an "excuse" to do good, doing good should be it's own reward.

What is so sad is that Christianity, or any religion, can and should be a force for good, ALL THE TIME. Instead,it is just the opposite. The public face of Christianity is not a nice one any more - it is intolerant, hateful, anti-intellectual, fearful. There has always been a bad side to any religion - justification for slavery, discrimination, genocide, rape and pillage, etc, but most people are decent and good. Yet they allow the bad ones to speak for them, and their silence speaks volumes.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

On a real basic level, I think people fall away simply because religion and religious ritual has become a nuisance. People claim "busy" and that hour/hour and a half cuts in to the busy time. Something in me still likes the idea of it - practicing religion, but, truth be told, it was always the trappings (now largely stripped away from church interiors) of a church or cathedral that arrested me the most.

All those Sundays of my youth dressing up, rote worshipping as a family. We were a normal Christian family save for not wearing it on our sleeves; not having a lot of discussion about it since there didn't seem to be a need. No rooms in the house bedecked with shrines to saints of long lost and forgotten lore.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Mom, I should have worded that differently, excuse was definitely a poor choice. Perhaps saying that good things have been perpetuated or flown out religion would be a clumsy but better attempt at conveying my meaning. The bad must be acknowledged but I feel that likewise, the good should as well.

I agree that the public face is indeed a bad one. My hope is that these things (intolerance, misogynism, etc.) die a quick death but the positive thing I see in that public face is it makes those bad things harder to ignore and will hopefully prompt more people to start questioning them and ultimately turn away. Some will embrace them, but the more ridiculous and hate filled some of these mouth pieces are, the fewer people are willing to identify with such hate.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 18:11

Agree. I know too many people with that sweet, serene expression that people who live orderly, secure, mostly principled and, they believe, meaningful lives under the direction of their religion to believe religion is mostly bad. For these people it is a good guiding force (and strictly their own business if what they choose to believe is or is not true).

Unfortunately, many others, whose deficiencies of understanding of their religion and of character win out over religious teachings, give religion a bad name by claiming it guides unadmirable and even actively evil behavior.

The blame for this goes also to many would-be spiritual leaders of congregations who themselves lack the understanding and character needed and thus fail their hapless congregations terribly.This is especially common, as would be expected, in the denominations that allow almost anyone to set up a ministry,


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

We were a normal Christian family save for not wearing it on our sleeves

I don't understand the more recent trend that prompts declarations of faith to people who really don't care one way or the other what that person believes.

Walk the walk, and less talk about me, me, me and "my" God.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

From the link: "Barber contends that supernatural belief is in decline everywhere for the fact that ordinary people enjoy a decent standard of living and are secure in their health and finances."

So I wonder how Barber defines "ordinary people." must not include the "working poor," as according to what I read here on HT, they are not enjoying "a decent standard of living" nor are they "secure in their health and finances." Following Berber's logic then, among the working poor supernatural belief is not declining. Since the article is telling us that supernatural belief is in for a big decline, the number of working poor must be and must be predicted to remain quite small. Good news.

Based upon the author's use of phrases like "over-zealousness of the Christian Right" and "tyrannical theocracy" I conclude that this is an opinion piece which is just a tad biased, and as such I give it no credence.

For those that do, I imagine those secure in their personal faith, be it spiritual or of the organized bent, don't find this line of thinking particularly disturbing. I don't. For those that feel threatened by the faith that others have, for whatever reason, I would think they would be happy about this guy's theory.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

This appears to be a terrific thread from the quick glance I have given it. Some time when I rested Im going to read it several times -
such good thoughts and observations have been offered for thought.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I posted this on another topic

A Store own received a call from the modesty patrol to take a mannequin out of the window as it might inflame men & boys.
The outfits sold in this store are for the orthodox community and so it was bound to have log sleeves & a long skirt.

World Vision reversed it's decision & capitulaed to the forces of the FRC & the AFA in permitting married gay workers in it CHRISTIAN CHARITY efforts!

“The man said, ‘Do the neighborhood a favor and take it out of the window,’ ” the store’s manager recalled. “ ‘We’re trying to safeguard our community.’ ”

In many neighborhoods, a store owner might shrug off such a call. But on Lee Avenue, the commercial spine of Hasidic Williamsburg, the warning carried an implied threat ��" comply with community standards or be shunned. It is a potent threat in a neighborhood where shadowy, sometimes self-appointed modesty squads use social and economic leverage to enforce conformity.

The owner wrestled with the request for a day or two, but decided to follow it. “We can sell it without mannequins, so we might as well do what the public wants,” the owner told the manager, who asked not to be identified because of fear of reprisals for talking.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Walk the walk, and less talk about me, me, me and ....

“And I think also understanding that, you know, that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings-- that we're sinful and we’re flawed and we make mistakes, and that we ... achieve salvation through the grace of God.” Barack Obama.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

An excellent thread. i find myself in agreement with most of the statements here, with one exception. I cannot see how dissing the European cultural values is at all helpful. If anything, America could learn much from the 'old country." As someone said, they have been around far longer than we have, in terms of our culture, so have already dealt with a lot of we are just beginning to struggle with, in terms of extremism.

Most of the great religions of the world have their own version of the Golden Rule. You cannot legislate morality but common sense tells us cooperation (whenever possible) is better than the reverse. And, cooperation leads to inclusiveness, rather than exclusiveness.

A part of the human ego in some longs to look down upon its neighbors with a superior attitude: "My God is better than your God". Just another form of bullying, when taken one step further....


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Doesn't have anything to do with nuisance... it has a lot more to do with what Mom wrote upthread.

For myself, I'm strong enough to stand on my own without some belief in the intangible. Period.

I don't require threats or rewards to live a decent life... it's really that simple.

If someone else wants to believe, that's their business.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

brush, President Obama is not posting here and continuously writing of knowing "his" God.

And if the President addresses a prayer breakfast, of course he would speak of his faith. Proper context. And this President may feel he needs to address his faith more than others since a vocal subset of GOPers believe he is a Muslim, and intent on establishing sharia in the U.S. -- with Oklahoma as sharia's ground zero.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Plus, he's not part the fanatical religious right, so there's not much context that he fits in within the framework of this discussion.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 11:57

From Jodi: "For myself, I'm strong enough to stand on my own without some belief in the intangible. Period. I don't require threats or rewards to live a decent life... it's really that simple. If someone else wants to believe, that's their business."

Exactly.

I'm live and let live. And I think I'm pretty decent toward those who impose their proselytizing on me, always uninvited. Elvis, it's neither disturbing or threatening, just a use of my time and attention that I don't want. In spite of that, I've never spoken rudely to one in my life, respecting their belief in the need for spreading the word, even those I suspect are acting from purely selfish motives, i.e., earning points with God.

Saying thank you, then explaining nicely, with sort of an apologetic tilt of the head plus a little step backward, "Sorry, I'm not a person of faith," is my most effective routine for cutting it short, not that that always works by a long shot.

Notably, I would never impose on them likewise in attempt to teach a belief system that I feel to be of far greater spiritual truth, dignity and honesty, even though I could probably be summed up extra short and sweet for the purpose as, "Beats me." :)


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I do have faith, just not the definition that Christians use about faith.

