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How to Deal with Religious Friends
Posted: 13 November 2006 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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One thing that I like about this forum is that so many of us have shared experiences.  Although I cannot say I have had exactly your dilemma TAG, I can say that I too get caught at thanksgiving every year…the hair on my neck standing up, forced to listen to the bs family prayer.  (WHAT A COMPLETE JOKE)

And when you said you are tired of feeling like the weird one, I know how you feel.  I am fortunate (I suppose) to be arrogant enough to bring my atheism up wherever I feel like…but even the times I do not find it necessary, it comes out.  For example:  My best friends aunt once asked me what I was doing to celebrate Easter, and I said “nothing”.  She then asked me if I was jewish (random in and of its own right), and I said no.  She asked me what I was and I said atheist.  And she said, “why an atheist.”  I thought for a second and said, “is there another option?” (I love that I said that)...But at that moment, I too felt sort of weird.  But it had to get out there.  I was spared a lot of religious discussion and bs that way…and have you ever noticed how when you are an atheist, religious people never want to talk religion with you…why is that?  I always want to talk atheism.

I think deep down they realize they have absolutely no backing or evidence for the beliefs they hold, and they are afraid of being put in a corner.  Whatever the case may be…this year I am letting it fly at all holiday dinners…beware family!!

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Posted: 13 November 2006 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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You guys are all just a bunch of whiners.  Close your eyes for a few seconds and mumble “amen” when the geezer finally stops rambling.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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[quote author=“MichaelLewchuk”]Nothing to do with his day to day existence?  You mean, other than the fact that it is the reason for his day to day existence?  Thats what I thought you meant…

You were likely to be the one in high school who said, “I won’t need this, why do I have to learn it?”  right??  Have you ever considered that the problem with Joe Blow is that he does not give a damn about anything, and is simply lazy…how about the world begins to flex its intellectual muscle… Is that too much to ask?

Joe Blow has another job—his belief in God commingled with his belief in science in no way stops you from your job in the forward march of scientific progress.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Sure it does…any ignorance…and what else can a belief in god be described as?...is an impediment to the truth

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Posted: 13 November 2006 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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[quote author=“mudfoot”]You guys are all just a bunch of whiners.  Close your eyes for a few seconds and mumble “amen” when the geezer finally stops rambling.

I’ve been doing that for years. It’s getting old.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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[quote author=“MichaelLewchuk”]I am fortunate (I suppose) to be arrogant enough to bring my atheism up wherever I feel like…but even the times I do not find it necessary, it comes out.

This is probably why atheists have a reputation as being arrogant or anti-social. Most of us probably wouldn’t say anything.

This has come up so few times for me. Once I worked for a really small company, and the owner had the idea to hold hands and “bless” the new office. I told him, in private, I wasn’t comfortable with that and he said he understood. A few days later he came over and apologized again.

No one never did “bless” the new office.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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[quote author=“mudfoot”]You guys are all just a bunch of whiners.  Close your eyes for a few seconds and mumble “amen” when the geezer finally stops rambling.

No. 

Too many before us did that, and it led to a weird national acceptance that theism is normal and atheism is abnormal.  There’s no reason at all that being a non-believer should be considered unusual.  Shutting up and saying amen is no longer a viable option.  We lost too much ground that way.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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[quote author=“TAGautreau”]  Shutting up and saying amen is no longer a viable option.  We lost too much ground that way.

When did atheists have any ground to lose? I think you should really show those holiday revelers and go to work. How dare they get in the way of secular capitalism with their religious holidays. The horror!

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Posted: 13 November 2006 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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[quote author=“Niles”][quote author=“saganfan”]

There’s very strong evidence to the contrary as regards Christianity and Judaism.  Sam Harris is just wrong, and you’re wrong to agree with him without doing research.  You bring up a perfect counter-example to the notion that faith inevitably results in fanaticism: Quakers and UUs.  Move just a smidgen towards the center and find the Wesleyan Methodists.  Their doctrines are the very essense of progressive humanism.  Move to the right and find that many of religious conservatives believe that the US Constitution and the values it sets forth such as democracy, individual liberties, and limited government are sacred principles.

For a humanist religious conservative, look no further than Senator Robert C. Byrd.  I had the pleasure to hear him speak at a democratic rally in his home state a couple of weeks ago.  He carries a copy of the US Constitution everywhere he goes—he took it out of his pocket and waved it at the audience, exhorting us all to study it thoroughly.  Byrd said that it was the greatest document ever written for governing people.  He also believes it to have been divinely inspired.

