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Which Religion Should Be The National Religion?
Animism 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Atheism 24%  24%  [ 8 ]
Buddhism 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
Christianity 15%  15%  [ 5 ]
Confucianism 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
Druidism 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Gnosticism 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Hinduism 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
Islam 6%  6%  [ 2 ]
Jainism 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
Judaism 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Mormonism 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Paganism 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Scientology 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
Shamanism 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Shintoism 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Sikhism 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Taoism 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Zoroastrianism 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Other: ________________ (Please elaborate). 39%  39%  [ 13 ]
Total votes : 33

AngelRho
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12 Sep 2020, 3:08 pm

emotrtkey wrote:
Do you believe in freedom of religion? Do you think Christians should be allowed to decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle? Would you be opposed to a $100,000 fine for not catering to their lifestyle if they claimed the Christian who wouldn't bake them a cake hurt their feelings?

Do you think it should be legal for people to sacrifice their children to idols if that's what their religion teaches? Should followers of radical "Islamic" sects be allowed to kill Jews if their sect tells them they should?

Ok, but all of this is a red herring. And let's take a closer look at that bait: "...decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle?"

Are you saying that gay marriage is immoral?

No American businessman is legally allowed to refuse business solely on the basis of sexual orientation. It becomes problematic when the rights of a victim class collide with the rights of religious people to work without having to compromise their principles. In the case of baking cakes, there are people who will bake cakes for certain individuals/groups and there are people who won't. If someone won't bake you a cake, simply find someone who will. The issue of baking cakes isn't a simple matter of rights violations. It's about forcing someone to accept something they otherwise wouldn't. It's about denying someone their right to exist. And I think that if such actions were to actually grain traction nationwide (some states have actually passed legislation that prevents such lawsuits), you could reasonably expect a sort of black market or underground trade in cakes. It's silly to think of wedding cakes having a similar status as marijuana or other illicit drugs, but it could become reality.

Here is what I personally DO believe, regardless of any orientation or lifestyle choices: NO CITIZEN WHATSOEVER should be compelled to cater to any individual or group he does not wish to cater to. Every citizen who provides goods and services should have the right to know what said goods and services are to be used for and to refuse to do business with anyone he wants for any reason, and he shouldn't be compelled to even give a reason if he doesn't wish to.



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12 Sep 2020, 3:22 pm

AngelRho wrote:
emotrtkey wrote:
Do you believe in freedom of religion? Do you think Christians should be allowed to decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle? Would you be opposed to a $100,000 fine for not catering to their lifestyle if they claimed the Christian who wouldn't bake them a cake hurt their feelings?

Do you think it should be legal for people to sacrifice their children to idols if that's what their religion teaches? Should followers of radical "Islamic" sects be allowed to kill Jews if their sect tells them they should?

Ok, but all of this is a red herring. And let's take a closer look at that bait: "...decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle?"

Are you saying that gay marriage is immoral?

No American businessman is legally allowed to refuse business solely on the basis of sexual orientation. It becomes problematic when the rights of a victim class collide with the rights of religious people to work without having to compromise their principles. In the case of baking cakes, there are people who will bake cakes for certain individuals/groups and there are people who won't. If someone won't bake you a cake, simply find someone who will. The issue of baking cakes isn't a simple matter of rights violations. It's about forcing someone to accept something they otherwise wouldn't. It's about denying someone their right to exist. And I think that if such actions were to actually grain traction nationwide (some states have actually passed legislation that prevents such lawsuits), you could reasonably expect a sort of black market or underground trade in cakes. It's silly to think of wedding cakes having a similar status as marijuana or other illicit drugs, but it could become reality.

Here is what I personally DO believe, regardless of any orientation or lifestyle choices: NO CITIZEN WHATSOEVER should be compelled to cater to any individual or group he does not wish to cater to. Every citizen who provides goods and services should have the right to know what said goods and services are to be used for and to refuse to do business with anyone he wants for any reason, and he shouldn't be compelled to even give a reason if he doesn't wish to.
Didn't I just make the exact same point!You should have quoted me to add to what I said,because I already quoted him and said the same thing as you.


