Sam Finally Speaks…(The End of Faith and politics)
Posted: 04 March 2005 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I was wondering where he disappeared to. Sam, you've made me a happy person today.

You said: Many readers have contacted me hoping that I would have some well-formed ideas about how to translate the message of my book into a political movement or some other form of social action. I don't.

Excellent! A man with your talents might actually lead some of the flock astray. So I am happy that you do not have any political aspirations in reference to the message of the book.

I also think it a wise decision with the current political climate. Us red staters…(actually, I'm in a blue state) are alarmed with the political and moral implications that a movement of this type would cause. The country already is in a state of moral filth, propagated by Hollywood, and declared normal by an eager "elite" media.

So, the political movement to take the country back for God has been taking place. This not without the required revival (have you heard, or don't you know, the spirit of revival is moving across the land).

If I may, here are some of the political changes I would like to see:

- Install prayer back in schools (doesn't have to be mandatory)
- Make the Pledge of Allegiance with "Under God" (does have to be mandatory)
- delimit abortion to cases of incest, rape, or irreparable harm to the women (it’s a moral tragedy when somebody kills the poor little living being inside their body for some flippant reason)
- Ramp up a great education awareness of why abortion is wrong
- clamp down on religious organizations that openly support one political party or the other (take away their tax exempt status)
- stop being so politically correct, we go to great lengths to not hurt the feelings of certain fringe groups, lets get to making important and morally correct decisions and everybody can live with it, or find a "better" country to live in (yuk yuk)
- Faith based initiative should be expanded greatly (inner city moms will thank us greatly; you know what I'm talking about….)
- Social Security should be revamped with private accounts, and those accounts should go to a beneficiary other than the gov (I CAN'T WAIT!!)
- Place the abridged Ten Commandments outside of every courthouse in the land! (ya baby, bout time!)
- immigration should be checked and controlled, no more insanity on giving driver's licenses to illegal, discounts to universities and all the other stuff. (It is not the governments job to feed and cloth the world, it is the churches job! Stop it!)

If you disagree, I would like to know why.

Sam, you might get some faith yet…, then you will have to write The Beginning of Faith (I'll be the first to buy it!)

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Posted: 05 March 2005 01:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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“- clamp down on religious organizations that openly support one political party or the other (take away their tax exempt status)”

Well, that would be one way to put a crimp in the Religious Right.<g> Exactly what religious organizations do you think openly support one political party over the other?

I think we’d pretty well all figured out what your political agenda is, and that you base it directly on your “faith.” You claim to be a Christian, so I"m going to ask you, OK, exactly what do you think Christianity is? The BIG problem I see on this board is one-dimensional thinking. There is no one kind of Christianity, and there never has been, since the very beginning of the development of Christian dogma. Before the end of the first century of its existence there were so many “gospels,” pastoral letters, etc. that the Bible had to be settled by agreement about which of these suited developing dogma. After that, the Eastern church went in one direction and the Western church in another, with much burning of heretics as splinter groups sprang up.

Christianity itself began as a Jewish sect; by the beginning of Christianity, Judaism itself has split into many competing sects. This happens to every religion. Islam, Buddhism, you name it, all theology splits into sects until every possible speculation has been developed and every possible psychological need is met in one or another sect, including HATE, which is what so upsets Sam Harris. Paganism was a much healthier system than this One God thing, especially where it reached maturity. Since there was a god for every psychological need and every human condition, you worshipped the god that suited your particular need at any given moment.

As for Christianity, fundamentalism is actually a very new thing. It is based on The Fundamentals, a series of small books sponsored by someone very rich (sound familiar?) and sent free to every church, school of theology, and anyone else who wanted it. Look it up. It’s on line. The purpose was to counteract the Social Gospel, the attempt to create the Kingdom of God on earth by doing things like social work among the thousands of immigrants coming to America at the turn of the century. Thus the much hated “liberals” were, and are, the mainstream churches, including many Evangelical churches, because they believed that “good works” were important to salvation.

But even The Fundamentals didn’t teach the literal interpretation of the Bible. The authors believed that the Bible was dictated (one could use the New Age term channeled) by God, but that there had been so many translations that one could never be certain that one could ever know exactly what the original version had said. The belief that the Bible as we now know it should be taken absolutely literally word for word is even more modern.

What The Fundamentals wanted to achieve was a return to the idea that all that’s required for salvation is FAITH. All that’s necessary is to be Born Again; once saved, always saved, regardless of what one does. In other words, this is the same old battle between faith and good works that caused the Reformation—as though good works wouldn’t necessarily flow from any kind of real faith.

