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Phoenician in a time of Romans

WP: "Phoenician - I am curious, as a Frenchman (or woman, I am not sure), do you think it was right for the United States to liberate your country not once but twice?"

I'm not French, and if it weren't for the French, your country will be a Dominion (or several) of the British Commonwealth today.

And WWII was won mostly by the Soviet Union, not by the rest of the allies - 80% of Germany's casualties were on the Eastern Front.

Phoenician in a time of Romans

WP: "First of all, Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, the account can be found in Acts 9."

Alternatively, this is an account of how one Saul of Tarsus had an epileptic fit.

WP: "His apostleship was accepted by the first church and most importantly by Peter and James, the heads of the church in Jerusalem."

And you know this - how? Because the Bible, incorporating writings authored by Paul, collected, redacted and edited by the Holy Roman Catholic Church tells you so? Tell me, Wasted Potential, do you know what the Council of Nicea was and why it was necessary?

And, talking about Peter, please note Galatians 2:11-14. The gospel being preached by Paul, who never met Jesus, appears to be different from that followed by Peter, who did...

It's interesting to note that Jesus himself never seems to have prophesised Paul. However, he did make the comment recorded in John 14:6. And in this context, compare Matthew 5:17-18 (said by Jesus) with Galatians 3:23-25 (said by Paul).

WP: "The Christian faith holds Paul in high regard as the apostle to us Gentiles, taking Christianity from a Jewish sect to a worldwide church."

Are you sure that, by quoting anything written after the actual Gospels, you can honestly call yourself a Christian rather than a Paulist?...

WP: "Secondly, Jesus was asked about divorce"

Pardon me, I asked what Jesus said about homosexuality. You mentioned divorce and marriage. You're attempting to shoehorn one topic into another - you have no idea what his views on homosexual sex (or unmarried sex) actually were (although John 8:7 would probably apply).

So what did Jesus himself say about homsexuality, WP?

initiate debate

How is commenting on the fact that the early fighters for American independence received French assistance rewriting history? Ironically enough, if a bunch of local militias rose up to try and overthrow an imperialistic power these days many people would probably consider them terrorists....

initiate debate

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/ar/14312.htm

RocketPunch

Ahhh ... a nice relaxing few days off from political debate.

A quick thought or two for you all. If we give in and strictly enforce marriage to fit the restrictions of Judeo-Christian values, wouldn't it then be fair to return all things in American Culture influenced by other religions to their original intent? For example, forget about Jesus on Christmas. Hallmark will have to change their cards to reflect the feast of the Son of Isis. No Christians allowed. Pagans need only apply.

Also, if we legally enforce marriage to reflect Biblical teachings wouldn't things be very different? What the Old Testament suggests as a general model for marriage is polygamy. You look at someone like Solomon who had 200 wives and 600-and-some concubines. Or how about Abraham, who had his first child by his wife's slave.

Just a few thoughts. Here is another ...

We have a first amendment to prevent government from running religion. It also prevents religion from running the government. If you want our government to enforce your Christian origins on Marriage then why restrict only gays? Why not restrict people of differing religions or those who take the Lord thy God in vain. How about people who steal or commit adultery? Certainly these are all sins just like being gay.

The truth is, we are all guilty of being sucked into the absurdity of this argument. Marriage IS a civil union. Whether you are married in a Church or by Elvis or on the Love Boat, marriage has become the label placed on a union between to people who want to share a lifetime commitment to one another. If the government was trying to force a church to perform gay weddings I would understand the argument but that is not the case. You're not dumping on Shinto's or Scientologists in America for claiming they are married. Quit picking on the homosexuals.

Phoenician in a time of Romans

Rocketpunch: " You're not dumping on Shinto's or Scientologists in America for claiming they are married. Quit picking on the homosexuals."

Gay is the new Black.

