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BS: Giving up religion for Lent...

GUEST 15 Feb 05 - 01:14 PM
GUEST 15 Feb 05 - 01:13 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Feb 05 - 11:45 AM
Wolfgang 15 Feb 05 - 11:40 AM
GUEST 15 Feb 05 - 11:24 AM
EagleWing 15 Feb 05 - 11:13 AM
GUEST 15 Feb 05 - 11:01 AM
EagleWing 15 Feb 05 - 10:21 AM
EagleWing 15 Feb 05 - 10:14 AM
GUEST,Mrr 15 Feb 05 - 08:59 AM
GUEST 15 Feb 05 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,Davetnova 15 Feb 05 - 07:13 AM
EagleWing 15 Feb 05 - 05:11 AM
skipy 14 Feb 05 - 07:16 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Feb 05 - 01:48 PM
GUEST 14 Feb 05 - 01:41 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Feb 05 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,Mrr 14 Feb 05 - 01:12 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Feb 05 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,guest1 14 Feb 05 - 12:22 PM
GUEST, Experienced Former Target 14 Feb 05 - 11:45 AM
Amos 14 Feb 05 - 11:13 AM
GUEST 14 Feb 05 - 10:55 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Feb 05 - 10:48 AM
GUEST 14 Feb 05 - 10:44 AM
EagleWing 14 Feb 05 - 10:44 AM
GUEST 14 Feb 05 - 10:38 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Feb 05 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,Mrr 14 Feb 05 - 08:47 AM
EagleWing 14 Feb 05 - 06:14 AM
Teresa 14 Feb 05 - 03:16 AM
Joe Offer 14 Feb 05 - 12:19 AM
GUEST 13 Feb 05 - 11:17 PM
Joe Offer 13 Feb 05 - 11:13 PM
GUEST 13 Feb 05 - 02:17 PM
EagleWing 13 Feb 05 - 12:34 PM
EagleWing 13 Feb 05 - 12:28 PM
EagleWing 13 Feb 05 - 12:19 PM
EagleWing 13 Feb 05 - 12:13 PM
GUEST 13 Feb 05 - 10:21 AM
Teresa 13 Feb 05 - 03:50 AM
Ebbie 12 Feb 05 - 09:51 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 05 - 04:19 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Feb 05 - 04:14 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 05 - 03:01 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 05 - 01:31 PM
Joe Offer 12 Feb 05 - 01:29 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 05 - 11:37 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Feb 05 - 11:29 AM
PoppaGator 12 Feb 05 - 11:17 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 01:14 PM

So, to get back to the subject of this thread then, what is everyone who gives things up for Lent giving up for Lent?


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 01:13 PM

Love fest alert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 11:45 AM

Thanks, Wolfgang. I've always enjoyed you, too...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 11:40 AM

those of us who are secularists (14 Feb 05 - 10:55 AM )

Who is 'us'? Speak only for you, 14 Feb 05 - 10:55 AM, that's enough. I'm a secularists too, but your deliberately offensive way of arguing has no support at all from me, even if we might agree on details.

Very rarely I see here, and only by very few posters, anything remotely similar to forcing their Christian thinking on others. I actually like to read about the background of people, where they come from, what their basic convictions are. To name just three of the more prominent ones here, neither Joe, nor Jerry, nor Bobert have ever bothered me in any way when mentioning their faith (in this and any other thread). On the contrary, my knowledge of them would be less complete if I didn't know about the background. I not only don't mind them mentioning their beliefs I positively appreciate the way they do it.

There are some specific ways of bringing the Christian faith into play I do not like and have said so in the past, but that are exeptions in my eyes. The majority of the religiousn posters, Christians or not, exercise a welcome restraint and the majority of secularists do so too. If everybody was always silent about his or her faith Mudcat would be poorer than it is.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 11:24 AM

Actually without christians telling us what we actually mean and think, the world would be full of hopeless cases like me. Carry on the stirling work. What am I having for breakfast? Are you sure I really want that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: EagleWing
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 11:13 AM

'You think my point less valid. You are right . I am wrong. I will roast in flames. You will bounce on clouds. Wouldn't it be funny if all the critical christians met with a critical god.
"You're not coming in wearing those shoes."'

