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America's Christian conservatives are not much different than Islamist fundamentalism

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by Abide, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. Abide

    Abide New Member

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    You're inputs?
    Source
     
  2. saggyjones

    saggyjones New Member

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    I agree there are similarities, but these can be seen in almost all religions. Of course people are going to attempt to preach their beliefs, and even though I think the Bible is a bunch of bull**** I still respect it and the people who follow it, and their right to say whatever they want. So yes there are similarities, especially when Christians try to incorporate their beliefs into the law, but there are more differences and IMO Christians are less radical and in general less hateful toward others than most, especially the radical Islamic groups.
     
  3. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    Religion had been an inherent part of this country and its politics until about the Vietnam. Our Founding Fathers were deeply religious men. Benjamin Franklin, arguably the greatest American of all time, proposed that Congress open each session with a prayer.

    The Jeffersonain Memorial has his famous quote etched in: "“I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

    God and Christianity are on our currency, in many of our founding documents, in the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, etc.

    The Ten Commandments and Moses are prominently displayed in the United States Supreme Court.

    Without question, the concept of the creator was central to how the Founding Fathers understood America.

    During WW2, FDR would often lead the country in prayer the night before a large scale military operation.

    MLK was a main of faith who would regularly cite the Bible in his speeches ("free at last"; "Promised Land").

    The point I am making is that America is largely a Christian nation and we haven't created terrorists and religious wars the same way Islamic nations, thus you comparison between American Christians and Islam is faulty and I'm ignoring the obvious differences such as women are allowed to show their face.
     
  4. curefiend

    curefiend New Member

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    Our founding fathers did not base this country off of Christianity, that being said. Your massive generalization of Islamic nations creating terrorists, women not being allowed to show their face, and religious wars would be somewhat offensive if I were a Muslim. Most middle east countries are relatively secular and just about all of them *gasp* allow women to show their face. What religious war has Indonesia or Malaysia started, both very muslim countries.
    The conflicts in the middle east are more closely tied to the region and natural resources than any sort of religion.
    And your statement that American christians haven't acted in the same manner is false. The past imperialist ambitions of this country were defended using Christianty, *ahem* Manifest Destiny.
     
  5. InterestedParty

    InterestedParty New Member

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    curefiend,

    While it is not a commandment as we would know it, it is desirable for a Muslim woman to wear a veil. It is an indirect directive for covering the face, which is not actually covering the face but to talk to men from behind a curtain. Allah directed Muslim women to distinguish their appearance from slave girls, by wearing a large cloak over themselves and to make a kind of veil of it, which would protrude to some extent from above their heads. It is actually a directive explicitly for the wives of the Prophet (pbuh), which is usually extended to apply on other Muslim women.

    As for the "generalization of Islamic nations creating terrorists". Noone can deny that the terrorists that are striking around the world, more often than not, are Muslim. If it offends Muslims to say that, then perhaps they should do something about it. Christians are not strapping bombs on and wiping out crowds of people, Muslims are. The reason you see it more in the MiddleEast and not in other heavilly populated Muslim areas of the world is because in the MiddleEast it is indoctrinated into the radical religious sects of Islam early on in their lives. It is also where the funding for such activities is strongest.

    Your saying that American Christians *have* acted in the same way is completely false and if I was a Christian in good standing I would be offended. Not that it matters, I only say that to make a point. Why would you be offended for what USMC has said, but not mention being offended by what the extreme Islamist activists who have performed acts of terror have done? Why is that?

    So, while you are disputing USMC, I am disputing you on almost everything you have said. Including what our founding fathers intended for this country. They most certainly did pattern our government after religious freedom and most closely to Christian faith.
     
  6. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    Now you are just being politically correct to the point of blindness. I hope you're offended.

    We should listen to sensible Muslims like Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, general manager of the al-Arabiya news channel, who wrote in the Arab News a few years ago what our own officials struggle to say:

    "It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims. ... We cannot clear our names unless we own up to the shameful fact that terrorism has become an Islamic enterprise; an almost exclusive monopoly, implemented by Muslim men.''

    But to ensure we Americans never offend anyone -- particularly fanatics intent on killing us – we have a policy that prevents us from highlighting the enemy in order to better hunt them down.

    (1) Manifest Destiny was more driven by the desire to spread a superior form of American Constitutitonal democracy to the world more than Christianity, though certain proponents of it did see it as a religious imperative (Josiah Strong comes to mind).

