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« Optimism that sounds like pessimism | Main | Standing by Warren »

Dec 23, 2008

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Rev. Fec

If you view homosexuality as a sin, then pedophilia and incest can be included for comparison. Despite BHO's politics of inclusion, RW and his Christofascist hate-mongering followers remain unmoved.

Homosexuality is not a sin.

Spag

Well what good is any religion if you have to change it to be politically correct? Soon enough, Jews will have to accept people who believe in Jesus or risk being labeled intolerant. And many Muslims believe in polygamy, so unless Christians and other religions are willing to accept that, they are also intolerant.

Here's a clue: Religion is a system of beliefs. He who believes in everything believes in nothing.

cheripicker

"Soon enough, Jews will have to accept people who believe in Jesus or risk being labeled intolerant."
Not to worry, spag. Three groups have been officially excluded from victimhood and oppression claims and thus are not protected under the Political Correctness Act: Christians (esp the fascist hate-monger denominations), white males and southern rednecks. I'm triple screwed! The status of gun-clinging hunters north of the Mason-Dixon line is under current review. Insiders say it may be determined on an individual basis depending on NASCAR loyalty, American flag and pickup truck ownership. Where have you been anyway? Didn't you know that the Bible's stance on gay marriage was resolved three weeks ago? http://www.newsweek.com/id/172653

Ed Cone

No religion is monolithic in practice.

Obama could have chosen a Christian pastor who had not very recently taken a public stance against what many people view as a civil rights issue.

I thought Melissa Etheridge had an interesting take (linked on the front page).

4ty8er

Spag, you are so correct. Religion is of the thoughts and regulations of MAN! Spirituality is of GOD, and is free of the corruptions of man.

Religion is a system of beliefs that is taught by man. It in itself is a prison and a guilt trip whether it is homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality or any of the other enslavement or preferences of mortal man.
Hey! That is just my opinion!
John

chucka

enough spirit dogma. only trust a spirit over 80 proof

Sue

Spag: "Soon enough, Jews will have to accept people who believe in Jesus or risk being labeled intolerant."

Um. They already do, Sam. Jews don't think people who believe in Jesus and live ethical lives are evil or should change or are imperfect. Jews generally believe that we live in a nation (and a world) where most people are not Jewish and that's fine, as long as they live ethical lives and don't want to commit genocide on us. We pray for ALL our leaders, our soldiers, our families, of course, not based on what their religion is, but for wisdom for them in leading and protecting us as well as for health and general happiness for everyone on the planet and the planet itself. (The closing line of most worship services is something like, "May G-d grant peace, well-being and happiness on us and on all Israel, on all nations and peoples of the world. Amen.")

Jews already "accept" everyone who lives an ethical life. It'd be nice if others did the same.

Beelzebubba

Intolerance and exclusivity are the basis for all religion. There is a "you must" clause in every cult. Along with the "you musts" come the "if thens". To strengthen the cult a devil is needed. People who have sex with pastries or rodents are easy targets now. Right below them is men who prefer the affection of other men. Women who prefer other women is understandable and a joy to watch. A little over two hundred years ago, negros who could read were the biggest threat to civilization. Before that, it was the Protestants. Before Protestants, scientists were the threat. Now it's Islam, liberals, intolerance among conservatives and more underwear showing than outerwear. Conservatives want to crack down on that. "Cracking down" seems to be the right thing to do on all the deregulation witch leads to all of society's problems. More law and order when law is the tyrant which causes the disorder. Right when we were so close to unshackling ourselves, we go backwards to try and find a solution to the responsibilities that come with personal liberty. We are dangerously close to that discovery.

scharrison

"He who believes in everything believes in nothing."

Maybe so, but he who believes in selecting which sins are acceptable and which are not is a hypocrite. And he who ignores his own sins while pointing out the sins of others is guilty of hubris and hypocrisy.

There isn't enough room on this forum to list all the sins that devout Christians engage in on a daily basis, but we can start with, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be."

And this one's for you, Sam:

"Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! For ye lade men with burdens grievous to be born, and ye yourself touch not the burdens with one of your fingers."

That's classic. :)

Spag

Sue, are you saying that it would be okay for a Christian to attend a synagogue wearing a crucifix? Or what about the many Jews who believe that Jews should only marry other Jews? Is that really any different than those who believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman?

I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I am tired of the hypocrisy where Christians are singled out as intolerant for adhering to their faith while others escape examination. Like I said before, this is a religion we are talking about, not a set of social or political values. All religions are by their nature "intolerant" of some things. Otherwise, they wouldn't be religions.

cheripicker

"People who have sex with pastries or rodents are easy targets now. Right below them is men who prefer the affection of other men. Women who prefer other women is understandable and a joy to watch."
This was my first literal LOL from a blog. If you ever start your own please let me know. We all should learn our lesson about the futility of discussing religion. Sex? no such problems.