You seem overly defensive. It would seem you have a great problem with anyone who sees things differently from yourself. You made a point. I made a point. Why does my point seem so offensive to you, GUEST?

Bounce on clouds? Hmm! Seems like the sort of thing that you could get boored with fairly quickly. I'd rather get my harp and try and join a session somewhere in a folky corner of the Land Up Yonder. (Unless Sam Smith's gets there first and bans live music).

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 11:01 AM

You think my point less valid. You are right . I am wrong. I will roast in flames. You will bounce on clouds. Wouldn't it be funny if all the critical christians met with a critical god.

" You're not coming in wearing those shoes."


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: EagleWing
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 10:21 AM

"I do not jump out at folks in the street and try and wave a copy of the Sears catalogue under their noses, so why do they do it with the bible."

Not sure where GUEST comes from but in the UK, people who "jump out at folks" and wave the Bible under peoples' noses tend to get arrested. Likewise, I imagine, Sears catalogues. On the other hand, people with clipboards purporting to do market research but actually involved in advertising campaigns approach me far more often than street preachers so, although GUEST does not indulge in such campaigns, I think his point is less valid than it appears.

Frank L


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: EagleWing
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 10:14 AM

"I must admit to enjoying threads where people try to explain their religious beliefs but I find it offensive when some christians hijack the word religious to mean only their particular beliefs. Mine are just as valid and just as religious."

I agree - except that in this thread, the subject is about a Christian season so it actually does refer to Christianity. Generally speaking, most unfriendly references to religion on this forum do tend to be aimed at Christianity unless they are started by Christians who wish to attack non-christians. Thankfully these are few and far between.

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 08:59 AM

LOL! I should try that with the Sears catalogue! What a riot! Yes, I'm the Sears-catalog thumping type... hee hee hee!


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 08:25 AM

Some Christians have such a distorted view of their own worth, they feel the need to jump down anyones throat if they dare disagree.
That is their biggest fault in my eyes. They would earn more respect by dutifully living their life as they see fit, without criticising/insulting people of opposing views.
I do not jump out at folks in the street and try and wave a copy of the Sears catalogue under their noses, so why do they do it with the bible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST,Davetnova
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 07:13 AM

I am giving up nothing for lent because lent is not part of my religion.
I must admit to enjoying threads where people try to explain their religious beliefs but I find it offensive when some christians hijack the word religious to mean only their particular beliefs. Mine are just as valid and just as religious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: EagleWing
Date: 15 Feb 05 - 05:11 AM

"This is, after all, a secular forum isn't it?"

It is an open forum. If someone starts a thread about religion, people who have some religion are entitled to air their views just like anyone else. The thread is about religion but so "GUEST" wants to silence anyone who puts forward any sort of religious views. It isn't the religious people on this thread who are making unbalanced arguments (read it sometime, GUEST) but people like GUEST who hide behind anonymity to stir up strife between sections of this community.

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: skipy
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 07:16 PM

I'm going to stop lending things for lent, unless people really need to borrow them! Then I will!
Skipy


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 01:48 PM

You're right, Guest..

I don't give up anything for lent... although maybe I should give up discussing religion in here :-)

And you are also right. I find it is sometimes condescending to dismiss everyone who criticizes religion as having been hurt by religion. I don't think that's the case at all, although certainly many have been..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 01:41 PM

There are no sacred cows here, IMO. Religion is too often put forward (like 9/11 and other things currently functioning as such in our society) as a sacred cow. It isn't.

Also, people shouldn't assume that making fun of religion is something only done by people who have been hurt by religion. That is much too narrow a view, IMO. I know a lot of people who were raised with no religion in their lives whatsoever, who regularly tell very funny and/or mildly amusing and/or not funny at all religious jokes just like they would a joke about law and lawyers, politics and politicians, etc. Or sexist jokes, or ethnic jokes, or racial jokes, or blonde jokes, or sick jokes...

