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#1 MichaelHinman

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 02:40 AM

There is a major commonality with most all religions ... it's a belief in a higher power. Whether you recognize that higher power as God, or as Allah, or as Adonai, or as multiple gods ... there is something to say about spirituality.

There IS a moral code that must be followed. Christians sometimes are ridiculed further than I feel they should be ridiculed, because they want to do what they feel is right. That is great. If you feel that not cussing, or not watching pornography, or not sleeping with the same sex is not right, then you personally should not do it. I think what the Landover site gets to is that there are some people who insist on making everyone follow the specific moral codes of one person, rather than what your own heart tells you.

When I made the above statement in regards to the definition of diversity, it was in response to the fact that opinions also are diverse. Opinions are diverse, as well ... whether it be to determining what really is funny to what is considered offiensive.

Ro asked quite specifically what kind of disclaimer to put up, and I'm very open to that. The original request I questioned was that what would be considered offensive ... when Ro defined it as "religious and political," to me, that set a very clear boundary, and one I am happy to follow, as I'm sure others are as well.

The entire Klingon thread was made because Drew blasted a previous one. To show that there was plenty of worse things out there, I posted this one (and also, because it had a Star Trek reference). It most certainly wasn't the worst I could find, and yes, I feel those who sit back and scream at everything that is even slightly offensive -- even when its whole point is to point out flaws in some beliefs -- is an "uptight" reaction.

In her most recent standup comic performance, Margaret Cho spent 40 minutes commenting on gays through stereotypes. One of my friends who was watching it took serious offense to it. I didn't. They were simple observations that were being addressed through a medium that people can easily relate and understand ... comedy.

I didn't think the Klingon thing was all that funny. In fact, parody has to be VERY clever for me to find it funny. I felt the Spongebob Pants thing was funny in the previous thread simply because it directly highlighted specific actions in the past of Jerry Falwell and his claim that the "Teletubbies" children's show promoted homosexuality, and was a form of "recruitment."

If you felt offended by the Spongebob thing, was it because maybe you feel that there are those types of suggestive programming out there, and maybe Jerry Falwell is right? Or did you completely overlook that entire aspect of it, and concentrated mostly on the fact that the entire backdrop of their parody is in the form of a parody of a particular church itself?

If you did, there is nothing wrong with that. My sister watched "American Beauty" at my suggestion, but didn't like it simply because she couldn't get through it. She got so caught up on the fact that Kevin Spacey's character was lusting after a teen-age girl rather than what the movie's overall theme was. Once she got over that obstacle, she loved the movie. It was a perfectly understandable sequence of events.

I've heard many times since Sept. 11, 2001, that we should not be against all Muslims, despite the fact that 3,000 people died based solely on some people's interpretation of Muslim beliefs. Our war is on those fundamental Muslims ... not all of Muslims in general. To say that anyone who criticizes the actions of some Christians as someone who criticizes the actions of ALL Christians would then have to maintain the argument that our war on terrorism is not just on the fundamental Muslims, but on ALL the Muslims.

There was an interesting point made by one of the posters in the Klingon thread. They pointed out that the Landover site, they use the term "True Christians" (with it trademarked). As you can see, even in parody, these people have separated themselves from other Christians, and is hardly a blanket statement of all Christians. This would imply that they are targeting groups ... like Jerry Falwell's ... who believe that other, more "liberal-minded" Christians so-to-speak, are not true Christians. You know, the Christians who love one another, who do things for each other, and who are generally happy because of their salvation found through their messiah.

I personally don't believe you need Jesus to go to heaven. That is my belief, and I am not going to force others to believe the same. In fact, one of the more attractive things about the Jewish faith to me was the fact that they are non-converting. Just to talk to a rabbi to even inquire about it usually is a chore and a half.

We actually have Christians who attend Temple Shabbat services. It's nice, and they are always welcomed. At least at my synagogue (which is a Reform synagogue, if that makes a difference for anyone), if new people are seen in the congregation, extra effort is made to make sure no one is lost -- especially the new people. Things are explained, and they are welcomed to our oneg (the social and eating time following Shabbat services). They could come repeatedly, and they will never be asked to convert. They will never be told Christianity is wrong. In fact, they might be shocked by the fact that some of what Jews do in services is a bit different than what they are used to.

Prayers are normally sung (our cantor uses a guitar when she sings), people sometimes bring small percussion instruments to play in. Half the time, there are like 50 conversations going on during the services (hehehehehehe .. that was a tough one for me to adjust to, who is used to having complete silence). There is a lot of laughing, and even some self-deprecation once in a while (especially during the Purim Festival).