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AngelRho
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12 Sep 2020, 4:03 pm

vermontsavant wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
emotrtkey wrote:
Do you believe in freedom of religion? Do you think Christians should be allowed to decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle? Would you be opposed to a $100,000 fine for not catering to their lifestyle if they claimed the Christian who wouldn't bake them a cake hurt their feelings?

Do you think it should be legal for people to sacrifice their children to idols if that's what their religion teaches? Should followers of radical "Islamic" sects be allowed to kill Jews if their sect tells them they should?

Ok, but all of this is a red herring. And let's take a closer look at that bait: "...decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle?"

Are you saying that gay marriage is immoral?

No American businessman is legally allowed to refuse business solely on the basis of sexual orientation. It becomes problematic when the rights of a victim class collide with the rights of religious people to work without having to compromise their principles. In the case of baking cakes, there are people who will bake cakes for certain individuals/groups and there are people who won't. If someone won't bake you a cake, simply find someone who will. The issue of baking cakes isn't a simple matter of rights violations. It's about forcing someone to accept something they otherwise wouldn't. It's about denying someone their right to exist. And I think that if such actions were to actually grain traction nationwide (some states have actually passed legislation that prevents such lawsuits), you could reasonably expect a sort of black market or underground trade in cakes. It's silly to think of wedding cakes having a similar status as marijuana or other illicit drugs, but it could become reality.

Here is what I personally DO believe, regardless of any orientation or lifestyle choices: NO CITIZEN WHATSOEVER should be compelled to cater to any individual or group he does not wish to cater to. Every citizen who provides goods and services should have the right to know what said goods and services are to be used for and to refuse to do business with anyone he wants for any reason, and he shouldn't be compelled to even give a reason if he doesn't wish to.
Didn't I just make the exact same point!You should have quoted me to add to what I said,because I already quoted him and said the same thing as you.

No, because what you said was that you'd have no problem serving gays. You're not going to experience a conflict of interest due to religious beliefs. I, on the other hand, make a tiny pile of cash by working weddings. I'm also a church musician and teach at a Christian private school. If I were coerced into performing at gay wedding ceremonies, it would be viewed as supporting something that both my church and school oppose. I could be fired for that. If I serve gays, my family could literally starve to death and become homeless--so yes, I have a problem serving gays. I could, of course, look for other jobs. But I actually enjoy where I work.



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12 Sep 2020, 4:06 pm

AngelRho wrote:
vermontsavant wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
emotrtkey wrote:
Do you believe in freedom of religion? Do you think Christians should be allowed to decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle? Would you be opposed to a $100,000 fine for not catering to their lifestyle if they claimed the Christian who wouldn't bake them a cake hurt their feelings?

Do you think it should be legal for people to sacrifice their children to idols if that's what their religion teaches? Should followers of radical "Islamic" sects be allowed to kill Jews if their sect tells them they should?

Ok, but all of this is a red herring. And let's take a closer look at that bait: "...decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle?"

Are you saying that gay marriage is immoral?

No American businessman is legally allowed to refuse business solely on the basis of sexual orientation. It becomes problematic when the rights of a victim class collide with the rights of religious people to work without having to compromise their principles. In the case of baking cakes, there are people who will bake cakes for certain individuals/groups and there are people who won't. If someone won't bake you a cake, simply find someone who will. The issue of baking cakes isn't a simple matter of rights violations. It's about forcing someone to accept something they otherwise wouldn't. It's about denying someone their right to exist. And I think that if such actions were to actually grain traction nationwide (some states have actually passed legislation that prevents such lawsuits), you could reasonably expect a sort of black market or underground trade in cakes. It's silly to think of wedding cakes having a similar status as marijuana or other illicit drugs, but it could become reality.