As to this thread, it really concerns people who practice the religion that suggests/requires you give up something for Lent. That wouldn't be all Christians either, would it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 01:27 PM

I apologize, Mrr... I don't think that this thread is anti-religious at all. I think that it was meant to be humorous. There are certainly threads that are anti-religious. And threads that are "trying to cram Christianity down people's throats." I regret them all. I have sincerely tried not to judge others or force my beliefs on anyone in here. First of all, it would be stupid, because you can't force beliefs, likes, dislikes, or anything else. The only cramming that ever works is cramming for tests (and even that has it's limitations.)

Let me state clearly what I feel, and then I will leave this thread to others. I believe that everyone has a right to express what they believe or feel, whether it's said in a measured way, or is even an outright attack. I don't believe in repressing feelings (although I do make an attempt to maintain some level of control over my own.) I think people have a right to attack whatever role Christianity is playing in repressing others in this country or overseas. I believe people have a right to be angry. Because I am a Christian, they even have a right to express their anger at me, whether I feel I am personally guilty as charged or not. I believe that every person on Mudcat, no matter how off the wall they may get at times, has value. Unless proven otherwise, I believe even the angriest person in here still want peace. I love people as people, not applying labels to them, as best I can.

I like the BS section. I like it's honesty, even when I am sometimes hurt by what is said. That's part of the price of allowing honesty.
I've complained in the past about how nasty Mudcat can get, but I am no longer going to complain about that. In the long run, the only thing I have any control over is myself. I cannot tell anyone else what they should do with their lives. I don't know how much others have been hurt, or the reason why they are as angry as they are. I still believe that people are good at heart. All people.

I think I'll give these discussions a breather. And wish everyone well.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 01:12 PM

As the originator, I ask how asking people what they are giving up for Lent is anti-religious.
"I find it amazingly hypocritical for people who start anti-religious threads to complain when someone speaks up for what they believe" - said someone - but I wasn't complaining, I was actually complimenting the thread creepers!


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 12:38 PM

Thanks, Guest1 (and thanks for identifying yourself. You are 100% right. I understand why there is so much antagonism toward that segment of Christians in the United States who are trying to use the cross as a swrod to strike down non-Christians. It makes me angry, too. And puts me in a difficult situation. These days, so much of Christianity doesn't seem to have anything to do with Christ.

I was reading a book today and especially appreciated a comment that Christianity is not a religion. It is trying to live the way Christ calls us to live. All the rest is man-made strutures. And it has all the faults and weaknesses of anything man made.

Maybe I just need to stay out of these "discussions." I know what I, and many others believe and how they are trying to live a life that puts others ahead of ourselves. We are caught in the crossfire... criticized by those who are trying to cram their religion down the throats of everyone who doesn't believe (and gun barrels work real well) and those who lump us with them.

Sometimes you can't win for losing...

As for the criticism leveled at me by another Guest that people have a right to discuss religion in here "jokingly, sarcastically or anything else," I agree. As I said in an earlier post:

"The funny thing is, I don't really have a problem with people starting threads attacking the hypocrisy in some/many (but definitely not all churches.) If you've been hurt, go right ahead and express your anger. You have every right to do so."

And I mean that. But why do you feel that others can't respond to, or disagree with what you said? I thought this was supposedly a site for free speach.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST,guest1
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 12:22 PM

Jerry, no one I think is attacking Christians. All I've ever said is "leave me alone".Be a Christian by all means but all I ask is that Christians keep it out of our lives and in their own. Is that too much to ask?
Political Christianity is now affecting the world in many ways and many of us are horrified that America now seems to wrap itself not only in its flag but in its cross, thus making all those who are crossless into a potential enemy who must be converted/controlled/legislated against/invaded/destroyed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST, Experienced Former Target
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 11:45 AM

Some of y'all need to study up on Mudcat history. Before there was a BS section, there were regular flamewars on issues of religion. Some of it was genuine lack of tolerance and understanding, but some of it was intentional trolling using religion as the excuse for the attacks and defenses. In the end, a number of the trolls admitted their sole purpose had been to create uproar, no matter the subject-- with religion being a hot-button, it was an easy way to get people's knickers in a twist. (At least one of those self-admitted trolls is now a "respected" member of Mudcat, with many friends here.)

