All of you that appear to want to blame all the cruelty and savageness on Christianity or religion in general should not forget that it exists and existed in similar levels or worse in most of the world before the Europeans brought their culture (?) to share. More likely, it is simply the proof that humans very often have an innate propensity towards these things. But one might also make a case for religion, if proponents actually live up to the tenets most propose as reflected in the idea of the "Golden Rule" (which is found in some form in most major belief structures), can be given some credit for mollifying savagery in some native societies. That is not to deny how negatively affected many have been by missionary efforts around the world. Yet there are many examples of real kindness and effective proselyting leading to reduction of savagery in some cultural groups as well.
Still, those of us that claim to be Christian or dedicated to other religious principles that claim love and kindness, have considerable room for improvement. That "free choice" thing and innate nature can be really difficult to overcome. Just the same, community outreach by churches, temples, mosques and so on contribute much more to their variant communities than many realize. Take a lot of it away, and the loss would be noticeable, possibly even detrimental in some cases.
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Cruelty? Savageness? Where did THAT come from? Look at the title of this thread. This is about gay rights. Besides who is blaming those two things on Christianity? What jblake47 claims is that the principles of Christianity are what made our country the great country that it is. I'm just disagreeing with that claim. I also happen to think that all citizens should have the same rights and for some reason, jblake47 seems to think that puts this country into some kind of 'death spiral' or something. Good grief!
I challenge anyone to explain why the principle that all citizens should have the same basic rights is NOT conservative. Go ahead. Ross Perot here...I'm all ears.
- Apr 2013
The principles of Christianity made our country great? I would like to read the evidence for that claim. What in our history says that religion was responsible for American success? Will we even be able to agree on what American success looks like and what examples of it are? I doubt it.
I believe a few particular people and events are what made our country great in terms of government process: Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson (the real one) were hyper-intelligent men. They were also not particularly religious people. Their input was instrumental in everything that went on in the late 1700's. The singular event in our history more important than any other was Washington stepping down after two terms and refusing power. That was truly a noble act. I doubt any of our leaders today would be so pure of heart in his position. We owe him a great deal.
Unfortunately, I would also say that today American government is no longer the government of the founders. We tweaked things here and there, and with the addition of technology, we've made a mess. We were advised by Washington to avoid alliances and enemies both, but we seem to have cornered the market. Our president was to be chosen by the Senate, but now he is popularly elected, as are senators who were to be selected by their states using whatever process they preferred including appointment. The states now have no voice in government. No one could have foreseen the willingness to read emails while outlawing the reading of physical mail without permission. No one could have imagined we would have this military might and that we would repeatedly, over and over, stupidly use it in a way that created more problems than it solved.
I imagine Ben Franklin, once he got over the shock of being here, would be quite disappointed at what happened to Camelot. We had a chance at true greatness, but we became a paranoid, superstitious, arrogant people who eschew our own geniuses of our day and rebuke those who call BS on our bad habits and hard choices. We believe we are the saviors of the world rather than its humble occupants and helpers. We can't balance a budget, but we can store every phone record.
I think maybe the USA is headed to totalitarianism, and it is too late to stop it. We're in the equivalent of 1933 in Germany. We're all arguing about what it means, but the dominoes are already falling and we've already cast our lot. It's done. It cannot be undone. It makes me sad.
I imagine the US as this awesome country dedicated to freedom and justice for all, but too many videos of cops beating people senseless, too many innocent people charged with crimes, too much spying by the government, too many laws, too many tax guys seizing property, too many bankers walking off scott free while we get laid off, and too many lobbyists able to corrupt too many weak men and women in office... I think I've lost hope in our system.
What makes America great? I cannot agree we are great. We are mighty. But that might doesn't seem to be used for good.
acco40 commented07-19-2013, 10:58 AMEditing a commentThe USA is a great country founded on basic religious principles (not necessarily Christian) but populated with a multitude of "not so great" citizens that do lie, cheat, steal, beat and conduct themselves in other nefarious ways. Be careful of the 1933 Germany comment, we may not be a nation under God, but we surely do follow Godwin's Law.
07-20-2013, 03:05 PMEditing a commentDo tell what are those basic religious principles and what laws have we that are based on them?
"founded on religious principles" is said often but unsubstantiated.
