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Religion, and 9/11.

Religion 9/11

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#21 Godeskian

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 12:58 PM

bravo Hambill

#22 Hambil

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 12:59 PM

LaughingVulcan, on Aug 11 2004, 05:09 PM, said:

Before I can really respond, and I'm not sure that I will - I do my best to avoid all religious discussion on EI for reasons of my own - I believe that I would ask a pretty simple question:  What is your definition of "religion"?

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#23 G1223

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 01:12 PM

Been looking and I am trying to still figure out what rights of yours they are making war on? I have seen no attempts to silence religiious frredoms here. No bombing of churches. (Although a couple of fires locally done by a guy who just likes to set fires.)
The right of privacy is a tough to keep under any administration. Clinton in his term helped move surveillance techiques a bit further along that the BushI administartion.

That had little to do with religion. That war has been going on since the formation of policemen and the desire to know what is going on behind a closed door.
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#24 Nikcara

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 01:21 PM

I generally feel that religion isn't a problem, but how it gets distorted is.
Fanatics are everywhere, will always be everywhere, and will always find SOMETHING to justify this, be it religion or something completely different.
Athiesm kills too - just look at old Communist Russia.  Priests were killed for 'spreading the opiate of the masses', churches were distroyed, and lives ruined.  I don't see any difference between acts like these and religous fanatism acts such as beating a man to death for being gay.  I find that most people who argue that religion is bad fail to look at examples like Stalin, Mao, Jang Ching (Mao's 3rd wife, of who I have little polite to say about) and plenty of others (these are simply the ones off the top of my head - there are plenty of non-Communists anti-relgion nutjobs, but not as famous).
I also feel that most of the relgious nutcases out there, if you look closely you will find another reason.  I don't think suicide bombing would be nearly so popular, for example, if the bombers had more to live for.  Most of these people grew up poor, badly educated (and often very biased - racism needs no god but hate) and oppressed.  Dying in the name of their god is probably the only way they found to do something (in their mind) meaningful with their lives plus it ends the pain of all the crap they're going through as well.  The men who killed Daniel Shepard were sad, confused, and very, very inscure people who needed to see a shrink long before the event took place.  

In short I don't believe religon is reason for these things but a convenant excuse.

My beef with Bush and his religion is that he wants to force others to act the way he thinks we should.  As president I feel he, above all others, should firmly hold to the 'seperation of church and state' bit.  It's fine if he is himself religous, but it shouldn't dictate the laws and such he tries to pass.

I am tired, and rambling.  I shall stop now and hope that my post was, for the most part, understandible and relevant.
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#25 QueenTiye

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 01:21 PM

Cyberhippie, on Aug 11 2004, 01:08 PM, said:

Good and evil aren't integer numbers. One cannot balance acts of evil merely by pointing at acts of good that have been done.
No, but one can recognize the totality of the picture in deciding what a thing is and isn't.

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#26 Rommie's Ronin

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 01:26 PM

Ah, Hambil.  Reading your first post, I now understand you.  Look, religion is supposed to help its members have a better relationship with God.  The day is becomes a self-serving mechanism is the day it's lost its way.  My denomination, the UMC, is in danger of that, IMHO.

I suspect you're more spiritual than you realize.
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#27 Godeskian

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 01:27 PM

edit, replying to HM

Depends on the thing. A person who murders another in cold blood and then does charity is still a murderer. Even if he spends the rest of his life helping people, he still murdered someone in cold blood.

Does a lifetime spent in service equal the life he extinguished? there's no way to know.

Edited by Cyberhippie, 11 August 2004 - 01:28 PM.

