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#1 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 10:10 PM

Quote

Religion and Politics Clash
Religion and politics clash over a local church's declaration that Democrats are not welcome.


East Waynesville Baptist asked nine members to leave. Now 40 more have left the church in protest. Former members say Pastor Chan Chandler gave them the ultimatum, saying if they didn't support George Bush, they should resign or repent. The minister declined an interview with News 13. But he did say "the actions were not politically motivated." There are questions about whether the bi-laws were followed when the members were thrown out.

This story aired on my local news...and the tape recording of the pastor clearly shows these former members were persecuted because of their political beliefs...The Pastor told the entire congregation that if they voted for Kerry they either needed to repent or resign...

IMO this church no longer deserves to be called such, and any tax breaks it was getting need to be revoked...because by this action, this pastor has shown that his church isn't so much a place of worship, but rather an arm of the GOP. I do hope the members excommunicated do sue...and win.
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Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

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#2 sierraleone

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 10:19 PM

This was brought up in the "Kanses Educators" thread, though it deserves its own.

I agree... also, too lazy to type it all again, so I'm going to quote myself from the other thread ;)

Quote

Isn't that short sighted? I suppose the American system works different, but in Canada, voting in the parliamentary system, I could have voted for a conservative liberal, or a liberal conservative. Of course, those being the names of our two major parties, thats not very clear
For example, saying I lived in a certain riding in Toronto in which Belinda Straunch (?) was running. She is in the Conservative party, which is mostly pro-life and against gay marriage, but she is neither. I don't know much about her, so I assume she is socially liberal and economically conservative. If I went to church in that riding, would they do the same thing to those that voted liberal, even if the local liberal candidate was pro-life/pro-gay marriage (which some are), and let all the Belinda Stronach supporters stay? Its not black and what. Not all politicians are the same, nor politics that simple.

Someone voting "liberal" does not guarentee they are pro-choice or pro-gay marriage, nor do it guarentee the candidate they are voting for is so.
Sams w/ vice versa for voting conservative.
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#3 sierraleone

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 10:24 PM

Sword, you didn't post a link, I was going to ask for one, but I found one, if you don't mind I'll post it:

http://www.citizen-t...S/50506020/1001
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
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Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#4 G1223

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 10:35 PM

It would for the best that both groups simply move on. The folk who left I support but wanting to get the old group declared no longer a church is not going to happen. You might as well wish for the plauges of Egypt to decend on the place.

I hope this group can get toghere and make a new church for themselves and while being freindly towards those who decide not to join never forget to have an open mind.


You are wasting time and energy on wanting to punish some people rather than simply turning the other cheek and moving on and away from those people.
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#5 eloisel

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 10:57 PM

Since when do Baptists excommunicate?

I agree with LoTS.  The pastor has the right in this country to make his political leanings known, and I can even understand how who one votes for is a reflection on their moral standings.  As much as I didn't care for John Kerry, I don' think he is the anti-Christ or some demonic being that should be denounced in a church this way.  Is this one of those churches that preaches love and understanding then marches at the funerals of deceased homosexual persons and keeps weapons caches in hidey holes all over the country side?

#6 Rhys

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:09 PM

eloisel, on May 6 2005, 11:57 PM, said:

Since when do Baptists excommunicate?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I believe all Christian churches have excommunication as an option, although most rarely use it.  It's Biblical - the Bible even gives the procedure (first you talk to the person yourself, then with a few others from the church community, then you bring it to the attention of the church leaders, then, if none of that works, you resort to excommunication).  Also, excommunication isn't intended to get rid of a person, but to encourage them to change their ways.

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#7 eloisel

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:57 PM

Interesting.  I had a roommate once who was a Jehovah's Witness.  She was excommunicated because she decided to marry a practicing pagan.  

In all my experiences with Baptist, they threatened me with many things, mostly physical, but never excommunication.

#8 ZipperInt

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 12:21 AM

Hmm... Whenever I think of excommunication, I always think of that TNG episode when Worf has to face the council (was it 'Sins of the Father'?). This pastor seems to be living in la-la land as well... :p
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#9 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 02:30 AM

G1223, on May 6 2005, 10:35 PM, said:

It would for the best that both groups simply move on. The folk who left I support but wanting to get the old group declared no longer a church is not going to happen. You might as well wish for the plauges of Egypt to decend on the place.

