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Passions in Poetry

How does it read to you?

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Opeth
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25 posted 09-09-2003 12:49 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

People who have held judeo-christian moral values have also sold and purchased human beings.

Moral values are not dependent on religious organizations.

Stephanos
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26 posted 09-09-2003 01:36 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Neither is the value of religious precepts dependent upon everyone having followed them perfectly.


Stephen

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (09-09-2003 01:37 PM).]

Denise
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27 posted 09-09-2003 03:32 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

So Jim, basically, duly elected or appointed governing authorites (like our Founding Fathers) have the liberty to participate in a revolution against or a reorganization of government when all legal recourse has proven futile, but individual citizens don't have that authority from God, and they were probably the ones to whom Peter was speaking when he told them to submit to the governing authority? It was hard reading for me, but that was how it read to me. Makes sense.

Stephen,

How would you propose that be done? What would be acceptable in your view regarding acknowledgement of God from government?
jbouder
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28 posted 09-09-2003 03:44 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Denise:

I think you read it right.

Jim
Opeth
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29 posted 09-10-2003 08:27 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"Neither is the value of religious precepts dependent upon everyone having followed them perfectly."

~ Agreed. However, there are many christians who were god fearing and bible believing people, who got down on their hands and knees and prayed for guidance, that purchased and sold human beings.

But your response doesn't apply directly to the statement that moral values are not dependent on any type of religion. My point about the selling of people was an example of proof to support the claim made.

Stephanos
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30 posted 09-10-2003 09:33 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Opeth,

Is this logically sound?

A) A certain group of people were influenced by religious ideas

B) That same group of people practiced something that we consider to be immoral

C) Therefore the morality of this people was not helped by their religious influence.


For your conclusion to be true, you would have to show that if they hadn't had their religious teaching that they wouldn't be slave traders ... or you would have to show that they would have been more ethically minded without their religious influences.  You've done neither of these.  


Stephen.


[This message has been edited by Stephanos (09-10-2003 09:40 AM).]

Opeth
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31 posted 09-10-2003 10:36 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Is this logically sound?

A) A certain group of people were influenced by religious ideas
B) That same group of people practiced something that we consider to be immoral
C) Therefore the morality of this people was not helped by their religious influence.

For your conclusion to be true, you would have to show that if they hadn't had their religious teaching that they wouldn't be slave traders ... or you would have to show that they would have been more ethically minded without their religious influences.  You've done neither of these.  


No, this is logical.  Those slave-trading people were influenced by the bible and the belief that their religion gave them the right to do so. That influence led them to believe that they were morally superior - God’s chosen people – to so-called “pagan” or “heathen” “savage” races…and that the African populace were suitable for trade because they were indeed savages who were immoral and not the chosen and superior race of God.  

Now, what if those same biblically influenced people were not influenced by the bible or influenced by the belief that the Christian religion they abided by WAS the only true religion?  

We will never know for certain if they would have still participated in the purchasing and selling of human beings, but we do know that without the influence of the bible, without their superior attitude over other races resulting from their religious practices - one source which fed their feelings of moral & racial superiority over the African race, would have been eliminated, which would then reduce the possibility of their slave trade involvement.

Yet still, I submit, moral values are not dependent on one being a religious person.

[This message has been edited by Opeth (09-10-2003 02:04 PM).]

Stephanos
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32 posted 09-10-2003 04:01 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"we do know that without the influence of the bible, without their superior attitude over other races resulting from their religious practices - one source which fed their feelings of moral & racial superiority over the African race, would have been eliminated, which would then reduce the possibility of their slave trade involvement."


We do?  This is where the burden of proof would be upon you to show that the positive approval of slavery was derived from the Bible.  It can strongly be argued from history that slavery was a commonly held practice of former time periods up to that time (also in other cultures).

And though it's true that in the New Testament, a revolutionary abolition of slavery (mostly speaking of domestic slavery) is not called for, it can't be said that it was positively encouraged and taught as good.


Here are some interesting points ...


- The recieving of the Ten Commandments and the Law, immediately proceeded the Hebrews coming out of a situation of cruel national slavery under the hands of the Egyptians.  The Israelites did not have a rosey picture of slavery in general.  And they were not taught to mimick this type of national oppression under the law.


- There were Old Testament regulations of domestic slavery given, to ensure that household slaves were not treated with undue cruelty (see Exodus 21; Deuteronomy 15).  Only domestic slavery is spoken of (a common practice of ALL nations of that time Pagan or not), and ethical considerations were at least applied.


-  Gaza and Tyre were warned by the prophet Amos for their practices of slave trading entire populations. (see Amos 1:6-9).


-  The book of Revelation describes the buying and selling of slaves in an extremely negative light. (see Revelation 18:13)


-  Paul's main teaching concerning the domestic slavery of the time was for Christian slaves to be an example and witness to their masters of patient obedience. (see Ephesians 6:5, Colossians 3:22, and Titus 2:9).  