8-)

RocketPunch

Indeed. Remember Matt Shepard?

http://www.uberbotonline.com/notmyjesus/mattshepard.gif

Matt Shepard was a young college student beaten to death for being gay. Not only was the crime beyond horrible, but his funeral was equally, if not more disturbing as dozens of protestors gathered on the streets promoting their message "God Hates Fags". I realize this is an extreme example but we are foolish to believe a piece of this attitude is not a part of what is seen in these votes to ban same sex marriage. To me this issue isn't about the actual marriage issue. It is religious bigotry. I have no doubt that same sex marriage will be allowed and accepted in my lifetime. The real concern lies in our society and raises the question - just how civilized a people are we? Want to talk about values? War, hate, discrimination, hunger, pollution, poverty, Britney Spears ... yet the religious right is placing a priority on lessening the freedoms of two people who love each other. It's sad. That is about the only description for it.

wasted potential

Phoenician - I do think that debating matters of faith is futile when folks on both sides have obviously decided to believe or not believe based on their view of the evidence.

WP: "Secondly, Jesus was asked about divorce"

"Pardon me, I asked what Jesus said about homosexuality. You mentioned divorce and marriage. You're attempting to shoehorn one topic into another - you have no idea what his views on homosexual sex (or unmarried sex) actually were (although John 8:7 would probably apply)."

The passage I quoted was Jesus quoting Genesis 2:24, the basis of both Jewish and Christian belief that marriage was instituted by the creator as between a man and a woman. Jesus, by quoting it, reaffirms this truth.

I do agree with you that none of us is without sin (John 8:7) and none of us should judge others based on their lifestyles. Were it not for the cross and the bodily resurrection of Christ, none of us would on our way to Heaven. Romans 2 clearly points this out to Christians, right after Paul condemned homosexuality and other sins. The goal of the church should be to win people of all stripes, colors and lifestyles to believe the truth we believe is taught in the Bible - the truth of redemption from sin through Christ.

As to a matter of public policy, when it is left to the people in a republic to vote democratically on whether something should be allowed or disallowed (ie, tax levys, sales tax increases, or in this case marriage) the voice of the majority is how we arrive at policy. Since there are no specific constitutional rights for marriage or for sexual orientation, the issues are left to the states to decide. 11 states decided on November 2 to allow their electorate decide directly, through each states own constitutional process.

We can argue the religious merits of homosexuality and the Christian faith to ad nauseum, but that will not address the policy issue. The only way for this to be changed is for the US Constitution to be ammended recognizing marriage and allowing homosexuals to be recognized as well.

wasted potential

Henry:"I ask you chirstians to open your eyes to the fact that as a leader Bush and your Republican party leaders has not done one thing to help the poor left themselve up out of poverty. While Bush's friends have made over $40 trillion dollars off the backs of your labor. To seek the truth just look at how much money is generated by this economy as profits."

Two issues to address: The Church and the Poor and then Capitalism and Socialism.

The Bible teaches that the church is to care for the poor and meet their needs. Jesus did this while on the earth, using the physical needs of people to teach them truths about the spiritual kingdom. The truly Christian view teaches that it is the responsibility of the church to work with the poor, not the government. What has happened, sadly, is that since the institution of government welfare programs, many Christians in this country no longer feel this need, failing in that part of our responsibility. As a result, there are fewer converts to Christianity from these communities and the poor now have rampant crime problems in their communities.

As a capitalist, I could not disagree with you more. It is in everyone's best interest to have the ability to obtain greater rewards for their efforts as this helps to increase productivity. Socialism, with its desire to reclaim the capital from the owners, breeds apathy (you get the same whether you try hard or not) and less productivity. In addition, its less desirable counterpart, communism, leads to tyranny and oppression of those it was supposed to help.

The key for the church in this country is for all of us to follow the 2nd great commandment "Love your neighbor as yourself." Those with abundance should share with those less fortunate, not out of compulsion from the government, but out of a cheerful, willing heart.

Phoenician in a time of Romans

WP: "The passage I quoted was Jesus quoting Genesis 2:24, the basis of both Jewish and Christian belief that marriage was instituted by the creator as between a man and a woman."

I asked what Jesus had to say about *homosexuality*. Gay marriage, although related, is a seperate topic.

What did Jesus have to say about homosexuality, WP?

WP: "Romans 2 clearly points this out to Christians, right after Paul condemned homosexuality and other sins. "

You mean it points it out to *Paulists*. There's no indication that Romans or any of the New Testament past the Gospels reflects the teachings of Jesus Christ himself, is there?

