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Old 04-26-2005, 11:30 AM   #91
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Originally posted by melon


Sin is already ranked. Some just admit it more than others.

I made this analogy about "communism" versus "capitalism." Communism blatantly tells you that the government owns your land. Capitalism tells you that you do own your land, but if you don't pay your "property taxes" ("rent"), the government takes it away. Even then, it still has full "eminent domain" rights for cheap. So tell me, in the end, how is that any different from communism?

Religion is the same way. Despite all the Christian bickering and how evangelicals / fundamentalists will argue that they're so much different than Catholicism, the fact remains that they're essentially the same. Catholicism is the blunt one, flat out telling you that your works matter, while evangelical Christianity tip-toes around the issue, saying originally that it's faith, not works for salvation, but then goes on "moral outrage" tirades against certain groups of people, and then claiming that their works are going to send them to hell by arguing that they don't have "enough faith."

And as for saying that "all sin" is the same, it's clear that they focus on only one kind of sin: the sins of "the Other." This kind of Christianity that Bono is railing against is nothing but a gigantic masturbatory session where they get to pride themselves on how "great they are," and how "bad others are."

So many exceptions have already been made for the "majority" in this nation. Despite Jesus' condemnations of divorce, the KJV oh-so-conveniently mistranslates "porneia," and, suddenly, despite more than half a dozen blatant passages against divorce in the NT, people latch onto one (sometimes two, depending on the translation) mistranslation found only within Protestant Bibles.

And then all the "greed" doctrines that simultaneously arose with the rise of Biblical fundamentalism in the 19th century and extending to the present. Jesus says it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than to reach the Kingdom of Heaven, then spends a lot of time talking about helping the poor. Yet, these "greed" theologies not only tell you that Jesus wants you to be as rich as can be, but that the poor deserve to be poor. Talk about a theological leap!

That's all modern religion is about: gross self-righteousness and judgmentalism against everyone that doesn't fit in with their hegemony. In this regard, the Pharisees never died, and it makes you ask whether Jesus' "First Coming" was for nothing. It appears that humanity learned nothing the first time around. These kind of Christians will never help against HIV/AIDS, because only "the Other" gets AIDS, whether it's those dirty sinful homosexuals or black people in Africa. God's chosen white American Christians don't get AIDS, remember?

Melon
I've stayed out of this thread for a few reasons, but I have to say something here. I'll echo the statements of 80'sU2 and say, frankly, you're wrong here. I'm sorry that this is the side of Christ's followers that you've been exposed to, but "modern religion" is much more than what you've written. I've seen sacrifice, selflessness, and aid on behalf of Christ and the Church that is nothing short of spectacular. But again, this isn't the type to make the headlines.
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Old 04-26-2005, 11:33 AM   #92
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Originally posted by stammer476
I've stayed out of this thread for a few reasons, but I have to say something here. I'll echo the statements of 80'sU2 and say, frankly, you're wrong here. I'm sorry that this is the side of Christ's followers that you've been exposed to, but "modern religion" is much more than what you've written. I've seen sacrifice, selflessness, and aid on behalf of Christ and the Church that is nothing short of spectacular. But again, this isn't the type to make the headlines.
And, yet, there's still the discrimination it pushes through legislatively.

There's a saying somewhat that if even one person isn't free out of billions, then we don't have freedom. Likewise, I can see the good works that Christianity does, but how can I excuse it from all the discrimination and hatred it promotes too?

This is what I grapple with. And being part of a group that Christianity sees as "lesser" or "evil," I can't just forgive it, because it is "nice" maybe 75% of the time. I just can't.

Melon
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Old 04-26-2005, 11:36 AM   #93
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Originally posted by melon


There's a saying somewhat that if even one person isn't free out of billions, then we don't have freedom.
No one is free unless everyone is free.
--Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity
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Old 04-26-2005, 11:49 AM   #94
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Originally posted by melon


And, yet, there's still the discrimination it pushes through legislatively.

There's a saying somewhat that if even one person isn't free out of billions, then we don't have freedom. Likewise, I can see the good works that Christianity does, but how can I excuse it from all the discrimination and hatred it promotes too?

This is what I grapple with. And being part of a group that Christianity sees as "lesser" or "evil," I can't just forgive it, because it is "nice" maybe 75% of the time. I just can't.

Melon
Thankfully, Christianity is more than just those that pass legislation.

I guess it comes down to realizing the diversity within its membership. For as there are 3 or 4 who make the nightly news with their political rhetoric, there are 30 or 40 who couldn't care less what laws are passed in Washington because they're more concerned about their allegiance to Christ than their allegiance to America. I think it's unfair to those who honestly seek to follow God to lump them in with those you are opposed to. And for someone in your situation, I understand that is asking a lot. But they deserve respect, too.
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Old 04-26-2005, 12:11 PM   #95
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Here...you want an example? I can come up with one daily:

Quote:
Colorado Gay Civil Rights Bill Moves Forward
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: April 26, 2005 2:02 pm ET

(Denver, Colorado) The Colorado Senate has approved a bill to ban bias against members of the state's LGBT community. The Senate Tuesday night gave its final accent to the legislation. It passed the first vote last week.