The Jewish leadership DOES feel there are problems with Christianity, like (outside of the fact that Jews don't believe the messianic age has arrived yet) the belief in the Trinity and such. However, I have NEVER heard anyone speak against Christians, or treat them any less than they would anyone else. If a Christian attended services, they would not be pointed out, they would not be targeted for "saving" or the like.

Not every church targets people for saving, and I understand that that is a part of some's views of Christianity, to save the world. When I was a Christian, I used to speak out -- even in my own church -- about the forceful nature that some did it with. I preferred the way I saw many churches do it, which is to share the story of Jesus, and what they felt he did, and make it THEIR decision to accept Jesus, and respect their decision either way, and not treat them ANY differently.

If you are a Christian, think about it. If you went up to someone who was not saved, and if they said they would rather not be saved, what would you do? Would you, A) Say that you are sorry to hear that, but it's your decision, and if you ever want to talk about it, let me know; B) Get their home number, and continue to stay after them until they change their mind? C) Accept their decision, but sit on the other side of the church from them? D) Condemn them to hell? It's not a question slamming anyone. I strongly feel that most people would honestly select A. I think some people would honestly select B. Others C. A few D.

What Landover really targets is those who choose D, which is a small -- but VOCAL -- minority. If you actually read their site, and read where they have a restraining order against anyone who is not saved coming within 500 feet of the church, you will see that.

I know it's hard to get over the fact that they are targeting a CHRISTIAN sect, but I think anyone who looks deeper will see what they are about.

Does that mean you should accept them? Absolutely not. If you don't like it, you don't like it. But does that mean you should also not like anyone who might enjoy it? Absolutely not.

My little sister and I are arguing right now because I called John Edward from "Crossing Over" a fake. She told me (the same sister who constantly slams science fiction in front of me) that I should support the things she believes in. I told her I support her believing in things, but I am not going to blindly support it. Just as I hope others wouldn't blindly support my things.

I tried to explain to her why I felt he was not real. I went into the concept of Cold Reading (which is also a reporter's trick, one reason why I am quick to identify it myself) and other things. She took offense simply because I disagreed with her, forgetting that part of the whole back and forth is that respect goes two ways. She wants me to respect her opinion, which I do -- I told her it was great that she gets so much out of "Crossing Over," but at the same time, I simply feel that he is misrepresenting himself. I didn't tell her she couldn't continue to believe what he says, or to enjoy him ... but at the same time, she wanted to tell me that I couldn't feel the way I did.

I am not saying that it was wrong for people to say they don't enjoy what was posted. Unfortunately, when someone finds the thing that would make everyone happy, it will be a human first. What I took issue with is people calling me anti-Christian, a bigot, worthless and the like. Some even went as far as making threats.

I think disagreement has to exist. There's no way of getting around that. But how we handle that disagreement is another thing.

I feel I handled some aspects of that disagreement the wrong way. I tend to use actions to prove points, rather than continue on the same topic, and for that I apologize.
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#2 Josh

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 02:55 AM

I'll sum it up with one sentence:

The people with religious beliefs who I respect the most are the ones who accept me for who and what I am and don't try to force their belief system on me.
"THE UNICORNS ARE NOT TO BE TRIFLED WITH!" - John Burke.

#3 the 'Hawk

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 02:56 AM

MichaelHinman, on Apr 9 2003, 07:29 PM, said:

My little sister and I are arguing right now because I called John Edward from "Crossing Over" a fake. She told me (the same sister who constantly slams science fiction in front of me) that I should support the things she believes in. I told her I support her believing in things, but I am not going to blindly support it. Just as I hope others wouldn't blindly support my things.
You know, the ironic thing is, my reply to this is going to be derived entirely from an unlikely source.

Earlier on "The Simpsons" was the ep where Lisa discovers that Jebediah Springfield is a fraud, he was really a pirate that attempted to kill George Washington, and was about to prove it to everyone, when she backed out.

"Why didn't you tell them?" the director of the Springfield Historical Society asks her.

"Because the myth of Jebediah Springfield has meaning, too," she replies.

For an eight-year-old, that little girl is sharp.

And that's where I go with faith. I may not agree with the tenets of another's belief, but I will defend to the death their right to believe it any way they choose--- so long as they don't express their beliefs in a way that harms anyone else.

If your sister wants to watch John Edward, let her. She's not asking you to support the things she believes in. To do so might come in violation of what you believe, and that'd be an unfair statement.

