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Old 01-16-2005, 04:05 PM   #1
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Why can't the Us be more like this?

http://www.counterpunch.com/tirado01142005.html

An Icelandic Experience
The Christians I Know
By JOSÉ M. TIRADO

For the 3 years I have lived in Iceland now, I have had an ongoing debate with my friend J. in Illinois about our differing lives. In addition to politics, food and culture, we have regularly compared the remarkably different dominant strands of Christianity as practiced in the two countries.

Iceland being a Lutheran country with the State giving financial support and backing to the church, one might expect a dreamy American Christian nowadays to envy the high place Christianity has here. Think again. (Though there does exist a 24-hour Christian channel here, dominated by American evangelical preachers and their regular rants against Islam and liberals alike, most Icelanders hold a much different set of Christian views than what is seen there.) For example,

None of the Christians I know here think George Bush is anything but a boor and a bully, fearing him much more than any tin pot dictator the US supports then disposes of with growing fickle regularity.

The Christians I know might be against abortion, but they do not impose their opposition on women. In fact...

The Christians I know here founded the first women's political party in Europe and successfully elected the first woman President who was a single mother at the time.

The Christians I know are by and large socialists believing that poverty should be eliminated, hunger eradicated and that social equality should be the primary purpose of having a government.

The Christians I know oppose war, and regard it as evil. Period.

The Christians I know don't believe in oppressing anyone and that includes Palestinians.

The Christians I know value the Sermon on the Mount more than they do the Book of Revelations and it shows.

The Christians I know give to the poor without asking for allegiance to their version of God in return.

The Christians I know engage me and others in real interfaith dialogue, enjoying the comparative jostle while retaining a healthy respect for others of differing belief systems.

The Christians I know are actually curious about Islam and take seminars and courses on it and other religions regularly in order to know and understand more about the world they read about.

The Christians I know take none of the millennial, "end of the world" talk seriously, regarding it as silly, outdated and dangerous.

The Christians I know value reason and uncertainty, science and doubt and wear their faith in their hearts and not out on their sleeves.

The Christians I know don't think there is anything admirable about guns or militarism.

The Christians I know do not attempt to convert me nor do they attempt to convert anyone around me, respecting my freedom to be who I am and loving me nonetheless.

The Christians I know are worried about global warming (they see it daily here near the North Pole) and are constantly working to convert their economy towards more renewable sources of energy.

The Christians I know don't necessarily go to church often, if at all, but they are good, decent, hard-working people who are moved by their consciences not their ideological rigidity.

The Christians I know have differing political views but they are respectful of each other and don't engage in any of the viciousness I saw regularly in the States.

The Christians I know are not superstitiously afraid of practicing meditation or yoga and find that when they do it complements their own faith rather nicely, teaching them even more respect for traditions outside of their own, something they value as important in this modern world.

As much as I love living here, Iceland is no utopia and there are many reasons why I am a Buddhist and not a Christian. However, as I told my rigid, fearing-for-my-heathen-soul cousin recently, one of the biggest is that I was raised around them my whole life. Had I been raised here in Iceland though, things might have turned out differently.
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Old 01-17-2005, 08:04 AM   #2
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Re: Why can't the Us be more like this?

You know what's ironic about that post? The author hits on treating other's views with respect and not trying to change others, but shows a profound lack of respect (in fact, utter contempt) for "American" Christian views.

He's a hypocrite.
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Old 01-17-2005, 09:38 AM   #3
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It sounds like the Christians you know don't read and follow the word of God. What happened to "go into all of the world and tell of the good news"? Would that be considered "imposing" your beliefs on others?

It sounds like the Christians you know are very politically correct and not Biblically correct. Pro-choice is PC not what the Bible says.

So I guess the Christians you know have a lot of people who like them at the expense of standing up for the Word of God. Oh yes and by the way, opposing war is nice and all and but war too is Biblical and oppressing evil is too.

Maybe the Christians you know need to evaluate if they are Christians first and everyone's friends second or are they Christ-like? Not everyone liked Jesus, he offended people and didn't compromise to keep peace, if he did do that, he would never have been killed.

Oh and by the way if the "end of the world" talk was outdated, we wouldn't be here because it would have happened. ( I personally think that talk outside of reading what the word says about it and not the opinions of man is silly too.)

I have to agree with you about the viciousness of some of our dirty political ways. I agree that a lot of "Christians" use their "faith" as a tool, weapon or what have you. I can't believe that this is indicative to Americans. I agree that American Christian Television for the most part is an embarrassment. What you said about Yoga and meditation, well I don't engage in that and I don't believe that is what a Christian should be doing IF it is tied into the spirituality that is typically linked to it. That would fall under witchcraft which is clearly stated in the Bible to stay away from. I have practiced Yoga for health without the meditation. We are to meditate on the Word however. The Bible states that too.