Christianity is Hellenized Judaism.  Read some Philo.  A melding of Greek philosophy with Jewish anthropomorphised deity.

Do your own research.  Subject Sam Harris’ assertion about moderate Christians to critical analysis.  It doesn’t stand up.

You pointed out two denominations of Christianity that are, when compared to the larger body of Christianity, statistical outliers.  You say that Harris is wrong, yet in order to establish this point you are using as examples two exceptions to the norm in Christianity. 

Simply pointing out the existance of two of the most benign denominations of Christianity does not necessarily entail that they are doing any real good.  It’s almost as if you’re giving them credit for being the least unprogressive. 

The exact reason that Quakers and Unitarians are outcast by most of modern religious society is because their progressive ideals don’t really mesh with the conservative ideals of established traditional religion in the Western world.  If these exceptions were the norm maybe you wouldn’t have people like Harris making such arguments.  (Then again, you probably would, simply because any religious faith is an affront to reason and the critical analysis of ideas). 

I have no doubt about the number of truly good religious people out there who believe in the Constitution and support the concept of liberty for all people (including non-religious people), but unfortunately many of the leaders of these religions only pay lip service to such a belief, and actively try to enact social policy based on their beliefs.  When successful, these changes to social policy go further towards bringing acceptance to the religion in a given society.  Those church leaders would not have the power they have were it not for their congragations of (mostly) moderate believers and the political power it represents.  So yes, I do think that your average believer contributes to the problem of extremism, if only by providing an acceptable social climate in which it can flourish.  You don’t have to worry about sharks if there’s no water.

Christianity is moderate—even the conservatives are mostly moderate.  Moderate means they believe that each individual is entitled to express their own opinion.  That politics be engaged in peacefully and that we should be subject to rule of law.  You are mistaking people who hold different opinions than you with people who don’t think that you have a right to hold them.  It is you who is the immoderate illiberal.  It is you who wish that religious people (with whom you disagree) should not have the ability to participate with their beliefs in the political process.  That is an exclusionary and bigoted approach.

Democracy works in America.  The backbone is moderate Christians.  That’s not a fundamentalist fantasy.  It’s unambiguous statistical fact, and has been since the founding of the republic.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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[quote author=“mudfoot”]Democracy works in America.  The backbone is moderate Christians.  That’s not a fundamentalist fantasy.  It’s unambiguous statistical fact, and has been since the founding of the republic.

Well, it’s been working… mostly. But Bush has been putting people in our government who oppose the development of cure’s of STD’s for religious reasons. That’s real, tangible violence that’s religiously motivated—and is on the verge of becoming mainstream in what was once a secular democracy.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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[quote author=“bouncing”][quote author=“mudfoot”]Democracy works in America.  The backbone is moderate Christians.  That’s not a fundamentalist fantasy.  It’s unambiguous statistical fact, and has been since the founding of the republic.

Well, it’s been working… mostly. But Bush has been putting people in our government who oppose the development of cure’s of STD’s for religious reasons. That’s real, tangible violence that’s religiously motivated—and is on the verge of becoming mainstream in what was once a secular democracy.

Let’s see.  Thanksgiving prayer and bad executive appointments.  Close the shutters.  Western Civilization is finished.

How about vote the f*ckers out and get on with things.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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[quote author=“mudfoot”]
Christianity is moderate—even the conservatives are mostly moderate.  Moderate means they believe that each individual is entitled to express their own opinion.  That politics be engaged in peacefully and that we should be subject to rule of law. You are mistaking people who hold different opinions than you with people who don’t think that you have a right to hold them.  It is you who is the immoderate illiberal.  It is you who wish that religious people (with whom you disagree) should not have the ability to participate with their beliefs in the political process.  That is an exclusionary and bigoted approach.

Democracy works in America.  The backbone is moderate Christians.  That’s not a fundamentalist fantasy.  It’s unambiguous statistical fact, and has been since the founding of the republic.

Where did you get that definition of moderate?

You don’t seem to see the difference in having the freedom to hold different opinions, and having freedom.

Here’s one of the issues that should highlight the difference in stark terms:

Religious folks want to make laws banning gays from marrying each other.

Gays do not want to make laws requiring religious folks to marry a same-sex partner.

The religious people are trying to force their way of life and beliefs on everyone else, whether they share those beliefs or not.  That’s infringing on freedom (you do know about the Bill of Rights, and the right all Americans have to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?).  The religious citizens seek, through politics, to limit the freedoms of other citizens based on those religious beliefs they hold.

