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Religious Right's Views Are Wrong


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Initial post: Nov 21, 2012 10:43:26 AM PST
Astrocat says:
This is from a letter to the editor in my local newspaper, published November 15, 2012. In some areas the writer goes a bit overboard, but seems to hit most of the salient points and indicates what it is about the Christian "right" that turns off so many people. Thoughts?

"Members of the Christian right are upset that their candidates and agenda lost the election, and now they're trying to figure out what went wrong. It's easy to see what went wrong; the Christian right, which is just flat-out wrong.

It's wrong in so many ways, it's breathtaking. It opposes birth control, preferring the fantasy that people won't have sex without it, or not caring that people unready to have children will be having them.

The Christian right opposes homosexuality, ignoring the increasing tide of evidence that it's as natural as grass. And it opposes grass - the marijuana kind - because it apparently enjoys waging a protracted war against our own society over something as innocuous as pot.

It opposes doing anything about global warming. It opposes so many things that normal, rational people believe, care about and do, is it any wonder we reject the Christian right?

Its members are free to hold whatever beliefs they want - that's what freedom of religion means. But they want to force their beliefs on everyone else. That's where freedom of religion ends.

The rest of us want freedom from religion, freedom from their nutty, regressive, fantasy-driven take on practically everything. To us, their world looks like a nightmare, and the more they pontificate about it, the worse it seems.

So, Christian conservatives, regroup all you want. Try again and again to force your irrational opinions on everyone else. You'll still be wrong and the rest of us will continue to reject those opinion."

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 2:04:58 PM PST
Vicki says:
Dear Nancy,

The letter writer says:"Its members are free to hold whatever beliefs they want"

I would say that freedom to practice my religion also includes letting it inform my actions and my vote, regardless if other citizens happen to agree or disagree. An election is not a horse race where we try to pick the winner. I think most people try to pick the best candidate for the job and try to make the best decision on the propostions that come before them, according to what they believe whether they are religious or not.

Politics is about coercion, even though we get to vote. Only one candidate for a political position wins. When a proposition is passed, there is always the other side who loses.

Freedom of religion isn't just freedom to worship God the way that I think is right. It includes living my faith and I do that wherever I go and in whatever I do.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 2:11:26 PM PST
You're forgetting that we also have a Constitution and legal system which determine what legislation is un-Constitutional, and therefore invalid.

We aren't a pure democracy... the majority isn't free to do whatever it wants to a minority.

Yes, you are free to worship the deity you believe in, and have that belief inform your actions... but that *doesn't* mean that any action you claim as being motivated by your religious beliefs is therfore legitimate.

No freedom is absolute, including the freedom to act in the way one believes one's religion allows or requires. If my religion tells me I must stone those who work on Sunday to death, I don't get to actually do that just because it's what I think my religion requires.

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 2:26:40 PM PST
Rubedo says:
Nancy, you might like:

God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 2:27:58 PM PST
J. Russell says:
You'll still be wrong and the rest of us will continue to reject those opinion."

My Response
yes they will still be wrong, I can only hope more rational minds will prevail.
BUT
With how those in power are constantly defunding education and doing away anything approaching critical thought, I fear for the future of my country.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 4:39:18 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Vicki, I agree that you have the right to let your religion inform your vote, but I agree with the letter writer that it doesn't give you the right to expect your religious beliefs to be engraved on public buildings, or allow you the right to mob abortion clinics because you see abortion as somehow forbidden by the Bible.

So yes, freedom of religion is your right to worship God the way you think is right, but it doesn't include any right to force others to live up to your expectations. So no, you don't get to do some things even if your religion says it's okay, or that it's a duty. The Golden Rule was one of the main rules Christ brought forward, from dozens of other religious traditions, and by doing so he put his seal of approval on all those other religions and systems of thought, and made it obvious that there is no "one, true religion."

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 7:08:07 PM PST
Good Post. They need to hear it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 7:59:45 PM PST
J. Russell,

Yours: "I fear for the future of my country."

