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Is Christianity Picked On?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Sunstone, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    While I am disinclined to argue with the sentiment expressed in the first part of that sentence, the second thought leads me to conclude that you lay claim of knowledge of some (or "The") untwisted/unexpurgated "truth" encompassing an adherent rational dogma from a minority's perspective. Do you claim a singularly unique and personalized revelation of "the truth", or does your organized religion offer some sort of newsletter/website/religious text that unambiguously outlines/defines what is actually "the truth"?

    Last time I looked, ever "major religion" lays claim to sole understanding and exposition of "the truth". Seems like the "minor" religions do the same thing...
     
  2. Mister_T

    Mister_T Forum Relic
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    Picked on? No. Their actions cause their own "being picked on". Persecution is what Jesus and the first Christians went through. Persecution is not society giving fundementalists the heave ho because they're tired of them trying to force people to think just like them and have the same mindset.
     
  3. Mister_T

    Mister_T Forum Relic
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    I don't know about that. I'm sure some people are, but I think they just want everyone's religion to be equal.
     
  4. Mister_T

    Mister_T Forum Relic
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    I don't. I wish we could all live in peace together.
     
  5. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hi jeffery,

    You said:

    *blush*

    I enjoy John Prine (my wife is a big fan of his work).

    I recall a metaphorical and prophetical teaching from Scripture about eyeballs, and the attached concerns of plucking a dusty mote from another's eye, whilst ignoring the 2x4 plank embedded within one's own (which tends to illustrate not only the failings of double-standard pious hypocrisy, but as well the blurred perspective attendant such an impairing obstruction).

    I have true empathy for my sensible and compassionate Christian friends and acquaintances, for they always cringe and express their outrage (or regret) whenever some nutty televangelist, faith-based special interest group, or impassioned church leader stirs the pot of religious division with some regrettable (or really, really stupid) claim/allegation/observation/conclusion of informed and inspired evangelical "truth".

    How many self-professed Christians routinely defend themselves in saying; "Pat Robertson; or Jerry Falwell; or James Dobson; or Ralph Reed; or Rick Santorum; et al...certainly doesn't reflect MY Christian values!".

    Ya know, I'd like to believe them when they say so. Really I would. I know but a few that are sincerely earnest when they publicly disclaim those particularly visible zealots. But then I see public opinion polls that address the very same outrageous (or dumbfounding) position, and note that the overwhelming majority of self-described Christians actually do favor (or align with) such perspectives/policies.

    Same-sex marriage (and concommitantly, equality in legal/civil rights for homosexuals) is an especially divisive topic today in the U.S (and a lovely motivational tool to energize the "evangelical base" to "action").

    Attendant claims of (generally paraphrased):

    "Legalized gay marriage will destroy the traditional family".

    Same-sex marriage has been legal in the state of Massachusetts for about three years now. Is there any evidence of decay in "traditional families"?
    Has the divorce rate suddenly risen there?
    Any increased incidences of spousal/child abuse, rape, or murder?
    Have families stopped going to their traditional houses of worship (beyond contemporary trends)?
    Do "traditional" marriages report any higher instances of infidelity, unhappiness, or incompatibility in the last three years in Mass.?
    If the claims of outspoken and politically/socially motivated Christians were legitimate, there should have been (by now) a veritable explosion (implosion?) of debauchery/denigration/degeneration evidenced within traditional families by now in that heathenized State of moral decay.

    "Marriage has historically always been between a man and a woman".

    True, but not entirely so, and not always with the same attached sensibilities we apply today.

    "Historically", religion has routinely persecuted homosexuals, with all sorts of nice examples of thusly implied illness, demonic possession, heretical rebellion (against a given deity's proscribed "rules"); with faith-based "healing" utilizing pious scourging, torture, and righteous execution - as sanctified remedy for such "deviant/aberrant" behavior. Kinda tough to have a same-sex marriage if being homosexual alone is enough to get you ceremoniously maimed or dead.