But she is asking you to support her by simply accepting that she does believe. (I could extend the argument and say she's just looking for big brother's attention here, because she knows you won't support her belief at all, and she just wants you to approve of her a little bit, but I'm not a shrink, I'm a 'hawk.) And maybe she's just looking for something to believe in-- I would venture to suggest we all are. Insecurity is one of the constants of human existence. But so is hope.

*shrug* I don't hold anything you said against you --and whatever offense you may have caused, I can forgive you for having caused. But I'm just one bird in this flock, bud. And some of us are a little more sensitive about when someone sticks their beak into the wind beneath our wings.

It's one thing, though, to state that disagreement will exist.

It's another thing to set out trying to provoke it.

Unfortunately, the members of this community felt that was what you were doing --and regardless of whether or not you really did, or didn't, have that as your motive, you can only be so iconoclastic without provoking a response that you may not be prepared to handle.

I've always found that people are more willing to tolerate your disagreement if you at least attempt to show some respect for their side of the argument. Because just as you won't blindly support things, other people don't like being blindly unsupported, either.

"He who lights a candle, casts a shadow."

That's all I got.

But your apology is accepted. At least by me.

:cool:

Edited by the 'Hawk, 10 April 2003 - 02:57 AM.

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#4 Bad Wolf

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 02:58 AM

Oh my God. You mean you're HUMAN and can sometimes handle something less than ideally?

Sorry that is meant to say not to be too hard on yourself.

That said I think there is more than one issue.  And btw, this applies to the entire thread from my pov, not just your posts.  I was appalled at some of the nastiness directed at you.

The first issue is censorship.  And well I'm against it myself.

The second issue is an awareness of your audience.  You're kinda new here and I think you're feeling it out still.  There are going to be bumpy patches.  And I think that maybe some old timers ought to also keep that in mind before jumping all over you.

The third issue is self policing.  I'm against censorship but I'm for keeping in mind how what you say impacts others and trying to be respectful of their disagreement.  BTW, I screw up on this a lot.  I'm highly opinionated, have a hot temper, tend to be blunt, and often find myself wanting to tell people that if they want a kumbaya club they shouldn't be at a discussion board.  The problem is that it's not just a discussion board, it's a community.  A community that had its beginning from the end of another community.  One that has produced many genuine and real (as in rl) friendships.  So I think it's important to go ahead and compromise.  Um, easy advice to give and like I said, I screw up on it all the time.

The fourth issue is how you responded to people who said they were offended.  It came off as dismissive which in turn lead to anger which escalated things further.  It's a high ground thing.  It's a being willing to let someone else have the last word thing.  It's a let it go thing.  And I myself have a hell of a time with it.  

The fifth issue is being careful with topics that most people know or should know are "hot".  Politics and religion are among them.  

The sixth issue is that we all have different senses of humor.

The seventh issue is separating the opinion from the poster and the ability to agree to disagree.

Anyway I hope like hell this doesn't come off as patronizing or preachy because that is not my intent. But it sounded like you wanted feedback so you got it.

Now, aren't you sorry you asked?  ;)

Lil
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#5 MichaelHinman

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 02:59 AM

Josh, on Apr 9 2003, 06:44 PM, said:

I'll sum it up with one sentence:

The people with religious beliefs who I respect the most are the ones who accept me for who and what I am and don't try to force their belief system on me.
Hear, hear!

I don't broadcast my religion at work. When I was the editor of a newspaper in Plant City, which is a very religious town, 90 percent of the staff there -- individually -- tried to save me. They would invite me to church, they would even come out and ask if I were saved.

I never responded. I felt it was inappropriate (and downright rude to assume that just because I am young, and a liberal, that I am not "saved"). I didn't tell them that at the time, not only was I saved, but I was a youth leader, a Sunday School teacher, and even the leader of the Christian Education department in my church. I was on my way to becoming an elder, and many people felt I should go to seminary.

Sometimes, people so much want you to be like them, that they don't stop to think if what they are saying or doing is even appropriate, or more important, needed.
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#6 Lover of Purple

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 02:59 AM

Very impressive post Mike. And I don't mean that in any sarcastic way, I am honestly impressed. Your post is informative, explains your viewpoint and non-insulting.


Bravo!!!