There also have been campaigns by email and PMs, where people have recruited people to join in on an attack or defense. In one case this involved a "victim" who was going through quite a lot of medical and psychological difficulties, and the idea seemed to be that he should be driven off the forum. Some of those suggesting the attack or distributing the email about it were regular, generally-respected members. They made the mistake of sending some of this to people who found it outrageous, which is how some folks learned about it.

For a time there also was a regularly-posting anti-wiccan, anti-pagan, VERY rightwing "Christian."

In all of this, a lot of people got hurt-- on both sides.

Some of you who have been posting were here in those years, and many of you were not. It was thought that the BS section would help ease that tension and many other tensions, but religion and anti-religion are still hot-buttons. If you were NOT here before there was a BS section, it's hard to get a realistic idea how messy it got back then!

It remains true that the best way to avoid messes here over religion is to ignore trolling efforts-- posts that are clearly meant to fuel upset. When a thread goes beyond reasoned discussion and responsible posting of opinions, and becomes an anonymous name-calling effort to foment additional uproar, it's time to let it die a natural death. It's the only thing that has ever worked.

These days there is a large contingent of Catters, of all creeds, who have a firm policy of never, ever discussing religion here. It just has not been workable. There is another contingent of Catters, of all creeds, who will say their piece and then see what others say, but who stop discussing when they feel they've said as much as they reasonably can. Some of those threads have been really interesting, even though when they have started being real frank, people have understandably felt pushed at.

Right now, we have all the makings for another Great Mudcat Religion Flamewar. All it takes to end it is to stop feeding the trolls, take the reasonable discussions to the Chat Room or email, and get back to the music. It always looks different in hindsight, you know?

Experienced Former Target


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Amos
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 11:13 AM

This forum is designed by its owner, who chose not to define it as to subject or constrain it except with regard to personal attacks and battle-mode posts.

ANyone is entitled to start a thread here about Christianity, be it "Thoughts on the World and the Devil" or "Jesus Wants You for a Sunbeam".

Because it is an open forum, such threads may elicit vehemently antagonistic beliefs in response.

Conversely, anyone is entitled to start a thread entitled "Why I am Not a Christian", although no-one has, quite, and the counter-flak they inherit will probably be a reflection of the care they put in to the post.

There is no separation of church and state decreed here, as far as I know, except by the consensus of those who visit -- particularly its members.

The things that routinely elicit hostility, in my experience, are condescension, supsercilious assertions of knowledge not earned and not accurate, and arm-waving hyperbole whether pro or con.

Here's what works: tolerance, curiousity, consideration of others' feelings, a personal sense of integrity (holding true to that which you know) balanced with courtesy, and a love and interest for music, and a desire to see others do well.

Notice that many of those are actually Christian virtues.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 10:55 AM

It doesn't matter Jerry. This isn't a Christian forum, is it? So if people who aren't Christians want to discuss religion, jokingly, sarcastically or anything else, they should have the right to do that without being harrassed.

If you are offended by those of us who are secularists, then maybe you should start your own folk music forum for Christians, and censor people and contributions like the poster who started this thread. Which I consider to be tongue in cheek, and ironic humor.

The point is, you are much more interested in discussing your religion, than almost any other subject, when I look at your BS posting history Jerry. Why is that?

Seems to me there is a core group of Christians who are battling for control of the BS section, and justifying their attacks on anyone who speaks critically about religion, or jokingly about religion, etc. as if there were a need for Mudcat Crusade to Defend the Faith.

Get over yourselves!


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 10:48 AM

Seen any anti-Buddhist threads recently, any anti-Muslim threads? Even any anti-wiccan threads?

And who are these Christians who say they don't need to think? I sure don't want to meet them. That isn't to say that there aren't many Christians who don't do a lot of thinking. Or non-Christians for that matter. The unexamined life is not worth living... that applies to all of us.