Here is what I personally DO believe, regardless of any orientation or lifestyle choices: NO CITIZEN WHATSOEVER should be compelled to cater to any individual or group he does not wish to cater to. Every citizen who provides goods and services should have the right to know what said goods and services are to be used for and to refuse to do business with anyone he wants for any reason, and he shouldn't be compelled to even give a reason if he doesn't wish to.
Didn't I just make the exact same point!You should have quoted me to add to what I said,because I already quoted him and said the same thing as you.

No, because what you said was that you'd have no problem serving gays. You're not going to experience a conflict of interest due to religious beliefs. I, on the other hand, make a tiny pile of cash by working weddings. I'm also a church musician and teach at a Christian private school. If I were coerced into performing at gay wedding ceremonies, it would be viewed as supporting something that both my church and school oppose. I could be fired for that. If I serve gays, my family could literally starve to death and become homeless--so yes, I have a problem serving gays. I could, of course, look for other jobs. But I actually enjoy where I work.



Well if it's any consolation I would never want people like you to make my wedding cake. :)


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AngelRho
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12 Sep 2020, 4:28 pm

DeathEmperor413 wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
vermontsavant wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
emotrtkey wrote:
Do you believe in freedom of religion? Do you think Christians should be allowed to decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle? Would you be opposed to a $100,000 fine for not catering to their lifestyle if they claimed the Christian who wouldn't bake them a cake hurt their feelings?

Do you think it should be legal for people to sacrifice their children to idols if that's what their religion teaches? Should followers of radical "Islamic" sects be allowed to kill Jews if their sect tells them they should?

Ok, but all of this is a red herring. And let's take a closer look at that bait: "...decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle?"

Are you saying that gay marriage is immoral?

No American businessman is legally allowed to refuse business solely on the basis of sexual orientation. It becomes problematic when the rights of a victim class collide with the rights of religious people to work without having to compromise their principles. In the case of baking cakes, there are people who will bake cakes for certain individuals/groups and there are people who won't. If someone won't bake you a cake, simply find someone who will. The issue of baking cakes isn't a simple matter of rights violations. It's about forcing someone to accept something they otherwise wouldn't. It's about denying someone their right to exist. And I think that if such actions were to actually grain traction nationwide (some states have actually passed legislation that prevents such lawsuits), you could reasonably expect a sort of black market or underground trade in cakes. It's silly to think of wedding cakes having a similar status as marijuana or other illicit drugs, but it could become reality.

Here is what I personally DO believe, regardless of any orientation or lifestyle choices: NO CITIZEN WHATSOEVER should be compelled to cater to any individual or group he does not wish to cater to. Every citizen who provides goods and services should have the right to know what said goods and services are to be used for and to refuse to do business with anyone he wants for any reason, and he shouldn't be compelled to even give a reason if he doesn't wish to.
Didn't I just make the exact same point!You should have quoted me to add to what I said,because I already quoted him and said the same thing as you.

No, because what you said was that you'd have no problem serving gays. You're not going to experience a conflict of interest due to religious beliefs. I, on the other hand, make a tiny pile of cash by working weddings. I'm also a church musician and teach at a Christian private school. If I were coerced into performing at gay wedding ceremonies, it would be viewed as supporting something that both my church and school oppose. I could be fired for that. If I serve gays, my family could literally starve to death and become homeless--so yes, I have a problem serving gays. I could, of course, look for other jobs. But I actually enjoy where I work.



Well if it's any consolation I would never want people like you to make my wedding cake. :)

DeathEmperor413 wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
vermontsavant wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
emotrtkey wrote:
Do you believe in freedom of religion? Do you think Christians should be allowed to decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle? Would you be opposed to a $100,000 fine for not catering to their lifestyle if they claimed the Christian who wouldn't bake them a cake hurt their feelings?