I have faith in my fellow mankind, I have faith in their essential goodness, in their desire to be the best that they can be in their lives, in their wish to love their families and friends and to be loved back, in their choice and abilities to treat others with respect, in their hopes for a livable future for us all, in their efforts to rid the world of poverty and war and child abuse. Are we perfect - no, am I perfect - most definitely no. But I have faith and I believe in our future as mankind. Do we have bumps along the way - yep but it's how we learn and adapt.

I don't need a god or church to have faith and because of MY definition of faith I am centered and strong enough to stand on my own alongside my family and friends.

(It does bother me that the church has usurped the word faith to have religious overtones.)

So many great thoughts on this thread.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Are the core Republican ideologies consistent with the teachings of Christianity? How about every man for himself capitalism, healthcare only for those who can afford insurance, no minimum/living wage? How about maintaining the status quo which has led toextreme wealth equability? How about doing away with social programs so that the wealthy can get tax breaks? How about discriminating against minorities, gays and lesbians? How about stand your ground laws? Or foreign policy at the end of a gun barrel?

This post was edited by heri_cles on Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 17:49


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Are the core Republican ideologies consistent with the teachings of Christianity?

Just ask Pope Francis!

He will tell you how well the theory of trickle-down economics functions in real life. Paraphrasing here; the glass keeps expanding to accommodate the gains, and nothing ever trickles down.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

•Posted by heri_cles (My Page) on Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 15:08

"Are the core Republican ideologies consistent with the teachings of Christianity? How about every man for himself capitalism, healthcare only for those who can afford insurance, no minimum/living wage? How about maintaining the status quo which has led toextreme wealth equability? How about doing away with social programs so that the wealthy can get tax breaks? How about discriminating against minorities, gays and lesbians? How about stand your ground laws? Or foreign policy at the end of a gun barrel?"

Well that was a thread killer. What is your point? There are 6 sentences with question marks; do you expect someone to answer them? Are you trying to illustrate that you don't think that the core Republican ideologies are consistent with the teachings of Christianity? Are these rhetorical questions? What do you think the answers to your questions are? Did you read the article at the link?

---------------------

blfenton, I can relate to your post very well. I am a spiritual person; my concept of God has more to do with the connection between all of us, I do believe in a higher power, one that connects all of us in a very good way. I don't think I could explain it. I think that many people feel that way about their faith, whether it is part of an organized/formal "religion" or completely personal.

Politics have zero to do with that, IMO.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

elvis - yes, I agree. You continued a train of thought that I have difficulty expressing and can't fully explain either.

edited to correct a word in the wrong place

This post was edited by blfenton on Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 22:50


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Are you trying to illustrate that you don't think that the core Republican ideologies are consistent with the teachings of Christianity?

Duh.

Kate


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I wish.....but unfortunately, power does not decline without a bloody struggle......and so we see ever more oppressive dogmas, handed down from above, to cling on to fading empires of irrelevant belief systems which are, as far as I can see, are rather more based on hate, exclusivity, twisted rules regarding sexual conduct.
Glad the UK is largely secular.........bad enough being ruled by a little clique of privileged public schoolboys without adding the hysterical and irrational fervour of religion into the mix as well.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I'm with Rose... live and let live.

There's too much of the opposite going on out there in the big world.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"We do need to pray for our enemies, those that oppose us, because they’re victims. Our enemy is the Devil, our enemy is that old lion that walks about seeking whom he may devour and who is the god of this age and the prince of the power of the air and he has these people in their thrall. It’s not that we hate gays, it’s that we love scripture and love gays enough to tell them what the truth is. And the truth is that God does not condone same-sex sexual relations, period. They are an abomination to him and if we really love these people we are going to tell them the truth.” - Southern Baptist head Richard Land, speaking the radio show of the Family Research Council."

What can I expect from heathens


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Live and let live unless I want what is yours?

I see defensiveness,judgment and complaints about people exercising their freedom of speech.

Nothing new

I agree with Elvis

Religion dictates nothing to me.

God does


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 17:38

THIS Richard Land who wants everything but husband-on-wife to be punishable with prison sentences? "Baptists are very strong believers that the civil magistrate is ordained by God to punish those who do evil." (No wonder that Alabama judge felt entitled to ignore the law to change little Messiah's first name--her authority comes from God, not Alabama statutes.)


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

It’s not that we hate gays, it’s that we love scripture and love gays enough to tell them what the truth is.

Now doesn't that just stimulate the gag reflex! Moral rectitude indeed.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 18:25

And how, elvis, does God speak to you, pray tell.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

With all due respect, that is neither your business or concern.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"Moral rectitude indeed." That's funny!

•Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 18:25

"And how, elvis, does God speak to you, pray tell."

That easy, momj4. Anyone can do this. I daresay you too could master it. You take a couple of empty cans and some string...


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

thank you for the laugh elvis!
Very quick.

Those liberals, progressives, judgemental non-believers
up above sure do love to bad mouth Christians.
They are obsessed with trying to convince someone?
how they thumb their nose at Christian moral beliefs and life style.
I would never come on this forum and start a post running down their non-belief.

If anyone of us believers started a post on their unbelief
the post would zoom to 150 irate responses in 2 minutes.
Shows how tolerant we believers are :) :) :)


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 20:03

You have a valid point, Citywoman. It is entirely possible to reject homosexuality as contrary to religious principle completely without malice. Many devout but kind and generous-hearted people do just that. That was absolutely the weak point of the very biased and unfair arguments presented by some.

May I suggest you continue to search out valid arguments and speak to them? There never was a need to destroy your own credibility by lying about what people said. This is the sort of thing I was thinking of when I said that some behaviors claiming to be in the name of religion give that religion a bad name.

What you did, BTW, is called the "straw man" argument technique, but people who try to live moral lives (surely including all good Christians?) of course recognize it for what it is -- lying and bearing false witness -- and hold themselves above such behavior.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Dare I say it? Sure, why not. You sound like some preachers I have heard:

"What you did, BTW, is called the "straw man" argument technique, but people who try to live moral lives (surely including all good Christians?) of course recognize it for what it is -- lying and bearing false witness -- and hold themselves above such behavior."

You do realize that when folks "hold themselves above" behaviors, they must necessarily look down in order to actually see them.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Yes we have a fweeee spitch country & countless fat heads to tell us that every time some baby wipe with a cross around it's neck insults another group in the name of their accursed (so that's faith huh)


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

And how, elvis, does God speak to you, pray tell."

That easy, momj4. Anyone can do this. I daresay you too could master it. You take a couple of empty cans and some string...

I think you take your interactions with your God much more seriously than that. You diminish yourself and your God with such a flip answer.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"You diminish yourself and your God with such a flip answer."

Ask a stupid question...

OTOH, maybe that was a "flip" question. The "pray tell" part, maybe. In that case, be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. If you truly desire a straight answer, ask a straight question, Momj4.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Posted by elvis 4 (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 9:25

"You diminish yourself and your God with such a flip answer."

Ask a stupid question...

OTOH, maybe that was a "flip" question. The "pray tell" part, maybe. In that case, be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. If you truly desire a straight answer, ask a straight question, Momj4.