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#7 MichaelHinman

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 03:09 AM

the'Hawk, on Apr 9 2003, 06:45 PM, said:

MichaelHinman, on Apr 9 2003, 07:29 PM, said:

My little sister and I are arguing right now because I called John Edward from "Crossing Over" a fake. She told me (the same sister who constantly slams science fiction in front of me) that I should support the things she believes in. I told her I support her believing in things, but I am not going to blindly support it. Just as I hope others wouldn't blindly support my things.
You know, the ironic thing is, my reply to this is going to be derived entirely from an unlikely source.

Earlier on "The Simpsons" was the ep where Lisa discovers that Jebediah Springfield is a fraud, he was really a pirate that attempted to kill George Washington, and was about to prove it to everyone, when she backed out.

"Why didn't you tell them?" the director of the Springfield Historical Society asks her.

"Because the myth of Jebediah Springfield has meaning, too," she replies.

For an eight-year-old, that little girl is sharp.

And that's where I go with faith. I may not agree with the tenets of another's belief, but I will defend to the death their right to believe it any way they choose--- so long as they don't express their beliefs in a way that harms anyone else.

If your sister wants to watch John Edward, let her. She's not asking you to support the things she believes in. To do so might come in violation of what you believe, and that'd be an unfair statement.

But she is asking you to support her by simply accepting that she does believe. (I could extend the argument and say she's just looking for big brother's attention here, because she knows you won't support her belief at all, and she just wants you to approve of her a little bit, but I'm not a shrink, I'm a 'hawk.) And maybe she's just looking for something to believe in-- I would venture to suggest we all are. Insecurity is one of the constants of human existence. But so is hope.

*shrug* I don't hold anything you said against you --and whatever offense you may have caused, I can forgive you for having caused. But I'm just one bird in this flock, bud. And some of us are a little more sensitive about when someone sticks their beak into the wind beneath our wings.

It's one thing, though, to state that disagreement will exist.

It's another thing to set out trying to provoke it.

Unfortunately, the members of this community felt that was what you were doing --and regardless of whether or not you really did, or didn't, have that as your motive, you can only be so iconoclastic without provoking a response that you may not be prepared to handle.

I've always found that people are more willing to tolerate your disagreement if you at least attempt to show some respect for their side of the argument. Because just as you won't blindly support things, other people don't like being blindly unsupported, either.

"He who lights a candle, casts a shadow."

That's all I got.

But your apology is accepted. At least by me.

:cool:
You quoted the Simpsons. You are like a god to me now ...  :D

But that was an excellent example, and you actually presented something, Hawk, that I may not have considered in that conversation. Please note, however, that I did not tell her she couldn't watch it or enjoy it, or that she shouldn't believe it. What I was trying to tell her is that I didn't believe it, and when she asked why, I told her.

That mostly stemmed from her visiting two psychic media (hey!! That is the REAL plural version of "medium," lol!!) and getting two totally contradicting readings. I poked a little fun at her, saying that she visited two psychics, and they informed her that she will give birth to either a baby girl or a baby boy within the next 6 months to 20 years. I honestly felt she was telling me the contradicting nature of it, because she did it for fun ... but she got angry at me for making fun of something she believes in. (I personally find it difficult to believe in contradiction, but I guess to each their own).

I thank you for your post, tho, Hawk. And thanks for reading what I had to say.

I've been on message boards or chat areas for the last 12 years. I tend to take strong positions, and point out not only my wrong way of thinking, but others as well. Of course, all based on my opinion.

Sure, maybe some felt that I did not respect their feelings on it. But at the same time, however, Hawk, people didn't respect MY feelings on it. The first few people who felt it was inappropriate, that was fine. But then one person chimed in on me being against Christians, and then started to characterize me in ways that were not too friendly. I think for me, that's where it went out of control from my standpoint. And I do apologize for that.

However, respect is a two-way street for me. If you wish for me to respect your position, the same has to be done with me. If Drew had simply said it was offensive in his opinion, and maybe I should be careful of that, that's one thing. But I was labeled as being horrible things because of it. And that wasn't right.

Many people went to others defense in that, because they know them, or what-not. But think, if you knew me more than you knew the others who did that, would you defend me? Probably. That would mean that the "side" you picked, if that IS the case, had more to do with who you knew, than what was being said. And that is natural human emotion, but one that does need to be pointed out, if indeed it is happening.

Thanks again, Hawk.  :)
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#8 MichaelHinman

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 03:10 AM

Una Salus Lillius, on Apr 9 2003, 06:47 PM, said:

Oh my God. You mean you're HUMAN and can sometimes handle something less than ideally?

Sorry that is meant to say not to be too hard on yourself.