Mine: I tend to agree. The "Tea Party," "neo-cons," "christian right," call them what you will, are extremely persistent. They have worked for 70 years to undo Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal reforms, and they have mostly succeeded. But that effort was only the most recent offense for them: they continue to fight the Civil War, insisting on "state's rights" and "local control." And, of course, they continue to protest Darwin and Enlightenment rationality. Quite seriously, they would drag the world back to Dark Ages Europe where the rich ruled by unchecked use of power and the sanction of "divine rights" supported by religious institutions. They want a world sorted neatly into rulers and slaves with themselves, of course, in the former rôle. Why else should they suppress the vote, foment rivalry and hatred between minority groups, and blatantly lie to the public?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 8:09:53 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Thanks, David. That's an interesting review of the Tibetan Book of the Dead on your profile page. I read that to my mother on her death bed, and had some very convincing experiences with her after her death (and before, while she was still in a coma, for that matter).

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 8:11:52 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Charles, I'm also interested in how the religious "right" became so powerful, to the point that it's almost running (almost?) the Republican party. I'm thinking that the party thought they'd win more easily with those folks in the ascendance. Obviously they were wrong, but I'm still trying to get a handle on how they thought that was going to work out. Any thoughts?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 8:15:31 PM PST
"The "Tea Party," "neo-cons," "christian right," call them what you will, are extremely persistent. "

They're "Taliban Wannabes"

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 8:20:39 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 21, 2012 8:20:50 PM PST
Astrocat says:
I agree. I have a nephew-in-law who's a member of something called the "Republic for Oregon"

http://www.republicfororegon.org/

I think there are "cells" of this so-called republic all over the country. My nephew-in-law is certifiably weird so this is really not very surprising, and this sort of thing has been going on for years, it just takes on new names and uses new slogans - not really "new" of course.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 8:48:25 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 21, 2012 8:52:26 PM PST
I think that the religious right became powerful when the Republican party could not win without them since that party could not win based on being the party of the rich. They elevated many really strange people, like Todd Akin, to national prominance. When I was younger, no one paid any attention to these people, but when the Republicans needed them to win elections, the party operatives held their collective noses and allowed them some "meaningless" issues like racism, anti choice, mysogeny, anti any religion but their version of Christianity, anti-science, etc. They seem surprised when the rest of us are baffled at their values and beliefs.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 8:57:15 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 10:04:36 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Kathleen, I think you're right. Wouldn't it be interesting to get inside the minds of some of those people and see what their agenda really is? Or not......

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 10:50:49 PM PST
Kathleen,
think that the religious right became powerful when the Republican party could not win without them ...
------------------------------------------------
And now they can't win with them.

While I understand the want/need/desire to go back to what one knows and feels comfortable with, we can't go back to the 50's or whenever it is believed that "we lost our way".

By not allowing the platforms to be solely based on what they think would be in the best interest of the country, and yes I know this group believes that Jesus is in the best interests of the country but I'm talking about economics and public policies, we have lost both parties. The Democrats had to regroup, and now the Republicans are facing the same dilemma.

Was it Engel who talked about thesis/antihesis/synthesis? We seem to be in that "condition" completely!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 3:48:50 AM PST
Bubba says:
It started when Reagan forged a pact with the Christian "right". Reagan incorporated Falwell and his "Moral Majority" cult into the GOP to get elected and he incorporated Falwell into the Executive Office to stay elected. The Christian "right" had a solid eight years of Reagan's encouragement and backing to burrow itself deep into the GOP.

http://www.sjsu.edu/people/shantanu.phukan/courses/RELS162/s1/Lambert-Chap%207%20Religious%20Right%27s%20Rise.pdf

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 3:55:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 22, 2012 3:56:56 AM PST
Bubba says:
There is a network of similar organizations throughout the US.

http://nmfreestate.org/FreeStates.html

Scroll down to the "Republic free State Support Contact" list. The email addresses for these individuals generally show their organization's name.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 4:37:34 AM PST
Vicki says:
Dear Nancy,

You said :"or allow you the right to mob abortion clinics because you see abortion as somehow forbidden by the Bible."

I haven't "mobbed" any abortion clinics. No one in my church does this, as far as I know. We support the local preganancy counseling office with money, volunteers, counselling, the usual baby equipment like strollers, car seats, clothes, etc. We let people know that there is an alternative to abortion and that we are willing to help. No baby is unwanted. If a mother does not feel she can raise her baby for whatever reason, there is someone out there who does.