*

ROTF, Elvis, it's the tired old game of insulting and spitting on believers and chastising them when they don't turn the other cheek and take the abuse, lies, and misrepresentations.

It's set up to insult, taunt, then criticize for falling short.

Don't you know you're not supposed to have a sense of humor and you're not being pious enough when you're insulted and taunted with "Pray tell?" and respond with humor?

How dare you!

I don't know why any of us bother praying to God or reading the BIble--all the answers to life are with atheists. From all the unsolicited advice, they know more about how we should live our lives than we do, or God.

Typical liberal thinking--they know more than anyone else about anything, and think they know better than anyone else, even when it comes to telling people how to relate to a God they mock and don't believe in.

This post was edited by demifloyd on Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 10:00


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Only too noticeable how the more things change, the more they stay the same... moral rectitude, indeed.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 10:16

The view from above's fairly good, Elvis. In fact, it's quite easy to pick out a few more points for CW that might lead to a more elevated discussion and agreement if presented thoughtfully.

That the purity ceremony isn't all about sex and hymens, that for most these days it is a pledge to remain spiritually and physically pure, to live a pure life in all ways according to the gospel.

That this is seen as beautiful and profoundly important by many who participate. Even a brief search will find discussions by young women who want to continue wearing their purity ring after marriage, even incorporate it into their wedding set in some way, because of its deep meaning of a commitment they mean to bring to their marriage and keep through their entire lives.

That it is the job of parents to raise their children to reflect their standards and values and to do what they can to bring them safely through the hazards of adolescence. A duty most of these parents, at least, are clearly busy carrying out.

And if attack, or perhaps just reposte, still seemed necessary, it might be pointed out that, for people who claim to respect people's right to live their lives by their own tenets and claim open mindedness as their own special purview, some on here with all their "creepy"s and "yuck"s seemed to be letting down their own standards and failing in both.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Rosie, is this to be a continuation of the "Creepy" thread? Why not do a "Creepy 2?"


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 10:40

..the purity ceremony isn't all about sex and hymens, that for most these days it is a pledge to remain spiritually and physically pure, to live a pure life in all ways according to the gospel.

It that were truly the case, at would be great, but so often, these ceremonies are just about sex and virginity.

Rite of passage ceremonies are important traditions - both culturally and spiritually, to families and communities. We, in the west have lost our connection with traditional rites of passage, and in many ways, that's unfortunate. There are important transitions in life that deserve to be noted.

Sadly, many of these purity pledges do not seem to fall into that "good" category - they are extracting a promise for future behavior from young women (no men?) who are vulnerable and probably not capable of fully understanding what they are pledging, and what the consequences of failure are.

The parents of these young girls need to be always vigilant that they do not become rigid in their expectations, withholding love and acceptance for their daughter if, as she grows and matures, she chooses another way.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"Sadly, many of these purity pledges do not seem to fall into that "good" category - they are extracting a promise for future behavior from young women (no men?) who are vulnerable and probably not capable of fully understanding what they are pledging, and what the consequences of failure are.

The parents of these young girls need to be always vigilant that they do not become rigid in their expectations, withholding love and acceptance for their daughter if, as she grows and matures, she chooses another way."

And there it is... the meat and potatoes of the discussion.

I don't think I'd want to promise something I didn't fully understand, nuanced as it is... and I surely wouldn't want to hold the knowledge that if I slipped off that path chosen for me, that I'd be shunned and ultimately "slut-shamed". No, thanks.

Maybe I don't want to follow directly in my parents' footsteps. Maybe I have differing ideas of the modern world around me...


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 11:10

Sorry, I have gotten my threads tangled. I realized and came back with scissors, but too late. :)

Momj, too true. Not all parents are wise or kind enough for even the usual earnest muddling through, and I suspect there are a fairly large number of those among fundamentalists. While most speak of wanting less complexity in our world, most of these people insist there is only one very simple view -- and live by it.

Sure, this pledge implemented as you describe may cause harm, but, let's face it, the kids' problem isn't the ring pledge, it's unwise parents. And the pledge probably helps a lot of them too. After all, strong rules don't cause all children to rebel. Many use them as a protective guide line to cling to, and, of course, many believe in them as their parents have taught, at least long enough.

Elvis, just checked out the creepy thread. Regarding a Creepy 2, God forfend? :)

This post was edited by rosie on Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 14:19


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Yes, it can be decidedly embarrassing to have those "talks" with your kids... but once you open up and start communicating honestly and openly, it becomes a lot easier... especially if you check facts together, giving your kids the real life information they need to go forth into the world and protect themselves.

The same goes for a faith of choice. I would never force my kids to choose my beliefs... that's for them to choose. They are not me... they are complete individuals with hearts and minds of their own.

All I can do is set a good example for them, give them the information they need to make their own choices... and offer my unconditional love and acceptance no matter what path they choose in life.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"Typical liberal thinking--they know more than anyone else about anything, and think they know better than anyone else, even when it comes to telling people how to relate to a God they mock and don't believe in."

Demi, I agree with this statement, except that I wish you could just leave off those first 3 words. Using that catch phrase "typical liberal" brings to mind the way of speaking (posting) of the very people you (and I) end up having arguments instead of discussions with. That's probably just me, but I feel the need say it. I hope you take it in the spirit I intend.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 11:59

After all, strong rules don't cause all children to rebel.

Not necessarily. "Strong" rules, sensibly and lovingly practiced may not cause children to rebel. Strong rules, rigidly and mindlessly enforced cause many, many children to rebel.

I've seen it over and over again with family and friends.

Why my kids didn't rebel is beyond me, I must have done something right.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I would say my kids didn't rebel because we didn't force them into anything they'd want or need to rebel against.

I find it's that "because I said so" attitude that causes a lot of kids to look beyond and find out why they "said so". We found it much more appealing and honest to put voice to the actual reasons.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"Typical liberal thinking--they know more than anyone else about anything, and think they know better than anyone else, even when it comes to telling people how to relate to a God they mock and don't believe in."

Demi, I agree with this statement, except that I wish you could just leave off those first 3 words.

I appreciate that, Elvis. Although I happen to be a non-believer, I know many liberals who are devoted Christians. There is no requirement that one must politically be a Republican or Conservative or Independent in order to be a Christian. One can also be a liberal or a progressive and also be a Christian--or a believer in some other religion--or in none at all. Same options for ALL Americans.

Kate


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 13:00

I'm sorry, but that is apparently wrong Kate.

Can a Christian be a liberal? Short answer: no. There is no way a Christian can buy into progressive/big government ideology and be faithful to the bigger-than-Dallas teachings of Scripture and expect to continue enjoying his hard-won religious liberties.

LOL

Here is a link that might be useful: Link


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Yes, Mom, there are rightwingers who honestly believe only rightwingers can be Christians.

I can't find any place in my Bible, however, that says "I am the Lord thy God and thou shalt honor me by becoming a political right-winger." Do you know where that verse is?

Kate


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Posted by elvis 4 (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 11:54

"Typical liberal thinking--they know more than anyone else about anything, and think they know better than anyone else, even when it comes to telling people how to relate to a God they mock and don't believe in."

Demi, I agree with this statement, except that I wish you could just leave off those first 3 words. Using that catch phrase "typical liberal" brings to mind the way of speaking (posting) of the very people you (and I) end up having arguments instead of discussions with. That's probably just me, but I feel the need say it. I hope you take it in the spirit I intend.

