May 2008

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

« Vacation Challenged | Main | Do I Owe John McCain $1,000? »

Comments

Jennifer S

That's why I voted for God directly. I don't intend to foment doctrinal arguments, but I believe that God's will includes a government that will rule the earth after it destroys all human governments. His ways are better than human ways, no matter how charming or agreeable the politician. So I vote for Him quite literally.

Dennis Thompson

I am a Christian. I look at Mike Huckabee and his abilities and his past and I say no thank you. I look at what Mit has accdomplished and since fred Thompson dropped out, Mit is the best guy, followed by Rudy.

John McCain is an idiot on the economy. His plan to sign the global treaty would destroy the economy here permanantly.

ryan

what is religion? A set of beliefs that influence how you live you life. Some one said the candidates worship money. Then this is their religion. Thus religious beliefs out to guide our actions. if we do not believe in our religion as we believe we walk through the door then it is not truly our religion but whatever we practice. I think all the candidates lie about their true religions. Hilary pretends to be a woman who can relate to the women who struggle to be represented as they go about tasks which are under appreciated. Obama pretends not to think the pledge is a form of Idol worship. Romney pretends to be a Mormon who seem to partly worship values of the boyscouts. McCain is kind of a mystery to me but seems fairly interesting. In anycase, we all vote for those most similar to our true religion. They try to look like they have everyone's shared belief. they fool the masses and win. End of argument.

Alex

I completely agree that there are two types of belief, the kind you act on, and the kind you use just to make you feel good, however the Bible does mention these two types of belief; The bible warns about the kind that doesn't make you act on it

"You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.(James 2:19, NIV)"

Therefore, since demons are obviously not Christians, it stands to reason that people who believe the same way they do are headed for the same fate. (yes, even demons will burn in Hell)

r_u_kidding

Are you all dumb? Why do we even discuss this topic? We all know the God the politicians pray to is the God of money. Whoever has gthe money will influence the decision of the president. Now don't we all feel better?

Christopher

There exist a range of religious beliefs that (right or wrong) don't, and logically shouldn't, affect one's impact in this physical world. That doesn't mean they aren't "believed" in the same straightforward way in which ideas about the door and my own legs are "believed." It means they serve a different function.

Suppose my religion is simply ("simply?") the conviction that there exists a being in the universe that is greater than ourselves and that "makes for righteousness."

The practical consequence of this belief is simply that IF what I do what is righteous, there is a powerful ally on my side. That's an encouragement if I believe that I am doing so. It is a deterrent from straying from the righteous path. But this belief doesn't change any convictions about how doors work, and perhaps more important it doesn't pre-determine my conclusions about what righteousness IS.

It means, rather, that whatever I conclude that righteousness is, the hypothetical Being is already there before me.

In the task of figuring out what that is, though, we are necessarily thrwn back on our human resources.

FrankG

Steven McDaniel:
I never compared the US to what goes on in an "Extremist Islamic Government". Like a large part of the US population you probably have a sadly lacking knowledge of geography and world politics -- I mean "real", not as presented by Mr. Bush. There is no "extremist islamic governemnt" in any country in the world -- not even in Iran for that matter. Their president may be a big-mouthed fool, that doesn't turn his government into a bunch of extremists. Not even in Saudi Arabia, even if many of their views and laws are very questionable to say the least.
This is what I said:
"The religious right in the US seems dangerously close to exhibiting the same behaviour as the religious Islamic right in certain countries."
Do you understand the difference ?

This is a recurring theme in newscasts in many countries nowadays -- France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, and even in the UK since Mr. Blair isn't the PM anymore.

Re. evolution vs. "intelligent design": people can believe whatever they want and have absolute the right to do so. But they don't have the right to force religiously biased concepts into the school curriculum.
I recently viewed a news excerpt where a right-wing anchor said citizens of a certain US city shouldn't count on God to help them out the next time they're hit by a catastrophe, because the town didn't vote "the right way" on a evolution-related issue. This, for example, is extremely shocking to practically everybody in Europe. Nobody, not even in a Sunday morning religious TV program, would ever dare to say anything like that.
To us, that's going back to the Dark Ages. It is despicable.

In France, they have a tradition which they call "la laïcité à la Française", which roughly means that everybody in public office, national organizations, public tv & radio, and state schools and university must maintaint a strictly neutral stance at all times, refraining from exhibiting any (non-)religiously coloured preference.
That does NOT mean being agnostic or atheistic, not by a long shot: it means keeping one's faith to oneself in order to avoid people who have either a different faith or none at all. Religion and faith must be kept in "the private sphere".
Most European countries have endorse similar legislation in order to avoid religious, racial and sexist tension. The separation between church and state is strict and total (with some noteworthy exceptions such as the Queen of England still being head of the Anglican church).