I hope this group can get toghere and make a new church for themselves and while being freindly towards those who decide not to join never forget to have an open mind.


You are wasting time and energy on wanting to punish some people rather than simply turning the other cheek and moving on and away from those people.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You're right...it won't get declared "not a church"...but you know what...this church probably isn't all that far from where I live...

Hmmm...come sunday I just might have to pay a visit to it...And during the "so called Preacher's" sermon stand up and shout "Long live the democratic Party and John Kerry". And I'm no real big fan of Kerry's...but I'll be damned if this GOP assistant/preacher is not going to have to deal with discrimination.

As for turning the cheek...It's been my experience that turning the cheek only gets the other one slapped harder...Perhaps it's time somebody slapped this GOP assistant/preacher's cheek.
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

The Left is inclusive, and tolerant, unless you happen to think and believe different than they do~ Lord of the Sword

Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” ~Thomas Jefferson

#10 Nonny

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 09:16 AM

LORD of the SWORD, on May 6 2005, 07:10 PM, said:

IMO this church no longer deserves to be called such, and any tax breaks it was getting need to be revoked...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree.  

LORD of the SWORD, on May 6 2005, 11:30 PM, said:

Hmmm...come sunday I just might have to pay a visit to it...And during the "so called Preacher's" sermon stand up and shout "Long live the democratic Party and John Kerry". And I'm no real big fan of Kerry's...but I'll be damned if this GOP assistant/preacher is not going to have to deal with discrimination.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If you go, I'll be there with you in spirit.  

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#11 Zwolf

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 09:33 AM

Yep, I'd be takin' that tax-exempt status away from them so fast they'd think I did it with mirrors.   (I'd take all tax-exempt status away from churches, anyway - they're businesses, and part of the entertainment industry, really.   It would actually be good for them and keep them focused, 'cuz churches are supposed to spend most of their take on charity... and I'd still give them a tax break for charity.   So, if they did what they're supposed to do, they'd be all-but-unaffected by tax-exempt status being removed.   Meanwhile, certain demoninations would have to pay taxes on all that real-estate they buy and the country would be running a surplus for decades! :) )

Like I've said elsewhere, the GOP think they're riding high because they've got so much of the religious community in their pocket... and on the short term, it will do the GOP a lot of good, since it's a large voting block.  But religions don't tend to be content with just getting used - they want to join in on weilding the power.  And as the religion and politics become more intertwined, that Republican-party-unity that Reagan did a good job of creating is likely to start coming unstuck.  Too many churches think their way is the absolutely right way - a total case of "I'm right, you're wrong, period" - and so they're not going to be inclined to compromise much.  The political party could start splintering off into schism-sects.   All you have to do to see a model of this is the Baptists in the South.   It's hard to find a Southern town that doesn't have at least three or four Baptist churches, because they never get along and break off from each other, and sometimes have cold-war going on with each other.  So even though they're a powerful voting block, I wouldn't want them to get too wrapped up in party-loyalty if it was my party.  It's bad in the long-term.

I also wonder how this control-freakism is going to affect that congregation in the long run.   I'm voting Democrat these days, but if I was a member of some non-political organization that suddenly announced, "If you're not a Democrat, get out!   We don't want Republicans here!"   I'd probably leave, even though I'd be eligible to stay.  I imagine there are a lot of Republicans in that congregation who aren't going to be too thrilled with being told how they can and can't vote, even if they were going to vote that way anyway.  Such tactics aren't going to sit well with any freedom-loving American who favors democracy over theocracy, and who doesn't like being pushed around, or seeing others pushed around. That guy's likely to end up losing more than just his Democrats.   And what he's got left ain't gonna be no prize.

Cheers,

Zwolf
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I'd put you down where you belong
But I'm never talking to you again
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But I'm never talking to you again

I'm never talking to you again
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Trying to talk to you

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I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you."
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#12 waterpanther

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 09:36 AM

It's not going to be declared "not a church."  It can call itself a church or a flea market or a deli or whatever it chooses to call itself.  That's not an issue.