*

I understand.

I used the word I intended and stand by it.

In my experience and in my opinion, this is typical behavior from a typical liberal.

Not all.

Typical.

If it steps on toes, well, mine are smashed daily and I'm still here.

If people can't stand the heat....


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I guess the lesson to be learned is... if one sticks out their toes, they have to expect that they might be smashed, eh?


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Posted by jodik 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 15:29

I guess the lesson to be learned is... if one sticks out their toes, they have to expect that they might be smashed, eh?

*

Oh, Jodik, you clever wordsmith you.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Momj4, that's a nasty link; I won't make that mistake again.

•Posted by dublinbay z6 KS (My Page) on Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 13:06

"Yes, Mom, there are rightwingers who honestly believe only rightwingers can be Christians."

And there are liberal pedophiles. And some Baptists shoplift. Some Muslims blow up people. Some Christians blow up people. Some Jews eat too much. That's such a stupid thing to say.

And what's this for?
"I can't find any place in my Bible, however, that says "I am the Lord thy God and thou shalt honor me by becoming a political right-winger." Do you know where that verse is?
Kate"

I give up on this thread.

That was a waste of time.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 16:54

Well, it's not only the religious right who are giving themselves black eyes. As indicated below, some anti-religious lefties, reflecting an aggression grown in response to attempts by the right to establish their religion under law, are also going too far for their own good.

"E. J. Dionne is a liberal columnist who is also a faithful Catholic. He has written a column warning liberals about the anti-religion reflex that some of them display. In doing so, he cites a useful study of where both liberals and conservatives fall on the religious spectrum.

From E.J. Dionne Jr.: Religion challenges left and right -- The Washington Post.:
Consider the findings of a survey (in which I was involved) released last month by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution. Using the answers to a wide variety of questions, we created a scale that broke our respondents into four groups: Religious conservatives,
moderates,
progressives and the
nonreligious.

Overall, we found that
28 percent of Americans could be classified as religious conservatives,
38 percent as religious moderates and
19 percent as religious progressives.
An additional 15 percent were nonreligious.

Among supporters of the two parties, Republicans ]1/3 of the electorate now] were far more cohesive. The analysis found that
56 percent of Republicans were religious conservatives 33 percent were religious moderates.
Only 5 percent were religious progressives and just
6 percent were nonreligious.

Democrats, by contrast, were all over our analytical map:
28 percent were religious progressives,
13 percent were religious conservatives,
42 percent were religious moderates and
17 percent were nonreligious."

Two things are thus true simultaneously: Nonreligious Americans are a very important part of the liberal constituency, yet the majority of liberals have ties to religion. The survey found that African Americans, who are deeply loyal to most liberal causes (and to the Democratic Party), are among the most religious people in the country. For liberalism to thrive, there needs to be acceptance and, even better, some respect across the boundaries of belief and nonbelief."

and related directly to this thread,

"Yet if liberals face obstacles when it comes to faith, conservatives have problems of their own. The most serious? The religious conservatism that is such an important component of the right and the Republican Party is deeply unattractive to the rising generation of voters. In addition, many, across age groups, who are quite conservative in their theological views are rather progressive when it comes to economics, especially on issues such as raising the minimum wage.

The generation gap on religious commitment is stark. In the Silent Generation (Americans 68 and older),
47 percent are religious conservatives, while only
12 percent are religious progressives and
10 percent are nonbelievers.

These figures are reversed for Millennials (Americans 33 and under), only
17 percent of whom are religious conservatives, while
23 percent are religious progressives and nearly as many,
22 percent, are nonreligious. (The remainder in both groups were moderates.)

These trends should disturb conservatives looking to the future, but they should also give pause to religious leaders. The association of religion, and particularly Christianity, with conservatism appears to be turning off substantial numbers of young Americans from faith."

My feeling is that it isn't conservatism, per se, that's turning off younger Americans but that very noisy, extremist religious/social right cluster in the GOP base. Remember, many conservatives are now refusing to identify with the GOP because of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Attribution


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I think I'm a typical liberal and I am insulted with the notion that liberals some how attack Christians...it just isn't so.

Non believers and believers may have they're points of contention but it is not about bring liberal our conservative.....except maybe in the extreme.

Then again there are those who simply want to cause arguments so they can , in their mind, " legitimately" insult others.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Rosie, I'm confused. You start out referring to some kind of excesses (I guess) of the "anti-religious lefties" but the rest of the post has nothing to do with that topic at all. So what is the problem with anti-religious lefties? And is an anti-religious lefty the same as what your source calls a "nonbeliever"? I don't think they are the same thing at all.

Other than that issue, I found the categories and statistics interesting--especially the generation gap. However, I never knew I was part of the "Silent Generation." I thought that was my parents' generation. Learn something new everyday, I guess. : )

Kate


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 17:11

I give up on this thread.

That was a waste of time.

If only that was true


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I'm really tired of coming on here and seeing the same old incomplete, misleading, and often perverse misunderstandings and condemnatons of religion by people who never took even one of them seriously enough to get behind the teachings and into the core of the subject.

Much at the heart of Western religion was lost for a time, but with the more recent teachings from the East there are certainly enough clues to pick up the trail again by anyone who has the will to do so. If you don't want to follow the trail to see where it leads yourselves, at least don't cover it over with oversimplifications and misrepresentations so that others can't even find it.

It is easy to feel superior to anything that you trivialize or deliberately misunderstand, as members of many minorities of various sorts can testify.

It is true that many ignorant and potentially violent bigots continue to hide behind the skirts of religion, but that has always been the case. If more allowed themselves to understand what religion really is and how it can be used as a steppingstone to greater awareness, the claims of false propherts would never fly.

Those who look to wolves in sheep's clothing and call them sheep need to brush the scales from their eyes.

Deliberate, egotistical denigration of the objective manifestations of human spirituality are imo misguided and at times disgusting. It is in some cases the equivalent of walking up a stairway and then removing the lower steps, or climbing a ladder and then removing the bottom rungs.

In other, more tragic cases, it is the lack of awareness that either stairways or ladders exist, or the inability to know what to do with them when one is standing at their base.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 19:18

Umhm. I agree people should not denigrate religion, but I feel they do right to speak out against the behavior of people claiming religion as an excuse to do bad.

Dublin, you don't strike me as a silent generationer either. :) Sorry, I didn't wrap up my thoughts. They were that a lot of people across the political spectrum are sincerely religious. Portraying the religious far right's attempts use our government to oppress others as reflecting innate problems with "religion" will repel reasonable people as surely as the arguments of the radical religious right.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"Portraying the religious far right's attempts use our government to oppress others as reflecting innate problems with "religion" will repel reasonable people as surely as the arguments of the radical religious right."

I think so too.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

It's my experience that folks often gloss over the inconvenient parts of their own particular 41,000 sects/denominations beliefs/dogmas if they know them at all.
It's my experience that a few people have a nodding acquaintance with Western church history & it's various flavor personalities quirks & unanswered questions
It my experience that most postings are rhetorical in nature!