Do you think it should be legal for people to sacrifice their children to idols if that's what their religion teaches? Should followers of radical "Islamic" sects be allowed to kill Jews if their sect tells them they should?

Ok, but all of this is a red herring. And let's take a closer look at that bait: "...decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle?"

Are you saying that gay marriage is immoral?

No American businessman is legally allowed to refuse business solely on the basis of sexual orientation. It becomes problematic when the rights of a victim class collide with the rights of religious people to work without having to compromise their principles. In the case of baking cakes, there are people who will bake cakes for certain individuals/groups and there are people who won't. If someone won't bake you a cake, simply find someone who will. The issue of baking cakes isn't a simple matter of rights violations. It's about forcing someone to accept something they otherwise wouldn't. It's about denying someone their right to exist. And I think that if such actions were to actually grain traction nationwide (some states have actually passed legislation that prevents such lawsuits), you could reasonably expect a sort of black market or underground trade in cakes. It's silly to think of wedding cakes having a similar status as marijuana or other illicit drugs, but it could become reality.

Here is what I personally DO believe, regardless of any orientation or lifestyle choices: NO CITIZEN WHATSOEVER should be compelled to cater to any individual or group he does not wish to cater to. Every citizen who provides goods and services should have the right to know what said goods and services are to be used for and to refuse to do business with anyone he wants for any reason, and he shouldn't be compelled to even give a reason if he doesn't wish to.
Didn't I just make the exact same point!You should have quoted me to add to what I said,because I already quoted him and said the same thing as you.

No, because what you said was that you'd have no problem serving gays. You're not going to experience a conflict of interest due to religious beliefs. I, on the other hand, make a tiny pile of cash by working weddings. I'm also a church musician and teach at a Christian private school. If I were coerced into performing at gay wedding ceremonies, it would be viewed as supporting something that both my church and school oppose. I could be fired for that. If I serve gays, my family could literally starve to death and become homeless--so yes, I have a problem serving gays. I could, of course, look for other jobs. But I actually enjoy where I work.



Well if it's any consolation I would never want people like you to make my wedding cake. :)

Because I am a compassionate person, I would never even make the offer. My "kind" aren't exactly known for our baking skills! :lol:

How about a nice angelhair puttanesca instead?



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12 Sep 2020, 5:37 pm

There must be a special place in Hell, if it exists as some religious claim, for the sexual predators that hide in the clergy. Philadelphia seems to be the worst place to be a powerless Catholic child, because the predation level there was the highest identified in the USA it seems, so members who may have children there may want to investigate that. Why do Catholic clergy paedophiles nearly always escape custodial sentences for their usually multiple crimes?

This has gone on for so long in so many countries that "suffer little children to come unto me" has now a newer and very dark meaning, chillingly reminding us how calculating and manipulative priests used the cloak of holiness to practice as serial sexual offenders for their own evil satisfaction, indifferent to the huge damage done to the children they used like objects, some of whom went on to suicide.

Yes, I have read the Bible, as Fnord surmised. I didn't miss that commandment about "thou shalt not kill" nor the direction to "love your enemies". But all the organised Christian sectors have ignored these in outrageous ways while claiming to be holy. So I don't understand these dichotomies, and never will, other than through the lenses of bigotry through which the propagandists operate to promote denial.



emotrtkey
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12 Sep 2020, 5:46 pm

GGPViper wrote:
emotrtkey wrote:
I couldn't care less if anyone disagrees with my religious views. I don't think that should be a crime at all.

OK, now I am confused... So the Hussites - who disagreed with the religious views of the Catholic Church (and you, I presume) - are OK after all?


If you kept reading until the next sentence you would see that I wrote " If they had been honest and said they were starting a new religion to compete with Christianity instead of slandering Christ and didn't try to destroy public order I don't think they would have had any problems." I then explained that the problem wasn't disagreeing with anyone. It was slander.



emotrtkey
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12 Sep 2020, 6:04 pm

AngelRho wrote:
emotrtkey wrote:
Do you believe in freedom of religion? Do you think Christians should be allowed to decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle? Would you be opposed to a $100,000 fine for not catering to their lifestyle if they claimed the Christian who wouldn't bake them a cake hurt their feelings?

