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Religion = siren

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by rejs7, May 31, 2007.

  1. rejs7

    rejs7 New Member

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    If you are aware of the legend of the sirens, then you will get my drift. Religion is the siren of the desperate, lonely, and great unwashed to sooth their fettered brows with, and also the greatest control mechanism that has ever been invented.

    Carl Marx had it spot on when he said religion is the opium of the masses, because they use 'faith' and fuzzy feeling in some alphebet soup theology as a panacea for all their woes. No amount of bible bashing, tub thumping, or fatwa issuing is going to get around the fact that the day man invented religion was the day the rest of humanity could be inslaved - just as L Ron Hubbard for his views on the best money spinner around.

    The only way to escape the molasses that is religion is to think and educate yourself - the one think that all leaders fear is the educated few leading the uneducated masses. All great movements in history have been led by inspired men & women moving against the 'divine' order. The siren call of the church and mosque must be over come, otherwise we risk dashing ourselves on the rocks of fate and futility.
     
  2. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    Are you including the American War for Independence in this category?
     
  3. rejs7

    rejs7 New Member

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    Darn right - if you call the founding fathers Christians you are doing them a major dis-service. Read the 1st amendment if you don't believe me. They were sick and tired of the church rhetoric of the day getting in the way of good governance - as is happening in this day and age. Oh for George Washington today..
     
  4. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    I wouldn't say they are all Christian but they certainly are all men of faith and God. To say otherwise is simply incorrect. Consider this:

    -- 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.

    -- Before D-Day, FDR led the country in prayer for our troops.

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

    -- Reagan, another great president, once said that when American fails to become "one nation under God, it will be one nation gone under".

    They really seemed "sick and tired of church rhetoric". My point is not only to show you that America is not an atheist country as you contend, but that there hasn't been any new emergence in religion and politics as you allude to.
     
  5. rejs7

    rejs7 New Member

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    No matter the personal faith of the president, or the founding fathers, America has always tried to set itself above the petty ideas of religion. Chrisianity may have been the lingua franca of the majority, but ultimately everyone has the right to the freedom of worship without state interferance, and the right to hold office if you do not believe in a deity.

    The consitution forbids religious, or no religious, descrimination, but without some profession of faith, no matter how benile or false, you can not progress in the states. Religion is a siren as it is leading the country astray, and unless the great ship of state is steered away from the rocks it was run aground on the rocks of extremism.

    BTW Reagan paid lip service to the church - Nancy was big into mystics and fortune tellers.
     
  6. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    Where do you get this idea from?

    That's the purpose of the 1st Amendment, to prevent religious discrimination. Not to create a barrier between church and state.

    You use all rhetoric but have no historical evidence to prove it. Apparently Britain's US History teachers aren't very good.

    Religion is what has kept this country together during it's most trying moments: The Revolution, the Civil War, and WW2. My God, how we could use a healthy dose of religious unity today.
     
  7. rejs7

    rejs7 New Member

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    Religion is also why the civil war happened. If the Southern states had abandoned their ideas of the moral (religious) superiority over their slaves then they could have avoided their fate.

    There is no such thing as a 'healthy religious unity' - there is only them and us in the religious world - either you believe or you are damned (if you disagree with this then read the bible or the Quaran).

    For all its godly pretentions America is like a lumbering bear geopolically - it only does things out of self interest and preservation - and the few occasions that it has appeared to act altruistically have been nothing of the sort. Their role in WW2 was one motivated by selfish ends - to protect their interests in the Pacific and avenge Perl harbour - the war on Germany on happened because Hilter was ignoble enough to fulfil his alliance with Japan and declared war on America.

    If you want more examples of how America has misappropriated its wealth and prestige look no futher than Vietnam and Iraq. America always blunders in its foreign policy, and tries to seek the easy way out. It works to the advantage of big business as it drives profits through war industries, and keeps the population in check as no citizen likes to critise during warime as this is 'unpatriotic'.

    If the capitalism of that emerged post civil war is the sign of a 'christian' nation then you really need to check what christianity is all about.

    BTW I am a historian by degree, and an ex chrisitian.
     
  8. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    To say that religion is why the Civil War happened is not only a gross oversimplification of the Civil War's roots, but is factually incorrect.

    The Civil War was ultimately caused by the injection of slavery into the political arena (WLG's Liberator, Nat Turner Rebellion, Gag Rule ending in 1846), the people's distrust of government to do the right thing (KS-NB Act, Lecompton), and the South's growing feeling that seceding would benefit them politically (for instance, Lincoln wasn't even on the ballot in many Southern states and he still won) and economically (Panic of 1857, "Cotton is King").