WP: "As to a matter of public policy, when it is left to the people in a republic to vote democratically on whether something should be allowed or disallowed (ie, tax levys, sales tax increases, or in this case marriage) the voice of the majority is how we arrive at policy. Since there are no specific constitutional rights for marriage or for sexual orientation, the issues are left to the states to decide."

You're partially right and partially wrong. I suggest you read and understand the Bowers vs Lewin decision from Hawaii for a better understanding of marriage rights and how state and federal constitutions bear on this issue.

WP: "The only way for this to be changed is for the US Constitution to be ammended recognizing marriage and allowing homosexuals to be recognized as well."

Did the Constitution have to be changed to bar anti-miscegenation laws?

Phoenician in a time of Romans

WP: "As a capitalist, I could not disagree with you more. It is in everyone's best interest to have the ability to obtain greater rewards for their efforts as this helps to increase productivity. Socialism, with its desire to reclaim the capital from the owners, breeds apathy (you get the same whether you try hard or not) and less productivity."

Two words you shouldn't forget in your doctrinaire assertions.

"Market" and "externalities".

The market is a tool. Socialist organisations are tools. They both have their place. Neither should be an ideology.

wasted potential

Phoenician: OK, since we are parting hairs on whether Jesus thought it was OK for gay to marry or whether homosexuality is wrong, I will say this. If marriage is reserved for a man and a woman, and any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, then homosexuality would be deemed to be wrong according to the argument you made. Jesus went so far as to say that if you look upon a woman with lust in your heart, you are guilty of adultery. He did this to show everyone that it is impossible to live up to the law of Moses found in the Old Testament.

I do not understand your rejection of Paul. If you read the book of Acts, you will find that Paul was given the right hand of fellowship and acknowledged as an apostle. Peter in one of his epistles stated that Paul's letters were the scriptures. However, everyone is entitled to their own faith.

My faith is that the Bible has been preserved through the ages by the Holy Spirit through supernatural and ordinary events and people. Jesus said that heaven and earth will melt away, but His word will stand. I believe in the New Testament and the inspiration of the cannon we call the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, my faith and positions on faith are rooted in this belief. Those who disagree with that presupposition are talking apples and oranges with me.

As to the state constitution issue, I am glad to get half credit from such a hard grader :) I am by no means a professor of Hawiian law, but my understanding was the amendments to each state's constitution voted on this November changed each states constitution to not acknowledge homosexual marriages acknowledged in another state. This is now part of each state's constitution that voted that way and it would take a federal amendment to supercede that (or an activist federal judge, which is why the President wants a federal amendment).

As to my doctrinaire assertions (not sure what you mean by doctrinaire), I do not hold capitalism as an ideology, but as a tool for growth and productivity. I do believe socialism to also be a tool, but a tool rooted in the ideology of Marxism, which I fundamentally disagree with.

Capitalism is not a Christian doctrine, as you can believe in Christ in any government regime. The first Christians lived under Nero and other governmental officials who persecuted them mercilessly in their dictatorship.

wasted potential

Initiate Debate:"While I agree the US effort in world wars was significant, I think it was not the crucial or deciding factor, especially in the defeat of Nazism."

Winston Churchill disagreed with you. Without the US forces, there would have been no western front and the Russians would have been defeated ultimately in the east. England would have fallend to the Nazis. We had less of an impact in World War I, I agree.

Yes, the French helped in the Revolutionary War. However, you have missed the point. The French are so opposed to the people of Iraq being liberated from their dictator and despise Americanism. However, it was similar efforts by the US in Europe in World War II that led to their freedoms today to hate us.

Initiate Debate: "What effect does it have on your life whether someone is a pagan, Muslim, atheist, Hindu or Buddhist when what they do has no bearing on your beliefs? Can you not apply the same tolerance to abortion and gay rights?"

I will take abortion and gay rights separately.

I believe that life begins at conception, so I cannot tolerate abortion anymore than I could tolerate infanticide, euthenasia, murder or genocide. If we continue to "tolerate" the killing of the young and innocent for convenience, our society will pay a heavy price.