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#28 QueenTiye

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 01:31 PM

Hambil, on Aug 11 2004, 01:50 PM, said:

I do not see religious fanaticism the same as I am sure many on here, and in the US, do. I see having my door knocked on and being handed religious propaganda, as fanaticism. I see a gay marriage ban amendment as fanaticism. I see attempts to restrict what I can watch on TV (Married with Children), listen to on the radio (Howard Stern), or do in the privacy of my own home (just about anything other than the missionary position for the express purpose of having children) as religious fanaticism.
Well, I cannot agree with you on many of these items.  A ban on gay marriage has support by people who have no religious motivation, although that  is a hard case to make, since most people in this country DO have some religious motivations.  A person knocking your door to sell you stuff is performing the same activity as the person who is trying to give you religious literature.  They are exercising their free speech rights, and you have the right to say - hey, not interested, go down to another door.  You can even put a sign in your window saying "No proselytization" - which would have the same strength as the national "do not call" list against telemarketers.  But otherwise - they are getting word out about their "product."  I don't see this as fanaticism.  While the religious right has sometimes been hysterical in the subject of public morals, that doesn't make them fanatics for pushing their agenda of morality - thank goodness someone is raising the issue for public debate?  

It seems to me that what's happening here is that a person who has religious underpinnings for their social consciences is supposed to have no voice, according to those who object so strenuously to the various initiatives they propose just because they are religiously motivated.  

Quote

But right now, in this country, the religious right is who I see carrying the banner of a war on my personal freedoms and beliefs, as well as actual war in Iraq, and perhaps soon elsewhere.

Really?  You really believe that the war in Iraq was a product of the religious right?

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#29 Rommie's Ronin

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 01:32 PM

Cyberhippie, on Aug 11 2004, 01:25 PM, said:

edit, replying to HM

Depends on the thing. A person who murders another in cold blood and then does charity is still a murderer. Even if he spends the rest of his life helping people, he still murdered someone in cold blood.

Does a lifetime spent in service equal the life he extinguished? there's no way to know.
You're right.

What matters, however, is his/her standing with God.  A murderer will be a murderer in the eyes of humankind forever, and he can't make up the life he took.  But he can sincerely repent to God.  Notice I said sincerely...and God will forgive him.

Bottom line...we can't save ourselves from ourselves.
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#30 Hambil

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 01:51 PM

Handmaiden07, on Aug 11 2004, 06:29 PM, said:

It seems to me that what's happening here is that a person who has religious underpinnings for their social consciences is supposed to have no voice, according to those who object so strenuously to the various initiatives they propose just because they are religiously motivated.
No, because they are not rationally motivated. They are accepted, rather than debated. They are given, rather than concluded.

Quote

You really believe that the war in Iraq was a product of the religious right?
Yes. I believe an intolerant mindset has lead to a failure to listen to the world and take the steps required to solve the real problems, with or without war. I believe it has led to arrogance. I believe the good will generate by 9/11 was wasted away by hard lines drawn in the sand born out of people who do not know how to compromise, and see any movement from their God given positions as failure. Because God is all-knowing, and hence compromise from what God says is right, is difficult - if not impossible.

#31 Bad Wolf

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 02:13 PM

Let me preface this with reminding folk that I'm no fan of organized religion and that a lot of this has to do with the way certain people in my life tried to force feed it to me when I was young.

Quote

I see having my door knocked on and being handed religious propaganda, as fanaticism.

I think it *can* be fanatacism.  I don't think all proselytization (sorry if I mispelled that) is fanaticism.  I think churches have as much of a right to try to increase their numbers with advertisment as anyone else without automatically being pegged as fanatics.

Quote

I see a gay marriage ban amendment as fanaticism.

My view is similar but not exactly the same.  I think that a President of the United States who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution (including the Establishment Clause) allows his religious fervor to affect his thoughts on political policy to the extent of suggesting a constitutional amendment that is simply veiled anti gayness, that that president is acting like a fanatic.

Quote

I see attempts to restrict what I can watch on TV (Married with Children), listen to on the radio (Howard Stern), or do in the privacy of my own home (just about anything other than the missionary position for the express purpose of having children) as religious fanaticism.