    Lest we forget that in but a few cultures in just the last century or so, marriage was no more than a legally-binding civil contract, wherein the woman was essentially connubial property - with no legal or personal rights of her own to claim or assert (especially from a religious perspective).

    Christian Scriptural "history" accounts of many notable polygamous marriages (one man, many women), absent any notably attached sin (in and of itself) or impropriety ("offense" to God) within the regard of a circumspectly judgmental (and ghost-writing) deity.

    And so it has been throughout most of recorded history...

    [I still have to wonder...do some homosexual men choose to become celibate Catholic priests, or do some Catholic priests simply "choose" to become unchaste (and sometimes homosexual) pedophiles?
    Well...nevermind.
    "Christians aren't perfect...just forgiven".
    Unbelievers forget that convenient dismissive "truth" sometimes...]

    But hey...I digress...;-)

    Suffice to say that in my estimation, religious hypocrisy invites (and even necessitates) circumspectly applicable scorn, derision, and heuristically hammering ridicule whenever it's opportunistic whack-a-mole head pops up for appropriately heretical thrashings.

    You mention the "better than you attitude" that some intemperate (yet smug) Christians wield as weapon in self-gratifying hubris and pride. No doubt, this is most evinced by "true-believing" evangelicals. But know - that I know - some Christians that do not (nor would not). It's not so much the the humbly reverential "I wish that you were joining me on heaven", that is rarely expressed - it's the zealously self-assured and spiteful, "Too bad you're going to Hell" venom that both kills the message and damns the message-bringer at the same time.

    WWJD?

    I dunno, but heretical unbelievers see far too many Christians parading about with a chord of wood in their own eye sockets, generously offering to remove that speck of sawdust that brings just enough tears to our own eyes for their "caring" attentions.

    As you observe, both the irony and hypocrisy are impossible to avoid, or ignore...
     
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  6. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    You make very good points,Cal, (as always)

    Long time no speak, I hope you are well.

    I think the problem here is that you are doing what is 'normal' - classifying something with the 'advertized product profile'.

    I could ask you (for example) what you think of Islam, as a religion; if you were to answer (as a lot of people are tempted to) on what you read in the papers, and what you see and hear in the media, you would have good cause to come to the conclusion that 'it ain't what it's made up to be'.

    Christianity is the same; ignore the loudmouths (and when it comes down to it there aren't that many, as a percentage) - those who do a lot of destructive shouting about the faith, and go talk to what I would call 'the silent majority'...........you'll get a totally different picture. The same, of course may be said about Islam.

    According to a chart I have, 33% of the world population is Christian. Do you personally think that the loudmouths represent the 33% ?
     
  7. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Hello michel,

    You said:

    Indeed. I'm just skippy, and hope that you too are faring as well as I.

    Hmmm. Perhaps, but I don't know that such classifications are necessarily unfair or inaccurate. Early within this very thread [post #23], in reply to Sunstone), I lent illustration along one line of the larger whole (in this particular instance, the "majority view" regarding religion in public schools, in which I offered:
    You said:

    Indeed so, and your supposition serves to reinforce the sentiments I expressed above. Any sizable majority within a given society typically reserves the right to pick and choose whatever strikes their particular fancy of "tantamount importance" (for the rest of us) at any given moment, and subsequently (well...often enough) lend little or no introspective or informed consideration beyond simplistic "product profiling" to secondary matters (exampled by blithe or purposed mischaracterizations borne of the unengaged ennui, ignorance, and fear of things they don't bother to understand).

    Certainly neither you nor I would be so callously cavalier as to opine on the merits and values of Islam without doing a bit of investigative reading and research on our own first, now would we? ;-)

    But that's the real problem, isn't it? Religious extremists within any faith-based belief tend to promote highly intolerant, incendiary, disruptive, and potentially dangerous (singularly immutable) precepts of a purposed ideology that will accept no others as societally legitimate or permissible.