That said I think there is more than one issue.  And btw, this applies to the entire thread from my pov, not just your posts.  I was appalled at some of the nastiness directed at you.

The first issue is censorship.  And well I'm against it myself.

The second issue is an awareness of your audience.  You're kinda new here and I think you're feeling it out still.  There are going to be bumpy patches.  And I think that maybe some old timers ought to also keep that in mind before jumping all over you.

The third issue is self policing.  I'm against censorship but I'm for keeping in mind how what you say impacts others and trying to be respectful of their disagreement.  BTW, I screw up on this a lot.  I'm highly opinionated, have a hot temper, tend to be blunt, and often find myself wanting to tell people that if they want a kumbaya club they shouldn't be at a discussion board.  The problem is that it's not just a discussion board, it's a community.  A community that had its beginning from the end of another community.  One that has produced many genuine and real (as in rl) friendships.  So I think it's important to go ahead and compromise.  Um, easy advice to give and like I said, I screw up on it all the time.

The fourth issue is how you responded to people who said they were offended.  It came off as dismissive which in turn lead to anger which escalated things further.  It's a high ground thing.  It's a being willing to let someone else have the last word thing.  It's a let it go thing.  And I myself have a hell of a time with it. 

The fifth issue is being careful with topics that most people know or should know are "hot".  Politics and religion are among them. 

The sixth issue is that we all have different senses of humor.

The seventh issue is separating the opinion from the poster and the ability to agree to disagree.

Anyway I hope like hell this doesn't come off as patronizing or preachy because that is not my intent. But it sounded like you wanted feedback so you got it.

Now, aren't you sorry you asked?  ;)

Lil
Excellent post, Lil!!
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#9 Bad Wolf

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 03:13 AM

MichaelHinman, on Apr 10 2003, 12:59 AM, said:

Excellent post, Lil!!
Aw shucks!  Now, how do you feel about cyberhugs?

:D
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#10 MichaelHinman

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 03:32 AM

Una Salus Lillius, on Apr 9 2003, 07:02 PM, said:

MichaelHinman, on Apr 10 2003, 12:59 AM, said:

Excellent post, Lil!!
Aw shucks!  Now, how do you feel about cyberhugs?

:D
:o   :blush:
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#11 Kosh

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 03:34 AM

Quote

I feel I handled some aspects of that disagreement the wrong way. I tend to use actions to prove points, rather than continue on the same topic, and for that I apologize.

Well said.








Quote

My little sister and I are arguing right now because I called John Edward from "Crossing Over" a fake. She told me (the same sister who constantly slams science fiction in front of me) that I should support the things she believes in. I told her I support her believing in things, but I am not going to blindly support it. Just as I hope others wouldn't blindly support my things.

I once had an aunt that bought into the whole thing Seaunces and all. I have a painting that was supposed to have been painted after the gentelman was dead. He looked pretty good for a dead man. Knowing what I know now, I would try to convince her that it was all BS. It wouldn't work, but I'd feel obligated to protect her from fraud. John Edwards is a fraud.






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#12 Rov Judicata

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 03:38 AM

Glad to see a post like this. I think in that incident, all sides made mistakes. :).

I may chip in my own thoughts a bit later....
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Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
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#13 QueenTiye

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 04:32 AM

MichaelHinman, on Apr 9 2003, 07:29 PM, said:

There is a major commonality with most all religions ... it's a belief in a higher power. Whether you recognize that higher power as God, or as Allah, or as Adonai, or as multiple gods ... there is something to say about spirituality.

Agreed.  Spirituality has a common thread recognizeable to all who care to see it - and in my opinion - that commonality emanates from within the individual, rather than from without.

Quote

There IS a moral code that must be followed. Christians sometimes are ridiculed further than I feel they should be ridiculed, because they want to do what they feel is right. That is great. If you feel that not cussing, or not watching pornography, or not sleeping with the same sex is not right, then you personally should not do it. I think what the Landover site gets to is that there are some people who insist on making everyone follow the specific moral codes of one person, rather than what your own heart tells you.

It's an interesting statement.  At heart wishy-washy, and yet - how to make a stronger one?  If one believes something is RIGHT, that's what one believes.  It isn't something they can compromise on.  It isn't something they can simply leave others to do wrong with.  Right is right, wrong is wrong.  People who make fun of those who have moral codes that they are trying to share with others are essentially saying that there is no "RIGHT" moral code.  In fact - I don't believe that.  I believe that there IS a right moral code - that it is our responsibility to constantly seek it in our modern circumstances, and it is our responsibility to share with others our views SO THAT they can learn from them, and SO THAT we can learn from THEM.  I believe, essentially, that the quest for moral uprightness is a joint one - born out of personal conviction, standard commandments and dialogue between those of us who differ from one another.