So is the idea that our country is great. Great how? Greater than what? I have lived in many different countries. I do not find the US particularly superior overall. It has some good points and some bad points.
I'm also not sure, acco40, how you can have a great country without great citizens.
Originally posted by packsaddle View PostAre you saying Cortez was a missionary? Coronado? OK we all know that indigenous peoples did a WHOLE lot better after their lands were settled by those Christian people..yeah,.right!
Like I mentioned before, if you look at the areas of THIS country that already resemble that 'third world' you seem not to admire, those are mostly areas in the Bible Belt and which local societies most closely match, it seems, YOUR values. And also, like I noted before, I can name third world countries that are far more heavily influenced by 'The Church' than the USA.
You're claiming credit for Christianity that doesn't stand up to scrutiny, not even a little bit.
Repeat, I challenge anyone to explain why the principle that all citizens should have the same basic rights is NOT conservative.
07-19-2013, 04:49 PMEditing a commentI'll bite, what basic right are we talking about here?
07-19-2013, 05:18 PMEditing a commentAre you saying that you disagree with that principle?
The challenge was to explain why the principle of equal rights for all citizens is not conservative. It's about the principle, not specific rights.
Peregrinator commented07-22-2013, 11:05 PMEditing a commentIn truth, no, equal rights for all citizens is not "conservative" -- at least not how that term was understood prior to the 20th century and in countries other than the USA. So yes, equal rights are very much a "liberal" issue.
But that's irrelevant to the topic of this thread since no one's rights are being denied.
What equal right are we talking about? If one side offends the other then it's not equal.
07-19-2013, 09:54 PMEditing a commentAre you serious? Do you seriously not understand this?
It is about a 'principle' and not a specific right. The 'principle' is that 'rights' of citizenship should go to ALL citizens, not just some of them. I am asking if anyone can explain why that principle is NOT conservative?
Look, if you can't understand this, you're not going to be able to explain anything. Anyone else want to take a crack at it?Last edited by packsaddle; 07-19-2013, 10:06 PM.
King Ding Dong commented07-19-2013, 10:24 PMEditing a commentIt is not conservative because it is not convenient.
07-20-2013, 03:11 PMEditing a commentConservative = resisting change. As the United States has historically not offered equal rights, and has historically resisted changing to offer them, I would say that not offering equal rights to people who do not fit the mainstream is a conservative idea.
In short, to offer equal rights to all was not a founding principle of the US. Slaves were accepted, blacks counted as 3/5's a person, anyone not male and owning land could not vote. Access to public areas and business was limited to those in narrow group.
It is very conservative to refuse service and rights to those who are considered odd-balls in America. Conservativism continues to preach that the country will fall apart if we continue accepting people who are not part of the mainstream of society.
Just go to social services, tell them you want to foster a child, and that you are gay. Good luck!
I ask the specific right, not because in principle it is fair, it's just that most "rights" now seem to be entitlements and the laws that are added to the basic rights of individuals are now riddled with hypocrisy and double standards. It's okay to infringe on the rights of certain groups, but not others. Where's the equal rights under the law in that circumstance? I know exactly what you are driving at packsaddle, but each right you think is being preserved by the "conservative" faction in our nation is not in reality.
Let me see.... Let's just for example see how far I would get with the IRS applying for a tax-exempt status for a group named NAAWP. Yeah, where's the equal rights in that?
The "crack" you want someone to take just doesn't hold water. We are racially a melting-pot of ethnic diversity here in America were we on a regular basis establish zero-tolerance policies. Now there's an oxymoron for ya. Race? Speech? Gun ownership? Sexuality? Relationship? Religion? You pick a bill off the Bill of Rights and see how much water it really holds in today's society.
Thanks KDD. That's a little on the brief side, though, for an explanation....maybe jblake47 knows "what you're driving at..."
jblake47, was all that in support of your argument that the principle IS conservative .....or NOT conservative? I have no idea what you mean by 'holding water' either. Race is a condition, not a right. Sexuality, same thing. And even though the others are associated with rights, it isn't clear what the problem is with them - but it doesn't matter anyway for my inquiry. I'm asking about a principle that rights of citizenship should apply to all citizens not just some citizens. That's what I'm asking about, not specific single rights.