Discussions are not attacks and counter-attacks. I'd be very happy to discuss my faith in a non-inflamatory way, showing equal respect for those who don't believe it... including you "Guest." Just not in this kind of a forum. This is not a "religious" website and doesn't lend itself to any sort of "thoughtful" communication. As far as I'm concerned, I'd be a lot happier if religion wasn't discussed on here at all. Not that it ever is "discussed", anyway.

I'd love to give it a rest and talk about the things we all enjoy.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 10:44 AM

This is, after all, a secular forum isn't it? Or is this place, like punkfolkrocker suggested, a forum about religious folk music?


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: EagleWing
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 10:44 AM

"You know, I wouldn't even have a problem with the religionists having their threads, if they would just post something that exhibits some critical thinking about religion, instead of posting prayers and diatribes about how they don't need to think because they are believers and therefore, just need "faith"."

GUEST (another anonymous Guest) It shouldn't be necessary to remind you that this thread was not started by a "religionist" (whatever that may be) but is an Anti-religion thread. Moreover, if you actually read what people have posted you would realise how inaccurate the above statement is in other ways.

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 10:38 AM

You know, I wouldn't even have a problem with the religionists having their threads, if they would just post something that exhibits some critical thinking about religion, instead of posting prayers and diatribes about how they don't need to think because they are believers and therefore, just need "faith".

And of course, the fact that they can't stay out of the threads that are discussing religion critically and intellectually, by non-believers. They insist upon coming into these sorts of threads and whining about how we're all so mean to the Christians.

That gets pretty damn tiresome. Like I've said many, many times before here at Mudcat--there is much less tolerance for secularists, especially secular discussions about religion and believers, than it is intolerant towards the religionists. It seems to me a day hasn't gone by since 9/11 in this place that somebody isn't trying to shove some aspect of "Christianity" down our throats in some way.

And the problem here is exclusively with Christians. There are no other members of other religions who are so vociferous in their claims to need to "defend" their faith here at Mudcat from bigots.

What a crock that is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 09:44 AM

I find it amazingly hypocritical for people who start anti-religious threads to complain when someone speaks up for what they believe. I'd be perfectly happy to strike a deal with those who are regularly attacking Christians. If you stop posting threads attacking people who I love (and that includes Atheists... not just Christians) I will never start a thread about my faith.

The funny thing is, I don't really have a problem with people starting threads attacking the hypocrisy they see in some/many (but definitely not all) churches. If you've been hurt, go right ahead and express you anger. You have every right to do so. But, if you tar and feather ALL Christians, don't be surprised if people express their disagreement with your generalities. I speak not so much for myself, because I am not trying to make friends with people who consider all Christians self-righteous judgmental idiots. I speak for all the wonderful people I know who are Christians.... just as I speak out in defense of Atheists and Agnostics, and people who don't find church a spiritual experience.

Now, you want to start a thread criticizing Atheists and Agnostics? I'll be right there, speaking out on behalf of all the loving, moral people I know (including family members.) I will defend Bill D just as much as I will Joe Offer.

And if you start a thread judging others, don't expect me to always remain silent. WHOEVER you judge.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 08:47 AM

Well, THIS thread sure got hijacked in an interesting direction!


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: EagleWing
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 06:14 AM

"It's no good calling us guests bigots, it advances nothing. If we descend to that level we just call you bigot back."

The only reason I used the word bigot is because the post I was replying to showed every sign of bigotry. When I post something as bigotted as that feel free to call me a bigot. However, I believe in the right for someone to speak about their religion on a thread which is about religion. The post I was answering (from GUEST) tried to deny that right.

BTW. Why is it that people wishing to post these attacks hide behind the word GUEST? It is at least possible to identify which GUEST by using a consistent nickname.

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Teresa
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 03:16 AM

The peace and human rights movement includes people of all walks of life who share a common goal. The religious in that group do not condemn the non-religious. Why should anyone condemn anyone else?

I have no problem with sharing a prayer with others. I am not part of an organized religion, but I am comfortable in my relationship with the Great Spirit, the gods, God, or whatever I might call It/Him/Her. I feel no need to defend my belief. So I have my moment of silence along with the prayer. I don't think that prayer is harmful in any way.