Again there have been few denominations that have not been worthy of anything less than rebuke for their meddling in politics or out right hostile behavior when & if they ever achieved any political dominance.
This also goes for eastern religions as well

This post was edited by labrea on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 8:03


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 7:00

Many theologians feel involving itself with politics degrades a church, turning it away from basic principles, and have no lack of examples to support this. In the current era, I've read, many churches are disengaging from politics, not liking the changes involvement over the previous "Reagan era" has caused in them. Once again, a sea change.

But not all churches became politicized over the Reagan era, and not all congregations within those that have became politicized. In fact, most did not.

The problem with politicized religion, of course, is that by nature members are faithful, unquestioning followers of their church, which makes turning religious power to politics so dangerous. Bad leaders can march very large numbers of good people down a road they would never choose but do not examine for themselves.

Thanks, Elvis, and thanks for bothering to make sense of that sentence. My own eyes crossed when I tried to read it this morning. :)


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

You have orthodox Jews in Israel spitting on 8 year old's trying to go to school calling them immodest
In the same country The Sephardi & Ashkenazim going to court & jail over integrating the schools. integration mixing orthodoxies.
You have the politics of the rabbinate (denying recognition of the reform & conservative Jewish sects which many USIANS belong to.

Forget the unending bloodshed between the Sunni & Shia hundreds of thousands dead on that one!
After the Council of Chalcedon the West's fate was sealed for the politicization of Christianity it's real marriage to the Empire.

Theodossius the II broke his leg & died. Theodosius the II sided with the non Orthodox or heretical views! Had he lived those brands of Christianity would have been the prevalent ones & current Orthodoxy would have been called the heresy..

His laws set out to establish the supremacy of the christian social order over old believes in the old gods, to maintain a social order among the Bishops to stamp out heresy & the dominance of the Eastern Bishops.
He wrote laws than banned Jews & others form holding political office (having any influence) & from building any new synagogues.
He pretty much left his sister & others go about the business of running the empire & she was different in whom she sided with among the Bishops

When he dies his sisters husband becomes Emperor Marcian & he convenes the Council of Chalcedon to undo some of what was done at the previous council which would not read Pope Leo's Tome which stated Christ had 2 Natures Human & Divine.
It extended the authority of the Bishop of Rome in the East. The Bishops had denied the reading of the Tome in the previous Council
Chalcedon is the last Council recognized by many Protestants sects.

When Pope Leo's Tome was read at Chalcedon the majority of Bishops are said to have declared this is the faith of our Fathers and all the previous Councils (errors) were washed away.?
many of it's cannon are concerned with church organization & order.

There was schism afterwards!


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Churches are just man-made institutions, after all. The perfection most of them still make attempts to seek should not be confused with the churches or other organizations that were built to facilitate the search. In my opinion what some embittered minds say against religion is overbroad, and a perfect example of casting out the baby with the bath water. Anyone can find a list of unfortunate details about anyone or anything and cobble them together to make a negative case.

Unitarian churches in this country, for one eample, are full of people who have reacted to the deficiencies of their churches, rather than staying and confronting them. There are probably just as many, if not more, who remained and are doing just that.

It is a person's choice to leave an organization that no longer serves them, but this does not mean that in some way or another they have not already been served.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

So from a Catholic perspective, is the Pope wrong for expressing concern over wealth inequality? That issue is, after all, a major social concern of the Left that they assert can only be addressed in a meaningful way through government policy. And, as we know, wealth inequality is an issue that is heavily imbued with politics and the subject of a deeply partisan ideological divide in our country. The same can be said for contraception, abortion and gay marriage.
As long as some people cannot discuss social and scientific issues without placing them in some sort of religious context there will be some who will be turned off and abandon religion entirely.

The next question is whether or not the supposed decline in religion mentioned in the OP is a bad thing or a good thing... or if it even matters in the bigger picture. Religion, after all, is all between the ears.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"So from a Catholic perspective, is the Pope wrong for expressing concern over wealth inequality?'

An emphatic YES from me.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 13:26

"So from a Catholic perspective, is the Pope wrong for expressing concern over wealth inequality?'

An emphatic YES from me.

Jesus certainly spoke against wealth. Can't the pope?


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"Jesus certainly spoke against wealth. Can't the pope?"

Did Jesus speak "against wealth?" How so, and in what context? Did Jesus speak against "wealth inequality" in a political context? The Pope certainly did.

I digress. The OP topic concerns the "Christian Right," not Catholicism and the role of the Pope. That could be a new topic, but only a "hot" one among those with an interest in Catholicism, I would think.

This post was edited by elvis on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 15:11


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Not from my perspective! It is precisely the type of dialogue I expect from him. I want him addressing world poverty, education , equality and health issues as part of his ministry.

I want him to be an activist Pope!


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

It would be nice if the Pope would also speak out on pedophilia and such matters also.

Kate


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

He has taken some steps.We'll see what he has to say after the study he commissioned is published. I am hoping for a very strong statement AND actions...but we'll see.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

•Posted by dublinbay z6 KS (My Page) on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 15:52

"It would be nice if the Pope would also speak out on pedophilia and such matters also."

Agree, Kate. That's not political.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Just for Elvis, Jesus did have this to say about wealth

"And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

Since entering the kingdom of God is what it is all about then I would interpret that to say Jesus had a negative view of wealth.

With a considerable emphasis on the part of many of the Christian right on prosperity doctrine I personally have a more negative view of Christianity.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

•Posted by patriciae Z7PNW (My Page) on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 16:29

"Just for Elvis, Jesus did have this to say about wealth"

***And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.***

Since entering the kingdom of God is what it is all about then I would interpret that to say Jesus had a negative view of wealth."

I'm not a Bible scholar, but this person apparently is, so I'll defer to the expert by way of interpretation:

"Christ's words show that it is hard for a rich man to be a good Christian, and to be saved. The way to heaven is a narrow way to all, and the gate that leads into it, a strait gate; particularly so to rich people. More duties are expected from them than from others, and more sins easily beset them. It is hard not to be charmed with a smiling world. Rich people have a great account to make up for their opportunities above others. It is utterly impossible for a man that sets his heart upon his riches, to get to heaven. Christ used an expression, denoting a difficulty altogether unconquerable by the power of man. Nothing less than the almighty grace of God will enable a rich man to get over this difficulty. Who then can be saved? If riches hinder rich people, are not pride and sinful lusts found in those not rich, and as dangerous to them? Who can be saved? say the disciples."

Here is a link that might be useful: Matthew


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

How is income inequality political? For me it is a huge social issue.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

The OP topic concerns the "Christian Right," not Catholicism and the role of the Pope

The above discussion about the relationship between politics and religion is very much on topic, including references to the Pope and his positions on social issues.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

We've made it so because of its drain of any power and influence from the lower and middle classes to the monied classes. We come to understand it by the intertwining of economics and politics.

A social issue cum political football is what we've got.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

One of the strong messages of the New Testament is feeding the hungry and caring for the needy. I'd guess the hungry and the needy are not the rich folks--Jesus was more interested in helping those who need help than in how to make a million dollars--there are some fringe protestant groups that believe God literally "rewards" his true believers by making them prosperous. How convenient--we can then easily tell who the sinners are--those who do not prosper, which is to say the poor. To me, such thinking is diametrically opposed to the every thing Jesus stood for.