What the US should realize is that nowadays, most of Europe is getting increasingly annoyed and worried by some traits of American society, which include religious zealousness, extreme poverty for so many people, extreme violence, gun-touting citizen, exacerbated patriotism (which, just like exacerbated religiosity, always leads to exclusion of others), a President who seems to have lost all contact with reality a long time ago, and a population that -- for reasons that we really, really can't fathom -- still approves of him or follows him in great numbers, even after so many lies.
And don't give Europeans ANY lessons in Democracy please -- not after the Bush vs. Gore electoral debacle / circus / electoral hijacking that took place some years ago.

Skyweir

Non-literal Christians scare me more than the literal ones. I mean, if you do not believe the Bible is true, but still believe in the God described in it....you are basing your world view on what exactly?

Also, who tells these guys which part of the Bible is true and which is not? Do they have direct access to their God for interpretation? Or is it all at random? How do they know it's not the other parts of the Bible, about slavery, rape and vengeance, that is the part God found it important to follow?
Picking and choosing your world view from a book you do not think is true is the scariest and least rational way of doing it. At least fundamentalists have a reason for what they believe....

Gabriel Leow

What if GOD is too big to fit into 1 religion?

Davi

As a Christian, I believe that every person has qualities given by God and defects resulting from our sinful nature. God uses these imperfect people to do His work on the world, and that also includes those who don't follow the "right" religion.

I've been less than impressed with many actions and opinions of so-called Christians (both people who truly share my beliefs and people who pretend to do so simply for marketing purposes), and I've seen atheists and people of different faiths with much better records.

One issue I have with many religious politicians is that they are more concerned with imposing their beliefs on society (on issues such as gay marriage--it may even be wrong in God's eyes, but God should be the judge of that, not us) than on improving the quality of life for everyone. I'd rather have an atheist president who wants to end world hunger that a Christian one who wants to make life harder for non-Christians.

Steven McDaniel

"..Steven McDaniel please go back to the stone age where you belong. If you ignore the theory of evolution, you ignore all the good things that have come out of it including just about every modern medical science. I hope you'll refuse your next dose of antibiotics on the basis that it's just a theory that they'll work..." Doogs

OK, Doogs, I'll bite. How on earth does any, let alone 'just about all' modern medical science, and specifically the knowledge and use of antibiotics, owe its existence, or even advances in that field to the philosophy of evolution? It's a bit hysterical to accuse me of being against modern medical science just because I doubt your precious philosophy. And, by the way, don't try to conflate 1) change in a population of micro-organisms over time with 2) the assertion that all life came from a single cell, which in turn came from a chemical soup. I'll need more than name calling to convince me of the scientific validity of your philosophy, buddy.

Rich T.

Stomper:

"it's all good"

I don't want to bend too far in the other direction, however - we hardly have "entirely different" definitions of Christianity. We simply differ on certain key tenets, plus LDS includes some additional cosmology. But there is tons of overlap as well in our beliefs.

Since it apparently takes a protracted conversation to gain this understanding, it's not surprising if Mormons simply say "Christian", without making the full distinction. This is not sneaky, it's expedient.

Thanks for the chat.

I'm not suggesting that this happens every time an LDS uses the term "Christian." In fact, your initial post in this thread candidly uses the term "Mormon Christian." I have no problem with that, as it clearly tells the listener NOT to assume that the listener's basic concept of Christianity will apply here. It might (depending on that concept) or it might not.

But you are not the only LDS out there, and not all are as clear as you are about their understanding of "Christianity." Those are the people who give honest LDS believers a bad name.

I apologize if I appeared to be lumping you in with them. Since I get about being stereotyped as a Christian, you'd think I know better.

--Stomper

Stomper

Upset. I meant to say "Since I get upset about . . ."

--Stomper

Stomper

Rich T.

If an LDS describes himself as "Christian," while KNOWING that the listener has an entirely differenty definition of the term (a definition which does not include any additional prophecies attributed to Joseph Smith, etc.), and without making it clear that the LDS is using his own definition, then the LDS should know that the listener is getting a false idea about what the LDS is saying. That is misleading, deceptive, sneaky, etc., when it occurs.