    With the exception of your Civil War comment, you had made some valid points until this gem:

    Just think about what you said: "no one likes to critizen during wartime" -- Vietnam and Iraq. War protests are the ideal social gatherings for these people.

    Not sure what you're trying to say.
     
  9. rejs7

    rejs7 New Member

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    Sorry, typo on my part - I meant to say that if the capitalism of the type that emerged post civil war is the sign of a 'christian' nation then you really need to check what christianity is all about.

    As one famour founding father said "it is the duty of every citizen to question the government" - war or no war the government still needs to be held accountable for its actions.

    As far as the civil war is concerned slavery happened because the white slave owners saw their black slaves as property, and sub human (based on religious bias) - if the slaves had been white surfs, then the religious arguments would have had less leg room.

    The South clung on to its ideals because of a sense of idealism and injustice - they felt ignored and islolated by the North, and this was fueled by the chrisitians. Of course the civil war is far more complex that any mere religious balony, but it still played a part.
     
  10. Sgt Schultz

    Sgt Schultz New Member

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    When the government favours one religion or its beliefs over any others it is discriminating. The government should not be anyone's spiritual leader and spiritual leaders should not be leading our government.
     
  11. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Then don't vote for them.
     
  12. Sgt Schultz

    Sgt Schultz New Member

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    Believe me I don't and I won't.
     
  13. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Keep on stretching like this and you're going to strain something. The Civil War was caused by religion? No. Slavery was an extension of racial inequality and those ideas are a lot older than Christ. Perhaps Christianity was used as an excuse, but it was not the root cause. An interpretation was the root cause, and that interpretation was born of the natural predication of human beings to fear that which they do not fully understand - like, for instance, Europeans (and later Americans) failing to understand African culture and simply labeling them savages.

    This reveals one of the intrinsic ironies in all attacks on religion, Christianity in particular. To the participant, a religion is "the word" - absolute truth. To the outside observer, the shortcomings of the religion become apparent - making acceptance of it as absolute truth difficult, if not impossible, to swallow. However, very often, those outside observers continue to hold the religion to absolute standards - when the revelation of an intrinsic weakness should also reveal the inherently interpretive nature of the religion. In essence, if a religion purports to be "absolute truth" and yet cannot logically obtain such a level of being, each adherent must interpret the religion in a way so as to believe that what they are following is "absolute truth."

    What I'm trying to say is...what came first, the racism or the Christianity? Did Christianity encourage Southern slave owners to treat black men and women as animals which in turn led to the development of racism, or did pre-existing racism based on an inherent fear of the unknown cause Southerners to adhere to the slave system - using Christianity as a justification?

    I personally believe the latter, especially since Christianity has seemingly encouraged positive things in the past as well - including the beginnings of public education in Massachusetts and the prevalence of the Underground Railroad before the Civil War (a lot of them were Quakers, don't forget). In fact, take a good look at the three "peace churches" - the Church of the Brethren, the Mennonites, and the Quakers. While the evils committed in Christianity's name are undeniable, the altruistic acts of these groups are undeniable as well.

    Yes, they clung to their ideals - political ideals and a sense of socio-economic injustice. Most of them were Christians and many used Christianity as an excuse - but interpretation of a religious text is not difficult and can be used to justify nearly anything. I choose to recognize the inherent weakness in any religion as a potential for interpretation - rather than an absolute source of misery.
     
  14. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    The accepted "divine order" of the day was that God ordained the King and the Church co-ruled with the Monarch. The concept of democracy as taught to the Founding Fathers by the leaders of the Iriquois Federation was a direct challenge to "divine order".
     
  15. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Let me get this straight. You're saying that the ideals of American democracy came from the Iroquois? Huh. While there may have been an initial spark of inspiration from the Iroquois tribes, and while they had a lot of great ideas, I believe you'll find that the Framers created a new system based on what they knew of the Enlightenment and the systems of early Rome and Athens.

    You want some evidence that they had Greece on the brain? Just take a good look at the design of most of our government buildings and compare them to classical Greek architecture. While buildings are government documents are a long ways off from each other, I doubt it's coincidence that our Founding Fathers chose to build Washington, DC, the symbol of our new democratic nation, in the likeness of classical Greece.

    And any rejection of the monarchy was a challenge to the established "divine order," which was, at the time, the status quo. We don't call it a "revolution" for nothing.
     
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