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Old 10-28-2004, 05:10 PM   #46
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer This is not a question of us declaring a holy war with Bush being motivated out of a fundamentalist Christian desire to convert the Pagan Muslims, it is a question about where the world is heading - the old versus the modern, religious loathing against free and secular societies.
Fine, theofascist will do fine, I got called a Nazi because I used the more neutral and vague terminology in relation to the school of thought that Al Qaeda stems from and people got rather mixed up so I may as I said then I may as well go to the fullest extent as to distinguish between religion and a politically opressive system.[/B]
America itself was actually founded on Judeo-Christian principals. It certainly wasn't based on survival of the fittest, which is what Hitler actually based his regime on. Jews turned out not to be the fittest. Here, our founding idea is that all men are created equal, which goes directly against Darwin's creation myth of macroevolution that Hitler and Stalin liked so much. And since all men are "created" by a higher power we are ultimately responsible to, people are "endowed" with certain rights. "Endowed" suggests someone who endows. Although you certainly are free to not to believe in God in this society, that very right was brought about by people who, even if they did not believe in either the Jewish or Christian worldviews, respected their ideologies enough to base a free society on them. Look to the oppressive communist regimes if you wish to see completely secular societies.


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P.S. You seem to be snarky and Iota is acting like a dick. [/B]
For someone who has no belief in an objective standard that would dictate whether or not certain behavior is "dick-like" then you have no grounds to say that my behavior exibits any dickishness whatsoever. You may merely say that you don't particularly prefer my behavior over another person's and leave it at that. And I am free not to care.
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Old 10-28-2004, 05:35 PM   #47
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Originally posted by iota

Here, our founding idea is that all men are created equal



America itself was actually founded on Judeo-Christian principals.
but that is just empty words or flat out lies that school children learn and repeat without giving any thought


explain the part about slavery and murder and stealing from the American Indians being Christian principles


it is high time you do some independent thinking
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Old 10-28-2004, 06:12 PM   #48
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Originally posted by deep


but that is just empty words or flat out lies that school children learn and repeat without giving any thought


explain the part about slavery and murder and stealing from the American Indians being Christian principles


it is high time you do some independent thinking
It wasn't intended as a perfect theocracy.

You seem to have joined the post-modern revisionist thinking uncomfortable with Biblical precepts.

It is part of the new teaching that is repeated without giving any thought to out history.

I believe Dreadsox had an excellent couple of posts than clearly refuted Melon's identical allegations.
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Old 10-28-2004, 06:17 PM   #49
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Indeed Iota, but Social Darwinism - the poor are poor because they are meant to be is a total crock and has little to do with evolution - it has to do with despotism.

Now about America - secular does not define a country without religion, it means that the church and state are seperate, now this is critical because it ensures that the government can be held to account by men because it is not a holy institution, it also aids to prevent consolidated power etc.

Now take a country like SA, Iran or Afghanistan (when under the Taliban) and you can see the difference between secular societies where one if free to worship as they please (as long as it doesn't hurt anybody) and theocracies that with to impose a despotic system upon all people. There is a distinction between the two which is important - America would be a very bad country if it became a religious ideal for true believers.
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Old 10-28-2004, 06:18 PM   #50
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


It wasn't intended as a perfect theocracy.

Christianity is NOT a theocracy, it never was, no matter how much the fundamentalists would like you to believe that or how much the Vatican tried to interfere in the middle ages.

Now Judaism IS and ever shall be a theocracy.
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Old 10-28-2004, 07:15 PM   #51
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Originally posted by anitram


Christianity is NOT a theocracy, it never was, no matter how much the fundamentalists would like you to believe that or how much the Vatican tried to interfere in the middle ages.

Now Judaism IS and ever shall be a theocracy.
I agree with the former. Historically, however, there were attempts to create and maintain Christian theocracies (before the US).

The later, however, I must disagree with. Judaism thrives without a theocracy and Israel, on the other hand, is not a theocracy.
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Old 10-28-2004, 07:35 PM   #52
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It is irrelevant what Israel thrives on. I agree with you that it is not a theocratic state.

Judaism, as a religion is historically a theocracy, although the term is etymologically imprecise. The reason it was a theocracy is that the ruling priesthood (in the absence of a King of Israel) was accepted to be undertaking God's purposes. Therefore, religion (Judaism) was pervasive and permeated the entire social fabric. When the rabbinic movement formed, they directed their attention to religious life, and in an effort to reconstitute the Jewish society, they articulated a legal rationale for the covenant with God, thus establishing a theocratic basis for the enforcement of the covenant, the articulation of the national heritage and progression of the ancient culture of Hebrews.

Since the Judaism we know today is founded almost exclusively on the Judaism practiced by the early rabbinical movement in late antiquity, it remains a theocracy.
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Old 10-28-2004, 08:42 PM   #53
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I'm (genuinely) confused...theocracy is a term referring to a government, not a religion. Christianity certainly is a theocracy, in that God is ultimately in charge. Just like Judaism, Islam, and other faiths that recognize a higher power or powers.

How is Christianity not a theocracy?

And since Judaism is not a political system but rather a faith, how is it a theocracy?

Oh, yeah, and to be a mod for a sec...let's everyone chill out a bit. I thought this was supposed to be a fun thread.
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Old 10-28-2004, 09:55 PM   #54
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as per paxetaurora's request....



some of my friends livejournal icons







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Old 10-29-2004, 10:29 AM   #55
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oh, do you have links for those? they're awesome!
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Old 10-29-2004, 03:13 PM   #56
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Originally posted by paxetaurora
I'm (genuinely) confused...theocracy is a term referring to a government, not a religion. Christianity certainly is a theocracy, in that God is ultimately in charge. Just like Judaism, Islam, and other faiths that recognize a higher power or powers.