I'm not suggesting that this happens every time an LDS uses the term "Christian." In fact, your initial post in this thread candidly uses the term "Mormon Christian." I have no problem with that, as it clearly tells the listener NOT to assume that the listener's basic concept of Christianity will apply here. It might (depending on that concept) or it might not.

But you are not the only LDS out there, and not all are as clear as you are about their understanding of "Christianity." Those are the people who give honest LDS believers a bad name.

I apologize if I appeared to be lumping you in with them. Since I get about being stereotyped as a Christian, you'd think I know better.

--Stomper

Steven McDaniel

FrankG: "..Europeans are getting more and more appalled at the scary signals we're receiving from the US..."

Oh, FrankG, the only scary thing from what you describe as the religious right (which includes, of course, anyone who has the temerity to question the theory of evolution - where is your famous European open mind?) is that there are lots of us here and we are still allowed to vote. That is what your ancient Greek friends called 'Democracy' - so suck it up. To compare what goes on in the US with extremist Islamic government, for instance requires more tunnel vision than I have ever, ever heard from any rabid Fundamentalist pulpit. If you are anything, you are not a reasonable man, so don't pretend, Frank.

Steven McDaniel

Am I the only one that thinks it's ridiculous that the comments here start with the newest at the top and go down to the oldest? The natural reading flow is top to bottom, not bottom to top. I mean, if you can't get that right, Scott Adams, how can I trust your judgment? Duke of Earl Grey

I have it on good authority that you're the only one. That's the way the BBC.com 'Have Your Say' do it, Duke of the Dregs from the Teapot, so suck it up! Saves on having to scroll through the last few days junk to see what the latest offerings are.

Rich T.

Stomper:

What is unclear? I thought I described things quite well, but apparently you are attributing motives to me that just aren't there.

My point is that the word "Christian" involves semantics. As another poster pointed out, no, Mormons are not like "Christians", in the sense that you remain fixated on using that noun - and indeed in some ways we are even proud of that. And yet we are Christian, as an adjective describing our faith in Christ and his centrality to the gospel.

You wrote "if you regularly mislead people about your faith". Please. What's misleading about any of this?


FrankG

I'm not sure whether I can and should say all that I'm thinking of when I read the comments here, but it's inspiring me into a general comment on American society. I expect this post may be banned.

"Thank God" there's a world outside of the United States, and there are Christians who know better than to interpret the bible literally.

Oh, I'm not one of them, but I respect that.

Every few weeks we can see other example of Americans using God as an excuse to claim just about anything. Common sense seems to have been mysteriously "lifted" from about 50% of the US population.

There doesn't seem to be a middle ground between the zealot religious right (often accompanied with their "God-given right to bear arms" -- what a joke) and the atheists.

Maybe a few suggestions:
- religion and politics don't match. Stop mixing them.
- forbid any politician from EVER using the word "God" in official speeches, writings, etc.
- anybody who doesn't assume that Evolution is the current most realistic way of explaining all life as we know it, shouldn't speak up about it, and shouldn't hold any political office -- if in other countries, even the Church accepts evolution as "fact" or "high probability", why is such a large part of the US having a problem with that ?
- "Thank God" again, in Europe, nobody in their right mind is even THINKING of teaching -- what did they call it again -- "Intelligent Design" in a classroom. If you want to teach this, leave it for religious education, and keep it separate from the "official" school curriculum.
- never, EVER use God as an excuse to exlude others or start a War. Never thank God for winning a war -- if God could really communicate with us, He'd probably tell us he's horrified and we'll all burn in Hell.
- what surprises even more than the ease with which the religious right disrepects Jesus' teachings and the Ten Commandments in such "trivialities" as the occupation of Iraq (please don't call it liberation), is the enormous creativity which they display in finding "biblically authorized" excuses for breaking the rules. Quite astounding.
- America is NOT the cradle of Democracy -- try Greece, then Rome, then France. America did, however, improve on some of it -- but badly failed on other (how long did it take for blacks to have equal rights ?)
- Oh and please stop the "political correctness" hypocrisy. You're the laughing stock of the (rest of the) world at that game.
- America's founding fathers, and many of the most notorious Presidents: hey right-wingers, do you even have any idea how many of them were Freemasons ?
- About ouija boards: apparently the Reagans were quite fond of astrology and that kind of stuff. Pretty weird for a guy who couldn't make a sentence without the word "God" in it.
- take a clue from Europe -- weapons should be banned, just about everywhere. The simple fact of carrying a weapon anywhere in public should be banned and followed by immediate (heavy) sanction. Sports weapons should be under lock and key in a sports club -- not at how, where it's too often used in the very frequent massacres that occur in the US. Rare professions (jewelers) may be allowed to have a defensive weapons under very strict control. "Collection" weapons kept at home must be disabled by law. Weapons are dangerous, and should be handled only by law enforcement.
- Further on a related topic, why is US police so brutal when arresting people for anything as trivial as a speeding offence ? Answer: because they expect a gun to be pointed at them every time.
- Why do so many people actually believe all the lies on Fox TV ? How come something like Fox TV even exists ? Is "Freedom of Speech" equal to "Freedom to spread any kind of lies" ?
- Not all speech should be tolerated. Example: apology or denial of the Holocaust is a crime in most European countries, and rightly so.
- The freedom of one individual ends where it starts impeding on the freedom of another (that's a badly translated quote, I'm sorry).
- How come so many people believed (and some still do !?) that Saddam had any WMD, and that he had anything to do with 9/11 ?
- Can't the US realize that Islamic extremists fight against what they call "the crusadors", in part because that's exactly what the Americans are doing, acting like they're crusadors in the rest of the world ?