Roger Greene

scharrison you may want to quit dragging Shakespeare into a religious discussion. The quote ""Neither a borrower nor a lender be." is straight from him, not Jesus as you imply. Unless you wish to wiggle out and say you didn't mean it that way. Either way I vow to tolerate you. Happy Holidays.

Sue

@Sam
"Sue, are you saying that it would be okay for a Christian to attend a synagogue wearing a crucifix?"

Yes, of course it's fine. It happens all the time, especially at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and weddings and I've attended Catholic/Christian weddings and funerals and worn my own religious jewelry (but not ostentatiously). There's a matter of taste and respect, of course, and it's inappropriate for a non-Jewish man to wear a prayer shawl during a service, but it's also fine to wear a kippah (little hat, just like the Pope). "All who enter are welcome," is the belief and practice at Beth David Synagogue, to name one.

Yes, most Jews think Jews should marry Jews. I would also suppose Christians believe they should marry Christians. I don't see that as intolerant because there's a heckuva lot of outreach to inter-religiously married families from every Jewish movements (Jews aren't monolithic in several beliefs).

Most Jews don't have dogma-related issues with gay marriage. (By "most," I'm adding up simple numbers. It's different to say that "most Orthodox Jews," or "most Reform Jews" et al - see "not monolithic" above).

Christians who will not tolerate those of other religions, those who believe differently, those who live ethical lives differently from Christians? I don't have problems calling them intolerant. The world, and the people who live in it, is/are bigger than Christianity and I wish that American Christians would understand it from a minority perspective like other minorities do. Set the rules and beliefs for what's right in your household but don't impose them on mine. We'd have a better world that way.

Ed Cone

People have the right to practice their religions as they see fit.

The question on the table is whether Warren should have been asked to speak at the inauguration.

It's interesting that he's changed the language on his website. Perhaps Etheridge was on to something.

cheripicker

If we are going to narrow the discussion to that specific question, my answer is that the president should be able to ask whomever he chooses to speak at his inauguration. We elected him. He can now do whatever he wants within the limits of the law. If that is disagreeable to some people, too bad. You can't please everyone. Simple question, easy answer.

John The Catholic

I find it interesting how the left defines and practices "inclusion." The left does not ask or petition for inclusion, the left demands it. As in "You MUST include and accept ________(fill in the blank)."

President-Elect Obama has decided to put some of his own inclusion into action, to wit; inclusion of a conservative Christian minister. Obama is either smart or politically astute enough to understand that inclusion is a two-way street.

The left's predictable nuclear meltdown over Rick Warren is predictable and pathetic. Who would have thought the latest person to make the left look like a bunch of hysterical hypocrites would be the man they voted in as president?

RecycleBill

"enough spirit dogma. only trust a spirit over 80 proof"

Ditto

I've been let down by Christians, Jews and every other religion I can think of but a bottle of 80 proof has never failed to meet my expectations.

scharrison

"scharrison you may want to quit dragging Shakespeare into a religious discussion."

So that's why I couldn't find it! Well, there's some other stuff in there about lending, but my eyes are crossed from scanning red letters.

Spag

I'm not sure what the Jewish faith says on intermarriage, but I do know that the percentage of intra-faith marriage among Jews in America is far higher than it should be if religion is not taken into consideration because there are far more Christians of the opposite sex here than there are other Jews of the opposite sex. Is this because of intolerance of other faiths or something else? I don't see how this is any different than "intolerance" towards same sex marriage.

Catholics also believe strongly in marrying other Catholics.

I also believe that you are again mixing religious beliefs with secular ones. If a religion teaches that homosexuality is wrong or gay marriage is wrong, that is a faith based view, not a secular one. Disagreeing with it is one thing, calling it intolerant because it doesn't comport with your views makes you just as "intolerant". That is what we are seeing play out in America these days. People of faith are attacked for following that faith- often by people who carry their own religious prejudices with them.

Ed Cone

JTC, I'm more in the Etheridge camp than the outraged camp. But I'm not so quick to dismiss the feelings of people who feel betrayed by the decision.

Seems to me it's a complicated issue, involving belief and politics and the sometimes contrasting hopes and visions of people in a diverse country.

You can't satisfy everyone, but why trash people who are dissatisfied in this case, rather than trying to understand the source of their dissatisfaction and look for some common ground?

The impulse to dismiss the concerns of people who are dismayed by the decision, and to label them hypocrites etc, seems to be in direct contrast to the spirit of inclusiveness the invitation bespeaks.

RBM

@ John the Catholic

Who would have thought the latest person to make the left look like a bunch of hysterical hypocrites would be the man they voted in as president?