07-20-2013, 08:26 AMEditing a commentI don't think anyone, liberal or conservative, would say civil rights are not important. It just falls apart when governments feel the necessity to set up inequalities to "make things right" or to allow one group, any group, including the government which has taken an oath to apply equality to all, to demand more "rights" than the next group. Of course then there's the politics that surround the whole business whereas lobbyists promote one group over another and "get away with it" under the guise of "legal."
We as a civilization have agreed to the US Constitution as it states itself, not as some have found it necessary to reinterpret by liberals or conservatives.
It's not an issue of liberal/conservative, it's an issue of if we're not following the US Constitution, something we all agreed upon, then what is it we ARE following that only some are in agreement with?
If not the US Constitution then what policy are we indeed following? Depends on which way the wind is blowing today? For many, that seems to be the observation.Last edited by jblake47; 07-20-2013, 08:30 AM.
07-20-2013, 09:11 AMEditing a comment" It just falls apart when governments feel the necessity to set up inequalities to "make things right" or to allow one group, any group, including the government which has taken an oath to apply equality to all, to demand more "rights" than the next group."
See, I can agree with this. It is wrong for, say, men to be able to vote, but not women. It is wrong for one ethnic group to be able to vote, but not other ethnic groups. I note that at one time in my region, the 'conservative' view was that these things were NOT wrong. But today, unless I'm reading things wrong, conservatives support the idea that NO preference be given to any ethnic group. And I'm in agreement with that as well.
This is application of the principle that 'rights' of citizenship should be available to all citizens (unless of course they have been convicted of a crime of some sort). So...is there anyone who would argue that this is NOT a conservative principle?
07-20-2013, 08:21 PMEditing a commentI guess I wouldn't use the terms conservative/liberal. I would use maybe, Constitutional as written and constitutional as interpreted and modified. If Conservative is being defined by you as Constitutional, then I guess we are in agreement. The would mean the liberals would be considered those who "interpret" something to fit their agenda or philosophy. That to me is the start of re-writing the Constitution to provide for something that simply wasn't in the original document/contract. That is the slippery slope I am pegged paranoid about. Sorry, but there is a ton of evidence that there is more to what people are involved in that simply isn't in the Constitution. Although I am not from the South, I do agree that states rights, adopted in the original Constitution have been for the most part, tossed aside.
- Feb 2001
Let's just for example see how far I would get with the IRS applying for a tax-exempt status for a group named NAAWP. Yeah, where's the equal rights in that?
If you meet the qualifications for tax-exempt status, you'd get it, and if a government official tried to deny it based on the viewpoint of your group, the ACLU would sue on your behalf, as that constitutes viewpoint discrimination which is a first amendment violation. Now, if you apply as a tax-exempt organization that performs some sort of public service, you can't refuse to perform that service based on e.g. race because the government will refuse to subsidize that, but if you want to create a racist church, have at it.
When David Duke left the KKK, he started the NAAWP as a non-profit.
The website is gone, but there is (or was) a non-profit NAAWP based in Florida:
Seriously, you can't just make up crap that aligns with your paranoid persecution complex and expect other people to buy it.
King Ding Dong commented07-20-2013, 05:47 PMEditing a commentI am still waiting for the specific examples of Christians being persecuted. Besides the lion feedings I pointed out.
07-21-2013, 06:25 PMEditing a commentYou will find that the persecution of Christians involves:
* Denying official school-led prayers in government schools
* Pulling specifically Christian symbols from public institutions funded purely with taxpayer money where other beliefs's symbols are not allowed
* Any mention that churches pay taxes on profits
* Requests that we remove references to spiritual entities from money, slogans, pledges, etc.
In short, Christians in the US feel persecuted any time their absolute domination of American public life is challenged in favor of a secular, non-religious approach.
I am unaware of any instance in the US where a Christian's civil rights were violated ever because they were a Christian. Probably there have been instances in schools where kids were wearing t-shirts with a bloody crucifixion image, handing out pamphlets, harassing other students, or attempting to organize mass prayers in class that other non-believers were told "You don't have to participate."
To me, that's justice. Our nation operates best when religion stays at home and at church.
07-21-2013, 08:58 PMEditing a commentWith logic like that, one must conclude that with any public education our nation operates best when education remains at school.
- Jul 2002