-  Paul also taught Christian slaves to seek freedom if possible (1 Corinthians 7:21).


-  Paul also urged Philemon, a Christian who had a domestic slave named Onesimus (who was also a Christian and had run away), to recieve Onesimus back "as a brother" ... showing both his tact and patience at dealing with imperfect social institutions and views concerning them in the churches.


-  Paul taught that in light of the Gospel of Jesus, such distinctions as Master and slave were fading away (see Colossians 3:11).  And such a new thought was to have an effect on all relationships, changing things radically.


-  Abraham Lincoln who was a major player in the abolition of Slavery in the U.S. was apparantly a devoted Christian, especially in his later years.  And he also felt that slavery was wrong based upon Judeo-Christian Principles:

"This is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." - Abraham Lincoln.


"although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery is a very good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it, by being a slave himself." - Abraham Lincoln.


"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you"  - The Bible



As someone has said, "Since slave practices were part of the culture in biblical times, the Bible contains no direct call to abolish slavery.  But the implications of the gospel, especially the ethic of love, stand in opposition to slavery."


I think there is a great deal of misrepresentation and misunderstanding in your statements about the Bible being the source for feelings of superiority.  If the Bible is followed as the teaching goes, the opposite should be true.  Surely anyone can use any text wrongfully to support evil ways.  And they have.  But even so, you have given no support to show that it was the Judeo-Christian influence that helped to promote slavery.  But even if some did, it does not logically follow that relgious influence does not improve morality over all.  If humanity can twist good teaching, to do wrong.  Imagine what they can do, and actually do, when moral teaching is lacking.


P.S.)  I think we've sabotaged this thread.  There could be another thread if we want to discuss the dynamics of slavery and religious influence.


Stephen.  

      

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (09-10-2003 04:04 PM).]

Denise
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33 posted 09-10-2003 10:00 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Stephen,

I, like you, do not see separation of church and state as meaning separation of God and state. But how does one facilitate that acknowledgement of God by the state without espousing a particular view. If Deism, Christianity, Judaism, etc., are all unacceptable to somebody, how is such acknowledgement possible? Where can an acceptable common ground be found?

Stephanos
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34 posted 09-11-2003 08:51 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Denise,

I'll be back to respond.  

Stephen.
Denise
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35 posted 09-11-2003 09:50 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Great, Stephen!

In the meantime, here is an interesting article that I just came across this morning.
http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34533

Stephanos
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36 posted 09-23-2003 09:48 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Denise: " If Deism, Christianity, Judaism, etc., are all unacceptable to somebody, how is such acknowledgement possible? Where can an acceptable common ground be found?"


Denise, I am no political theorist.  So there is a lot that I don't know.  There are pitfalls to making the state the arbiter of religion, and a Theocracy in this world has never worked except by Tyranny.  So of course the Kingdom of God won't come through the political system.  However, the very fact that the original expressions of our Government was so rife with references to universals derived from the Judeo-Christian world view (even if many of those individuals were not Christians) tells me that what many mean as separation of church and state was not what was intended.  Not only was it rife with these universals, but many of our rights and freedoms have flowed directly from those "religious" assertions.  If you don't think it's important consider the "rights" people have had under atheistic, humanistic ideologies such as Marxism.  Consider the French Revolution and the results of the Russian Revolution.  These are the products of humanist ideologies and the rejection of religious ideas.  

If all religious expression is exempted from public life, other than in the closed doors of a church building, then this also is the State making an ideological imposition.  It is saying in effect that humanist thought is the only mindset fit for public decisions, while religious ideas are fit only to be hidden.  What I think the danger of this is, is that without absolutes, tyranny can result even within the framework of a democracy.  Arbitrary law will do ultimately whatever the elite deems best for society, if not checked.  Freedoms that were based upon Biblical principles we have taken for granted, but if the base is totally rejected then manipulative tyranny can come in much easier.


I think the article you mentioned made a lot of good points.  And while I would never want the state to be in control of religious matters totally, for that is what the colonists had a problem with in the begginning, I fear the other extreme of rejecting the very tenets upon which our rights are built.  


More later...


Stephen.          

Denise
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37 posted 09-26-2003 04:03 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I agree, Stephen, that the framers never meant an interpretation of the Constitution and First Amendment as it is being interpreted today as meaning the separation of God and/or religious values from the State(Wesley Clark's interpretation), but was merely a safeguard put in place to prevent a national church as other countries had that could and did lead to oppression.

I think the only valid method of interpretation is a literal reading in conjunction with other sources that clearly depict the framers intent when intent is not readily clear. No other method of interpretation is true to basic rules of interpretation.