I don't like the sorts of fundamentalists--Communists, atheists, Christians, Buddhists, (yes, there are some) Muslims, humanists, pagans who insist to me that I am on the wrong path and their path is the only right one. I try to keep company with people of any of the above persuasions and many other walks of life who are open-minded and willing to listen/teach/learn. It is not a Christian/non-Christian thing for me ... it is a much deeper distinction in some ways, or rather, a much more fundamental one.

Teresa


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 12:19 AM

I hadn't thought of that. Yes, I have held hands at a peace or civil rights rally and prayed. Sometimes, the prayer hasn't been as inclusive as it should have been, and then I've felt uncomfortable - I really hate to see anybody excluded.

There is one problem in removing religious expression from the peace movement and civil rights and anti-poverty movements. It really bothers the right-wingers that there are religious people who oppose George W. Bush. The visible presence of clergy in the peace and civil rights movements has been especially powerful and effective.

Some clergymen can pray without excluding people. Martin Luther King, Jr., was certainly religious - but I don't think his prayer was such that people felt excluded. Same with Jesse Jackson.
Dan & Phil Berrigan were both priests when they first became involved in the peace movement, and Dan is still a Jesuit priest. Their prayers are even more inclusive than those of King and Jackson.

But can you picture Martin Luther King or Jesse Jackson speaking without religious references? Were they unsuitable civil rights leaders because of that?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 11:17 PM

Joe, George W. Bush already does rule the world.

I agree, we should agree to work together on common causes we share. So why can't that be done without the religionists insisting on making us all hold hands and pray?


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 11:13 PM

Now, if we open our minds and listen to each other, we might find we have more in common than we think. I'm a Roman Catholic. I don't want to see prayer or religious practices in government institutions or schools because I don't like the idea of government-controlled religion. If religious belief is a function of government, it takes all that's good out of religious belief.

I'm sure most of us believe the same thing - but perhaps for different reasons. Many of us believe in social justice and peace and an end to poverty - there may be differences in our thinking supporting those goals, but the goals are still the same. If we can forget our differences and work together and value each other, we may be able to achieve some of those goals.

Otherwise, George W. Bush will rule the world.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 02:17 PM

It's no good calling us guests bigots, it advances nothing. If we descend to that level we just call you bigot back.
A belief is essentially an unproven and unprovable thing, as is unbelief. All I ask is that religion is kept out of politics, schools, and the lives of others who choose not to follow faith. Freedom should mean what it says, individual choice. If, for instance, homosexuality is considered by those of faith to be "sinful" whatever that is, then they need not practice it, But why do so many get so hot under the collar about those who do? Leave them alone! They're doing you no harm. Preaching freedom and living freedom appear to be very different things.After all isn't it part of your general belief that we were given free will by your god? If you believe that then you must allow people to exercise it. Surely that's all part of your god's plan?


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: EagleWing
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 12:34 PM

GUEST (is this the same one or a different GUEST?) says "Instead of preaching to us Jerry, how about you work on your fellow Christians for a change? Mudcat isn't the place that needs your preaching, so why do you insist on doing it, even when you have been told it isn't welcomed by the majority of people here?
That's what I can't understand. Your politics are as liberal as anyone else's here, so why not just keep the discussion to politics, and leave YOUR religion out of it, rather than try and shove it down our throats?"

Hold hard, there, GUEST. Jerry is simply and quietly answering points made on a thread that has the heading "Giving up religion for Lent". What right do you have for insisting on not bringing religion into such a thread? I haven't seen much evidence of Jerry preaching or suggesting that he is more right than others. I ave seen plenty of evidence - in the post I quoted - that you, GUEST, are certainly bigoted and narrow minded believing that you have a right to shut others up because you disagree with them.

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: EagleWing
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 12:28 PM

GUEST says "They already do control Christianity Joe, so I think you are a day late and a dollar short on that one.
If you are so appalled by those who control and use Christianity to their own ends, rather than in service of the flock's true needs, then it is your duty to leave those institutions, and find a different way of doing the work.
Nobody said it was going to be easy, destroying evil."