How is Christianity not a theocracy?

And since Judaism is not a political system but rather a faith, how is it a theocracy?
Hence I said the term is etymologically imprecise. Basically, you are referring to a theocratic religion, not a theocratic state.

I'll try to be brief.

Early Christians were essentially Christian Jews - they were Jews who happened to believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah. The vast majority of Jews (remember only about 5% of the ENTIRE Roman Empire had converted to Christianity by the time of Diocletian) did not consider him to be the Messiah. For a period of time following Jesus' death, the two groups coexisted, although uneasily, but they did not yet undergo a major split into two distinct, yet congruous religions. However, near the end of the 1st century, the Jews of present-day Israel wanted to mount another major revolt against the Romans.

Here is where Judaism is a theocracy - it is a strict monotheism where God is seen to be ruling through the priesthood or the eventual rabbinical movement by proxy. That is, Orthodox Jews believe that all the laws, cultural issues and social framework are to be conducted in the religious sphere. The ruling priesthood was eventually overtaken by the Rabbinical movement in Antiquity, and they essentially dictated laws based on religious beliefs. That is, their one God permeated the entire social fabric, affecting everything from dietary laws, marriage laws, inheritance, religious observances in the public spectrum and so on.

Now to get back to the 1st century - the split between Christianity and Judaism essentially occurred because the early Christians (who still considered themselves Jews at the time) made a conscious decision not to join the Jews in the revolt against the Romans. Their thinking was along these lines: Jesus has died and Jesus has risen and Jesus will come again, not in a thousand years, but any moment now. They believed Christ would return "like a thief in the night", unexpectedly, but shortly. As such, they believed that their primary duty in life was to prepare their hearts for the arrival of the kingdom of God. Because they felt that the return of the Messiah and the kingdom of heaven were at hand, they felt it would be counterproductive and unimportant to fight with the Romans. "Give what is Caesar's to Caesar, and what is God's to God" is an often quoted passage for the early promotion of the separation of Church and State.

The Jews revolted, and the revolt was crushed, and the temple was destroyed. At that point, the Jews became more and more scattered throughout Europe and the Middle East, and lost their sense of presence in what we today know as Israel.

The Christians went ahead converting gentiles, and they essentially came to believe that they could exist within the parameters of a pagan or non-Christian State, because they were entirely concerned with the afterlife and a reunification with Christ, rather than earthly affairs. Contrast that with the Jews, who believed (a belief they actually share with the Muslims) that the polytheist must be defeated wherever he exists. The Christians continued to exist as a minority, in a non-Christian state, through persecution and after it without a need for the State to be implicitly Christian, nor any need for the State to pass religious laws.

It gets muddled in the Middle Ages where you get the Vatican acting as both a religious body and a head of state, but this is mainly a matter of power struggle and greed rather than correct religiosity.

In the recent past, you have had fundamentalist factions of Christianity try and impose their views on the various states where they live. Historically, they are way off base, and practicing a form of religion that the early Christians actively rejected. The Jews believed that the Messiah would usher in a golden age of peace and that since nothing changed with Jesus, he was not the Messiah. The early Christians argued that you must look at the golden age in another context - that the peace is to be ushered in our hearts and in our souls and that by accepting Jesus, we have ushered in the golden age in our souls. That the change is not in the world, but in ourselves, and that we must live honourable lives so that when Jesus returns, we have prepared our hearts for his arrival.
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Old 10-29-2004, 03:48 PM   #57
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Brilliant post, Martina. Respect.
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:13 PM   #58
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Originally posted by anitram
Contrast that with the Jews, who believed (a belief they actually share with the Muslims) that the polytheist must be defeated wherever he exists.
Jews have peacefully co-existed with other cultures for centuries with no explicit or implicit desire to eliminate the "infidel" (unless you are referring to God’s direction for the Hebrews to conquer Canaan, something they failed to fully obey). I'm quite surprised by your comment on this point.


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Originally posted by anitram
In the recent past, you have had fundamentalist factions of Christianity try and impose their views on the various states where they live. Historically, they are way off base, and practicing a form of religion that the early Christians actively rejected.
The early Church was largely persecuted and not in a position to seek "imposition" of their views.

Your quoting of Matthew 22:21/ Mark 12:17/Luke 20:25, in context, refers to a Christian’s obligation to live subject to government, not independent of government.

Christianity, on the other hand, has no express prohibition on involvement with government. I would think it a stretch to suggest that a desire to pass certain laws based on Judeo-Christian principles is the equivalent of trying to create a theocracy.
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Old 10-29-2004, 05:05 PM   #59
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nbc, this was the underlying reason behind the revolt against the Romans around 70 CE - among other things, Jews of the time did not believe in living in a polytheistic state. You are correct that since then, they have existed (and undergone immense persecution) in non- Jewish and even non-monotheistic states.

As for fundamentalist Christians, I will speak out against some of their actions, because I find it extremely troubling that we are so ready to point out the speck in other fundamentalists' eye, yet ignore that which simmers in our own backyards.
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Old 10-29-2004, 07:03 PM   #60
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Sorry I didn't read all of this thread. I have this nerve over my left eye that is jumping like crazy.
I think it's my last one.

So I'm hijacking this back to the topic: fun thread
*not that all this wasn't totally enlightening* but
You know we just had a lunar eclipse, right...

1999 July 28 - partial lunar eclipse
2000 January 21 - total lunar eclipse
Were all the votes counted by the 21st.

Make of that what you will...

http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/UpcomingEclipses.html
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