I think it's a mistake to attribute these things to just religious fanaticism (and I'm not sure if that's what you're doing).  I think the censorship and invasion of privacy issues go far beyond religious fanaticism.  I think they go to a malaise in this country that involves too many individuals of the Tipper Gore ilk not wanting to be responsible for what goes on in their lives and the lives of their family and wanting to pass the buck to the government without regard to how doing so erodes personal freedom in this country.

I'm still not clear on how you connect Bush to religious fanaticism re: 9-11.  I mean I think the perpetrators of 9-11 were certainly fanatics.  But I'm not seeing the Bush thing.

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#32 Cait

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 03:28 PM

I wasn't going to drop into this discussion, I also have strong opinions on the nature of religion as it operates on the world scene.  

Whether or not Religion as a whole has contributed 'good' things in our world history is a given.  It is the claim of Religion to be "good" and that it derives its goodness from God.  I'd be concerned if religion had *not* demonstrated its goodness.

But, the atrocities committed in the name of religion not only appear scattered throughout world history, but are anathema to the very nature of religion.  It is this exercise of power for evil that many people like myself find abhorrent.

Mind you I am referring to what men and women do in the name of religion, not the teachings of any particular religion.  It is in many ways unfortunate that spiritual ideals have to be codified and ritualized in order to be practiced.  It is, in my opinion, the codification and establishment of canon that takes religious zealots down a dark path.

I'd like to add, that much of the "evil" that has been done in the world in the name of religion has been done when the boundaries between spirituality and secularism have been eliminated.  

"Evil" on the scale of the Crusades, The Inquisition, and current Islamic fanaticism in terrorism happen because political power has flowed into the hands of Religious leadership or fringe leadership.  These people have gained political power through some means and exercise it in an attempt to 'spread' the word.  But it is no longer a true religious entity, it has become a political one.  Just as powerful as any government in any nation.  

It is this, and this alone that I find objectionable in most cases.  Religion and spirituality is not about political power, it is about the soul.  It allegedly has nothing to do with political power.  And yet, Religious leadership has sent the faithful off the die in the name of God, just as government leaders have sent soldiers off to die in the name of freedom.

It is troublesome, when these lines are blurred.  And it is in the blurred line that some of us take exception of religion and how religious power is exercised in our world.  It isn't just each individual practicing his/her religious faith in the privacy of their own home or religious building, it is religion being practiced on then scale of nations, and for some pretty high stakes.  And like nations, some religions have sacrificed the faithful to further an agenda having nothing to do with religious dogma, canon or salvation.

It is why separation of church and state *IS* so important.  It is why the first amendment makes such a powerful statement.  It is the recognition of the historical inevitabilities that occur when Religion becomes as powerful as a political entity.  Combined, they have had earth shattering repercussions.  This is what troubles some of us.

It is not Religion per se, it is not the practice of any religion at all.  It is not the membership of religions, or the dogma or tenets of a religion.  It is when religious leadership insinuates itself into the political process that I become worried.  And I have historical evidence to support this concern.  IT IS A LEGITIMATE CONCERN.  One that is satisfied by keeping religion and the state separate.  It is just that simple.

There may be no harm in a prayer before a meeting in any state conference, and I would AGREE that on the surface there is nothing troubling about anyone saying a prayer if that is their conviction.  Where I tilt my head in concern is when it becomes a character flaw to not join in that prayer.  

Part of the problem is with the proselytizing religions.  They seek to convert the masses.  It is their duty to convert the sinners to the 'true' path.  And this has proven itself to be at the core of religious abuses as well.  Religious freedom has to include the possibility that a person practicing a different faith than you, is not necessarily a sinner.  And that it is not your job to convert him or kill him in the name of any God.  

I used to take the subway to work, and at least once a week some person would get on at a station and preach to us as we went to work.  Now, while I didn't appreciate the yelling and screaming, I generally let it go.  But the truth is,  the man got on the car, and yelled at us all, that we were sinners, yet he didn't even know if we were of the faith he was exclaiming to be the 'true way'.  