A quote from the Holy Qu'ran (which one might wish Muslims took note of more often!) Chapter 5: 51
"...For each of you, we have decreed laws and different rites.  Had God willed, He could have made you one congregation.  But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you.  You shall compete in righteousness."  In other words - we aren't SUPPOSED to be the same - we are supposed to be different - and to strive for righteousness - to learn from and to compete with one another for being the best at being morally right!  (As opposed to, say, kiling each other over it....)

Quote

The entire Klingon thread was made because Drew blasted a previous one. To show that there was plenty of worse things out there, I posted this one (and also, because it had a Star Trek reference). It most certainly wasn't the worst I could find, and yes, I feel those who sit back and scream at everything that is even slightly offensive -- even when its whole point is to point out flaws in some beliefs -- is an "uptight" reaction.

The fact that something isn't the worst doesn't make it good.  And people are entitled to being "uptight."  I tend to be, and I'm not particularly ashamed of it.

Quote

If you felt offended by the Spongebob thing, was it because maybe you feel that there are those types of suggestive programming out there, and maybe Jerry Falwell is right? Or did you completely overlook that entire aspect of it, and concentrated mostly on the fact that the entire backdrop of their parody is in the form of a parody of a particular church itself?

Actually neither.  What I find offensive is the dismissive attitude that says that just because it is a different viewpoint, perhaps even extreme, it shouldn't be dialogued with - there shouldn't be any critical analysis of what's being said and whether or not there is any real concrete concern there.  Personally - I understand Jerry Falwell's take on the teletubbies, without agreeing with it.  And I personally don't let my child watch spongebob - I find it offensive and in bad taste.  And I think that viewpoint deserves to be heard - even over the shrill paranoia of a Jerry Falwell.

Quote

I've heard many times since Sept. 11, 2001, that we should not be against all Muslims, despite the fact that 3,000 people died based solely on some people's interpretation of Muslim beliefs. Our war is on those fundamental Muslims ... not all of Muslims in general. To say that anyone who criticizes the actions of some Christians as someone who criticizes the actions of ALL Christians would then have to maintain the argument that our war on terrorism is not just on the fundamental Muslims, but on ALL the Muslims.

If the fundamentalist muslims weren't killing people for their beliefs, I would ardently disagree with making fun of/warring with them.  Behind their sinister terrorist ways are real concerns that don't go away because of regime changes.  There are real ideas that resonate with real people.  We need to hear them, and understand them, and find ways (other than killing people) to address one another across our differences.

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I am not saying that it was wrong for people to say they don't enjoy what was posted. Unfortunately, when someone finds the thing that would make everyone happy, it will be a human first. What I took issue with is people calling me anti-Christian, a bigot, worthless and the like. Some even went as far as making threats.

I am very disheartened by the tone that that took - it was uncalled for - and had the unfortunate result of making some on THIS side of the debate look just like that Landover travesty!  I am sorry that that happened to you, MichaelHinman.

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I think disagreement has to exist. There's no way of getting around that. But how we handle that disagreement is another thing.

I feel I handled some aspects of that disagreement the wrong way. I tend to use actions to prove points, rather than continue on the same topic, and for that I apologize.
Thank you.  I agree - disagreement needs to exist - and we need to handle one another humanely in our disagreements.

QT

Een Draght Mackt Maght


#14 MichaelHinman

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 05:18 AM

QueenTiye, on Apr 9 2003, 08:21 PM, said:

MichaelHinman, on Apr 9 2003, 07:29 PM, said:

There is a major commonality with most all religions ... it's a belief in a higher power. Whether you recognize that higher power as God, or as Allah, or as Adonai, or as multiple gods ... there is something to say about spirituality.

Agreed.  Spirituality has a common thread recognizeable to all who care to see it - and in my opinion - that commonality emanates from within the individual, rather than from without.

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There IS a moral code that must be followed. Christians sometimes are ridiculed further than I feel they should be ridiculed, because they want to do what they feel is right. That is great. If you feel that not cussing, or not watching pornography, or not sleeping with the same sex is not right, then you personally should not do it. I think what the Landover site gets to is that there are some people who insist on making everyone follow the specific moral codes of one person, rather than what your own heart tells you.