    (2) Manifest Destiny's express purpose was to make the world freer, more democratic, and more prosperous. Islam's explicity intention is world domination where all Jews and Christians are killed and the state of Israel is wiped off the face of the earth (their words, not mine).

    (3) What religion is responsible for more deaths since 1992? Of course I can't deny the violence inherent in all religions including Christianity, but right now -- Islam is much more of a concern to me.

    Lastly, it's difficult for me to see a religion who commands its followers to "not kill" as opposed to one who commands its followers to "kill all infidels" as equally oppressive.

    Islam has made my life more difficult and more dangerous than all other religions combined. I don't hate all Muslims, in fact, I've formed some deep, lasting relationship with devout Muslims in Iraq with whom I keep in touch until this day -- but I still hold more hostility towards Muslims nonetheless.
     
  7. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    The problem is not with Islam or Christianity per se but rather with a fundamentalist way of thinking - whether it is religion, politics, or nationalism. The only reason why Christianity is not behaving as badly as Islam is because most of the predominantly Christian countries are under secular government.

    If you wonder what the Christian radicalization would like like had it governmental power as Islam does in some of these countries - google "Christian Reconstructionists".
     
  8. Fonz

    Fonz New Member

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    whoaah, thats a nice bit of history revision right there. The founding fathers were not religious at all. Some were deists, some were somewhat religious. Others were simply Agnostic.


    what does that have to do with religion?

    They weren't originally. the god thing wasn't added until years later. Not by our founding fathers.

    uhhh...i cry bull**** on this one.

    Wrong. The original Declaration didn't even have the word creator in it. It was added later. the Declaration also has reference to "Natures God".

    Furthermore, the Constitution doesn't reference God or Creator at all.

    And if you really wanna look into it, you'll find ZERO references to religion or a Christian God, and many references to Pagan Gods and symbols.

    Again I cry bull**** on this one. Prove it.

    MLK was definitely a Christian, but do you know where he got his doctrine of non-violence from? Not Christianity, but from Ghandi. You know where Ghandi got it from? Jainism.

    America being a Christian nation in modern times is very unique. It really wasn't till the 50's and 60's and the Red scare that the Christians really started to make their emergence.
     
  9. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    And if you take a good look at the tenets of deism you'll notice that they bear a striking resemblance to, amongst other things, the First Amendment.



    Swearing "upon the altar of God" isn't religious?

    Please provide evidence of this.

    They are, as a matter of fact.
    http://www.floridabruce.com/scripture_in_washington_dc.htm
    Forget what they're writing and just look at the pictures.

    Once more I challenge you to prove this before we consider it further.

    The Constitution is an organizational document that is meant to be read in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, which details where the individual rights of the Bill of Rights came from.

    I failed to find any references to paganism in the Constitution. It is, like I said, an organizational document and as such it sticks more to the "what" than the "why."

    I can find a few examples of FDR mentioning God in is fireside chats, but as for the actual prayers, I cannot locate them. Perhaps you know of a site, USMC?

    We're not saying he based the whole thing off of Christianity, just that there were elements of it there.

    This really has to be a joke. You know we didn't have our first non-Protestant President until 1961? Or that one of the most central figures of American politics from the late nineteenth/early twentieth century was William Jennings Bryan, the man responsible for the prosecution in the Scopes Monkey Trial?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Great_Awakening
    Read the section on "Political Implications." You have to scroll down a little ways to find it.

    http://education.yahoo.com/reference/encyclopedia/entry/GettysbuAd
    That's the Gettysburg Address. You'll find that Mr. Lincoln also mentions God.

    I'm sorry, Fonz, but the religious roots of this country are undeniable.
     
  10. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    They most certainly were religious. http://www.adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html

    It recognizes the existence of God.

    The Declaration doesn't say that the Creator grants citizens their certain inalienable rights?

    Technically, you're right, but in spirit you are wrong. The Presidential Oath: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" in my estimation, is swearing an oath to God.

    But more importantly, its line "We the people..." echoes the same tenet affirmed in the Declaration's "the Creator" line. It's the notion that the Creator gives people their inalienable rights, and the people, as the sovereign, loans the power to the government through Lockean philosophy. This is unique and originial from the European style where the governments owned the rights and loaned them to the people. That's why the Constitution doesn't state "WE the government..." or "we the lawyers/judges.." It's "we the people".

    What are you talking about. This is a well known fact, I've seen videos of it. Anyone who knows anything about FDR and WW2.

