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949805 Posts in 62826 Topics- by 15174 Members - Latest Member: KKasPSInova
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61  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 25, 2014, 11:28AM
Vouchers were a thinly disguised way to resegregate schools.

The people who want vouchers were often Whites who wanted to use Private Schools, Parochial Schools, and Charter Schools as a way to get away from "them".  If that's what they want, I don't think the Government should be subsidizing that.  Note to ronkny: lots of Blacks also send their kids to Catholic Schools usually because they get better education than many ghetto Public Schools -- often because there are fewer classroom interruptions.

Mind you, I have nothing against Parochial Schools, Private Schools, or Charter Schools except when they fail to provide adequate education for any later steps.  I remember a guy who flunked out of my college (Cooper Union) because his Catholic School never provided Trignometry or Algebra -- two prerequisites for starting Calculus which we started as Freshmen.  He was pledging my fraternity and we devoted lots of hours to tutoring him and it just wasn't enough.

But I also think that Private Schools, Parochial Schools, and Charter Schools should not receive Government subsidy.
Youre wrong.  Tell that to parents in Harlem.  Hint; most aren't white.  That's a lie put out by the left and the teachers union.  Yes there are some whites who want that but a majority of parents who want vouchers  just want they're kids to have a decent education
62  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 25, 2014, 10:15AM
No, BvB is right on this one, separation was a strong part of the Protestant agenda.  However to be more complete one must admit that part of that was fear of Catholicism becoming more powerful. 

One small example is the former fierce opposition to school vouchers, purportedly for separation of church and state but in reality to prevent Catholic schools from getting more students and funds. 
I disagree. 
There are Protestant parochial schools too.  And non parochial private schools.  No. Bathe reason people were against vouchers was because of the teachers union and left wing politics.  For the most part.
And yes some Protestants still fear Catholics.  Unfounded fear by the way.
63  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 25, 2014, 10:03AM

Until about 30 years ago or so most conservative protestants were staunchly separationist, so many remaining members of The Greatest Generation, and probably many of their kids, will fall under that same umbrella.
As a believer and non I think it cheapens religion to mix it with politics--trivializes it--introduces a character of pettiness into it ... etc.
I disagree.  I'd like to see the research.  There was no internet and polling for stuff like that was not as often if at all for those kinds of things.  And no one complained about chaplins and crosses and prayers in the military.  And there was no call for a "humanist" Chaplin whatever that is.
I don't want and most reasonable people don't want a state religion, like the Constitution expressly forbids.  The anti religious, separation it's or whatever you want to call them have expanded the meaning.  And they're wrong in my opinion.  Justice Black's ruling was also an opinion.
64  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 25, 2014, 08:53AM
I guess what I'm looking for is a definition of militancy that's specific, but not so narrowly defined that it applies only to atheists. In other words, a set of attributes or behaviors that could apply to any religious or non-religious person, since we all agree that religious people can be militants, too.

This thing is easier to see at a distance, so I'll take militant Islamists as a model. For purposes of universal application, the word 'religion' can be construed as 'religion or lack of religion or other religious beliefs'. Here are my attributes:


1)...Behave violently in service of their religion.
2)...Compel others to participate in their religion.
3)...Seek to codify their religion as law.
4)...Hold beliefs that negatively affect certain groups (ethnic, gender, sexual preference, etc.) and act upon those beliefs whether or not those people share their belief system.

There must be more, but I can't think of them at the moment.
Except for 1.  I agree.  Militant doesn't nescessarily mean violent.  Although there are violent atheists and religious.
65  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 25, 2014, 08:30AM
Yes.  We value both.  Neither are part of Christianity.  Jesus was not pro any country, nor did he promise freedom.

Technically true, but for all practical purposes most people consider capitalism and patriotism synonymous.  Else why all the complaints about "socialist" leaders?

Maybe so, but that's not relevant.  We should practice our religion because we're required to, regardless of the consequences. Actually all the government protectionism makes it easy and convenient to be a Christian, no effort required, no risk.   
American Christianity finds nearly everything offensive; and continues to conflate faith and patriotism.