    My "issue" with the "silent majority" of reasonable/rational/peaceful adherents of faith-based beliefs is that they allow (either through indifference or secretive tacit approval) the few "loudmouths" to out-shout their more sensible and tolerant perspectives.

    The popular axiom as related by Edmund Burke applies:

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

    Or, remain pleasantly unperturbed in some silent majority...

    Nope. I put it somewhere around 22% ;-)

    But seriously, I would remind the "silent majority" of the Christian faithful, that saying nothing is tantamount to doing nothing about the most odious words and deeds evidenced by their uglier brothers and sisters in Christ.

    One need only look to Biblical Scripture (as none-too-gentle reminders):

    Matthew 25:18-26 (Parable of the Talents)

    Rev. 3:15-17 (Jesus' rebuke of the Laodicea church).

    Eph. 5:11 - 14

    ...and...

    1 Peter 3: 8-17

    So says the "good" book.
     
  8. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    I just think there is BIG difference between taunts and persecution.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  9. s2a

    s2a Heretic and part-time (skinny) Santa impersonator

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    Indeed so, and the fault lies not in the stars (of media), but within themselves (as self-proclaimed "defenders" of sectarian ideologies).

    This is what strikes me as the most ironic result of contradictory rationalizations.

    If Christians bear the ultimate "message" of "Good News (ie. God's revealed Truth), and the accountable numbers of faithful adherents continues to steadily decline, they either can not, or will not, assume the responsibility of being poor messengers (or representatives) of an assumedly "perfect" message.

    This calls to mind the typical (and weak) rebuttal to trending declining support for a given/specified ideological "message" of directed intent.

    How many times has it been suggested that; "There's nothing wrong with [a/the given idea/ideal]...we just haven't gotten the "word" out well enough for people to understand (and inferably therefore accept as rational fact/"truth")) and support".

    Why does it continue to bewilder some zealous advocates that perhaps...as crazy as it may seem...that the great unwashed HAVE heard, and DO understand what the advocates are saying/offering, and that the resultantly conclusive answer is sometimes..."NO"?

    Talk about taking things personally....

    Here you have (posited) a "true believer" - honest, sincere, earnest, and pious - espousing what they believe [to be] is in YOUR own best interests and immediate (and long-term) concerns. How could anyone reject such honesty, sincerity, and unselfish motivations?

    Consider the concept of an uncommissioned (unmotivated by any semblance of personal profit or gain) automobile salesman, offering to give away a free car to anyone who wants one, simply for the asking. And it's not just ANY car mind you...it's a care-free, perfect car that is promised to run forever, with just a couple of niggling caveats attached to acceptance of the final deal of committal ownership. All you have to do is... worship the car's manufacturer as the only legitimate maker of cars, and reject all other brands. You have to become another (albeit imperfect, or inexperienced) car salesman yourself, and never question the claims of the manufacturer, or the inconsistencies that the car (or it's owner's manual) sometimes manifests whilst driving. You must accept that if your perfect car does break down at some point, it's not the manufacturer's fault - it's something YOU did (or didn't do) that caused the car to fail. If you get stranded in the wilderness by your free car, it's really just a test of your loyalty to the brand and your skills as a devoted salesman. Fair enough? Logical enough?

    Hmmmm, it sounds interesting enough....even tempting enough, to accept without further qualifying reservations. But then again; you consider that you have two comfortable, reliable, and undemanding Hondas in your garage that are already (virtually) trouble-free...that neither demand nor require any oath of fealty or change in personal job description just to get you to where you want to go. You wonder aloud..."Why should I change what I know works (and suits my needs) for me now?".

    The salesman just looks at you, smiles, and says: "Well, you'll just have to trust me. My car is better than any Honda. I know beyond equivocation that my brand of car is the best car I've ever cared to embrace and call my own. I just know it's the perfect car for you too".