Firstly, they only control a section of the Church. Neither of them have any influence over non-Catholic Churches outside of the US. If we are to leave all institutions which are capable of corruption we will have to leave the earth altogether. As soon as anyone sets about destroying evil, someone - possibly GUEST - will accuse them of fundamentalism anyway. It takes _some_ kind of belief to make people try to fight evil. Since fundamentalism is the name given to anyone who tries to bring their beliefs out of their churches and homes such people will be branded. Sooner or later some politician will start using their message to get a bit of power and the whole corruption thing starts again. Some of us prefer to fight corruption from within rather than complain about it from without.

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: EagleWing
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 12:19 PM

Joe said "That being said, what's wrong with my being a Christian, a Roman Catholic, or an American? All three of these things are an integral part of who I am - but in the minds of our a good number of people here, I can only be acceptable to them if I deny my Christian, Catholic, and American heritage.
I'm sorry, but that makes me very angry."

Substitute Baptist and English and I am in total agreement with Joe's point.
There are many bad "Christians" but there are many good ones. Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King - are they the folk who f'd up the world so that Christians have no right to a say?

Frank L


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: EagleWing
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 12:13 PM

"I was walking through my market town today and there was a man in the main square waving his Bible and shouting his beliefs at us."

Just one! As I walk through my market town each day I see and hear materialism from all directions. I hear all sorts of views, religious, anti-religious, agnostic etc. Posters preach the power of the all-powerful gods - money & sex. But let one man wave a Bible and air Christian views and suddenly everyone gets upset.

I didn't hear your particular preacher. His views may conflict with mine but his is only one voice in a society in which all other voices are accepted but his.

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 10:21 AM

Why not give up Lent for Lent?


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Teresa
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 03:50 AM

I second what Ebbie says.

I'm not a christian, but that doesn't mean I should criticize Christians for being who they are.

I admit I had some very scary experiences with the fundamentalists when I was a child, including having the devil exorcised from me because of my blindness. But that is not the fault of Christianity as a whole; it is a product of the sort of person(s) who would do such things, whatever kind of closed-mindedness they practice. I think it is very wrong to generalize about Americans, Christians, Muslims, Republicans, Democrats, communists, etc. based on one's experience with a few people of a particular "designation." I believe that is known as prejudice, and I hope I stay as far away from that kind of thinking as possible.

Teresa


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 09:51 PM

I see no shoving-down-throats activity here, unless it is coming from the non-religion side. I like the consistency of the views expressed by people like Joe Offer and Jerry Rasmussen, people who are living their beliefs, people who have a clear idea of what they believe. Their views harm no one, offend no thinking person, and if we allow it, calm the stormy seas of anger that are so much a large part of some posters.

It isn't 'preaching', per se. I can listen as I wish or I can argue a point or I can go away in peace. I like knowing there are people like Joe and Jerry out there in the world. I even like being aware that if there are two people like that out there that I know, it means that there are many more out there whom I have not yet met. Thank you, Joe and Jerry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 04:19 PM

Instead of preaching to us Jerry, how about you work on your fellow Christians for a change? Mudcat isn't the place that needs your preaching, so why do you insist on doing it, even when you have been told it isn't welcomed by the majority of people here?

That's what I can't understand. Your politics are as liberal as anyone else's here, so why not just keep the discussion to politics, and leave YOUR religion out of it, rather than try and shove it down our throats?


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 04:14 PM

Glad you can make the distinction between true livers of Christ's teaching and those who use Christianity for power and profit.

Perhaps there's hope..