Freedom is NOT a Christian value.  Faith is, charity, humility, etc.  Not freedom. 
I'll repeat.  Without what that flag represents you would not be able to practice your religion freely.  People died to give you that freedom.  Christianity, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim.  It doesn't matter.

 "but for all practical purposes most people consider capitalism and patriotism synonymous.  Else why all the complaints about "socialist" leaders?"  Huh?  No.  That would be incorrect. 
Socialist leaders or leaders advocating many elements of socialism.  Why is that a patriotism issue?
66  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 25, 2014, 07:58AM
You're giving the easy examples. How many Christians in rural America would have a problem if the only religious symbol in their school or park was an Islamic one? I don't think the people who object to such a thing are militants--they just don't want their tax money used to promote someone else's religion.

The problem with your use of 'militant atheists' is that it seems to encompass behavior that is acceptable when religious people do it, but not when non-religious people do it. For instance, I went past a church readerboard yesterday that said "The wicked shall be destroyed." If someone posted a readerboard that said, "Christians will be destroyed" it would cause an uproar. Christians often try to persuade others of their religious beliefs, and predict dire results for those who disagree with them--it's called spreading the gospel. When atheists do the same, criticizing religion and trying to persuade others not to believe in it, they're militants, I guess.

When I say 'secularist to a degree' I mean they would not want to establish Old Testament law as a legal requirement, or be subject to legal penalty for violation of Biblical tenets, even those they subscribe to. Also, many Christians would object to uncritical presentation of religious belief as fact if it were not Christian, or if it were of a particular type of Christianity (Catholic, Amish, etc.) to which they do not subscribe.

There are religious loons and atheist loons. 
I have never had anyone tell me that my religious beliefs will result in dire consequences.  I know there's people out there like that but I've never me them and I've lived in NY, PA, AL and WA. 
What militant atheists are doing is just plain mean spirited because they think they're smarter than everyone else.  I never saw anything like this when I was in school.  No one got dyspepsia from hearing a religious song in school.  At least those trying to convert people are trying to "save" them, according to them.  Atheists just hate religion and think we're worshiping fairies.  So what.  There's no harm as long as there is no indoctrination. 
The "tax money" issue is a red herring.  Private groups can donate things and they still wouldn't want them in parks and public places.
67  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 25, 2014, 07:32AM
As a Christian, I object to Christian (or any other religion's) symbols in government institutions like courthouses, legislatures, etc.  I'm indifferent to symbols in other public spaces like parks.  I can see why reasonable people might object especially if public funds were used, but it's not a big deal to me.

I am more offended by the government flag being flown in church.  I have to stay silent on that issue for fear of the reaction of other congregants.  But I believe it has no place.  Faith does not equal capitalism does not equal democracy.   
The flag represents our country.  It represents freedom.  It doesn't represent capitalism. Without freedom you would not be able to practice your religion.  It's offensive to me that you find it offensive to have a flag in church.
68  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 24, 2014, 03:28PM
I think all those things require some thoughtfulness in order to avoid the impression, among impressionably-aged children, that their family's religion is less valid than other families' religions. I think going too far either way can be a violation of religious freedom, and some of the battles simply aren't worth joining. Both religious people and non-religious people can and should tell their kids that not everyone has the same religion they and their families do, so they may encounter ideas in public schools that aren't held by their families--the question is whether the pervasiveness of these ideas becomes odious and overbearing.

As they say, tough cases make bad law.

I've been hearing the same arguments since I was little, so it's definitely not of recent vintage. The demonized public face of atheism when I grew up was Madalyn Murray O' Hair, but the religious argument against compulsory recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, which predates my birth, was from a devoutly Christian family.