If the judiciary wants to use another method of interpretation to pursue its own agenda, then they should at least stop pretending that they are doing so to uphold the Constitution.
Ron
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38 posted 09-26-2003 07:30 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

So no one would have a problem with their children being asked to participate in Buddhist prayers before class every morning?

Brad
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39 posted 09-26-2003 08:34 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Was it orginally intended that women should have the right to vote?

Just thought I'd add that I'm not being flippant here. There were debates about slavery, but I don't recall any discussion on the rights of women. Perhaps there were and I missed it. Furthermore, I think it safe to say that even if such a discussion did exist, their conclusion was mistaken.

What does that have to do with this debate? Well, my point is that it matters less that we get the original intention of the framers right and more that we do the right thing.

As far as separation of Church and State goes, Britain has an official religion. It doesn't seem to bother them all that much.

[This message has been edited by Brad (09-26-2003 10:01 PM).]

Denise
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40 posted 09-27-2003 05:19 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Ron,

As long as the 'asking' isn't interpreted as 'commanded' to participate. If the schools and parents agreed to it, I wouldn't see a problem with a representative prayer from each of the religions representated at a particular public school being uttered (that would be a good way to teach about world religions and cultures, too), or a moment of silence allowing children to silently speak with God each in their own way, or just to daydream! I think this harmonizes perfectly with the intent of the First Amendment. A particular religion is not being established, and no one is being denied free exercise rights.

As much as I read it, free exercise and expression doesn't seem to be limited to private venues.


Brad,

I think it's just as important that we get it right (not more or less), and that's done the correct way through the Amendments that have to be ratified by the states. What's wrong is this legislating from the bench that's been going on by justices handing down rulings based on their own biased secular philosophies (equally subject to error as is any religious philosophy) and also the basing of rulings upon precedent (which could be faulty)instead of strictly from the Constitution.

As for the State Church in Britain, it seems a lot of the folks who came to America had a big problem with it.
hush
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41 posted 09-27-2003 06:25 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Brad made a really good point.

I don't have much time, but I'll say that I'm for the removal of references to God in our Pledge and on our money... as it is, every time I make a transaction, it is implied that I trust in God.

But what if I don't?

The idea of my money speaking for me is truly offensive... and it may be true that the founding fathers were religious, but the whole point of religious freedom is the option to not be religious, or not to believe in God. That option is compromised when God is spoken of on our money, in our pledge, and in the halls of our government buildings.
Local Rebel
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42 posted 09-27-2003 09:01 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

What's wrong is this legislating from the bench that's been going on by justices handing down rulings based on their own biased secular philosophies (equally subject to error as is any religious philosophy) and also the basing of rulings upon precedent (which could be faulty)instead of strictly from the Constitution.


you mean decisions like usurping the authority of the Florida election and installing a president?
Denise
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43 posted 09-28-2003 09:28 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Hush,

You weren't specific, what was that point?

I think it is a real stretch, not to mention totally unrealistic, to think that using our currency implies to anyone that one has a trust in God. How is your option to not believe in God compromised? Clearly it's not, if you still profess not to believe in God while in the very act of using currency that states you believe otherwise. Your option is still intact. Unless, of course, there are mystical powers inherent in the currency that can change a non-believer into a believer by its mere use, robbing one of their option.

But one way that people could avoid being offended, if they truly are, when making financial transactions, would be to make them using their bank check card, then they wouldn't have to come into contact with such an offensive, compromising thing as U.S. currency.

L.R.,

Surely you jest. This was one of the few times that the U.S. Supreme Court actually did their job in recent history correctly, Constitutionally, by interpreting existing law, instead of legislating, by overturning the Florida Supreme Court for legislating the law, at the instigation of Al Gore.  


quote:
The U.S. Supreme Court voted 7-2 that a series of defects in this selective manual recount fiasco resulted in "arbitrary and disparate treatment" of voters and "unequal evaluation of ballots." Ballot evaluation standards differed "from county to county" as well as "within a single county from one recount team to another" and from one time to another. The court noted, for example, that the Palm Beach County election board used at least four different standards during the recount process. These problems resulted directly from Mr. Gore's scheme. His lawyers pressured the Palm Beach board, even threatening litigation, to change standards and eventually adopt one allowing maximum vote-creation.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=18612

Local Rebel
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44 posted 09-28-2003 11:23 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

why yes I am joking Denise....

I am indeed...



because -- it seems -- every time the courts make a decision the ideologues from one side of the aisle or the other run around decrying the travesty of it all -- and how our system is bound to hell in a handbasket...

The courts you complain about so much are stacked heavily with Republican appointees from 12 years of Reagan/Bush and only a smattering from the Clinton era
hush
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45 posted 09-29-2003 08:24 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

No Denise, of course money doesn't make someone believe in God... nor does reference to him in the pledge, nor does the hanging of the ten commandments in public places. But it sets a status quo- and I don't really think our government should set status quos on the subject of God.