Do you think it should be legal for people to sacrifice their children to idols if that's what their religion teaches? Should followers of radical "Islamic" sects be allowed to kill Jews if their sect tells them they should?

Ok, but all of this is a red herring. And let's take a closer look at that bait: "...decline baking a cake to celebrate an immoral lifestyle?"

Are you saying that gay marriage is immoral?


I think it would be against the rules for me to answer that question.

Quote:
If someone won't bake you a cake, simply find someone who will.


I agree but some people hate Jesus and want to shove their lifestyle down other people's throats. They'll go out of their way to find a Christian bakery (never a Muslim bakery) so they can file a complaint to get Christians in trouble with the law for not making them a cake. It's religious discrimination but surveys show half the country approves of it.

Quote:
The issue of baking cakes isn't a simple matter of rights violations. It's about forcing someone to accept something they otherwise wouldn't. It's about denying someone their right to exist. And I think that if such actions were to actually grain traction nationwide (some states have actually passed legislation that prevents such lawsuits), you could reasonably expect a sort of black market or underground trade in cakes. It's silly to think of wedding cakes having a similar status as marijuana or other illicit drugs, but it could become reality.


I'm not sure I understand. Most businesses want to make money so they'll cater to everyone even if they don't like particular customers or their lifestyle. It would probably be easy finding a bakery to make a cake for a "wedding" between a person and an animal even though the owners would almost certainly be opposed to it.

Quote:
Here is what I personally DO believe, regardless of any orientation or lifestyle choices: NO CITIZEN WHATSOEVER should be compelled to cater to any individual or group he does not wish to cater to. Every citizen who provides goods and services should have the right to know what said goods and services are to be used for and to refuse to do business with anyone he wants for any reason, and he shouldn't be compelled to even give a reason if he doesn't wish to.


I agree. Thank you for supporting freedom.



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12 Sep 2020, 6:17 pm

emotrtkey wrote:
GGPViper wrote:
emotrtkey wrote:
I couldn't care less if anyone disagrees with my religious views. I don't think that should be a crime at all.

OK, now I am confused... So the Hussites - who disagreed with the religious views of the Catholic Church (and you, I presume) - are OK after all?


If you kept reading until the next sentence you would see that I wrote " If they had been honest and said they were starting a new religion to compete with Christianity instead of slandering Christ and didn't try to destroy public order I don't think they would have had any problems." I then explained that the problem wasn't disagreeing with anyone. It was slander.


Oh yes because Catholic nations/the Church never went on crusades against other religions that were 'competing' with Christianity.....

Northern Crusades



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12 Sep 2020, 6:29 pm

B19 wrote:
There must be a special place in Hell, if it exists as some religious claim, for the sexual predators that hide in the clergy. Philadelphia seems to be the worst place to be a powerless Catholic child, because the predation level there was the highest identified in the USA it seems, so members who may have children there may want to investigate that. Why do Catholic clergy paedophiles nearly always escape custodial sentences for their usually multiple crimes?

This has gone on for so long in so many countries that "suffer little children to come unto me" has now a newer and very dark meaning, chillingly remindins us how calculating and manipulative priests used the cloak of holiness to practice as serial sexual offenders for their own evil satifaction, indifferent to the huge damage done to the children they used like objects.

Indeed.

The problem is that priest and even lay minister misconduct is a sort of public secret, an inside joke of sorts, and has been throughout the history of the Catholic Church. Everyone knows that. There are a few problems, though. One problem has been that the local priest is often held up as infallible, as incapable of sin, and that he is to be trusted unquestionably. A priest has to SERIOUSLY screw up publicly to be removed. And so a lot of misconduct is swept under the rug because parishioners are afraid they'll go to hell for speaking against a priest.