As I said before, most Americans, Christian or not, are secularist at least to a degree.
I agree.  But the extreme atheist, humanists, whatever, have zero tolerance for it. 
Secularist to a degree?  Like not going to daily mass?  Using birth control?  Not wanting a state religion? I agree.  Do most no Christians have a problem if there's a crèche in a public park?  No.  Only the militants.
69  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 24, 2014, 03:13PM
Just a note:
Anyone who's interested in what the real problem has been in here all along (well, since the arrival of the New Theists about 5-6 years back, anyway, which drove off almost all of the frequent genuine participants) need only go over the last three or four pages. Since then it's been quite the reliable pattern that if a discussion appears to be developing any momentum at all, it will soon be all about the din of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth from the New Theists in here, the actual topic (and all substance) soon lost in the deluge of histrionics and the quaint attempts to manage it, and forgotten (my apologies to those who are compelled to make those attempts--I know you mean well, and the din itself would probably be more than sufficient to carry out a successful denial of service attacks on genuine discourse anyway).
Just what is the topic bvb?  For an atheist you certainly have a lot of interest in religion.  And you're obviously not a scholar.
70  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 24, 2014, 03:01PM
I'm still not clear what my 'snarky comment' was. Perhaps you intended "Sure, PM, whatever you say" as a thoughtful argument and not as a snarky comment.

My argument is that public schools should teach subjects that are generally germane to the educational needs of students. Catholicism has a high degree of learned knowledge and it's probably useful to use school time for part of that. I don't think it's an appropriate or useful expenditure of public funds to teach that same knowledge to people whose religion does not include it.

I don't see anything controversial or anti-religious about that stance. I don't expect that it makes me a 'lunatic' in your eyes, but I'm not sure what your dividing line is in that psychological diagnosis.

As I said before, religious instruction that gives us better understanding of Christianity and other religions is different from indoctrination in Christianity, which is part of the clear and legitimate mission of religious schools. Avoiding Christian-themed books in a lending library isn't necessary because no one has to check them out as part of their education, unless those books' predominance reaches the point of advocacy of one religion over another, and in a library with thousands of books, including books about different religions, that wouldn't happen except deliberately.

I often recommend hymnals to friends who are learning to voice triads and dominant seventh chords in the context of a song on piano, because they are a readily available treasure trove of part-writing. I'm not trying to convert anyone, but if I were they might be uncomfortable with my advice regardless of its merit.
Do you advocate banning music that mentions God in public schools?
Do you advocate banning books that mention God or Yahweh or Allah in public schools?
Do you advocate banning religious groups from using public schools after hours?
Do you advocate banning the mention of God or any reference to religion at a graduation ceremony if it's said by a student and not advocated by the school?
There's more
There's no indoctrination in anything I advocate.
71  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 24, 2014, 02:32PM
a :  affected with lunacy :  insane
b :  designed for the care of insane persons <lunatic asylum>
:  wildly foolish <a lunatic idea>

My Jesus told me to copy the Webster definition you linked to because he notes that the "wildly foolish" definition is listed as #2 and "insane" is #1, so he said that I should point out that you were not, as you say "implying" that "they" are insane, but in fact, stating it outright - according to the definition you sited. He whole-heartedly agrees that "they" are insane of course, but he was not sure what an "anti militant atheist" was. Someone who is against militant atheism? Someone who is against militancy who is an atheist?

Militant atheist.  I started typing anti religious and neglected to delete anti.  Sorry.
I was implying they are wildly foolish.  I don't know if they are insane.  But they very well be.  Clear enough for you?
72  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 24, 2014, 02:21PM
I didn't make a snarky comment. If you think I did, you're misinterpreting something I wrote.

I also didn't state or imply that religious people are likely to be less educated, or that religious schools offer inferior education, nor do I believe that. My comment about many substantive subjects being under-taught in public schools could be paraphrased thusly: Given that public schools aren't educating students thoroughly and consistently in areas such as literacy, math and science, we shouldn't introduce subjects that are useful and important only to students of a certain religion. That falls far short of saying that religious schools or religious people are inferior, and it doesn't apply to private schools where the religious instruction would be germane to most or all of the students.I wonder if your excessive concern over religion-bashing is precipitated by your seeing it where it doesn't exist.