What we have in the Bush administration is a phenomenon that didn’t begin to rear its ugly head until the 1970s and gained strength in the 80s, a perversion of the Calvinist doctrine of predestination called Dominionism. If you’d like to be scared out of your mind, look this one up. It goes roughly like this:

God knew before the creation of the universe exactly who was going to be “saved” and who wasn’t. There’s nothing anyone can do about this except to recognize one’s “saved” state—provided of course that you’re one of the elect. That’s what it means to be “Born Again.” The rich are rich because they’re being blessed; the poor are poor because they’re being punished. Thus there’s no need to waste time doing good works since the poor are damned anyway. Since they’re damned, the more they suffer the better. It is the duty of the “saved” to take over the country, and then to dominate the world, creating the Kingdom of God on earth. This Kingdom would enforce exactly those laws, including stoning people to death, found in the Old Testament. The American version of the Taliban. The Bush social, economic, and international policies are based entirely on this belief system. After the Rapture, all these lovely “saved” people, chosen before the beginning of time, will sit at the Right Hand of God laughing at the rest of us. Lovely religion, a religion of hate, spite, and revenge, the exact opposite of Christianity, which is nothing if not inclusive. Bush as Antichrist.

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Posted: 05 March 2005 02:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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[quote author=“MJ”]Bush as Antichrist.

AMEN to that! I have always found Bush’s claims of Christianity to ring hollow based on what he actually does, not just what he says. He seems to believe in God as justification for having been born into a wealthy and politically powerful family—he believes because he wants to feel entitled to the priviledges he has not earned. Those who don’t agree with him don’t matter, because he already knows he is right before he even makes a decision. Whatever he does is right because he does it and everyone who disagrees is just wrong. It’s the kind of mindless certainty that always turns me away from most Evangelical Christians . . . and the Evangelical Atheists aren’t much better.

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Posted: 05 March 2005 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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First off, I’d like to say that I’m a former evangelical Christian.  So I’ve been there, done that, Champion, though I wasn’t quite as fundamentalist as you seem to be. 

So, the political movement to take the country back for God has been taking place. This not without the required revival (have you heard, or don’t you know, the spirit of revival is moving across the land).

At least you are admitting to trying to take over the country, unlike others who still are trying to hide their revolutionary motives.  Strange that someone who believes in the power of God has to formulate a political movement to bring about a (supposedly) spiritual experience.  As to the “spirit of revival” sweeping across the land; Christians have been saying this for years in order to keep up the hopes of the faithful that their ranks are growing.  But they are shrinking.  Christianity has declined from 89% of Americans in 1990 to 77% in 2001.  www.religioustolerance.org/chr_prac2.htm 

 

- Install prayer back in schools (doesn’t have to be mandatory)
- Make the Pledge of Allegiance with “Under God” (does have to be mandatory)
- delimit abortion to cases of incest, rape, or irreparable harm to the women (it’s a moral tragedy when somebody kills the poor little living being inside their body for some flippant reason)
- Ramp up a great education awareness of why abortion is wrong
- clamp down on religious organizations that openly support one political party or the other (take away their tax exempt status)
- stop being so politically correct, we go to great lengths to not hurt the feelings of certain fringe groups, lets get to making important and morally correct decisions and everybody can live with it, or find a “better” country to live in (yuk yuk)
- Faith based initiative should be expanded greatly (inner city moms will thank us greatly; you know what I’m talking about….)
- Social Security should be revamped with private accounts, and those accounts should go to a beneficiary other than the gov (I CAN’T WAIT!!)
- Place the abridged Ten Commandments outside of every courthouse in the land! (ya baby, bout time!)
- immigration should be checked and controlled, no more insanity on giving driver’s licenses to illegal, discounts to universities and all the other stuff. (It is not the governments job to feed and cloth the world, it is the churches job! Stop it!)

Quite a mouthful.  Shows clearly your dominionist/reconstructionist leanings.  Have you stopped to think that not everyone believes as you do, and does not want your religion stuffed down their throats?  Silly question; of course you don’t think about that, because you know what is best for America because you speak for God. 

I think the greatest threat to America, and the world, is the fundamentalist thinking which Champion typifies.  It doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, Moslem, Communist, free market Capitalist, or whatever; if you suffer from black-and-white, right-or-wrong thinking, blindly following your leader/God, you’re all in the same class.  I view fundamentalist Christians trying to take over America the same way I view fundamentalist Moslems trying to destroy it.  They are actually allies, undermining America and what it could be, turning it into a fear-based, reactionary, totalitarian regime. 

I’m glad I came to my senses and walked away from the Christian religion.  And Champion…there’s more of us to come…

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Posted: 06 March 2005 06:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“TheChampion”]- delimit abortion to cases of incest, rape, or irreparable harm to the women (it’s a moral tragedy when somebody kills the poor little living being inside their body for some flippant reason)

Not sure if this one was a troll or not.

Obviously I snipped a bit.  One thread has been hijacked this way, why not another?

Anyway. 

Doesn’t this position on abortion defy rational thought?

If it is murder, as Champion seems to think, why would there be any exceptions?  Are you allowed to murder your neighbor and steal his kidney, but only if yours happens to be failing and your life is threatened? 

Seems to me the only two positions on abortion that make sense are the two extreme ones:  it is always murder and NEVER justified, or it is never murder and always justified. 

Most people take a middle of the road position.  They say it is a bad thing but to be left to the choice of the woman - or like Champion says it is a bad thing but okay in exceptional cases.  How do you really justify a middle of the road here?  Doesn’t make sense.

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