That's a rare point of conciliation and encouragement for Christians like Joe Offer, me, and many others who have remained silent too long.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 03:01 PM

As guest one here (market town bible punchers) I agree with so much said above. I have no quarrel with the teachings of Christ, in fact if they were lived by we'd be in a much better world. Those who follow the true way are a threat to no one, in fact some are my true friends. It's political religion that is the enemy, be it Moslem, Christian, Jewish, whatever. It's the "we are right, you are wrong" school.It's the superstition, the deliberately encouraged ignorance, the return to the dark ages from the age of enlightenment that is the curse of our time. Those of us opposed to these elements need some sort of rallying point for our opposition. It is a war now, a war of ideas, and if the enlightened lose it there will be only chaos and more bloodshed. the Taliban mentality is loose in America as it is loose in Afghanistan.We in Europe must stand up as it begins to get its grip here as Blair, another religious fundamentalist at heart, encourages more faith schools, including those funded from the States which will teach "Creationism", the theory of those truly blind to the reality of our common earth history.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 01:31 PM

They already do control Christianity Joe, so I think you are a day late and a dollar short on that one.

If you are so appalled by those who control and use Christianity to their own ends, rather than in service of the flock's true needs, then it is your duty to leave those institutions, and find a different way of doing the work.

Nobody said it was going to be easy, destroying evil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 01:29 PM

I despise religious fundamentalism. I disagree with Pope John Paul II as vehemently as I disagree with George W. Bush. I do not wish to allow these people to take permanent control of Christianity, of the Catholic Church, or of the United States.

That being said, what's wrong with my being a Christian, a Roman Catholic, or an American? All three of these things are an integral part of who I am - but in the minds of a good number of people here, I can only be acceptable to them if I deny my Christian, Catholic, and American heritage.

I'm sorry, but that makes me very angry.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 11:37 AM

No, we aren't the same guests. I don't agree that the Republicans are merely taking advantage of the religious right. The two most recent mass movements within Republican circles aren't just in bed together, they are married for life--and I don't believe it is a marriage of convenience. I believe it is a marriage of the minds. I know many greedy, mean, ruthless Christians. In the US, those people are all either Republicans or independents who never vote for Democrats, but would support a Ross Perot.

Religion is very much at the center of what the problems our nation and our world faces. The Christians have fucked things up so badly, they no longer deserve any power, anywhere in the world, whatsoever.

IMNSHO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 11:29 AM

Hey, Guest:

I really am trying to stay away from religious threads, because I don't see anyone listening. Just everyone talking. I just want you to know that as a sincere Christian, I am not only listening to what you've said in the last two posts (if you're both the same person) but that I share your concern for what the religious right is doing.
I'm not convinced that Bush and the power structure is driven by the religious right, because I think they are driven by greed and the thirst for power. But, I think they are using the religious right as dupes for their own selfish purposes. I am very sympathetic to the concerns that you express, because I am equally concerned.

It's not the teachings of Christ that are the problem though, (from my perspective.) Christ was very outspoken about "rendering unto Caesar what is due to Caeser, and rendering unto God what is due to God." Christ was a bitter disappointment to those who looked to him as a means for overthrowing the Roman power structure and inserting them into power. Christ was very much for the separation of church and state.

I just want you to know that if anything, I am even more incensed than you are with how the religious right is stupidly being used to promote greed and power... kinda reverse Robin Hoods... take from the poor and give to the rich. It infuriates me because it is so hypocritical and contrary to the teachings of Christ. I can comfortably walk hand in hand with those who are fighting against the use of the religious right to deny people their rights.

After all, Christ threw the Pharisees out of the temple. Too bad he can't stop by Washington for a few days...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Giving up religion for Lent...
From: PoppaGator
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 11:17 AM

To the two previous GUESTS: Amen! (If you don't find that word offensive...) I sympathize with our many inoffensively and genuinely religious brethern, but you're right: That loud minority of in-your-face, bring-on-Armageddon fanatics is not only distasteful but dangerous, and ignoring them won't make them go away.

To McGrath: Carnival season ~ in communities where it is observed ~ actually extends from Twelfth Night (a fixed date, January 6) through Shrove/Fat Tuesday (a moveable feast). The earliest possible date for Mardi Gras Day is February 5 and the latest is in early March, so the length of Carnival season can vary from barely one month to two full months.

When the season is as short as this year's, scheduling of various social events tightens up a bit, and folks have less time to recover from the Christmas/New-Year holidays, shift gears, and start working on their costumes, etc.


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