    "My Fellow Americans:

    Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

    And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

    Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

    Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

    They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

    They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

    For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

    Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

    And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

    Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

    Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

    And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

    And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

    With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

    Thy will be done, Almighty God.

    Amen."

    Franklin D. Roosevelt (the atheist) - June 6, 1944
     
  11. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    every fundamentalist of any religion is a dangerous, bizzare individual who should be ignored.

    the average believer tends to be a reasonable person who is nice, kind etc. but just with a belief in an upper being i don't follow.
     
  12. Fonz

    Fonz New Member

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    Recognizing the existence of a creator is not the same as recognizing the existence of a God or of a Religion.



    No it sais, that "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"

    The word THEIR is contrary to the idea of singling out any one religion. And, taken in context with the times, the word "Creator" describes a Deistic term in the 1700s.
    Nowhere else in the Declaration (or any other founding document) do we find mention of gods or creators.


    ohh..kay...

    You are stretching quite a bit to draw a link here once again.

    You said he would "often lead the country in prayer the night before a large scale military operation."

    So he did it once?
     
  13. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    Exactly - but it isn't even religious. Fundamentalism is a way of thinking that can be religious, political, cultural and it is basically the same.

    There's an excellent article here: http://www.uuworld.org/2004/01/feature2.html

    An excerpt:

    The Fundamentalist Agenda

    is absolutely natural, ancient, and powerful—but the liberal impulse makes us humane.
    By Davidson Loehr

    The most famous definition of fundamentalism is H. L. Mencken's: a terrible, pervasive fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun. There's something to this. Fundamentalism is too fearful, too restrictive, too lacking in faith to provide a home for the human spirit to soar or for human societies to blossom.

    But there are far more fundamental things to understand about fundamentalism, especially in this age of terrorism. An adequate understanding also includes some inescapable and uncomfortable critiques of America's cultural liberalism of the last four decades. The attacks on September 11, 2001, provided us a rare revelation about fundamentalism that arrived in two installments.

    First, we became vividly aware of the things some Muslim fundamentalists hate about our culture:

    * They hate liberated women and all that symbolizes them. They hate it when women compete with men in the workplace, when they decide when or whether they will bear children, when they show the independence of getting abortions. They hate changes in laws that previously gave men more power over women.
    * They hate the wide range of sexual orientations and lifestyles that have always characterized human societies. They hate homosexuality.
    * They hate individual freedoms that allow people to stray from the rigid sort of truth they want to constrain all people. They hate individual rights that let others slough off their simple certainties.

    Not much was really new in this installment of the revelation. We had seen all this before, when Khomeini's Muslim fundamentalists wreaked such havoc in Iran starting in 1979. We have long known that Muslim fundamentalism is a mortal enemy of freedom and democracy.

    The surprise second installment came just a few days after 9 / 11 in that remarkably unguarded interview on The 700 Club when the Rev. Jerry Falwell told Pat Robertson, “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way—all of them who have tried to secularize America—I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'” These men are so media-savvy it's amazing they would say such things on the air. But it's also remarkable because in their list of “causes” of the 9 / 11 attacks, we heard almost exactly the same hate list:

    * They hate liberated women who don't follow orders, who get abortions when they want them, who threaten or laugh at some men's arrogant pretensions to rule them.
    * They hate the wide range of sexual orientations that have always characterized human societies. They would force the country to conform to a fantasy image of two married heterosexual parents where the husband works and the wife stays home with the children—even when that describes fewer than 25 percent of current American families.
    * They hate individual freedoms that let people stray from the one simple set of truths they want imposed on all in our country. Robertson has been on record for a long time saying that democracy isn't a fit form of government unless it is run by his kind of fundamentalist Christians.

    Together, the two installments make vivid the fact that “our” Christian fundamentalists have the same hate list as “their” Muslim fundamentalists.
     
  14. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    Now, you're just playing semantics. The Creator is the same as God. At any rate, it doesn't even matter, the purpose it serves is the same.

    So?

    Absolutely wrong. That's why the Framers put the phrase "Creator" in. To ensure that a secular government was not the highest power from whom the citizens were given their rights.
     
  15. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    I agree with Fonz here - it's not semantics. There is considerable difference between the wording (and these were sharp, educated, legal minds here) of:

    "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"
    and "They are endowed by God with certain unalienable Rights"

    "Their creator" - is wide open, "God" is very very specific.

    in addition there is a difference between "endowed by" and "granted"

    endowed: To equip or supply with a talent or quality
    granted: to accord as a favor, prerogative, or privilege:
     
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