As to the gay rights issue, I believe every gay person should have the same rights that I do. However, I do not want gay propaganda being taught to children in grade school, teaching that it is "OK" to be gay, as my religion teaches otherwise. I do not want my children being indoctrinated otherwise. As to marriage, just allow civil unions so they can have the insurance, tax and other supposed governmental benefits associated with marriage, but do not call it marriage. Marriage started as a religious institution which the government has chosen to recognize and now license.

Christians are to tolerate everyone and love them in an effort to persuade them to join us in our beliefs of redemption and forgiveness through Christ. However, we are still able to practice our freedoms to vote when called upon on issues that we feel strongly about in our conscience.

wasted potential

Phoenician:"There's no indication that Romans or any of the New Testament past the Gospels reflects the teachings of Jesus Christ himself, is there?"

Well, I decided to review this for validation of my own faith and as an exercise in the scriptures. Read the passage below from Romans:

Romans 13:8-10 "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet,"[1] and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."[2] 10Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Now read Mark 12:30-31 quoting Jesus:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'[1] 31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[2] There is no commandment greater than these."

Also, the apostle John wrote the following:

I John 2:9-11 "Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him[3] to make him stumble. 11But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him."


Both Paul and Jesus are quoting the Levitical law (Leviticus 19:18), so in this case, it appears that Paul is teaching the teachings of Jesus. John states the same principle in a different way, showing that the other leaders of the first church were also in agreement with Paul.

OK, without posting all the scripture, I will refer you to the following references for further study. Each grouping has passages from what Jesus said on a subject, then what the apostles wrote on the subject:

(1) Matthew 5:43-45, Romans 12:13-15
(2) Matthew 24:30-32, I Cor 15:51-53, I Thess 4:15-17
(3) Matthew 7:1-3, Luke 6:36-38, Romans 2:1-2, Romans 14:9-11, James 2:3-5
(4) Matthew 19:4-6, Hebrews 13:4
(5) Matthew 7:17-19, Luke 6:42-44, Galatians 5:21-23
(6) John 11:24-26, Romans 10:8-10, I John 5:5-12

OK, after that review, I am convinced in my own mind of the harmonious teachings of the New Testament. Sure, each writer said things about separate topics which were not addressed by others, but the teaching does not contradict itself.

As to the problem between Paul and Peter, Paul's view was accepted as the correct one in Acts 15 and Peter was found to be hypocritical and wrong, even by his own vision from God in Acts 10, so the dispute in Galations 2 actually further PROVES the authenticity of Paul's message and apostleship.

wasted potential

Phoenician: "Did the Constitution have to be changed to bar anti-miscegenation laws?"

How were these laws overturned?

Phoenician in a time of Romans

WP: "Romans 13:8-10 "[...]The commandments [...]are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

WP: "Mark 12:30-31 quoting Jesus: [Love God is the first commandment] The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

Thank you for proving my point. Paul talks about one great commandment, Jesus talks about two.

WP: "My faith is that the Bible has been preserved through the ages by the Holy Spirit through supernatural and ordinary events and people. Jesus said that heaven and earth will melt away, but His word will stand. I believe in the New Testament and the inspiration of the cannon we call the Old and New Testaments."

Heh. One simple question - WHICH canon?

The Samaritans recognise only 5 books. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church recognises 81. The Catholics have 46 books in the Old Testament; the Protestants have 39. The Hebrews have 35 - mainly rearrangements of the Protestant canon.

You have a serious logical problem here if you think the Protestant canon is divinely inspired. Martin Luther split from the Catholic Church in 1517.

If you believe the Protestant canon is correct and inspired, then you must believe the Catholic canon is incorrect and not inspired. But for 1500 years, the Catholic Church preserved the Biblical canon. Further, it was the Catholic Church that made the original decisions about what was and was not canon, collected, redacted and edited the original writings - remember I mentioned the Council of Nicea before?

So you must either believe that the Catholic Church was infallible in this matter for 1500 years, and suddenly became fallible the moment Luther nailed his theses to his church door, or you must believe that Luther himself, a guy who called for the death of Jews, was infallible.

And another little puzzle for you if you think the Bible is complete and inspired - Joshua 10:13, and 2 Samuel 1:18...