It's an interesting statement.  At heart wishy-washy, and yet - how to make a stronger one?  If one believes something is RIGHT, that's what one believes.  It isn't something they can compromise on.  It isn't something they can simply leave others to do wrong with.  Right is right, wrong is wrong.  People who make fun of those who have moral codes that they are trying to share with others are essentially saying that there is no "RIGHT" moral code.  In fact - I don't believe that.  I believe that there IS a right moral code - that it is our responsibility to constantly seek it in our modern circumstances, and it is our responsibility to share with others our views SO THAT they can learn from them, and SO THAT we can learn from THEM.  I believe, essentially, that the quest for moral uprightness is a joint one - born out of personal conviction, standard commandments and dialogue between those of us who differ from one another.

A quote from the Holy Qu'ran (which one might wish Muslims took note of more often!) Chapter 5: 51
"...For each of you, we have decreed laws and different rites.  Had God willed, He could have made you one congregation.  But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you.  You shall compete in righteousness."  In other words - we aren't SUPPOSED to be the same - we are supposed to be different - and to strive for righteousness - to learn from and to compete with one another for being the best at being morally right!  (As opposed to, say, kiling each other over it....)

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The entire Klingon thread was made because Drew blasted a previous one. To show that there was plenty of worse things out there, I posted this one (and also, because it had a Star Trek reference). It most certainly wasn't the worst I could find, and yes, I feel those who sit back and scream at everything that is even slightly offensive -- even when its whole point is to point out flaws in some beliefs -- is an "uptight" reaction.

The fact that something isn't the worst doesn't make it good.  And people are entitled to being "uptight."  I tend to be, and I'm not particularly ashamed of it.

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If you felt offended by the Spongebob thing, was it because maybe you feel that there are those types of suggestive programming out there, and maybe Jerry Falwell is right? Or did you completely overlook that entire aspect of it, and concentrated mostly on the fact that the entire backdrop of their parody is in the form of a parody of a particular church itself?

Actually neither.  What I find offensive is the dismissive attitude that says that just because it is a different viewpoint, perhaps even extreme, it shouldn't be dialogued with - there shouldn't be any critical analysis of what's being said and whether or not there is any real concrete concern there.  Personally - I understand Jerry Falwell's take on the teletubbies, without agreeing with it.  And I personally don't let my child watch spongebob - I find it offensive and in bad taste.  And I think that viewpoint deserves to be heard - even over the shrill paranoia of a Jerry Falwell.

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I've heard many times since Sept. 11, 2001, that we should not be against all Muslims, despite the fact that 3,000 people died based solely on some people's interpretation of Muslim beliefs. Our war is on those fundamental Muslims ... not all of Muslims in general. To say that anyone who criticizes the actions of some Christians as someone who criticizes the actions of ALL Christians would then have to maintain the argument that our war on terrorism is not just on the fundamental Muslims, but on ALL the Muslims.

If the fundamentalist muslims weren't killing people for their beliefs, I would ardently disagree with making fun of/warring with them.  Behind their sinister terrorist ways are real concerns that don't go away because of regime changes.  There are real ideas that resonate with real people.  We need to hear them, and understand them, and find ways (other than killing people) to address one another across our differences.

Quote

I am not saying that it was wrong for people to say they don't enjoy what was posted. Unfortunately, when someone finds the thing that would make everyone happy, it will be a human first. What I took issue with is people calling me anti-Christian, a bigot, worthless and the like. Some even went as far as making threats.

I am very disheartened by the tone that that took - it was uncalled for - and had the unfortunate result of making some on THIS side of the debate look just like that Landover travesty!  I am sorry that that happened to you, MichaelHinman.

Quote

I think disagreement has to exist. There's no way of getting around that. But how we handle that disagreement is another thing.

I feel I handled some aspects of that disagreement the wrong way. I tend to use actions to prove points, rather than continue on the same topic, and for that I apologize.
Thank you.  I agree - disagreement needs to exist - and we need to handle one another humanely in our disagreements.

QT
Sorry ... I disagree with most of your responses.
Michael Hinman
www.SyFyPortal.com

#15 Kosh

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 05:26 AM

Quote

And I personally don't let my child watch spongebob - I find it offensive and in bad taste.


Would you elaborate?


I guess not.

Edited by Kosh, 10 April 2003 - 03:48 PM.

Can't Touch This!!