Given that the pastor was clearly campaigning for a specific candidate rather than advocating on issues, though, it most certainly can and should lose its 501c(3) tax exempt status.
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#13 Anastashia

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 09:53 AM

Zwolf666, on May 7 2005, 10:33 AM, said:

Yep, I'd be takin' that tax-exempt status away from them so fast they'd think I did it with mirrors.   (I'd take all tax-exempt status away from churches, anyway - they're businesses, and part of the entertainment industry, really.   It would actually be good for them and keep them focused, 'cuz churches are supposed to spend most of their take on charity... and I'd still give them a tax break for charity.   So, if they did what they're supposed to do, they'd be all-but-unaffected by tax-exempt status being removed.   Meanwhile, certain demoninations would have to pay taxes on all that real-estate they buy and the country would be running a surplus for decades! :) )

Like I've said elsewhere, the GOP think they're riding high because they've got so much of the religious community in their pocket... and on the short term, it will do the GOP a lot of good, since it's a large voting block.  But religions don't tend to be content with just getting used - they want to join in on weilding the power.  And as the religion and politics become more intertwined, that Republican-party-unity that Reagan did a good job of creating is likely to start coming unstuck.  Too many churches think their way is the absolutely right way - a total case of "I'm right, you're wrong, period" - and so they're not going to be inclined to compromise much.  The political party could start splintering off into schism-sects.   All you have to do to see a model of this is the Baptists in the South.   It's hard to find a Southern town that doesn't have at least three or four Baptist churches, because they never get along and break off from each other, and sometimes have cold-war going on with each other.  So even though they're a powerful voting block, I wouldn't want them to get too wrapped up in party-loyalty if it was my party.  It's bad in the long-term.

I also wonder how this control-freakism is going to affect that congregation in the long run.   I'm voting Democrat these days, but if I was a member of some non-political organization that suddenly announced, "If you're not a Democrat, get out!   We don't want Republicans here!"   I'd probably leave, even though I'd be eligible to stay.  I imagine there are a lot of Republicans in that congregation who aren't going to be too thrilled with being told how they can and can't vote, even if they were going to vote that way anyway.  Such tactics aren't going to sit well with any freedom-loving American who favors democracy over theocracy, and who doesn't like being pushed around, or seeing others pushed around. That guy's likely to end up losing more than just his Democrats.   And what he's got left ain't gonna be no prize.

Cheers,

Zwolf

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You know Zwolf I gotta take offense at your last statment there. Just because people agree with their church's stand on things doesn't mean they have any less value as people.

As for being told how to vote. That's part of the purpose of the clergy; to convey to the members what their church's teaching on various issues are and to guide them in how they can support those teachings.

As to your position that the churches should be charitable organizations . That is another component of their existance yes, but it's not the only one. My own parish holds monthly and during lent weekly Friday night public suppers. Between 300 and 400 people attend each of these, all of the funds collected go to local charitable organizations. That's only one component of our outreach program and it's far from everything we are about.

Weatherpanther since you snuck in while I was setting up my response I'll leave my statement for you too. The pastor has every right to teach his congregation and make recommendations as to who out there in the political arena best supports his denomination or individual church's doctrinally held position. If his church starts providing monetary contributions to those candidates I'd have to agree with you, but that is not the case here from the info we have available.
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#14 waterpanther

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 10:02 AM

Quote

Weatherpanther since you snuck in while I was setting up my response I'll leave my statement for you too. The pastor has every right to teach his congregation and make recommendations as to who out there in the political arena best supports his denomination or individual church's doctrinally held position. If his church starts providing monetary contributions to those candidates I'd have to agree with you, but that is not the case here from the info we have available.

Since when is openly posting on an open board "sneaking?"  

Of course the pastor has a right to advocate for a candidate as a private citizen.  He just doesn't have the right to do it in church, as part of his teaching, and retain the church's tax-exempt status.  If you don't believe that, check out the anti-lobbying provisions of the tax code regarding 501c organizations, which is readily available on-line or in your library.
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#15 Anastashia

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 10:12 AM

waterpanther, on May 7 2005, 11:02 AM, said:

Quote

Weatherpanther since you snuck in while I was setting up my response I'll leave my statement for you too. The pastor has every right to teach his congregation and make recommendations as to who out there in the political arena best supports his denomination or individual church's doctrinally held position. If his church starts providing monetary contributions to those candidates I'd have to agree with you, but that is not the case here from the info we have available.