I absolutely disagree that secularists are predominantly atheists or fundamentalists. Jews and Seventh-Day Adventists might oppose 'blue laws' that enforce a Sabbath other than their own, and I would expect that most mainstream Christians would favor secularism in Muslim-majority countries.
Sure PM.  Whatever you say.
You said earlier that kids are undertaught so religion should be last on the list of subjects. Or something to that effect. And then you said secularists are in favor of teaching about religion without indoctrinating.  Who decides what's useful.  If religious schools can graduate a successful citizen that has a good academic background in all subjects including religion why can't public schools.  I'm not advocating teaching religion in schools.  I am advocating using books or music that has religious content because they are good reads and or scholarly.  Why should anyone care if it's about a Christian or Muslim or Jew?  It's not religious indoctrination.  It's education.  It's great music. 
73  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 24, 2014, 02:09PM
Of course, because people who disagree with you are insane (and probably ignorant so they need to be told to look up words). My Jesus understands this and agrees with you, and his vocabulary is more prodigious than mine.
I don't know what your problem is.  The lunatics are the anti militant atheists.  Do all militant atheists disagree with me?  Probably yes. 
Here's the definition I was using
Note "wildly foolish".
No implying they are insane.  Some may be though.  I don't know.
74  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 24, 2014, 12:37PM
Ronkny, calling people lunatics = great way to engage in a civil conversation. My Jesus approves!
Look up lunacy and you'll see why I used that word.  I could have used fools too.  Or crazies.  Just being honest with how I feel.
75  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 24, 2014, 12:34PM
The post I was responding to was not an example of atheism going overboard, because the story it linked to didn't mention atheism at all. Can you demonstrate that the people who proposed, codified, or implemented the policy were all atheists?

I know fully what 'begets' means (I read the Bible, too), but you haven't offered any evidence that this was begotten by atheists. It's true that many secularists are atheists, but if I can find many examples of secularist Christians (and I surely can), does that prove that Christians are to blame for excesses of secularism? Of course not.

I used the term 'indoctrination' in its literal meaning, 'instructing in a doctrine', and not in any pejorative sense. I used the term precisely because many secularists favor instruction about religion but not instruction that promotes a doctrine.

As long as we're on the subject of 'You should read more carefully', what did I write that implies that I would be surprised that Catholic children were smart, or that I believe that quality education and religion were somehow at odds? By reputation, Catholic schools are generally better than public schools. What I did say is that stupid kids have stupid parents, and it's odd that you'd argue against that by pointing out that your children are smart.
My kids went to Catholic and public school.
And you're snarky statement was unnecessary.  I know it's a tool you love to use here on the forum.
I was pointing out that religious people are intelligent in spite of reading the bible or listening to a priest.  Religious school did not make them ignorant as you suggest.  So they were not "undertaught".  So having religion in school has nothing to do with whether or not they get a great education. Tracking??
I'll repeat again.  The "new atheists" and atheism have resulted in the overly cautious stance of schools, businesses and government places.  Their proselytizing has created more lunacy where these institutions are afraid to even mention God for fear of reprisal of the lunatics.
Most secularists are atheists or hardcore protestant religious right.
I learned about religion in school.  A school with probably 500 Jews and 1,000 Christians in my class.  Guess what.  No one converted that I knew of.  I'd say many secularists don't want religion even mentioned in school.
76  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 24, 2014, 11:51AM
The only possible reason you could have to dislike atheists and blame them for things that go wrong is that they don't share your religious beliefs, because that's the only thing they have in common.

Second, you've picked out 'atheists' as the bogeyman and are blaming them for things that happen that you don't like, but it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. I looked in your own linked story and it didn't mention atheists once (maybe I missed it). So the atheism is a detail you made up.

Most of what you're talking about is secularism, the separation of gov't from religion. Are all secularists atheists? Of course not. I expect that most Americans, regardless of faith, support secularism in non-Christian countries like Turkey or Egypt, because it adds to the peace, and promotes fair treatment of religious minorities, including Christians.

People who oppose Christian indoctrination In U.S. schools fall into three broad categories:

1) People who aren't religious.
2) People whose religion isn't Christianity, like Jews or Muslims.
3) Christians.

Christians who oppose Christian orientation in schools oppose it for different reasons;
1) Because they believe that gov't involvement with or promotion of their religion will corrupt and dilute it.
2) Because they fear that another religion besides Christianity will be taught.
3) Because they fear that their version of Christianity will not be the one that's taught.
4) Because they are reluctant as a matter of ethics and conformance to Biblical teaching to promote their religion among other people's children, because they wouldn't want the same thing done to their own children (I've often heard the phrase, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and I'm almost sure it comes from some sort of religious text).