According to the New Testament, Jesus identified with the poor and the needy and with those who cared for them (instead of worrying about tax breaks for the wealthy who otherwise would have no motivation to invest their big dollars):

"Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me," said Jesus..

Worth pondering. Our measure is taken by how we treat the "least of these"--not by how many Donald Trumps we know and hang out with.

Kate
.

This post was edited by dublinbay on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 20:24


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Unitarian churches in this country, for one eample, are full of people who have reacted to the deficiencies of their churches, rather than staying and confronting them. There are probably just as many, if not more, who remained and are doing just that.

I take issue with these words "rather than staying and confronting them". The members of my Unitarian church overwhelmingly say that they left their previous churches because "I didn't believe what I was supposed to believe."

If one does not believe in the divinity of Christ, and all that goes with it, there is no way that I can see of remaining and dealing with this within the Christian church while being true to oneself.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

***"Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me," said Jesus..***

"Worth pondering. Our measure is taken by how we treat the "least of these"--not by how many Donable Trumps we know and hang out with."

Makes sense to me, as long as "we" is understood to include everybody, including the "least" of us. IOW, how the "least" of us treats the "least" of us, as well. Again, I'm not a Bible scholar, but this is interesting:

"25:31-46 This is a description of the last judgment. It is as an explanation of the former parables. There is a judgment to come, in which every man shall be sentenced to a state of everlasting happiness, or misery. Christ shall come, not only in the glory of his Father, but in his own glory, as Mediator. snip-...We are not to suppose that acts of bounty will entitle to eternal happiness. Good works done for God's sake, through Jesus Christ, are here noticed as marking the character of believers made holy by the Spirit of Christ, and as the effects of grace bestowed on those who do them. The wicked in this world were often called to come to Christ for life and rest, but they turned from his calls; and justly are those bid to depart from Christ, that would not come to him. Condemned sinners will in vain offer excuses. The punishment of the wicked will be an everlasting punishment; their state cannot be altered. Thus life and death, good and evil, the blessing and the curse, are set before us, that we may choose our way, and as our way so shall our end be."

Here is a link that might be useful: Matthew again


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 18:28

Income inequality is a huge social, economic, religious and moral issue.

Regarding Labrea's bloody list, the troublemakers in religion above all come from an unfortunate combination of social conservatism/right wing authoritarians and religious excuses. We'll never get rid of either, but, now that we understand the destructive potential of these people (first identified by studying the ordinary people who participated in the Holocaust), hopefully more churches will become wiser and try harder to keep RWAs out of positions of power. It would seem basic to cull them when they apply for ministerial training, for instance.

As for Nannygoat's protest, I do think it's unfair to ask open minded people to stay and somehow overcome SCs/RWAs who've become dominant in previous churches and very often do their best to drive them out, their best often very good as they tend to attack in packs.

Kate, you nailed the giant conundrum for those who wish to be good Christians but are unwilling to resign from the currently ascendant randian Cult of Selfishness.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Posted by nannygoat 6 (My Page) on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 17:49
'Unitarian churches in this country, for one eample, are full of people who have reacted to the deficiencies of their churches, rather than staying and confronting them. There are probably just as many, if not more, who remained and are doing just that.'
"I take issue with these words "rather than staying and confronting them". The members of my Unitarian church overwhelmingly say that they left their previous churches because "I didn't believe what I was supposed to believe."

If one does not believe in the divinity of Christ, and all that goes with it, there is no way that I can see of remaining and dealing with this within the Christian church while being true to oneself."

...

This could be true if there exist those who are constitutionally unable to grasp simile, metaphore, parable, and symbolism, but frankly, imo almost everyone is able to do this if they school themselves. Such people have not been left out, though, because Jesus specifically stated (not in these words) that faith is the fast track to heaven--that's all one really needs to be enlightened, because it leads to a mindset that is a state of grace. Those in this limited category who choose disbelief over faith are tossing aside a way that was imo specifically prepared with great pains for them.

For the rest of us, who can understand symbolism, similes, metaphors, and parables, all that really needs to be understood in any Christian church are the actual words of Jesus himself. Those words are easily discoverable, understandable, and able to be followed by most people, and do not require a series of irrational beliefs. IMO they often have to do with fundamental psychological reality.

The really neat part of Christianity is the body of words from Jesus are actually pretty small and manageable, and can be used to confront the irrationalities in any particular sect a person might find themselves to be in.

Of course not everyone is willing to be a hero and transform themselves into another Martin Luther, but imo many deceive themselves into abandoning their home church more as a result of mental laziness than anything else. One can quietly discuss and translate church precepts within one's own mind. Only extreme literalists are unable to do this.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

According to Catholicism there are no churches there is only One Church & that was reaffirmed by Pope Benedict. That Church was instituted by Jesus who was God. (you can see the beginning of a problem right there as who speaks for that God how when & how often)
He declared all other religious organizations may be denomination but that did not qualify them as churches!

The Presumption is great & the position is clear an unambiguous!

The Notorious Right Wing Legion of Christ operated for years.

Marcial Maciel Degollado ran the organization midst allegations of sexual abuse, fathering children. Maintaining the mothers of those children in apartments he purchased for them.
Pope Benedict XVI banished Maciel in 2006 to a life of "prayer and penitence" after a Vatican investigation found that he sexually abused seminarians for many years. When Maciel died in 2008, the Legion stated that he had gone to heaven.
Never defrocked!

Dozens of victims in multiple countries made sexual abuse allegations against Maciel over the course of several decades, dating back to the 1950s

He brought in a lot of money also!

"
"In 1997 a Hartford Courant investigation by Gerald Renner and Jason Berry identified nine seminary victims of Maciel in on-the-record interviews. The Vatican refused to comment. In 1998, the ex-Legionaries filed a recourse in Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s tribunal seeking Maciel’s ouster. But John Paul continued praising him,
and the canon law case went nowhere."

This from the one and only true church with cannon law codes miles long * enough canon lawyers studying them to know what they actually say & mean.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Had I retained my belief in God and especially that Jesus was the Son of God, I certainly could not have remained a practicing Catholic. I know many who do believe and are able to find a way to remain a Catholic, I could not have been one of them because it would have been too big a tangled knot for me to come to terms with.

Regarding the question posed by the OP - I believe it is possible that fundamentalists and the Christian far right are more instead going to chang the manner of spirituality which is practiced in this country.

If belonging to and financially supporting religions decline specifically in this country, I certainly think the Christian right will have to bear a large brunt of the cause, along with religions who did not argue the words stated by the further Christian right, but I dont believe they will cause a lessening of spirituality or belief in God.
Instead, they will cause a shift in the manner in which the beliefs are shared with others. I believe that worship will become much more a private thing rather than a joining of an organization of religion by citizens, practiced in public or for public consumption. That is the part I can see might change in a big way.

But who knows. It is only an opinion. If the Christian further right groups, or fundamentalists of various religions lose the political power and by that, the political attention they have enjoyed from the 80's on - probably the vocal fundamentalist religions wanting the political power to direct public behavior might not really survive well at all. Older, world established religions other than the R.C church might very well survive quite nicely though once some time has passed. I do think that a different, more private way of worship is going to eventually become the norm as a result of the effect the Christian farther Right has had on the country through it's politics.