I am just a believer in the pure Word of the Lord. Not the interpretations out there. I get so mad when I hear "Christians" say they are Christians then in the next breath say they would never have and abortion but would never say no one else should. Unfortunately that is the nature of sin. We do something without, caring about what God says about it, we have consequences then sin again so we think we don't have to deal with them. Abortion does not solve that problem. It just turns into a source of shame and guilt that without God is carried for a lifetime. It is a sad cycle that God can heal, but I have seen it almost destroy a woman's life. If I saw someone going in that direction I would not be able to "not impose my beliefs" on her.

If this has offended, well I am sorry you feel that way. If you see where I have been UN-Biblical please tell me. I would not want to go on like this and be speaking other then the Word. I just ask that you read and know your Bible and decide if you are going to stand on that Word. Then go ahead and use the label "Christian," there are too many so-called Christians out there who have hardly cracked the Bible. We are not born Christian we are born again Christian. (born again is another term that has been perverted by man)

Jesus was and is about love. Not attacking eachother. I don't mean for this to sound like an attack. I am just very passionate about this.
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Old 01-17-2005, 04:15 PM   #4
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JTsAli, Good post.
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Old 01-17-2005, 04:49 PM   #5
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Scarletwine - thank you.

You know, a little bit of self-examination is always good to keep one's soul on the right track.

If the shoe doesn't fit you, then why get upset with the article?'
Everyone has the right to voice an opinion.

But then, people protest the most when the shoe is a bit uncomfortable.

For me, as an American Christian, I thought the article was just fine.

My shoes aren't too tight.
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Old 01-17-2005, 05:23 PM   #6
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Shouldn't this be moved to FYM?
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Old 01-17-2005, 06:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila
Scarletwine - thank you.

If the shoe doesn't fit you, then why get upset with the article?'
Everyone has the right to voice an opinion.
It upsets me because conservative Christians sure do get slammed a lot around here, a forum that's supposed to be non-argumentive in nature.

Another thing that upsets me is the hypocrisy of the article; this author, who shows no respect for conservative Christians lecturing conservative Christians about not respecting others' beliefs- What a laugh.

This forum is not supposed to be a place of arguments; but I guess it's okay as long as it against conservative Christianity.
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Old 01-17-2005, 07:06 PM   #8
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Yeah 80's you are so right. I have been posting on Interference for about 9 days now. I think I am going to stop posting on The Goal is Soul. I was hoping for love and peace. I have found people eager for fights, and an overall argumentative spirit. I have found you and Biff and one other person to be the only levelheaded people I have come across. There are not any private links that I know of so I guess this is about it. I will probaby lurk but I am not going to post anymore. Take it however you all want to, but the Bible says not to argue with fools and not to cast pearls among swine. I am not saying you all are pigs I am just not out for arguing. I just wanted to talk about the beauty in U2's music and how Jesus shines through more and more. Love and Peace to you all
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Old 01-17-2005, 08:36 PM   #9
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JTsAli, don't go. This is a fractious place, sure, but what places in this world are not? Please don't let just a few days in this place wear you down; there are many wonderful peope here, and good ideas being tossed about. Give it more of a chance! Your enthusiasm is lovely.
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Old 01-17-2005, 09:58 PM   #10
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The Christians I know are not superstitiously afraid of practicing meditation or yoga and find that when they do it complements their own faith rather nicely, teaching them even more respect for traditions outside of their own, something they value as important in this modern world. .......Christians arn`t supose to practice the DARK ARTS! Who are you kidding?
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Old 01-17-2005, 10:11 PM   #11
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The Christians I know take none of the millennial, "end of the world" talk seriously, regarding it as silly, outdated and dangerous. .... Well, there not christians! it`s not silly! do you want to trade insults? your quite the the wonderful person you describe yourself as! any more praise you want to heep on your self and your religion? it is you who is intolerant!
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Old 01-17-2005, 10:15 PM   #12
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Hey! Jose define christian?
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Old 01-18-2005, 04:51 AM   #13
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If this is going to turn into some sort of an angry "who is Christian and who is not" sort of thread, then I will be very happy to move it to FYM. Goal is Soul is NOT the place for it.
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Old 01-18-2005, 05:40 AM   #14
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I think the very topic of the original post calls for serious debate. This should have been moved the minute it was posted.
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Old 01-18-2005, 06:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ft. Worth Frog
I think the very topic of the original post calls for serious debate. This should have been moved the minute it was posted.
I agree.

It didn't become an argument-type thread when Naxos asked Jose to define Christian; it became an argument-type thread when it was posted. The very nature of the thread was provoking and inflammatory.

Conservative Christians are constantly labeled as "intolerant and disrespectful of others views", but in this forum, it's not the conservative Christians that start threads asking "why can't liberal Christians be more conservative?". I could go on and on about the abuse hurled at conservative Christians in this forum that is supposed to be a "friendly place for discussion".
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