We obviously "travel in different circles", because I've read a significant number of comments suggesting just this sort of thing as possibility.

Course if your handle is literal, then a remark like that could reasonably be understood to just be a chance at name calling.

RBM

Speaking of Name Calling

Wish I knew how to embed video's 8D

Spag

The invitation you speak of Ed is a one way street. We invite you to agree with us or else be labeled intolerant. That is exactly the point I am making. The outcry over "intolerance" is based on intolerance itself.

cheripicker

One major reason the Etheridges of the world have not attained the support of the majority, which some of you simply cannot understand, is that they equate reasonable disagreement with hate and intolerance, and they don’t tolerate it. It is just too patently obvious that they reflexively hate the same pastor upon whom they groundlessly project that attribute for some folks to stomach the hypocrisy. It often matters little to them exactly with what or why they are being disagreed with, only THAT they are disagreed with. The understandable, albeit controversial desire to maintain a distinction between traditional marriage and civil unions, even if more symbolic than practical, is nothing more than hate and intolerance to them. Democratically made decisions which aren’t in their favor must also , by definition, be hate-driven.
Did simply meeting Warren and finding him cordial and reasonable suddenly awaken Etheridge to the heretofore absurd possibility that all those who wish to maintain a distinction between hetero- and homosexual unions, for whatever reason, just might not be haters? Is this all it took to cause the epiphany that reversed her previously entrenched mindset regarding opposing viewpoints?
“When I heard the news, in its neat little sound bite form that we are so accustomed to, it painted the picture for me. This Pastor Rick must surely be one hate spouting, money grabbing, bad hair televangelist like all the others. He probably has his own gay little secret bathroom stall somewhere, you know. One more hater working up his congregation to hate the gays”.
Can anyone give me one example of such hate speech from ANY pastor this side of Jeremiah Wright?
What in her experience had sent her so far astray that was so easily undone by this single encounter? The neat little sound bites she has been fed? Was it fanatics from within the fold? Liberal media bias?
Good start, Melissa. But you need to continue practicing what you just preached and similarly enlighten a whole bunch of your friends before you can expect to sustain a meaningful dialogue. Good luck, and don’t forget--lose the H-word. One wonders if Warren will continue to enjoy her benefit of the doubt if she doesn’t ultimately convert him to the cause.

Beelzebubba

The first inquiry to be made when considering whether any behavior needs to be legislated is simple. "Does the behavior encroach upon another person?" As victims of content teaching in public schools, the habit of obedience to traditional values is framed and rigidly reinforced upon exploited students. This method, which emphasizes authority and regimentation, discourages the consideration of ideas which involve personal consent, personal responsibility and nonagression. Understanding cannot occur as long as answers to the wrong questions is all one settles for. There will always be a congress of Warrens, Falwells and Dobsons providing packaged conclusions which are never solutions. Each of their institutions have their own special interests which can only grow by homogenizing individuals. Diversity cannot possibly exist in a compressed environment where people must be molded and shaped to serve that particular institution. The selection of Warren was a nobrainer. He is already the keeper to millions who have made their biggest attachment to their own ignorance. This type of obedience to authority is needed in the Obamanation in the Bushworld already in flames. Each priestly icon in politics depends upon another priestly icon from religious class to reinforce the absurd idea that they possess knowledge which is not available to others in the imagained Authority of Society. McCain went with Falwell. According to the NYTimes bestseller list, Warren is dah man.

Ed Cone

The dialog between Etheridge and Warren is important.

She knows that gay people historically have been ostracized, demonized, and even physically endangered, and that religion has often been used to justify such behavior. She perceives opposition to gay marriage as a continuation of that mindset.

He knows that his beliefs lead him to oppose gay marriage, and inclusion of gays in his church.

But they don't know each other, and so they are free to impose upon each other any stereotype that seems to fit.

Now they've met. She can feel some decency in the man. He can see that she is very much a part of the message of love he believes. They may not end up agreeing on the presenting issue, but their chances for mutual respect and agreement in some areas increases, even as both are criticized for coming together.

Ideally, the speakers at an inauguration bring us all to the same place, even those who would be happy to see no religious element to the ceremony, and give us a safe place to put our differences, at least for a moment.

There are many places on earth where no grievance is ever forgotten, and people are invested in keeping conflicts going. If one is more interested in seeking grievance than finding common ground, one can always find reasons to perpetuate discord.

One good thing about living in Greensboro is that it affords those who would seek it the chance to know many different types of people. I count among my friends many who hold very different views on any number of issues. That doesn't make us agree, but it makes us more agreeable.

Obviously knowing each other is no panacea. But it can be a start. Life outside the silo is healthy. Good for Etheridge and Warren for seeking it, and good for Obama for trying to broaden the common ground.

Peace. Merry Christmas.

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