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Old 09-26-2002, 01:53 PM   #31
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Originally posted by U2Bama
3. Don't think that the 19 terrorists and their backers have some goal of making the world a better place, solving the Third World debt crisis, ending the African AIDS crisis, liberating the space monkeys, or globally restoring human rights. Their goal is to drive these groups from a large geographical region so that they can rule the area with a theocratic empire.

4. Have a nice day.

~U2Alabama
Did I ever think so? No. True what you say.

I agree with 99 percent Anthony said in this thread

(Don´t make me research the one percent)

Great discussion.

Oh, and I have looked at the website of the Christian Coalition. I think I will join them because they have the true answers to end evil on this world. I like it especially that with every new site that poops up, there is no picture of Jesus or a cross or a church, but the picture of Mount Rushmore or the Liberty Statue. Those symbols define Christianity from the very start, don´t they?
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Old 09-26-2002, 02:08 PM   #32
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Quite honestly, I think a lot of this hostility came from the fact that the Reagan/Bush era wished to permanently mold America in their image: an uber-capitalist nation with no labor unions, corporate taxes, etc., that would continue to establish American cultural dominance over the world. I mean, they still had "Star Wars" to build, and Clinton came in and stopped it. Overall, they had an agenda to fulfill, whether the American people wanted it or not or whether America could afford it or not, and I feel that this same contingent is taking full advantage of the current Bush Administration, hiding under the guise of increased security of 9/11. No, I don't believe they caused 9/11, but I do believe they are exploiting it for every last advantage to create their view of an American supply-side utopia, not caring who or what they destroy in their path, because "God is on their side."

Melon
I have long felt this way, that one unfortunate facet of American conservatism is one that wishes to promote *sameness*--not solidarity or unity or mutual support. Some conservatives--and it seems to be those who shout most loudly--make it no secret that they believe everyone ought to be a Christian, Republican, heterosexual gun owner. And we all know that's never going to happen.

I certainly know that many conservatives do not feel this way, and have other reasons for believing and acting as they do. But unfortunately for more fair-minded conservatives, the ultra-right faction is the loudest, and plenty of people--even myself at one time, though I hope not anymore--still think of *all* conservatives in this manner.

EDITED:
One good example is a conservative law firm and activism group calling itself The American Center for Law and Justice. Well, that's a title that could also apply to the ACLU, for example. I'm all for American law and justice in that I believe in trial by jury, free speech, freedom of religion, an open market, and universal suffrage. But I would never join that group. Know what I mean?
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Old 09-26-2002, 02:55 PM   #33
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Originally posted by paxetaurora
One good example is a conservative group calling itself People for the American Way. Well, that's a title that could also apply to the ACLU, for example. I'm "for the American way" in that I believe in trial by jury, free speech, freedom of religion, an open market, and universal suffrage. But I would never join People for the American Way. Know what I mean?
Actually, People for the American Way is a rather liberal general interest group founded by Norman Lear and supported by Michael Stipe and other liberal celebrities and activists. In principle, I agree with their goal of ensuring "the American Way," but I do not always agree with their approach (such as condemning every single judicial candidate that a Republican official dares to nominate, regardless of the judicial candidates experience and views).

~U2Alabama
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Old 09-26-2002, 04:57 PM   #34
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Oopsy--thanks for my pointing out my snafu, Bama.