The assumption was that everyone but him, was in fact a sinner and that it was his right to intrude into our lives and 'preach to us'.  This scares me in a zealot.  And it is this, combined with political power is the most frightening thing I think we face in our world.  Because it is the same self-righteousness demonstrated in that man on the subway, multiplied 1000 fold, with weapons to make me listen or kill me if I don't, that I find so frightening.

This is why there is a separation between church and state.  It is not just so there is religious freedom, it is to ensure that abuses of political power aren't backed by 'a calling from God'.

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#33 Tyrman

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 03:36 PM

I personally believe that everyone should be allowed to practice whatever religion they want and go about their lives in any way they choose, so long as their actions pose no threat to anyone or endanger anyone's safety or well being in any way.

I think people should be free to choose what religion they practice, not have one forced upon them. Even those people who grow up with a certain religion are usually given a choice if they want to continue with it or convert, right?

If two people of the same gender wish to get married, hey, great for them! The world needs more happiness. If someone wants to put a limit on who can be happy and who can't, well, in my honest opinion that isn't right.
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#34 Bad Wolf

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 03:56 PM

SubwayCait, on Aug 11 2004, 01:26 PM, said:

I'd like to add, that much of the "evil" that has been done in the world in the name of religion has been done when the boundaries between spirituality and secularism have been eliminated.
I could not agree more.  That's why Bush's apparent lack of respect for the Estabishment Clause bothers me so much.
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#35 Hambil

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 04:03 PM

"No, I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." - Bush

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#36 Godeskian

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 04:23 PM

side note, that was Bush senior, not Bush Junior.

and for that alone, Bush senior has gained my undying disgust.

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#37 Hambil

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 04:49 PM

Cyberhippie, on Aug 11 2004, 09:21 PM, said:

side note, that was Bush senior, not Bush Junior.

and for that alone, Bush senior has gained my undying disgust.
Yes, Bush Sr. Thank you for the clarification. Although, I can hunt down many quotes almost as bad by Jr. But nothing as blatant as that. However, given how religious Jr. clearly is, the religious beliefs of the father who's footsteps he followed are certainly relevant.

And, more than that, the statement stands on its own to show the dangers of overly religous presidents. And it scares me that the man who said that, got elected. A man who believes I should not be a citizen of this country.

I do not see my hatred as unfounded, or irrational. Just unfortunate.

Edited by Hambil, 11 August 2004 - 04:50 PM.


#38 QueenTiye

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 12:42 AM

I'm taking a break from Ex Isle, or supposed to be, but this particular thread bothered me so much I couldn't leave it alone.  I apologize therefore, for intruding on everyone's good will with me... I'll be gone after this post, and I'll stay gone till my emotions settle a bit, but these comments upset me a great deal.


SubwayCait said:

Religious freedom has to include the possibility that a person practicing a different faith than you, is not necessarily a sinner. And that it is not your job to convert him or kill him in the name of any God.

That's not religious freedom.  That's you dictating what religions must teach.  

Quote

I used to take the subway to work, and at least once a week some person would get on at a station and preach to us as we went to work. Now, while I didn't appreciate the yelling and screaming, I generally let it go. But the truth is, the man got on the car, and yelled at us all, that we were sinners, yet he didn't even know if we were of the faith he was exclaiming to be the 'true way'.

The assumption was that everyone but him, was in fact a sinner and that it was his right to intrude into our lives and 'preach to us'. This scares me in a zealot. And it is this, combined with political power is the most frightening thing I think we face in our world. Because it is the same self-righteousness demonstrated in that man on the subway, multiplied 1000 fold, with weapons to make me listen or kill me if I don't, that I find so frightening.