You said :"So no, you don't get to do some things even if your religion says it's okay, or that it's a duty."

What are some of those things? Can you give me an example, besides the mobbing of abortion clinics or having passages from the Bible engraved on public buildings?

You said :"So yes, freedom of religion is your right to worship God the way you think is right, but it doesn't include any right to force others to live up to your expectations."

I agree that our society's moral values are changing. Is this what you are talking about? I don't agree that we Christians can force anyone to live up to our expectations.

You said :" The Golden Rule was one of the main rules Christ brought forward, from dozens of other religious traditions, and by doing so he put his seal of approval on all those other religions and systems of thought, and made it obvious that there is no "one, true religion."

I'm not sure what you mean by this statement. I thought you said that we Christians have freedom of religion, but now it seems to me that you are saying that we have to accept your view of Christ and what he said.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 4:45:37 AM PST
Vicki says:
Dear Michael,

You said :"Yes, you are free to worship the deity you believe in, and have that belief inform your actions... but that *doesn't* mean that any action you claim as being motivated by your religious beliefs is therfore legitimate."

I'm a little bit concerned that you express freedom of religion as freedom of worship. There is a difference.

Any government has the right to expect their citizens to obey the law. If the religious have a conflict of conscience, it is up to us to deal with it within the law, as best we can. If that isn't possible, then we must accept the consequences to our disobeying of the law.

You said :" If my religion tells me I must stone those who work on Sunday to death, I don't get to actually do that just because it's what I think my religion requires."

I haven't stoned anyone and no one in my church has, either.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 4:56:02 AM PST
Vicki says:
Dear Reed,

You said :"And now they can't win with them."

I think that it may very well be the conclusion that the Republican party will come to. I wonder if they will remove some planks from their platform, in order to preserve the fiscally conservative planks?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 5:38:52 AM PST
Astrocat says:
Oh, that's right. The "moral majority", so called. I did a course on religion in the US and there was a good section on fundamentalism and how it cycles in and out of American politics, and has ever since the "Great Awakenings", with Jonathan Edwards and so on. It will go underground for awhile, then roar back, make a big mess out of things and then disappear again.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 5:42:26 AM PST
Astrocat says:
Vicki, no, I certainly did not mean that you have to accept my view of anything. But, when Christ brought the Golden Rule into his teachings he did imply that all religions are true. Therefore, freedom of religion includes that recognition, and would preclude the "right" to proselytize, which indicates that one religion is better than the others. We not only have freedom "of" religion, we also have freedom "from" religion.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 5:47:17 AM PST
Astrocat says:
Vicki, I hope they will remove those planks that are tied to the fundamentalist hatred of gays and women and so on. I get, from your posts, that you're not the kind of "Christian" that makes the whole religion look bad, so I apologize if I've said anything to include you in the rolls of those who are so reactionary and hateful in their actions toward those who are doing things they see as "sinful".

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 6:22:07 AM PST
Vicki says:
ar Nancy,

You said :"But, when Christ brought the Golden Rule into his teachings he did imply that all religions are true.

Nancy, Jesus said that we should treat others as we would like to be treated. That says nothing about all religions being true. That would have conflicted with his statements of exclusivity, such as "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me."

You said :Therefore, freedom of religion includes that recognition,

No, Nancy, the freedom of religion in our country does NOT mean that the practitioners of each religion must recognize other religions are true.

You said :"and would preclude the "right" to proselytize, which indicates that one religion is better than the others.

Are you saying that, as our government guarantees religious freedom, except that no one should be sharing it with anyone else? That is what proselytize means. It also goes against the commission Jesus gave to his followers. We are to proclaim the good news about our Savior and we genuinely believe that his message changes lives.

You said :"We not only have freedom "of" religion, we also have freedom "from" religion."

Actually that is not a constitutional guarantee. I think that is an interpretation. But I agree that we are free to accept or reject any religion, as we see fit. That doesn't mean that all signs of faith need to be scoured from the public eye (or ear).
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  42
Initial post:  Nov 21, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 22, 2012

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