Mudcat Café message #1949090 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #29796   Message #1949090
Posted By: Slag
26-Jan-07 - 05:17 PM
Thread Name: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
Subject: RE: What does the word 'God' mean to you?,II
This discussion is certainly far ranging and probably well beyond the scope or intent of the thread title. A lot of the issues raised involve debates that have been going on for literally hundreds of years. Virtually every aspect of well established religions raise questions, debates and divisions. This is true of Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, the Democratic Party and Nader's Raiders. And I'm not intentionally ignoring the Republicans. It's just that they are so fractured right now that they don't know what they believe anymore.

I do, however, want to address the points Bee brought up:

"When you say 'this country' I assume you mean the US, where I believe 85% of the population is Christian. The 'constant attack' you speak of is therefore from at the most 15% of the population. Frankly, I think most of the attacking (which does not include much violence, while Muslims in the US are in danger of real violence every day) is from people who are afraid of the prospect of being a minority living under an extreme Christian regime."

Apart from Christians attacking Christians (which certainly does go on) the media, especially the print does have a "bully pulpit" and the anti-Christian rhetoric dominates favorable review. The attacks are mostly ideological but churches and synagogues are sometimes targeted, burned or vandalized. One of the point made on the "Hitler" thread was that a minority that was organized and focused seized control of the majority and control of Germany. The leading cause was the issue of what to do with those evil Jews. In America today, if you say the word "Fundamentalist" it conjures up the notions of wild-eyed radical, militias, etc.: just about anything except what a Christian fundamentalist really is.

"You say Christians preach tolerance, but the loudest, and under Bush, most influential, Christian sects preach the reduction of rights for women, the denial of rights to homosexuals, and the stifling of art and literature they disapprove."

You fail to name that "loudest and most influential sect" either "under Bush" or to which he belongs so I really don't know of which you speak. Southern Baptists? I think Mr. Bush is a Methodist and which version of Methodism? Nor do I recall any but one's (Bill Gothard, certainly NOT mainstream OR influential) religious camp that advocates a reduction in women's rights. See what I mean about getting bad press?? You are reacting to things you have heard about Christianity that are not necessarily true and certainly not true about mainstream Christianity.

And I think most Christians, except for thirty or so from around Kansas or Texas (you know, the ones on the 6 o'clock news all the time) believe in equal rights for everyone including homosexually oriented folks. Most of us understand that if any minority group doesn't have rights, none of us really have any rights.

And as far as "art" goes, there you may have me. I can't cal soaking a Christian cross in a bottle of urine art. I can't accept a depiction of the Virgin Mary covered with cow shit art. So call me an art critic. What do you really suppose the aim of this art was? Was it to beautify? Educate? Enlighten? Or was it to provoke? Was it to literally heap as much shit upon Christians and imagery as they could, to what? Test their tolerance? Consider something or someone YOU hold dear receiving the same treatment. How tolerant are you?

"Islam is certainly more extreme than modern Christianity, but we are not dealing with Islam in NA, their numbers are too small. In the here and now, a study last year in the US found that the vast majority of people (remember that 85% Christian component) stated that they would trust anyone of faith, regardless of what faith, over an atheist. I worry much more about the US moving politically towards a Christian theocracy than about it falling to secularism."

If the US was ever to become a theocracy that would have happened early in its history. A "Christian Nation" was a much more applicable term during the 1800's thatn today. Your 85% figure which I won't dispute covers such a broad spectrum of belief about the person and teachings of Christ that those beliefs vis a vis their proponents are incompatable to each other. I look no farther than denominationalism for proof. If your 85% were organized and in lock-step as you suggest, this nation would have a very different appearance than it does today.

Your points do represent how many people view and think about the Christian religion: prejudicial, biased and very generalized which is to say not a fair characterization at all.