What the US religious right calls "liberals", "lefties", and God know what else, much of the rest of the Christian world calls it "common sense".
And that doesn't mean that over here in Europe, we're all Socialists and Communists, far from it.

Europeans are getting more and more appalled at the scary signals we're receiving from the US.

The religious right in the US seems dangerously close to exhibiting the same behaviour as the religious Islamic right in certain countries. As soon as people actually believe that they can speak in the name of God and, worse, ACT in the name of God, all hell breaks loose. With the power that the US currently holds, that's frightening to most of us. And if that power is abused, the whole world loses. Let's just hope that God will help us when it comes to that.

Steven McDaniel

rickb: "..Uh, evolution is both a fact, and also, oddly enough, a theory, in the scientific sense of the word that is:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html.." and: " "Fact have a well known liberal bias" ".

rickb, I don't need to read some sonorous tripe on a website
to figure out that anyone who places a theory on the same level as a fact in any context is full of 'liberal bias'. The problem with many liberals is not what they don't know, but the stuff they do know that's just not true.

Steven McDaniel

"..Nothing has caused as much harm to mankind as has bad religion. What mankind seems to need badly is the ability to unitedly identify what is harmful and get rid of it. I would really like to see that happen in my lifetime. I believe it would completely remove permanently just about every form of religion on the planet..." Jehmiah

Well, Jehmiah, your friends Stalin, Pol Pot, Chairman Mao, Ho Chi Min, Fidel Castro and Enva Hoxa tried to "remove permanently just about every form of religion on the planet", and caused a few problems of their own (like millions of tortured and dead people). I live near Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, the buckle of the Bible Belt, and from my experience, home of a multitude of wonderful Christian people - that's true, whether you like it or not. It is also unfortunately a place where murder is commonplace (like all US cities). About 0% of those murders are religiously motivated. Try factoring the above into your ill informed outlook that bad religion causes 'more harm than anything else'. Bad religion can be awful, but to try to pin the blame on 'religion' for all evil is a ludicrous red herring, and counterproductive. Get rid of evil itself, and don't call evil 'religion' or vice versa.

JorgeAlexLucasRoberttheBruceXXXXIIIII

Why can't a potential president utilize his religious beliefs in guiding the decsions they have to make? A sincere follower of any religon would put their beliefs as their top priority.

William Ow

Mormoms are as believable as Scientology.

The bible is written by man for man. We can conclude that religious fanatics are the bane of mankind.

Let's all celebrate reason over faith!

Doogs

Steven McDaniel please go back to the stone age where you belong. If you ignore the theory of evolution, you ignore all the good things that have come out of it including just about every modern medical science. I hope you'll refuse your next dose of antibiotics on the basis that it's just a theory that they'll work. Idiots like you just hold the world back and are too stupid to suggest any workable viable alternatives. These alternatives might actually prove useful, that's what science is about, proposing a theory, looking at the alternatives and discarding the ones that don't appear to work. When was the last time you actually justified one of your critisisms?

Delmania

Evolution itself is a fact. Life adapts to changes within the environment. The theory aspect of it, however, is our understanding of how it works and why it works the way it does.

West Coast Woman

As I am a pagan, there are no political candidates in Canada or the US who espouse my religion. That being the case, I vote for the candidate who is not using his (or her) religion to promote intolerance and bigotry (such as denying homosexuals the right to marry because his God thinks that would be naughty).

The comments to this entry are closed.