I meant The American Center for Law and Justice, and I'm editing my post to reflect that.
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Old 09-30-2002, 12:18 PM   #35
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  • "Truth," as we wish it were, has always been mutable and irrelevant. The issue of "balanced representation" is a fallacy in itself, because what we really want is something that appeals to our ideological lenses, whether that be liberal or conservative--again, putting "truth" at the last priority.
  • Karl Marx believed that the working classes would someday rise up, overthrow capitalist society, and be satisfied with equality. This, being perhaps one of the cornerstones of Marxist philosophy, is a fallacy. In contrast, humanity is inherently greedy, and, as long as there is some deluded promise that they themselves could be as wealthy and fat as Bill Gates, humanity will accept the accompanying abuse. This is why capitalism works, because, truly, we enjoy being elitist, and, at the other end, we enjoy seeing others worse off than us.
  • Capitalism, in theory, claimed that supply-and-demand forces would regulate it. In practice, this is a fallacy as well. The institution of forms of "credit" ended any semblance of self-regulation. Health care is bloated beyond all capacity, and, as you can tell, no one can remotely afford it on its own, as insurance is the only thing that props it up. However, eliminate insurance and the health care industry would collapse, as scientists and pharmaceutical companies are used to a certain level of bloated entitlement--i.e., $10,000 for AIDS drugs that cost about $1 to actually make. In nearly every circumstance, business would rather ensure its own destruction through bankruptcy, rather than ever lower its prices significantly.
  • Religion, in theory, is supposedly about "love," when, in fact, religion is about as corrupt--if not more corrupt--than the worst of human regimes. What other device is prone to wars, cults, terrorists, self-hatred, mind control, greed, and power? The nature of religion angers and upsets me so much that, for all the good it claims to bring, I fear that humanity would be in far better shape with its destruction. God was cast out of religion from its inception, and in God's place came worldly power and greed--what we crave the most--and nothing has ever changed.

More to come...

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Old 09-30-2002, 05:32 PM   #36
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Religion

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Originally posted by melon
  • Religion, in theory, is supposedly about "love," when, in fact, religion is about as corrupt--if not more corrupt--than the worst of human regimes. What other device is prone to wars, cults, terrorists, self-hatred, mind control, greed, and power? The nature of religion angers and upsets me so much that, for all the good it claims to bring, I fear that humanity would be in far better shape with its destruction. God was cast out of religion from its inception, and in God's place came worldly power and greed--what we crave the most--and nothing has ever changed.


Melon
One of my theories from reading the bible is that Christ came to take religion away from the "church" and give it back to the people. He had to have been a threat to the church leaders at the time. The beauty of Christ is that he preached and performed miracles in violation of "Church Law" and adheared to God's Law.

He was not a threat to Rome and there is no way the Romans wanted to execute him. However, the church leaders feared for their power and greed. Ultimately, this lead to his downfall. Rome could control the Pharisees, and the Pharisees helped to control the Jewish population, however, because they were threatened, there was no choice.

Think about how on Palm Sunday Jesus was on the cusp of revolution with the masses behind him. He gets grabbed in the night, when no one is around to guard and protect him, and he is put to death.

Today I look at the "church" and I wait for it to be rescued again. Man-made rules and dogma have once again put shackles on God. And most "churches" are more concerned with the $$$ than the soul. I eagerly await the next U2 Tour so I can get back into a church.
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Old 09-30-2002, 05:57 PM   #37
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Re: Religion

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Originally posted by Dreadsox
And most "churches" are more concerned with the $$$ than the soul.
While this might be very easy for you to say, or you to believe, it is far from the truth. The vast majority of churches are modest affairs, whether you find them in the wealthiest of places in the world, or in the most impoverished nations. I’ve prayed in well-appointed sanctuaries, and I’ve preached in one-room mud brick churches. In both extremes, the focus was on Jesus Christ and the power of His Grace.

The Great Deceiver wants you to focus on all that is wrong in “religion” so you will skip over God’s truth.

Go in His Peace...
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Old 09-30-2002, 10:24 PM   #38
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Very good point, nbcrusader. A few misguided churches tend to give the rest a bad name, yet there are many congregations that are indeed doing good works and living their faith and, in my opinion, are truly a part of the Body of Christ. You can find such churches within the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant denominations if you seek them with an open mind. I can understand if going to church or joining a church is not for every Christian, but I don't think that means that the majority of churches are capitalist ventures concerned with profit margins and net worth.

~U2Alabama
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Old 09-30-2002, 10:45 PM   #39
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Re: Re: Religion

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Originally posted by nbcrusader


While this might be very easy for you to say, or you to believe, it is far from the truth.
We can agree to disagree here. I said "most" not all. I still see most church communities as what Christ stood against. You can choose to think I have been decieved if you want to. I can only speak what is in my heart when I read the story of Christ.


Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader

The Great Deceiver wants you to focus on all that is wrong in “religion” so you will skip over God’s truth.

Go in His Peace...

The Great Deceiver has put the shakles of Dogma and man-made rules to keep the focus off of God. The message of Christ is a simple one, yet it has been twisted and turned into something complex by church organizations. God gets lost when that happens. As I said, my continuous prayer to our Father in heaven is that Christ will someday come and straighten this whole mess out. God will be rescued when he does.



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Old 09-30-2002, 10:53 PM   #40
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Originally posted by U2Bama
I can understand if going to church or joining a church is not for every Christian, but I don't think that means that the majority of churches are capitalist ventures concerned with profit margins and net worth.
~U2Alabama
I agree with you that church may not be the place for every Christian. I wish we knew for sure where the bulk of Christ's ministry took place, in the Temple or with the sinners. I know where I believe it took place.

As for $$$ I do believe that many churches do do good with what they receive. But there have been very few churches that I have been in where the $$$ is not consistently sought out. I am still seaking a single story in the good book where Jesus sought out $$$.


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Old 10-01-2002, 11:55 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


I wish we knew for sure where the bulk of Christ's ministry took place, in the Temple or with the sinners. I know where I believe it took place.

Don't discount Jesus's ministry to his disciples. He spent more time with them than with anyone else.

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But there have been very few churches that I have been in where the $$$ is not consistently sought out.
I'm not sure what churches you've been to, and I'm not sure what you meant by "consistently sought out" (e.g. an offering plate is passed around each week, or a plea for increased giving is given every week), but do you consider the ideal church one that requires no giving of money, time, or effort by it's members? Of course, you seem to be against the idea of churches, so that may be a silly question.

Quote:
The message of Christ is a simple one, yet it has been twisted and turned into something complex by church organizations. God gets lost when that happens.
I think I share some of your concerns for the church, but I'm not ready to throw out the idea of a church. Shouldn't believers still get together? At what point does it become a "church", and does it become wrong at that point? I'm not trying to put words in your mouth D-sox, I appreciate your posts around here and would like to hear more of your thoughts on this.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox

I am still seaking a single story in the good book where Jesus sought out $$$.
In Matthew chapter 23, Jesus said:
Quote:
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
Jesus is not seeking out money here, but he is supporting the idea of giving to the church (while making the very important point that there are far more important things we should be doing as well).

I know we're way off on a tangent issue here. Sorry.

Melon - I wish Marx were right. I wish we would all be satisfied with equality. But if we can get more, we want it, even if (especially if?) it comes at someone elses expense.
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Old 10-01-2002, 02:09 PM   #42
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- Anti-American sentiment is going to levels worthy of "The Onion." Yes, we blew up our own buildings and brought down our own planes, so we could own all the world's oil and establish a "Gap" in every Islamic temple. Never mind, of course, that America has been researching hydrogen fuel cell technology that would make us probably no longer need foreign oil in another decade...so I'm sure we would get yelled at for that as well.
I don't know whether this rant (no offense meant) responds to what you really believe since I don't find it to be much in line with your next posts. I certainly don't agree with this paranoid campaign many Americans are adhering to regarding "anti-Americanism". The fact that people don't agree with US foreign policy or future actions the US government plans to undertake doesn't necessarily make them anti-American. In fact many of them are actually American! People may be anti-Bush or anti-imperialist in any case, but it's plainly ludicrous to make out of such opposition a case of being the victims of the rest of the world's hate excluding naturally the Islamic fundamentalist part of it. I fully agree with Anthony on this one.

Re hydrogen fuel cell technology and other alternative energies research. I understand that their financing on part of the present US administration has suffered drastic cutbacks if it wasn't cut off altogether. It makes you wonder, doesn't it? On the other hand, no I don't think the US would be yelled at for it since besides putting an end to conflicts arisen because of oil control it would also reduce pollution on our already battered planet.