The implication when religious references are made in that way is that our nation believes in God. When that implication is made, it automatically puts those who don't on the outside of that status quo.

I understand that a vast majority (80-some percent, isn't it?) of Americans identify themselves as Christian. That's great, and I am ultimately supportive of that. They have every right to express their faith... just not on the money that everyone, be they Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, Wiccan, Atheist, Agnostic, etc., uses. Not in the pledge that gradeschool children nationwide are expected to recite, and not in buildings where we interpret our laws.
Brad
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46 posted 09-29-2003 07:15 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I don't know, Hush. I've certainly made the same argument you've made here, but I'm not so sure anymore. Let's call a spade a spade and simply make Christianity an official religion, all this talk can go away, and those of us who believe differently will realize that we are, indeed, on the outside.

Some of us more than others.
Denise
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47 posted 09-29-2003 10:16 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

L.R.,

It doesn't matter if they were appointed by Republicans or Democrats. What matters is that they fulfill their oath to uphold the Constitution and what it says, not what they wished it said.

Hush,

Identifying oneself as a Christian does not necessarily make one a Christian, but that's another topic altogether. The topic here is the expression of a belief in the existence of God. That encompasses many religious beliefs.

In addition to the Pledge, the Ten Commandments and our currency, we can also add our National Anthem, our Flag, and the Declaration of Independence that the minority seem to have a problem with.

There usually is a status quo in society based on the view of the many. That's the natural outcome of a majority view.

The majority in our nation do believe in the existence of God. If it is their will to express that belief in God, and it does not violate the Constitution, which it does not, no matter how tortured the interpretation, on what basis does the minority justify the imposition of their will on the overwhelming majority? If one holds the minority view, then they hold the minority view. How could that not put them outside the status quo? Nobody is putting them their, their own views put them there. They can't have it both ways.

My question still remains, how is one's option not to believe compromised? I could see someone saying that they are uncomfortable being in the minority, but not compromised. In my place of employment the overwhelming majority are secular humanists. Am I uncomfortable listening to their unsolicited views? Of course I am, especially since most of them are my superiors and I'm not free to express my views in return and still be guaranteed continued employment. Do I have to exercise tolerance? You bet. Are my beliefs compromised? Not in the least.

Brad,

Well now that would be a violation of the Constitution, wouldn't it. Not to mention the fact that you'd be leaving out an awful lot of people in establishing Christianity as the official religion. Belief in the existence of God is not peculiar to Christianity.
Brad
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48 posted 09-29-2003 11:06 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Actually, I was thinking of amending the constitution.

But I'm curious, what do secular humanists do that make you feel uncomfortable?

Do they tell religious jokes around the water dispenser?

Do they actively tell you not to believe?

Are they for the Bright movement?

The reason I ask is simply that most secular humanists I know do not, in fact, run around telling other people what to do or think or feel (at least in such matters as this). I was in a similar conversation the other night and was asked what bothers me about religious people (I didn't know I had a problem, but, as I've done here sometimes, it certainly may seem so.). At any rate, what I came up with was simply that they break the language game and seem proud to do it.

Example: Same guy and I were talking politics and a third man was there. I, lightheartedly, tried to bring him into the conversation (It wasn't serious, honest). I asked him what his political stance was.

"Hey, Dan, what's your political stance?"

"I'm a Catholic."

"Uh huh, what does that mean?"

"It means I'm a Catholic."

"Yeah, but there are conservative, liberal, and socialist Catholics running around."

"No, they're either Catholic or they're not."

The conversation ended there. And I was left befuddled.

So, do your secular humanists do things like that, break the language game?
Denise
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49 posted 09-30-2003 01:30 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Brad,

You're cute. No need for another amendment.

Hey, I like a joke as well as the next person!

I guess most of the discomfort comes from not being able to speak my view and join in the conversation and be treated in a respectful manner.

Once I had a guy (who could fire me) run across the room stopping just a couple inches from my face, spittin' and splutterin' when I expressed (politely) my fondness of a particular politician (I think I said something like, "Oh geeze, I like him") in response to his and another co-worker's vile and disparaging (I can't even mention what was said) estimation of this same politician, shouting, "What? You can't possibly be serious. How could you possibly feel that way? No one in their right mind could feel that way." So now I just keep my opinions to myself no matter what anyone says about any matter (and they are quite vocal all the time) that I know will produce such blatant disrespect.

I've also experienced the "rolling eyes", snickers,and the "trying to keep a straight face" face, once when I was overheard  asking someone to keep me in their prayers about a problem I was having, and a couple of times when I said that I was a Christian when I was asked what religion I was.

Just disrespect, I guess.
 
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