Gay people just want to marry, and pursue happiness in their own way. They don’t care if you like them, or if you don’t like the way they live.  They just want to exercise their freedom.  There is absolutely no non-religious reason for them not to have a legal union, recognized by law for all of the reasons anyone else marries.

The non-religious folks don’t care what religious folks do, as long as they aren’t trying to take away anyone else’s freedoms.  The problem is that religious folks are determined to make their beliefs into everyone’s laws, and that affects the freedom of everyone who doesn’t share those beliefs.

I’d love to read these statistics, where can I locate them?

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Posted: 13 November 2006 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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[quote author=“frankr”][quote author=“TAGautreau”]  Shutting up and saying amen is no longer a viable option.  We lost too much ground that way.

When did atheists have any ground to lose? I think you should really show those holiday revelers and go to work. How dare they get in the way of secular capitalism with their religious holidays. The horror!

 

Oh yes—the holiday revelers.  <SNORT>  Sorry, that was unladylike.

You mean those poor folks who insist that Christmas is being stolen from them?  The ones who have no clue that Christmas is only celebrated as Jesus’ birthday because it was a convenient way to steal the Winter Solstice from pagans, like the other big Christian holiday (Easter)? 

It’s really sad and disturbing to witness all the ignorance being shouted and spouted at this time of year.

It’s nice to have the downtime, but it isn’t worth what it’s cost in promoting religious tyranny and oppression in America.  I’d give it up, but no one would notice.  All I can do is not celebrate it, which is what I do.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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[quote author=“TAGautreau”][quote author=“mudfoot”]
Christianity is moderate—even the conservatives are mostly moderate.  Moderate means they believe that each individual is entitled to express their own opinion.  That politics be engaged in peacefully and that we should be subject to rule of law. You are mistaking people who hold different opinions than you with people who don’t think that you have a right to hold them.  It is you who is the immoderate illiberal.  It is you who wish that religious people (with whom you disagree) should not have the ability to participate with their beliefs in the political process.  That is an exclusionary and bigoted approach.

Democracy works in America.  The backbone is moderate Christians.  That’s not a fundamentalist fantasy.  It’s unambiguous statistical fact, and has been since the founding of the republic.

Where did you get that definition of moderate?

That’s the very essense of religious moderation—acquiescence to non-religious civil authority via the social contract.

You don’t seem to see the difference in having the freedom to hold different opinions, and having freedom.

Here’s one of the issues that should highlight the difference in stark terms:

Religious folks want to make laws banning gays from marrying each other.

Gays do not want to make laws requiring religious folks to marry a same-sex partner.

The religious people are trying to force their way of life and beliefs on everyone else, whether they share those beliefs or not.  That’s infringing on freedom (you do know about the Bill of Rights, and the right all Americans have to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?).  The religious citizens seek, through politics, to limit the freedoms of other citizens based on those religious beliefs they hold.

Gay people just want to marry, and pursue happiness in their own way. They don’t care if you like them, or if you don’t like the way they live.  They just want to exercise their freedom.  There is absolutely no non-religious reason for them not to have a legal union, recognized by law for all of the reasons anyone else marries.

The non-religious folks don’t care what religious folks do, as long as they aren’t trying to take away anyone else’s freedoms.  The problem is that religious folks are determined to make their beliefs into everyone’s laws, and that affects the freedom of everyone who doesn’t share those beliefs.

That’s not how our society works.  The Constitution isn’t a blank check to do whatever the hell you want.  Rule of law doesn’t guarantee that all laws are good.  Don’t like the law?  Work to change it.  The fundies are better organized than little whiners such as yourself.

Talk about pathetic—the big axes to grind you guys have are that people who invite you to dinner might want to say a prayer at their table;[/] that regular people don’t necessarily require intimate knowledge of the cutting edge of biology in order to have fulfilling lives; and that gays can’t get married (yet).

Nothing to see here.

I’d love to read these statistics, where can I locate them?

79.8% Christian.  Right-left-center. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Religious_affiliation

It took me 10 seconds to unearth that.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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[quote author=“mudfoot”]
(snipping the above where poster says lots of stuff that has a nasty tone and isn’t conversational)

Wow, guess I got used to the other posters’ conversational grace. 

I’m new here and hadn’t realized yet that you’re an attack troll. 

I apologize to everyone else here for setting off the troll.

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