Quote:
- Leftism has proved completely ineffectual in dealing with terrorism, which has always looked disdainfully upon intellectualism and pacifism--bulwarks of leftism. Something indeed tells me that intellectualism and pacifism will not dismantle Al-Qaeda, no more than intellectualism and pacifism will not dismantle the Christian Coalition. In fact, it only seemingly fuels the fanaticism further. I guess as long as Al-Qaeda doesn't strike anything else but America--since they "clearly" deserve it, according to Canadian opinion polls--then America should just shut up and take it?
What do you exactly mean by leftism? Communism? The US intellectual left - Chomsky et al? I fail to see in which actual cases "leftism has proved to be completely ineffectual against terrorism". That I know of the US were never ruled by "leftists" unless Democrats are considered to be such. On the other hand pacifism is not certainly a bulwark of leftism. Left-wing ideologists have always been pro-revolution whatever the forms, unless you mean John Holloway and his recent concept of anti-revolution breeded during his experience in Chiapas. If you mean opposition to US interventionism in the foreign front (anti-imperialism), that's something else, but that can hardly be called pacifism. In any case it hasn't given much of chance as to conclude that it has proved to be ineffective.

While I agree that pacifism (true one - in the Gandhian sense - not anti-imperialism) and intellectualism can't contribute much towards doing away with terrorism I don't see how they "fuel fanaticism further". It must also be said that while root solutions (removing causes) have never been given a chance, the retaliation or "we're gonna get 'em" approach which have been conversely widely tried out, i. e. military actions in the Israeli style not to mention the recent war in Afghanistan have also proved to be completely ineffective.

Does this mean that the US or Israel have to sit back and take it?

No, but nobody in their right senses can really believe that killing bin Laden and dismantling Al-Qaeda will put an end to the terrorist threat from Islamic fundamentalists. I mean that the chosen approach won't help to achieve the goal of doing away with terrorists. This is because this approach relies exclusively in the removal of the effect rather than the cause. In fact it's the result what's being pondered and not the reasons why such events happened in the first place. Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda did not perpetrate the 9/11 attacks because they are "madmen who hate the US for no reason". They did not do it either beacuse they resent past American policy in the Middle East and much less because they give a damn for their people's welfare. However they use such arguments which are those that make them widely supported in the Middle East to enforce their own agenda consistent in wiping out the opposition to establish their own theocratic system.

The real problem is however the widespread support they get from their own people which is what really fuels the existence of such groups both with manpower readily available to join their ranks and in general with facilitated operativity (lots of people ready to hide them, provide them with food supplies, etc). The question is why do people get to the point of supporting such extremist tactics and the ideology that goes with it. The answer is fairly simple: not certainly because they are all fanatics nor because Islamism preaches violence, but rather because these people are victims of real grievances which stem from extreme living conditions, years of oppression and of claims being ignored, most of the time caused by foreign aggressive policies originated in the west.

If something isn't done to actually remove such grievances there is no hope of doing away with terrorism and this has nothing to do with intellectualism but rather with common sense.

I'm certainly aware that terrorism won't disappear automatically if local people have access to better living conditions, education, etc or their claims are responded to, but rather that such a scenario will make them much less prone to support terrorist cells and even willing to get rid of them altogether. That will undoubtedly make the task of hunting down terrorists and punishing them as they deserve much easier to carry out. Wars and raids against individual terrorist cells may temporarily knock them out of the game, but if the causes of resentment which are the ones that encourage the massive support to such groups continue to exist, it won't be long before new similar organisations spring up.
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Old 10-01-2002, 02:14 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama
3. Don't think that the 19 terrorists and their backers have some goal of making the world a better place, solving the Third World debt crisis, ending the African AIDS crisis, liberating the space monkeys, or globally restoring human rights. Their beef is with the presence of Jews (Israel), westerners (U.S. & European military and businesses), moderate Muslims, Hindus and other "infidels" in the Arabian peninsula, Palestine, the Middle East, Northern Africa and Central Asia. Their goal is to drive these groups from a large geographical region so that they can rule the area with a theocratic empire.
I fully agree. However this fact musn't be mistaken for the nonexistence of the grievances they claim to fight for and because of which they are massively supported.
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Old 10-01-2002, 02:29 PM   #44
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Interesting thoughts Melon.

Quote:
Originally posted by Melon
* "Truth," as we wish it were, has always been mutable and irrelevant.
What is "truth"? Is there anything like it?