You have a problem, WP - WHICH canon and WHY? And, for that matter, why should anyone credit Paul as anything other than an epileptic, a good preacher, and an excellent propagandist for his own cause?

Henry Schlatman

wasted potential,
Somehow you mistake me for some one who believes that people should have a hanf me down world. That could be no futher from the truth.

While I understand your religous need to think that the poor want hand outs, I am amazed that you haven't sought out Jesus yet who said "Teach a Man to Fish." Again, Jesus was correct in his teaching for if we as Mankind our ever going to take our place among the stars than we must share the knowledge among Our Society. While skill of a trade or service is admiral, the Working Knowledge of the Words of that trade or service is equally admiral. However, for a society and thus a civilization to grow All Knowledge that leads to Wealth must be shared equally and fairly to everyone in the Tribe of Mankind or face the Warth of Revalation.

Thus true Capitalism is fine and should be unregulated once Man has learned to live and die strictly by his honor. However, Man has proven throughout history that he can not live by honor alone; therefore, "We the People" made Our Country stand up to the "Laws of Nature" given by the "God of Nature."

The "Law of Nature" is the reason why a woman was found to be allowed to have an aboration. Have you ever heard your mom tell you that "I brought you into this world and I can take you out." It is an old folklore, but I think it makes a real good point in a childs mind.

Please check out my new blog site http://independentpundit.blogspot.com/ for an article I wrote named; "Not in My Country's Name. It has links to what our forefathers thought about the "Old World Religions" and a link to the history of The Church. Actually, RocketPunch might know the name of the Vaticans Books on the Dividing of The Church. I am not sure if that is the exact name, yet it is a set of Books that was written during the time of the Protestants and Chatholics seperated.

Also, check out America It's Time to Awaken, I think you'll like that one.

initiate debate

"Without the US forces, there would have been no western front and the Russians would have been defeated ultimately in the east"

You could be right, but by that logic vice versa is true as well.

"The French are so opposed to the people of Iraq being liberated from their dictator and despise Americanism"

The French were not opposed to 'liberating' Iraq, they just thought that some basis of legality should be applied. Instead the US and Uk went along without legal international support. All the French were asking for was for 2 months for Hans Blix to check for weapons. Which didn't exist. Which kind of makes the reasons for going to war a big lie...

"I believe that life begins at conception"

So, you're not in favour of killing a ball of cells that cannot think, breathe, feed etc, but you seem to be in favour of going to war and killing tens of thousands of people for a lie. After conception there is just a ball of cells, if you believe that all dividing cells should not be intefered with, are you against cancer treatment? Or anti-dandruff shampoo?

"However, I do not want gay propaganda being taught to children in grade school, teaching that it is "OK" to be gay, as my religion teaches otherwise. I do not want my children being indoctrinated otherwise"

Gay 'propaganda' that teaches tolerance and acceptance? Are you against 'propaganda' that teaches that it is ok to belong to a different religious or ethnic group? Or are you worried that it will turn your children gay if they hear about gay people? You do not want your children "indoctrinated" with tolerance and acceptability of other groups of people? Your interpretation of your religion teaches you this? I thought Christianity (most forms, at least) was about tolerance and forgiveness?

RocketPunch

Great comments from my open minded friends! I believe the gay issue has been heavily explored on this board. No matter how hard I try, I can not see any validity to the conservative argument on the issue. I truly believe the push against gay rights comes out of fear as well as a need to be controlling. I recently posted an article called The Anatomy of an Anti-Gay Conservative on my new online journal community.

http://www.livejournal.com/community/not_my_jesus/3867.html#cutid1

The comments to this story sum up the average left opinion. There is a religious bigotry in this country that is aimed towards gays. In the end they can not win. Equal rights for Americans has never lost the fight. But in this argument and in the wake of a Bush victory, the Christian Right has felt more confidant in their visibility. The more visible they become, the more that their agenda becomes clear, the more angry Americans become. I see it a bit more as each days goes by. I believe this will cause the collapse of this Evangelical movement and, in the end, strengthen the separation of Church and State. I believe this is their last great chance at a push towards "Christian Values" in this country. But you will fail. You see, your self proclaimed "values" are not the true values of America. You fight to suppress the rights of two people who love each other while 100,000 innocent people die in a preemptive strike on their homes by our country. You scream about abortion while there are 80,000 children in America each year that will never be adopted. The true values of America lie in our education and our economy. They live in a world that accepts responsibility for building a brighter future for all generations. You have elected a President that has lessened the progress of all of our values and that mark will forever be on your forehead.