Even the R.C. church might recover if fast and deep, *meaningful* changes takes place. However, imo a snail's pace will lose them the public.

Once the Irish turned on the church, I felt a clock start to tick.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

The Episcopal church gets a good influx of disillusioned Catholics, and so does the Unitarian church.

The Catholic church makes its claim to divine authority based on apostolic succession. It's a truism in the human growth movement that one cannot attain enlightenment through books alone, or even individual practice, but must have a teacher who has himself become enlightened. However, attempts to adhere to most traditional religions does provide practice in the mental disciplines that are necessary to warrant further instruction. Unless one wishes to rise in the church heirarchy, though, such teachings seem unavailable to the general congregation, so one has to look outside of the church to progress in any case.

At the very least, the Christian congregations all share the Ten Commandments, which are a handy list to follow if one wishes to avoid many of life's major complications.

Jung pointed out that some who stray too far from the teachings evolved for their own culture can be harmed by that. Basic teachings of the major avatars were designed for the populations they were preached to. A person with a different psychological makeup than that of the population precepts and practices were designed for can be harmed by them.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Jung pointed out that some who stray too far from the teachings evolved for their own culture can be harmed by that. Basic teachings of the major avatars were designed for the populations they were preached to. A person with a different psychological makeup than that of the population precepts and practices were designed for can be harmed by them.

This might explain the terrible cultural destruction the results from Christian missionaries going into non-western communities.

Since religion and culture are so intimately intertwined in so many cultures taking away the religion takes away everything.

I think Christianity works OK in western capitalist industrial societies, but it's ideas must be totally alien to non-western, non-industrialized cultures. These people seem to end up being neither fowl nor fish. How sad.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Curiously the Catholic Church got a large influx of Anglicans who did not approve of the (so called liberalization of the Anglican Church)

An enlightened farmer has to plow his fields generally in the same way an unenlightened one would.
"If you meet the Buddah on the Road Kill Him" (Lin Chi)

The one naked ape saw lightening & tuned to the other Ape & said
"That was a sign you should give me all your food"

Individual experience sometimes teaches & sometimes informs & when confused sometimes asks it's neighbor for verification. The unit of 2 is organized effort in trying to understand the lights in the sky where do we come from where am I going.? Sometimes it becomes 3 or 4 & sometimes the one with the wildest ideas like (lets sacrifice your children to that thing we are all afraid of ) happens.
Well the rest if all theme & variation of 3 or 4 multiplying digressing dividing evolving the themes & variations on
That which you shall not do, that which you shall do, that which you owe me & that which you owe the others.
Most have had the, kill them if they don't agree with you variation'
That is the art of Politics, Religion & Revelation since time began! That & a little mystery & entertainment.
Oh look that one had a miracle must be GAWD or that town was flattened, Must be GAWD.
Right left & indifferent pretty much the same!

This post was edited by labrea on Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 15:56


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by momj47 7A..was 6B (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 11:02

Great summary.

Thanks


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

The Episcopal church gets a good influx of disillusioned Catholics, and so does the Unitarian church.

The United Church of Christ has a good influx of disillusioned Catholics and people from other Christian denominations. It has no dogma that one must subscribe to to be a member. Everyone is there to support the others in their "faith journey". And, it is, or should be, IMO, a journey. My faith and beliefs have certainly changed from those I had as a child, as a young adult and as someone just 20 years ago. Learning to think critically and learning about scientific discoveries has made me question and discard many of the things I believed as a child (most of them based on stories which were in the same league as fairy tales except I was told they were true so I believed that they were true).


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 12:31

Quite a summary :)

More to here and now, I'd like to point out that many conservative Christians really do live ALL of Jesus's teachings -- but within their communities of people they accept as their own. Toward those they regard as like them, many are incredibly caring and giving of themselves, their time and their possessions. They can see and understand those who need their help, and helping others strengthens the community that is so important to them. In this personal giving to those close, they tend to significantly outperform liberals.

(Liberals, since their ambitions for who should be helped tend to be far larger, and may literally be planetwide, expect to help through large group actions, more seldom personally. Liberals also tend to choose less conforming communities with varied life-and-let-live cultures, so bonds among neighbors tend to be much looser, when they know each other at all.)

In my observation, though, the biggest difference of Christian right giving from left -- where it exists -- is in what conservatives feel is appropriate for those OUTSIDE the groups they accept as their own. Conservatives tend to have greater trouble relating to or understanding those who are different, and, of course, most people do not fall into accepted groups. They simply do not feel the same responsibility or desire to help groups they see as not their own.

Those are the genuinely nice ones. Which leaves the conservatives who do not have a nice attitude toward those who are not like them. Among those, of course, are the really hostile ones who act out their dislike again and again, often as not giving religious excuses for their behavior, and of course giving everyone on the right a really bad name.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I don't see anything great in the embittered, out of hand trivialization and dismissal of the efforts of very rare and elightened peoples' attempts to civilize the rest of us.

Religions are the finger that points to the moon, not the moon itself.

It is significant that the words of the avatars that religions inevitably form around are not themselves quoted in any of these diatribes.

Referring back to the OP, it is obvious that may of the "fundametalist" churches that support the "Christian right" movement sorely lack the benefits of apostolic succession. IMO their careful avoidace of the actual teachings of Jesus and preference for the dysfunction delineated in the Old Testament are telling. They are indeed wolves in sheeps' clothing, and have stolen a title that they neither attempt to live up to nor have any right to. They are not Christian.

IMO the Old Testament was preserved in the Christian bible to demonstrate how the faith evolved, and to compare the barbarism of the old ways with the enlightened ways of Christian practice. Those who choose to focus on the Old Testament as an example of what Christianity now is are either misguided or deliberately deceitful.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"One of the strong messages of the New Testament is feeding the hungry and caring for the needy. I'd guess the hungry and the needy are not the rich folks--Jesus was more interested in helping those who need help than in how to make a million dollars--there are some fringe protestant groups that believe God literally "rewards" his true believers by making them prosperous. How convenient--we can then easily tell who the sinners are--those who do not prosper, which is to say the poor. To me, such thinking is diametrically opposed to the every thing Jesus stood for."

Well said, Kate... and a major reason I reject everything of a religious bent. None of it adds up in my critical way of thinking.

Call me a sinner if you must, then... it's no skin off my nose. I can make it without some organization or leadership telling me what I must believe. I believe that which I find to be true, and nothing more.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

'In my observation, though, the biggest difference of Christian right giving from left -- where it exists -- is in what conservatives feel is appropriate for those OUTSIDE the groups they accept as their own. Conservatives tend to have greater trouble relating to or understanding those who are different, and, of course, most people do not fall into accepted groups. They simply do not feel the same responsibility or desire to help groups they see as not their own."

Oh, please, spare me.

Sometimes I'm accused of being conservative.

Mostly because I care very deeply about my fellow human and, because of that, I do whatever I can to fend off the "progressives", who, with their kind hearts, weren't blessed with the brains to go along with it, and end up advocating policies that will lead to more suffering in the universe.