Quote:
The issue of "balanced representation" is a fallacy in itself, because what we really want is something that appeals to our ideological lenses, whether that be liberal or conservative--again, putting "truth" at the last priority.
Agree.

Quote:
* Karl Marx believed that the working classes would someday rise up, overthrow capitalist society, and be satisfied with equality. This, being perhaps one of the cornerstones of Marxist philosophy, is a fallacy. In contrast, humanity is inherently greedy, and, as long as there is some deluded promise that they themselves could be as wealthy and fat as Bill Gates, humanity will accept the accompanying abuse. This is why capitalism works, because, truly, we enjoy being elitist, and, at the other end, we enjoy seeing others worse off than us.
Absolutely agree.

Quote:
* Religion, in theory, is supposedly about "love," when, in fact, religion is about as corrupt--if not more corrupt--than the worst of human regimes. What other device is prone to wars, cults, terrorists, self-hatred, mind control, greed, and power? The nature of religion angers and upsets me so much that, for all the good it claims to bring, I fear that humanity would be in far better shape with its destruction. God was cast out of religion from its inception, and in God's place came worldly power and greed--what we crave the most--and nothing has ever changed.
Well religion IS a human regime. There are other devices prone to the evils you mention, however when they originate from religious organisations it makes you crazier because they contradict the spirit of what they supposedly preach. Nevertheless I'm not so sure that humanity would be better off with its destruction since many people actually need some sort of organised entity to instill in them the fear of God in order for them to behave decently. Also it's not entirely fair to ignore that many good works are actually done in the name of God under some religion's watch. On another account I'm not so sure that the sort of massacres performed in the name of God could have been avoided altogether, since even if God wouldn't have been the excuse, who can tell if some other pretext wouldn't have been invented to perform them anyway? In fact even if the religious pretext was used to paint them with the gloss of legitimacy it's obvious that they stem/med from clearly human shortcomings such as racism, sexism, fanaticism, hate and intolerance in general. Somebody would have undoubtedly come up with something else to be able to direct such passions.
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Old 10-01-2002, 04:46 PM   #45
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Quote:
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Don't discount Jesus's ministry to his disciples. He spent more time with them than with anyone else.
Very good point. It is actually something I think I took for granted and had not spent a lot of time thinking about it.


Quote:
Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase
I'm not sure what churches you've been to, and I'm not sure what you meant by "consistently sought out" (e.g. an offering plate is passed around each week, or a plea for increased giving is given every week), but do you consider the ideal church one that requires no giving of money, time, or effort by it's members? Of course, you seem to be against the idea of churches, so that may be a silly question.
Actually, time and effort is something I appreciate and I looked forward to giving to my church. It actually means more to me to see people working as a community.

Currently, to satisfy my need to work in the community I have turned to non-denominational organizations to satisfy my need to gove back to others for the blessings I have received.

Started off Catholic, then Congregational, then Nazarene, then Unitarian, then Catholic.....now.....????



Quote:
Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase
I think I share some of your concerns for the church, but I'm not ready to throw out the idea of a church. Shouldn't believers still get together? At what point does it become a "church", and does it become wrong at that point? I'm not trying to put words in your mouth D-sox, I appreciate your posts around here and would like to hear more of your thoughts on this.

I do not think I have thrown out the idea of church, however, the closest I have felt to God in recent times has been:
#at the U2 concert in Providence last October 30,
#when I am working with students who are lacking in a male role model at home
#when I am with my children playing and praying. On a side note, kids speak to God in the simpolest of terms and have the most perfect prayers.

As for getting together with believers, I do think it is important to be together with a community of believers, yet I find God when I am talking religion with other people with different beliefs from mine. When I see the soul of a person, be they of another faith, or of no faith, I still find God. One of the most kind souls that I know belongs to an atheist friend of mine. She has honor, integrity, loyalty, love of neighbors and the world. I see more of Christ in the Native American culture than I do in the culture of the community I live in.

Now I am off topic. Rambling.....


You are not putting words in my mouth....you are making me think. I appreciate it.


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