You all claim to care so much about the unborn child but you don't seem to care about the children who are living.

Under Bush Child Poverty has dropped tremendously. Look at all the negatives on this list.
http://www.unitedhealthfoundation.org/shr2004/components/childpoverty.html

Under Bush the Infant Mortality rate has increased.
http://www.unitedhealthfoundation.org/shr2004/components/infantmortality.html

The health of the nation has declined for the first time in 15 years. And what are the major causes of these many declines?

"a higher percentage of people without health insurance, declining high school graduation rates, and increased child poverty."

And for the record - the 15 most unhealthy states in the nation with the biggest decline in everything from overall health to high school dropout rate - ALL RED STATES. Go figure.

wasted potential

Initiate Debate:"So, you're not in favour of killing a ball of cells that cannot think, breathe, feed etc,"

My wife has had 3 children, and I was fortunate enough to be present when her doctor performed ultrasounds at 7 weeks to 10 weeks in pregnancy on each child. What I saw was not a ball of cells, but a baby with arms, legs and a heartbeat. The baby moved around in the womb in reaction to the ultrasound.

The pro-abortion movement has succeeded in convincing some of the public that unborn babies are just blocks of cells. That is why they will not allow pro-life advertisements on TV showing fetuses at different states of development in the womb and the grizzly effects of dismembering babies, crushing their skulls and killing them.

"Your interpretation of your religion teaches you this? I thought Christianity (most forms, at least) was about tolerance and forgiveness?"

To say that Christianity is a tolerant religion shows a fundamental misunderstanding of Christianity. Christianity is actually very "intolerant" of other views, in that it teaches only Christians will go to Heaven. Jesus Himself said "I am the Truth, the Way and the Life. No man comes to the Father, but by Me." By the way, this exclusiveness is not just a Christian thing, but the teachings of all the great religions says the same thing. This whole idea that "all roads lead to God" is a man made idea and not supported by the Old Testament, the teachings of Jesus, the Apocrypha or any other sacred document read by Christian sects.

To your point about my children being taught gay propaganda in schools, I will say this: I believe homosexuality is a sin against God and that it is a lifestyle the harms those who practice it, psychologically and physically. I do not want my children to be exposed to this (by the way, I am opposed to all sex education in grade school) as just an alternate lifestyle, as I believe that to be a lie.

I am just a dim-witted conservative Christian from the red state of Ohio, but that is how I feel. Everyone in the country is free to have their opinions too, but I have a question: why is it OK for the homosexuals to be teaching in the schools it is OK to have 2 daddies, when I cannot go to the same school and teach them about the Bible or voluntarily pray with them?

Ah yes, tolerance. The left in this country tolerates all manner of people except for Christian conservatives. That whole tolerance thing does not apply to us, I guess. It is OK to malign us as ignorant, backward, bigotted, uneducated, etc ... Why is that?

wasted potential

Rocket Punch:"I believe this will cause the collapse of this Evangelical movement"

How do you plan to end the Evangelical movement? What exactly is the Evangelical movement to you? Evangelicals are not a political organization, but they are bonded together in their faith in Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of all mankind and the only way to Heaven. This movement survived Nero, survived the catholic church trying to end it during the Reformation and it will survive irregardless of the political movements of America until Jesus returns.

It will end as a political movement when democrats coopt the predominant issue driving them - the pro-life movement. For all of the talk about homosexual marriage (for which the majority of evangelicals and apparently the rest of country agree) the only issue that drives Evangelical Christians to vote is for the pro-life issue. The Republicans are a "big tent" party and have pro-choice folks, so why can't the Democrats have any prominent pro-life folks?

"The true values of America lie in our education and our economy."

A truly secularist view of America and its values. I disagree with your hypothesis and believe that if Democrats continue to cling to this Northeastern secularist set of values, they will not only be a minority part, but will go the way of the Wigs with a new second party coming to the forefront, probably the Libertarians.