I don't have a dog in this fight, for the most part, because I don't have any religious affiliation and I don't have kids. I generally oppose religious teaching in schools because there's plenty of substantive knowledge that's being undertaught and as a moral person I'm sympathetic to people who are concerned that their children are being proselytized by a religion that's different from their own.

I also think some of this stuff, like the book banning story you linked to (if it's true) are examples of secularists going overboard.

But it's not very important. I grew up in a house full of books, and we regularly went to the public library as well as our school library (we still even had the Bookmobile in those days!). If I wanted to read a book, and it didn't have too many dirty words into it, I could read it whether it was in the school library or not. If people want their kids to be smart, they will be. Most stupid, poorly-read kids have stupid, poorly-read parents.

Most discussions about school have little to do with quality of education. Instead they're just people using schools as cultural battlegrounds. You don't hear a big uproar over, "My kid's in 10th grade, why hasn't he read Proust?"
You need to read a little more carefully.  I said "new atheists" and atheism.  Never said "all atheists".
Also I said "Atheism begets...lunacy and less freedom". ".  Look up the definition of beget. Never mind.  Here it is.
  People, corporations, schools, etc. are afraid of standing up for their religious freedom because of being sued by the likes of the "secular humanists", "freedom from religion" and others. 
I'd say most secularists are atheists.  Not all.  Just most.
How you get that this is some sort of "Christian indoctrination" is beyond me.  Your rhetoric is a fine of example of the lunacy I talked about.
My kids are 3.9 students with multiple scholarships at great Universities.  That happened in spite of being brought up in a Catholic household.  Hmmm.  Quality education and religion.  How'd that happen?

My posts were examples of secularism and atheism going overboard.  It's made many so frightened of even mentioning something religious in school, a government building, the military and then being sued or threatened by the lunatics.  Like I said.  Small, under the radar, steps are just the beginning.  Indoctrination is one thing.  99% of what the lunatics complain about is not indoctrination.
77  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 24, 2014, 08:18AM
Ronkny, I agree that the school went far overboard, unless there's more to this than is in the story. There's a big difference between using sectarian materials in a curriculum and having them available in a lending library. The example picked by the author--about someone helping Jews--was a particularly unflattering example of the policy, because its only apparent offense was presenting Christians in a good light (again, I haven't read the book, but if there was a better explanation we should have heard it).

Having said that, I do NOT agree with you that this story reflects negatively or in any general way at all on atheists. There must be atheists on this forum who respond to topics like this, and I've never seen any of them propose banning Christian-themed or Christian-authored books from public school libraries. Maybe you've seen those posts and I missed them.

This reminds me of my friends who post on facebook any time a conservative says something stupid. It could be the dogcatcher in some Podunk town saying something reprehensible that makes every other Republican cringe, but it's presented as "This is how Republicans think."

I don't like posts that say "Christians disrupt military funerals" or "pro-lifers want to murder doctors" because most of them don't (and I see those kinds of posts here, too). We can all cause some sort of commotion looking for the worst examples of anyone and sharing them on here, but it's more constructive to respond to what's actually said in the forum. Stupid, thoughtless, and misguided people come in all political stripes, so finding stories about stupid people to suit one's biases is pretty easy picking.
It doesn't reflect negatively on all atheists.  It does reflect negatively on atheism.  We are just seeing more of this nonsense than we have in the past because the "new atheists" are becoming more vocal and disruptive.  In the military some want humanist chaplins.  Some schools won't allow religious songs. And so on.  Just little jabs here and there that are adding up to more serious harm to our society and our freedoms.  It adds up.
bvb's purpose, although he won't admit it, is to mock Christianity and show how superior atheists are to Christians.  That's what this thread is about.  The first one was shut down and he couldn't wait to get another one started.  He's part of the new atheists.  They are radicals that are destructive to our country.  That's my opinion.
78  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 23, 2014, 05:25PM
79  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Religion Matters on: Sep 23, 2014, 04:34PM
Atheism begets this kind of lunacy and less freedom
80  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Sep 12, 2014, 07:27AM
***Moderator hat on***

Piano Man, no namecalling.

***Moderator hat off***

OK.  Back to the "discussion".
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