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Old 07-08-2015, 07:17 AM   #16
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It's a really interesting topic, so thanks for bringing it up.

Like Diemen, I was raised Catholic and I would probably still describe myself as such should anyone ask - but to me this is more of a cultural than religious phenomenon. Communities outside of North America particularly, which are Catholic, tend to have a much stronger association between Catholicism and their culture in terms of the holidays celebrated, etc and so I think it is actually quite easy to feel culturally Catholic without practicing it much (in some ways similar to how some of my Jewish non-practicing friends feel).

When it comes to commenting on political or social developments in the secular world, the one thing that has kind of always puzzled me is the need for some Christians to respond in the way that bono_212 did above. Basically, along the lines of "I think the laws of our nation have to override my personal religious beliefs which are that I don't support/am not fully onboard with/pick your own same sex marriage/abortion/etc because I am a Christian and it doesn't accord with what I've been taught/lived my whole life." Don't get me wrong I think this is a perfectly honest statement to make, but it's just not one that I see other religious people making. For example, I have a number of friends who are Hindu, who feel much the same way but they never qualify their answer with "I'm a practicing Hindu and therefore..." They seem not to see the need to provide that extra rationale, and just leave it as they support our government's/courts' choice as the law of the land and that's that. I've always wondered what the difference is and what is the need to even add that bit of extra language? Obviously a question for those who feel that it is important, etc.

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Old 07-09-2015, 10:26 AM   #17
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i'll come out and say that i do sometimes have a problem with Christians, and it's because of how faith is sometimes expressed in the US.

often times, we seem to find ourselves in situations where what someone "believes" is more important than what we actually know. there are a few areas in which the US seems stupefyingly resistant to modernity, and i do believe it's because of the political influence wielded by politicized right wing Christians.

here's one example where we have ample evidence that free birth control and comprehensive sex education dramatically lower out of wedlock births, and nothing leads more women into poverty than having a child before she is ready:

WALSENBURG, Colo. — Over the past six years, Colorado has conducted one of the largest experiments with long-acting birth control. If teenagers and poor women were offered free intrauterine devices and implants that prevent pregnancy for years, state officials asked, would those women choose them?

They did in a big way, and the results were startling. The birthrate among teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. There was a similar decline in births for another group particularly vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies: unmarried women under 25 who have not finished high school.

“Our demographer came into my office with a chart and said, ‘Greta, look at this, we’ve never seen this before,’ ” said Greta Klingler, the family planning supervisor for the public health department. “The numbers were plummeting.”

The changes were particularly pronounced in the poorest areas of the state, places like Walsenburg, a small city in southern Colorado where jobs are scarce and many young women have unplanned pregnancies. Taking advantage of the free program, Hope Martinez, a 20-year-old nursing home receptionist here, recently had a small rod implanted under the skin of her upper arm to prevent pregnancy for three years. She has big plans — to marry, to move farther west and to become a dental hygienist.
this could and should change the world. i can think of nothing that would dramatically improve lives than free birth control and family planning. it's a win all around -- when pregnancies are prevented, no need for abortion! people wait until they are married to have children! poverty rates will plummet, as will the need for public assistance. children will do better in school. nearly all children will have a mother and a father, or, hey, two parents that love them who are potentially of the same gender.

but, then, we get this:

DENVER – A much-heralded Colorado effort credited with significantly reducing teen pregnancy and abortion rates is searching for new funding after GOP lawmakers declined to provide taxpayer dollars to keep it going.

Started in 2009 with an anonymous private grant, the state-run Colorado Family Planning Initiative gave free or reduced-price IUDs or implantable birth control to more than 30,000 women.


But critics of the state funding for the program say national teen birth and abortion rates have been falling nearly as sharply as Colorado's. Abortion opponents often criticize IUDs as "abortifacients" because in rare cases an egg can become fertilized but cannot implant.

Colo. won't fund birth-control initiative despite success
basically, "don't fuck on my dime, sluts." and/or, "my religion is against certain things, so even though this would make society inarguably better, i'm against it because God."

it boggles my mind. you're allowing your personal religious convictions to influence public policy to such a degree that you're willing to deny inarguably positive programs that will reduce things you hate -- abortion, welfare, children out of wedlock -- because you think it will encourage women to have sex? because you say, "let's have high expectations! no sex before marriage! if people are abstinent, then all these problems go away!" or, "an IUD goes against God in my mind! i get to deny it for others!" i'm looking at you, Hobby Lobby.

this whole, "i need to live my faith" to the point where it impedes others is such a grotesque example of contemporary narcissism and selfishness, the "you don't know me! i do what i want" that gets parodied so much in popular culture.

think that's an exaggeration? witness this:

Same-Sex Couple Denied Marriage License In Kentucky Because Of Clerk's Religious Beliefs

it's the same thing. Kim Davis -- praise upon her! -- thinks that her personal religious convictions are more important than actually doing her job.

obvious qualifications to this is, of course, it's not ALL christians. probably not even most. many if not most Christians are motivated to do wonderful things because of their faith. i think Bono is an excellent example of this.

BUT, it is this element of American christianity that seems to hold the ear -- and purse -- of many elements of the GOP, especially the base, and that, in turn, influences the political and legislative process. this is true of both parties, and is true of different interest groups.

however, aside from the NRA, it seems as if evangelical Christianity has the strongest hold on the GOP. and while their influence is certainly in decline since the days of the W administration -- and likely that outsized influence is the reason why Christianity as a whole has become such a turn off for younger people -- it's still an active part of the GOP base, and we're going to hear about it in the primaries.

so, some thoughts.

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Old 07-09-2015, 02:36 PM   #18
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The clerk that refused the same sex couple a certificate has now had information about her own life and marriage history come out. She's been married four times, not sure the circumstances around why she has been married four times though. But yeah, if civil service isn't your thing lady, then by all means go work at a church.

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Old 07-09-2015, 06:49 PM   #19
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We have a Christian City Council person

Newport Beach councilman criticizes same-sex marriage ruling in email |

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