Little known fact - did you know that if you took all of the counties that voted for Kerry in Ohio and looked at the vote on the gay marriage amendment, you would find that the gay marriage amendment would have passed in those counties alone by a 57% to 43% margin. It was not only those dirty Evangelicals voting for those amendments.

RocketPunch

If I might butt in ...

How are homosexuals harmed psychologically and physically?

If one of your children had a gay friend would you ban them from being friends with that person? If so, why? How would you treat a child telling you that they believe they are homosexual?

"why is it OK for the homosexuals to be teaching in the schools it is OK to have 2 daddies, when I cannot go to the same school and teach them about the Bible or voluntarily pray with them?"

I think you are being a little bit too simplistic on this subject. I would like to hear some information on exactly how homosexuality is being taught in the schools. However, even given what you said, there is a major difference. Statistically speaking, there is nothing whatsoever to suggest that a child being raised by two loving parents has a negative effect on the child. Sexual orientation is not a factor in determining what makes a good parent. It is a part of social behavior and if it is presented in schools it should be presented in a manner suggesting understanding in the many differences that make up our culture. Hiding these things from children does not help them to grow in this world. With that said - I am not sure how you relate teaching parenting issues in school to teaching the word of the Bible. There truly is no comparison. No ONE religion has a place in our schools. Would you have us choose a state religion taught in each school? I can give you some middle eastern countries you could use as a model. In truth, you can't teach one religion without teaching them all. In religion there is no absolute truth. School teaches life. Church teaches faith. There is no connection between the two.

As for tolerance - of that we have a great deal. But there is a line that has been crossed. Christian conservatism is everywhere right now. I can't turn on the TV without getting the view of the Religious right mixed in with national news. They are complaining about everything from Saving Private Ryan to Gay and Straight Alliance clubs to Arlen Spector to Stem Cell Research. We've got Falwell screaming on CNN - "Blow them all away in the name of the Lord." If you read my post above you know what I believe the outcome will be. Our patience only goes so far. You have to understand the difference between Christian Conservatives and the rest of the country. You are telling us what is acceptable in our lives. You are claiming yourselves to be the moral high ground for values in America. You are the ones who want to change our constitution and take away our rights to choose. You are the ones who want to put your religion in our schools and your spokeman in our White House. You are the ones who scream the loudest that your way is the only way and all the rest of us are doomed to spend an eternity burning in the fiery pits of hell. I think you might understand how that can eventually wear thin with the lot of us.

RocketPunch

"Evangelicals are not a political organization"

My friend, you are not watching the TV. I know you previously said you had no love for the televangelist but you should check them on out Sunday morning. It is 100% politics in my town and all of it revolving around the social issues that you bring up here. The loudest Evangelical mouthpieces are the people that do the most amount of damage to the Christian Conservative movement. The line is gone. I talked to a Kerry supporter today that was told he was no longer welcome in his church because he voted for a sinner! I know you guys are riding high on the majority rules factor right now but I don't see it as reality. I want the Christian Conservative movement to push harder and harder. The more you push the more of us wake up. I heard two talk shows in Orlando this week that are not political in nature talking for two days in a row about their fear of religion in our politics. The callers were amazing. The conversation was well educated and enlightening for the listeners. People are sitting up and paying attention. So I say again, push the agenda - push as hard as you can. Ban equal rights for gays. Have them kicked out of the schools. Ban abortion and watch the teenagers kill themselves along with their babies. Watch the number of unwanted children in foster homes skyrocket out of control. Pay attention as millions of children are born into neglect, poverty and abuse. Embrace our War turning into a Crusade in the name of your Christian nation but don't be surprised by the increase in violence and our diminished standing in the world. Yes - the Evangelical Religion will continue - as it should! But the political push, which you know exists regardless of what you might say - will hit an unbreakable wall and implode. To answer your question, I don't plan on ending the political Evangelical movement. It will most certainly cause it's own end.

wasted potential

Rocket Punch: It is obvious that this election has gotten to you. I have been happy with the results, but the postings on this board have gotten to me this week too. Before the election we had some genuine debates without the usual rhetoric on both sides. So, instead of answering some of your statements, then you answering those, I would like to have a conversation about the election, the moral issues argument and other issues.