Since when is openly posting on an open board "sneaking?"  

Of course the pastor has a right to advocate for a candidate as a private citizen.  He just doesn't have the right to do it in church, as part of his teaching, and retain the church's tax-exempt status.  If you don't believe that, check out the anti-lobbying provisions of the tax code regarding 501c organizations, which is readily available on-line or in your library.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I meant you posted after or while I was hitting respond so I didn't have an opportunity to include your post with the reply or quote button.

How do you see preaching in his church as lobbying then? I don't see it as such. If the pastor took a group from his church to a political rally, or went to speak to congresspersons in their office that is lobbying. Preaching from the pulpit is not.
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In the quiet of Midden a young child grows.
Does the salvation of his people grow with him?
"Everything we do now is for the child"

"I made a mistake,
just follow along,
isn't that what tyranny is all about?"
Sheila M---my Praise Band Director

For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love
I'll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough
Testify to Love

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#16 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 10:52 AM

Anastashia, on May 7 2005, 10:12 AM, said:

How do you see preaching in his church as lobbying then? I don't see it as such. If the pastor took a group from his church to a political rally, or went to speak to congresspersons in their office that is lobbying. Preaching from the pulpit is not.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


By his statement of "If you vote for Kerry you need to repent or resign"...that statement right there says it all.

Quote

As for being told how to vote. That's part of the purpose of the clergy; to convey to the members what their church's teaching on various issues are and to guide them in how they can support those teachings

Didn't Hitler have a similar approach?
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

The Left is inclusive, and tolerant, unless you happen to think and believe different than they do~ Lord of the Sword

Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” ~Thomas Jefferson

#17 Godeskian

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 11:21 AM

Anastashia, on May 7 2005, 03:53 PM, said:

As for being told how to vote. That's part of the purpose of the clergy; to convey to the members what their church's teaching on various issues are and to guide them in how they can support those teachings.

I've read most every major religious book around over the course of the years, and nowhere did I see 'Vote republican, lest ye go to damnation' in any of them.

Of course, if anyone can point me towards the paragraph, verse, poem or page I missed, i'd be appreciative.

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#18 Anastashia

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 11:39 AM

Steven_Q, on May 7 2005, 12:21 PM, said:

Anastashia, on May 7 2005, 03:53 PM, said:

As for being told how to vote. That's part of the purpose of the clergy; to convey to the members what their church's teaching on various issues are and to guide them in how they can support those teachings.

I've read most every major religious book around over the course of the years, and nowhere did I see 'Vote republican, lest ye go to damnation' in any of them.

Of course, if anyone can point me towards the paragraph, verse, poem or page I missed, i'd be appreciative.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It's unfortunate Steven that this discussion has been spread over two different threads because people might not be seeing everything. I've already said at least twice that specifically bringing party membership into this issue is problamatic. However my concern is that IMHO people on the other side of this issue may not see that the members expelled were aware of what the specific issues that caused their excommunication were. Obviously that particular cleryman believes that with membership in the republican party churchmembers are more likely to be in agreement with the church's position though.
The Science Fiction Examiner

In the quiet of Midden a young child grows.
Does the salvation of his people grow with him?
"Everything we do now is for the child"

"I made a mistake,
just follow along,
isn't that what tyranny is all about?"
Sheila M---my Praise Band Director

For as long as I shall live
I will testify to love
I'll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough
Testify to Love

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#19 Zwolf

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 11:40 AM

Quote

You know Zwolf I gotta take offense at your last statment there. Just because people agree with their church's stand on things doesn't mean they have any less value as people.