The approval came despite a last minute attempt by Senate Republicans to derail the measure. When that failed GOP lawmakers attempted to have protections for the transgendered removed.

Sen. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) sought to have a provision included in the bill to allow employers to demand their employees’ wardrobe remain consistent with their gender at the time of their hiring.

Democrats said putting such a provision in the bill would extend anti-discrimination protection to everyone but the transgendered.

Republicans, without the votes to override Democrats’ one-vote majority in the Senate, were unable to get the clause included.

The bill passed on a party-line vote, 18-17.

"It is wrong that I should be discriminated against or have a fear of losing my job because I put my partner's picture up on my desk," said Sen. Jennifer Veiga, D-Denver. "That is wrong."

Sen. Ron Teck (R-Grand Junction) called for bipartisan support to defeat the bill declaring that the Bible condemns homosexuality as an abomination.

The legislation now goes to the House.

Conservative groups battling the civil rights law are calling on Gov. Bill Owens to veto the bill if it passes the House. Owens' office said the governor has taken no position on legislation.
I mean, this is a regular occurrence with religion and the GOP. My equality is now a political issue lumped in with "abortion." I get furious too, because I'm personally not a fan of abortion at all.

So yeah...it's no wonder I have developed such a hatred of Christianity over the years.

Melon
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Old 04-26-2005, 12:43 PM   #96
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Melon, I'm not saying this doesn't happen, or that you shouldn't be insulted. I'm just saying that Christianity is more than these. And I think it's a mistake to lump them all together.

That being said, I realize that's a loaded statement. I'm not expecting you to just abandon all of the pain that the Church has caused you in your lifetime. But I think all of us would be better off if we took the time to look beyond the stereotypes, specifically that conservative Christianity is nothing more than zealots pushing legislation against gays, abortion, etc.
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Old 04-26-2005, 12:45 PM   #97
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A lot would go towards changing my attitudes if the so-called "silent majority" of Christians stopped being so goddamn "silent." The same old usual suspects cannot affect change on their own.

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Old 04-26-2005, 12:54 PM   #98
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I know this has been said before, but our "silence" is not exactly our choice. I could get in the pulpit next week and rail against our obsession with homosexuality and our lack of concern about global human rights, but I'm not gonna make the evening news. I can't control who gets the press.

And strangely, I'm not too concerned about it. I could be wrong about this, but I care more that I'm living like Christ in my community and among my influence than I am about how I'm perceived. Maybe that's my own fatalism, but I just don't think it's worth my time. If I can show a disenfranchised person in my life that I accept them and love them as any other, than that's more important to me than changing a cultural perspective of the wider audience.
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Old 04-26-2005, 12:56 PM   #99
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Well, as it is said, "silence" is not the absence of choice. It IS a choice in itself. And as a result of that decision, bigots like Jerry Falwell and Cardinal Rat...err..."Pope Benedict XVI" get to represent "Christianity" as a whole.

And then a whole new generation of people get to grow up embittered with Christianity. I'm certainly not the only one.

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Old 04-26-2005, 01:00 PM   #100
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So, in your opinion, what's the best thing for someone like me to do? Realistically, what can be done to change these misperceptions?
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Old 04-26-2005, 01:10 PM   #101
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So, in your opinion, what's the best thing for someone like me to do? Realistically, what can be done to change these misperceptions?
I don't know exactly. It's going to take a lot of individuals to take over the mantle of "Christianity" from the fanatics.

The first and easiest thing people can do is to stop being silent with their immediate surroundings. It all starts with friends and family. Then, ideally, they will all spread too to their friends and family, etc.

Google's "GMail" is a great example of this kind of "viral marketing." And it works. People just need to stop being silent. Nothing more than that, at this stage.

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Old 04-26-2005, 01:13 PM   #102
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The obvious sins are as important as the less obvious ones. Sin is sin and those who follow the true fundamentals of God's word will be concerned with both the obvious and un-obvious sins.

This is where I disagree with Bono. True fundamentalists are God's true children, the people he'll reward richly in Heaven. True fundamentalists will strive to follow God in every way, instead of just the least or most obvious ways.
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Old 04-26-2005, 01:14 PM   #103
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True fundamentalists are God's true children


And those who don't identify as fundamentalists are...chopped liver?
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Old 04-26-2005, 01:16 PM   #104
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Pax - I think you're exaggerating just a little.

- A non-fundamentalist
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Old 04-26-2005, 01:17 PM   #105
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I don't care what you call yourself. Call yourself followers of the polkadotted platypus for all I care, if you follow Gods word you'll end up in heaven and be rewarded for your faith.
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