I don't know what he believed, and I don't sit in judgment of his beliefs.  But Christian doctrine holds that all have sinned, and fallen short of the Glory of God.  That would include him.  That he considers himself lucky enough to have found a remedy for that problem of being a sinner would be why he felt himself obligated to tell everyone else about it.  The accusation that someone is "self-righteous" when they attempt to follow the dictates of their faith, including proselytization, is inherently unfair, in my humble opinion.  Yes, we know all about the self-righteous types who are ever telling someone else to do what they themselves are not doing.  We know all about the way people use religion to justify their vain desires.  But I object strenuously to painting all who believe in this doctrine and who respond to their belief in the way that is most logical for it, with the brush of "self-righteousness."  I much rather take it upon myself to treat him and anyone like him, like anyone else trying to sell me a product.  If I think myself in need of said product, I'll listen to the spiel to see if I like what's being offered.  If I think myself not in need, I'll tell him so, or turn the channel, literally or figuratively.

Hambil said:

Yes, Bush Sr. Thank you for the clarification. Although, I can hunt down many quotes almost as bad by Jr. But nothing as blatant as that. However, given how religious Jr. clearly is, the religious beliefs of the father who's footsteps he followed are certainly relevant.

Guilt by association? I am personally not convinced of the veracity or fairness of this statement.  You mention other quotes almost as bad by Bush Jr.; I'd like to see them.  I don't believe in judging one person by another person's deeds, no matter what their relationship.

Quote

Handmaiden07 said:


It seems to me that what's happening here is that a person who has religious underpinnings for their social consciences is supposed to have no voice, according to those who object so strenuously to the various initiatives they propose just because they are religiously motivated.

No, because they are not rationally motivated. They are accepted, rather than debated. They are given, rather than concluded.

I'm disappointed that no one has challenged this yet.  Perhaps that is the consensus view.  But, I'm going to speak on it.  The fact that someone has a social conscience that is informed by their religious beliefs does not mean that they did not critically examine those beliefs and decide if they were fitting, does not mean that they do not have to think critically about HOW their religious beliefs SHOULD be reflected in their own day to day lives, and therefore should be a part of their social policy.  No doubt there are some who do simply accept what some religious leader gives them without critical thought.  However, there are many more who in fact DO think critically about HOW religious principles aught to be applied to their lives and to society.  They think critically, and often disagree with the institutions take on things.  They struggle to make sense of their conflicting ideas, and they come up with solutions that they then try to live by.  Apparently, though, this is not to be believed, unless every instance of critical examination of religious ideas as applied to social conscience results in a rejection of the religious view. An example, once again, of an infringement on the freedom of conscience of the religious person. And most upsetting, is the opening statement.  In response to the question of should a person who has religious underpinnings for their social consciences have a voice - your answer is No.  So much for religious freedom.

HM07

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#39 Hambil

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 12:53 AM

Handmaiden07, on Aug 12 2004, 05:40 AM, said:

In response to the question of should a person who has religious underpinnings for their social consciences have a voice - your answer is No.  So much for religious freedom.
That was not my intent, and I apologize if it upset you. Let me clarify:

The 'no' refers to the phrase 'just because they are religiously motivated'.

As in: "No - I don't object to these initiatives just because they are religiously motivated, I object to them because - etc..."

And, thinking critically about how to reflect your religious beliefs in your life is good. But it is not the same as thinking critically about the merit of those beliefs.

Edited by Hambil, 12 August 2004 - 12:54 AM.


#40 Bad Wolf

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 01:27 AM

Quote

No, because they are not rationally motivated. They are accepted, rather than debated. They are given, rather than concluded.



Quote

I'm disappointed that no one has challenged this yet.

I've had some rather heavy stuff to deal with this evening.  Rest assured that I'll be challenging it some time tomorrow when my head's in a better place.

Frankly however, I think that a lot of clarification would result if people would continue to be careful not to overgeneralize.  Overgeneralizations about religious doctrine are no more helpful than over generalizations about political affiliations.

IMO.

Lil
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