Hay


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 16:29

Oh, brother. Hay, spare me. :)

I have you pegged as a sort of conservative libertarian. Or close. But then there seems to be also an authoritarian follower-type respect for the wealthy. (Do you ever feel your head spinning?)

Whatever. You oppose progressives because you have plenty of evidence that organized government programs will continue to succeed and become embedded in society, and that's not the world you want. However it comes about, you're very sincerely opposed to progressivism but approve social engineering by and for people wealthy enough to accomplish it for themselves. Jut an exercise of their freedom. :)

And, sure, your motivation is that you are afraid organizing to address our problems through government can only lead to more suffering -- as opposed to leaving them to a private ruling class to do as they wish about them, or not, and leaving everyone to become marvelously strong and independent by having to fend for themselves. Against all evidence to the contrary, you keep saying so, and I believe you believe it.

BTW, I'm a liberal, of course, but my minor strain is libertarian. I'm also pragmatic. I can't go where you do because I don't see how a libertarian society of hundreds of millions dependent on technology and complex systems to survive could possibly work. I fear it would rapidly descend into a totalitarian state with new peonage classes serving their betters replacing democracy. And freedom.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"But then there seems to be also an authoritarian follower-type respect for the wealthy."

Oh, that's Hay alright. Ask anyone that knows me. I'm laughing.

" (Do you ever feel your head spinning?)"

Almost never. I've been spinning so long and so hard on the dance floor that I don't get dizzy when I do.

"You oppose progressives because you have plenty of evidence that organized government programs will continue to succeed...

Thanks for the reminder. I haven't checked up on Venezuela for several weeks now.

..."and that's not the world you want."

That much is true. I really wouldn't want to stand in line for a couple of hours, hopping that there'll still be toilet paper on the shelves when I get in.

"you're very sincerely opposed to progressivism but approve social engineering by and for people wealthy enough to accomplish it for themselves."

I'm really not sure what you're saying there, but it sounds like you'd make a good palm reader or a horoscope writer.

"And, sure, your motivation is that you are afraid organizing to address our problems through government can only lead to more suffering "

I sure wouldn't want to go back to the USSR if that's what you mean. You can have Mao, too. You're on a streak here.

" as opposed to leaving them to a private ruling class to do as they wish about them,"

That seems to be where the USSR and the MAO's ended up. It's so easy when you've got an army at your disposal.

"I can't go where you do because I don't see how a libertarian society of hundreds of millions dependent on technology and complex systems to survive could possibly work."

If it's so complex, the best thing to do is entrust it all to a bunch of lawyers gathered together in two houses in Washington.

Fish do it with no government. Birds do it with no government, But us smart humans need the government. Oh, please. Ever hear of Adam Smith's invisible hand. It's almost like magic, but it works.

"I fear it would rapidly descend into a totalitarian state with new peonage classes serving their betters replacing democracy. And freedom."

Really, totalitarian like the USSR and communist China. Your whole premise is to turn over more and more of our freedom to the government.

Please don't insult libertarians by suggesting that you are one. Please, spare me.

I'm sure you have a nice, sweet heart. That's half the battle.

Hay


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 19:53

:) Thanks, Hay. Considering everything, I think we're doing okay. I like people who can trade misunderstandings and insults without getting all excited about it. Actually, I am really big on personal freedom--socially--hard as that may be to believe, which is where we intersect. For me, though, pragmatism rules over strict ideology. It has to work for just about everyone, or it's not an answer.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

The term "Christian" is too often used to describe the religiously and politically conservative Christian Right and paint all Christian denominations with one brush. As though there were no Orthodox, Catholic, Reformation traditional Christian Churches, and so on. Sadly, I know some conservative Christians who would say those other denominations are not Real Christians (TM).

What disturbs me most about the Christian Right is its lack of charity, one of the cardinal virtues. I hear religious and political conservative demonize the poor rather than headind the words of Jesus about the "least of my brothers." I hear them question the Christianity of those who hold different views (for example, some claiming those Christians who accept evolution are "calling God a liar" for not interpreting Genesis as a literal science/history book). Ugliness drives people away.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Hello Mary and welcome.

I love the simplicity and honesty of your post. Well stated.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"For me, though, pragmatism rules over strict ideology. It has to work for just about everyone, or it's not an answer."

We intersect there, too.

You'd like to suggest or outright declare, "They simply do not feel the same responsibility or desire to help groups they see as not their own." (We won't go into the insulting aspect of that sort of statement.)

I'm just as caring as you. Maybe even more so. I'm also just as pragmatic as you. Maybe more so. I don't think I'm more idealistic and less pragmatic than you.

I happen to believe that your "pragmatic" solutions aren't very well thought out and will, down the road, lead to even more suffering.

I think you're very shortsighted.

You think I'm uncaring and selfish.

That's the difference.

Hay


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I would have to enter NAFTA as exhibit 1 in the case, Hay... without which we'd still have a lot more production jobs available to support parts of the general population...

That, in my opinion, was the beginning of the end, bringing unemployment, and a need for more public assistance.

It's not the whole of the problem... but it greatly contributed to the need to show more empathy toward our fellow citizens by creating wider supports for the public.

What's done is done, and those jobs aren't coming back... but we owe it to those we bumped from all those jobs to think about the creation of new jobs... like resurrecting our infrastructure, for instance.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"What's done is done, and those jobs aren't coming back"

To which I usually respond with, "The buck stops with you, doesn't it?"

I have absolutely no problem with being compassionate with the whole of mankind, not just me or YOU. Who's the uncaring and selfish person here?

You want to bring back the jobs from China? Take away the livelihood of people who survive on perhaps less than one tenth of what you have? Who's the uncaring and selfish person here?

The buck stops with you, doesn't it?

Bye. Gotta work on my taxes. It's a pain, but I won't pay very much. Thank you, rich people.

Hay


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

You've got pretty good with all the trite clichés. That much I give you credit for.

Hay


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Says the cliche' man...

I gave part of the answer above. You chose to ignore it.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

I gave part of the answer above. You chose to ignore it".

I'm slow. What's the question and what's the answer that I ignored?


Hay


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

  • Posted by rosie Southeast 7A/B (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 1, 14 at 17:55

Mary_MD7, I agree that was very well stated. Agree.

Hay, we're both pragmatic, and I like your goals. We do definitely disagree on how to get there. Naturally I feel progressive actions would solve more problems than they create, which is how we advance. 3 steps forward, 2.8 back, 0.1 forward, and so on.


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

"Hay, we're both pragmatic, and I like your goals.

Good. And you're going to take back all those nasty things you said about me?

And the next time someone like Jodi starts going on about things like bringing back the "exported jobs" from China, you're going to point out to her how uncaring and selfish she is?

We're making progress here.

Hay


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Hay, you really must start reading what people write. I never said we could bring back jobs... I said we could create new and useful ones.

Sheesh!


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

Hay, you really.....

Picky, picky.

I never said that you said that I said that you said.

You and Rosie work it out.

We're finally seeing who the really uncaring and selfish are among us.

Greedy, too, while we're at it. We're making progress.

Right, Rosie?

Hay


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RE: The Christian Right is hastening the decline of religion

People in simpler societies still know how to live off the land in ways that are becoming impossible for many in this country.
Land is being increasingly held by a few.

I guess the times of "increase and multiply" are over, eh?


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