******* I'm very sorry if you must take offense, but that is my opinion and I'm sticking to it.  If people are so small-minded that they have to remove from their midst anyone who doesn't completely conform or deviate from their norm, then, to me, they are worthless.  I wouldn't have ‘em with me on a bet, because such people are a liability, not an asset.  I am not completely egalitarian.  People are not "worth" something - in my eyes -  just because they're a warm body who showed up.  A person's worth is in what they bring to the table - be that intelligence, skill, or, lacking that, simply good will.  These people seem to have none of the above. We're talking about a church - it deals with religion or morality.  People who agree with that church's expulsion of people based on political beliefs are overstepping their bounds and aggressively wrapping themselves in idiocy.  So, sorry, but I consider such people of very little worth.  Political ideology is no indicator of a person's morality, their religion, or any other such thing.  Not only can you belong to a political party and disagree with many of its tenets, but you should, because total conformity would get in the way of independent thought.  So, sorry we disagree, but that's how I see it.  

Quote

As for being told how to vote. That's part of the purpose of the clergy; to convey to the members what their church's teaching on various issues are and to guide them in how they can support those teachings.

******* No it is not.  The purpose of the clergy is to offer religious and moral instruction.  It is up to the individual to decide what party reflects their beliefs.  We elect people to run the country, not to offer or enforce morality.  That is up to the individual.  

Quote

As to your position that the churches should be charitable organizations . That is another component of their existance yes, but it's not the only one. My own parish holds monthly and during lent weekly Friday night public suppers. Between 300 and 400 people attend each of these, all of the funds collected go to local charitable organizations. That's only one component of our outreach program and it's far from everything we are about.

******* Based on what they preach, churches are supposed to help the poor and less fortunate.  That's what Jesus preached.  I have little sympathy with churches buying up real estate and amassing wealth.  Juxtaposed to what Jesus taught, that's absolute hypocrisy, and one of the reasons I'm not a big fan of religions.

Quote

Weatherpanther since you snuck in while I was setting up my response I'll leave my statement for you too. The pastor has every right to teach his congregation and make recommendations as to who out there in the political arena best supports his denomination or individual church's doctrinally held position. If his church starts providing monetary contributions to those candidates I'd have to agree with you, but that is not the case here from the info we have available.

******** If churches want to get involved in the secular side, fine.  Then they can start paying taxes like every other secular organization.  

Cheers,

Zwolf
"I've moved on and I'm feeling fine
And I'll feel even better
When your life has nothing to do with mine."
-Pittbull, "No Love Lost"

"There are things that I'd like to say
But I'm never talking to you again
There's things I'd like to phrase some way
But I'm never talking to you again

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you

I'd put you down where you belong
But I'm never talking to you again
I'd show you everywhere you're wrong
But I'm never talking to you again

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you

I'm never talking to you again
I'm never talking to you
I'm tired of wasting all my time
Trying to talk to you."
- Husker Du, "Never Talking To You Again"

#20 sierraleone

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 11:56 AM

Zwolf666, on May 7 2005, 12:40 PM, said:

Quote

You know Zwolf I gotta take offense at your last statment there. Just because people agree with their church's stand on things doesn't mean they have any less value as people.

******* I'm very sorry if you must take offense, but that is my opinion and I'm sticking to it.  If people are so small-minded that they have to remove from their midst anyone who doesn't completely conform or deviate from their norm, then, to me, they are worthless.  I wouldn't have ‘em with me on a bet, because such people are a liability, not an asset.  I am not completely egalitarian.  People are not "worth" something - in my eyes -  just because they're a warm body who showed up.  A person's worth is in what they bring to the table - be that intelligence, skill, or, lacking that, simply good will.  These people seem to have none of the above. We're talking about a church - it deals with religion or morality. People who agree with that church's expulsion of people based on political beliefs are overstepping their bounds and aggressively wrapping themselves in idiocy.  So, sorry, but I consider such people of very little worth.   Political ideology is no indicator of a person's morality, their religion, or any other such thing.  Not only can you belong to a political party and disagree with many of its tenets, but you should, because total conformity would get in the way of independent thought. So, sorry we disagree, but that's how I see it.  


Cheers,

Zwolf

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Emphasis mine.... Thats how I feel.... and funny, if you switch "political" and "religion" I feel the same way :hehe:
There are many people who are part of a religion and are not represenative of their religions tenets much, or at all.... some of them are great people, some of them horrible.
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Religion, Christianity, Democrats not welcome, Baptist

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