    If you were giving away free cars with the attendant promises of eternal longevity and care-free ownership, and people routinely said: "No thanks"; how would that make you feel both about yourself and the product you were selling? Would you perceive the "nay-sayer"s as stupid, self-serving, and short-sighted (or worse)? Would you question the integrity of the product you were selling (or the manufacturer)? Would you seek to reject, ridicule, or even silence the alternative brand "competition"? Would you accuse your alternate product competitors of lying, willful deceit, false claims, or worse? How badly do you want to "win" new customers to your brand of car? Would you lie, cheat, and steal in order to win over prospective owners because you "know" that it's [really] "for their own good"? Would you seek to obstruct distribution brochures of alternate branded cars? Would you demand equal time/placement of your brochures in a Honda dealership (for the sake of inherently legitimized competitive comparison alone)? Would you seek to vilify any alternate-branded dealership that did not accede to your "reasonable" demands of equal representation?

    In the Peanuts cartoons, Charlie Brown (as baseball team pitcher) used to silently opine; "How can we lose when we're so sincere?" Charlie Brown took every loss personally, but never questioned either the capacities or veritable talents of his teammates.

    Why do some find difficulty in discerning the difference between taunts and persecution?

    "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars...But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
     
  10. Life of Brian

    Life of Brian Member

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    Ever since the establishment of the Constantine empire Christians have gotten SOOO many things wrong, like suicide is a ticket to hell, the crusades, Christian Coliation, Southern Baptist Convention, anything that Pat Robertson has ever said, the list is endless, and as soon as Christians see some of the rather odd and contridictory beliefs and come to see how they "church" they goto many not be the "church" talked about in New Testament. This all should be exposed through being "picked on" because it allows Christianity to step back and view those things objectivly.
     
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  11. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    http://www.therevealer.org/archives/main_story_002500.php

    More on
    I especially like what Ron Luce, the president and founder of Teen Mania, a Christian revivalist youth ministry, and the author of Battle Cry for a Generation is said to have said
    The article is a very interesting look at the "picked on".
     
  12. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    It's interesting how the conference participants subverted the symbols of representative government, constitutional restraint, and liberty to further theocratic ends.

    I think Lilithu's point, which she made in another thread, that the politically practical way to oppose these ******** is to oppose them on religious grounds, is a point worth remembering. The Left needs to take back religion. We cannot allow the Right to monopolize it. If we do, not only will the Right win the political battles, but the Right will also shut down religious diversity within Christianity in this country.

    BTW, This conference proves that the agenda of the Right goes well beyond protecting Christianity from being picked on. They want a theocratic state, whether they are willing to admit that or not. Their call to merely "restore" the "original vision of America" is no more than a mask and smoke screen. Their real goal is theocracy.
     
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  13. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    From The Notebook, Time magazine, April 10, 2006 - "You guys have become the Jews of the 21st century"
    Michael Horowitz, senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute to Evangelicals at a War on Christians conference, which focused on the impact of perceived attacks by liberals.

    That ought to be enough to really declare war
     
  14. wmam

    wmam Active Member

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    All religions should be attacked and overcome for they are little more than clubs for the dead.
     
  15. Ody

    Ody Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the most random statement i have read all day!
     
  16. wmam

    wmam Active Member

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    Well it wouldn't be RF without your pointless comments so keep up the great job I know you'll continue to do. :bow:
     
  17. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Cool it down
    Clean it up
    Whatever it takes -
    I want our accustomed decorm to return
     
  18. Mister_T

    Mister_T Forum Relic
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    That really is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard. Jews were brutally put to death for their religion. There are Christians today who die for their beliefs while doing missionary work overseas, but comparing political disfavor to what the Jews expereinced is disgusting and dishonorable.
     
  19. Darkdale

    Darkdale World Leader Pretend

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    No other point or purpose huh?
     
  20. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    What political disfavor?
     
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