First of all, I believe the "Christian right" played a role in this election, but the overall importance of their role is being blown out of proportion by both sides. Some leaders in the Christian right want to take credit for the big #s to help their cause. Many on the left wish to blame the entire thing on the wacko Evangelicals so they can continue on with their current message and not accept blame for losing.

Charles Krauthammer wrote an article on this today in the Washington Post today, stating how this myth came to be that moral values and the Christian right won the election for the President single handedly. I will quote just a small part of it, in which he gives the basis for the left to have to make this argument:
it was a necessary invention, a way for the liberal elite to delegitimize a conservative victory. And, even better, a way to assuage their moral vanity: You never lose because your ideas are sclerotic or your positions retrograde, but because your opponent appealed to the baser instincts of mankind."

I do not know how to post a link, but I will try

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A44082-2004Nov11.html

Second, the gay marriage issue is not just an Evangelical or Christian issue. Large majorities of democratic consituencies voted for it too. Pat Caddel, democratic strategist, was on one of the talking head shows stating he was worried that the democrats were calling their own base bigots, ignorant, etc ... after finding that 61% of blacks in Ohio voted for the ban, while nearly 90% voted for Kerry. I wish there were enough Evangelicals in this country to affect voting so much, but unfortunately, we do not have that large a community.

As to the abortion issue, it always amazes me how the debate is framed. Those on the left say that the pro-life movement wants to take away their right to choose. I fundamentally see it as infanticide or murder. I realize people will disagree with me, but after viewing my childrens' ultra sounds from 7 to 10 weeks, I cannot see any other logical conclusion than the being in the womb is a baby deserving of constitutional rights.

As to the homosexual agenda and teaching from the Bible in schools, I was unclear. What I meant to say is that evolution is a THEORY on how our origins began, just as creative design is a THEORY. Neither can be proven or disproven by a set of unassailable facts, but must be believed by faith. As to the homosexual agenda in public schools, I am basing that on what others have told me about their children's reading lists. My oldest is just now in kindergarten and my wife and I are sacrificing to send our children to a private Christian school so that our values are taught to them at school too.

On a related subject though, I have read where some school districts are beginning sex ed in grade school. Do you really think that is helpful? I was kind of a naive kid, but I did not even date until I was 16 and I figured this whole reproduction thing out. What would I have done if I had been armed with intimate knowledge 8 years earlier other than engage in promiscuous (probaby unprotected) sexual activity at a young age?

So, if it wasn't the Christian right or the Homophobes that beat the democrats and Kerry, why did he lose? Frankly, I think Kerry was a poor candidate that never made the case for his own presidency, instead criticized Bush. We are at war in Iraq and many people do not want to switch leaders during that time.

And finally, I think it is due to a shift to the right that has been taking place in our country since 1980, when Reagan became President. It started again in earnest in 1994 when the Republicans took back the House for the first time in like 50 years or something. Since then, Republicans have GAINED in the House and now control the Senate with a 55 seat majority. Republicans control the majority of governorships and state houses in the country as well. Why the shift right? It is in response to a rejection of the democratic party which is seen as a slave to its many cultural special interests groups that are not in step with mainstream America. For example, while many people say that abortion should not be completeley outlawed, more than 70% think that it should be limited and not available on demand. NARAL pushes the democrats into an extreme position out of step with this, so much so that Kerry had to vote against the partial birth abortion law. There are several other cases that I could cite, but I am getting sleepy and you probably won't read this far anyway, so I will leave those for a later post.

Anyway, let me know what you think. Please, lets talk to each other and not past each other. I enjoy hearing the reasoning from the other side.

Good night!

wasted potential

RP - I read your statement about the televangelists on your TV being completely political. That is sad. I wish you could come to my church, where all you would hear is teaching on the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross and how we as believers can try to live out His life once we are born again. I am sure most people at my church voted for Bush, but no one voting for Kerry or Mickey Mouse is rejected. The church should not be a political movement, but a spiritual movement for changing people's lives through faith, not the government.

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