#16 QueenTiye

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 09:36 AM

MichaelHinman, on Apr 9 2003, 10:07 PM, said:

Sorry ... I disagree with most of your responses.
Why does that require an apology? ;)

I posted it BECAUSE I know most people disagree.  And because you asked a very specific question to which I knew I had a unique viewpoint.  

QT

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#17 Kevin Street

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 10:46 AM

Lover of Purple, on Apr 9 2003, 05:48 PM, said:

Very impressive post Mike. And I don't mean that in any sarcastic way, I am honestly impressed. Your post is informative, explains your viewpoint and non-insulting.


Bravo!!!

LoP
What he said. :)

A lot of people would feel burned after getting into the kind of controversy you did here, Mike. But you came back and clearly expressed your feelings in a post that adds to our collective dialog. Thanks for doing that.
Per aspera ad astra

#18 QueenTiye

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 04:39 PM

Kosh, on Apr 9 2003, 10:15 PM, said:

Quote

And I personally don't let my child watch spongebob - I find it offensive and in bad taste.


Would you elaborate?


I guess not.
HEY!!! Give a gal a chance!  {{{{{{{{{{{{Kosh}}}}}}}}}}}}


I saw your post something after 1 a.m., and didn't have the energy to respond to it...

Now that I'm awake here goes:

1. I don't let my child watch MOST cartoons on t.v., so Spongebob is actually not the exception.  In general - I trust PBS Kids programming almost exclusively.  When they run out of programming that's interesting for his age group, he's just plum outta luck in the t.v. department.

2.  Having said that - there is a NOTICEABLE difference in the quality of the shows put on PBS and on the commercial stations.  For one - they are not pandering to a lowest common denominator of cheap and easy laughs - they are being thoughtful and caring in how they address the BIG QUESTIONS that children have.

3. Spongebob, to me, falls in the category of lowbrow humor that I don't appreciate for myself - and won't endorse for my child.  I take exception when the running gag for an entire show is how often a guy's pants rip - or in the one episode that I watched through and through - the running gag is "Poop."

Conversely - one episode of "Arthur" dealt with the potential embarrassment of forgetting to where your pants to school, and another dealt with the embarrassment of splitting your pants in school - it was tastefully and humorously done, with an attitude of care for the child watching the show - so that the child came away from it with a sense of confidence about embarrassing things, and some ideas of how to deal with them - and that was that - two different episodes - not the entire series.

4. I've expressed this elsewhere on the board - some of the jokes are age inappropriate (in my opinion).  I can only HOPE that my son doesn't "get" them - and I don't particularly appreciate a television show targetting his agegroup putting jokes that (for instance) refer to an adult off-color expression in a children's cartoon.

Where I differ from the Jerry Falwell's of the world, is that I don't think that we should try to force people to stop making these kinds of cartoons.  I would rather (as a parent) simply help my child make better choices, and speak to other parents about what I see as concerning about this - in case they hadn't considered it - and in case, upon consideration, they would like to remove the spongebobs of the world from their children's daily consumption.

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#19 Kosh

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 05:06 PM

Thanks Qeentiye, PM returned:


I still get mixed up with Board time and everybody elses time. I'm on EST/DST.




Quote

LOL!  Just a wee bit impatient, huh?    I did post a response to your query.  May I ask why so urgent?
QT

:look:  <"Who Dat!!!"
Sorry about that. I saw you post after I posted, and thought you had decided to ignore me. I understand your reasons. Those are good ones, I was afraid I was going to see some of the usual Fundementalist BS, and it surprised me, coming from you. I've been jumping to to many conclutions lately.
Quality is the very best reason to watch or not watch, and you are teaching you kid about quality. Most people don't bother.
Can't Touch This!!

#20 QueenTiye

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Posted 10 April 2003 - 05:29 PM

Kosh, on Apr 10 2003, 09:55 AM, said:

Thanks Qeentiye, PM returned:


I still get mixed up with Board time and everybody elses time. I'm on EST/DST.

So am I!  Check the time of my prior post!!!


Quote

Sorry about that. I saw you post after I posted, and thought you had decided to ignore me. I understand your reasons. Those are good ones, I was afraid I was going to see some of the usual Fundementalist BS,

See - its the accusation of "Fundamentalist BS" that I actually object to!  Because they (seem to be) the only ones really making a stink about the quality and character of these shows.  Like I said.  They seem to be extremists - but behind the extremism are real issues.

Quote

Quality is the very best reason to watch or not watch, and you are teaching you kid about quality. Most people don't bother.
Yeah.  That's how so much garbage gets by...  :(

Een Draght Mackt Maght




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