What has happened is that the Catholic Church has much less power than it used to, more people are willing to speak out, and it has become necessary for the CC to figure out other ways to hide what's happening. People have become much more sensitive about clerical abuse concurrent with abuse from anywhere else. I don't believe ALL allegations are true, and I do believe much of what we hear regarding church abuse really is fake news. But what's happening is the accusations are sensationalized and accusers stand to gain something whether they are actually telling the truth or not. So it's somewhat trendy to speak out or exaggerate claims because of past grudges against the church.

That's not to ignore ACTUAL claims of wrongdoing. But I'd been working in Catholic education the last 5 years and can tell you from my experience diocesan and parish officials as well as school officials and lay ministers are taking the sexual scandals very, VERY seriously. Teachers and even school/church volunteers are required to complete training and background checks as well as once-a-month training on an ongoing basis. We have to know how to spot abuse, how to report it, and even how to stop abuse before it starts. These days, your typical abusers within the church are not crusty old clergy who have a thing for little boys. It's usually some lay person infatuated with an older teen who crosses a boundary. What we were told to do is never leave students unsupervised, especially not alone with another adult, and watch out for other adults trying to isolate students. They may try to approach a teen boy or girl, but when we immediately intervene, they know they are being watched and will normally stop the behavior right away.

There's no crime of being attracted to young people, and as another WP user mentioned, same-sex-attraction is not technically a sin in the Catholic church. Actualization of that attraction is. An adult putting hands on a teenage girl he's in charge of may not strictly speaking be a sin, but it most certainly is a no-no legally and heavily frowned upon by parents. Until a priest or lay minister or teacher ACTUALLY SAYS SOMETHING OR TOUCHES A CHILD, nothing wrong has happened in the eyes of the church or the law. It is our job to monitor each other as well as the students and make sure they stay safe from predators.

On the subject of priests and abuse coverups, what has been going on in the church is what we in the teaching profession refer to as "passing the trash." In education, it has been common practice for administrators to approach offending teachers to have them quietly resign or non-renew. Teachers don't have to admit that they district didn't renew their contracts. They can say they left on their own terms and their admins will even write them a recommendation. What happens next is a pattern of abuse from one district to the next. When I was growing up, it was another one of those public secrets which teachers were sleeping with football players. Nobody said a word. Nobody went to prison.

The idea of anyone less than 18 years old being virginal and innocent is a relatively recent development and parents have become hyper-sensitive to it. Geez...where have you been, and you're JUST NOW FIGURING OUT the jr. high english teacher is banging the quarterback??? But that's exactly it...parents these days suddenly decided to crawl out from under their rocks like this has NEVER HAPPENED before, they're upset, and now they're actually prosecuting teachers before administrators can react to it...and they already know it's going on, too. I wonder if it's because some head cheerleader got jealous because she found out her boyfriend was cheating on her with one of the teachers. And that's not even counting the number of boys in the school who repeatedly harass or blackmail young, inexperienced, new teachers into sleeping with them and even make bets on it. 40 years ago, this was NOT A BIG DEAL. Now it is.

But regardless, you cannot justify it. It's undoubtedly wrong, but it has been going on a long time. The Catholic Church NOW emphasizes repentance and forgiveness. Priests and their superiors are committed to protecting each other, to forgiving each other, and as long as they can just move one priest out of one bad situation into a new one, MAYBE he will stop messing with kids. Same as school districts passing the trash. And as long as the scandal doesn't get exposed, it's business as usual. And when a priest gets caught, all of a sudden it's a surprise, like we had no idea this was going on, why didn't you come to us and tell us??? Well...we don't come to you and tell you because all you're gonna do is have us recite the rosary a few times and pray for the soul of the priest who is faltering in his faith and needs forgiveness just as much as all of us do. Look, I'm all about compassion. I'm all about placing mercy above law. But when justice is continually denied, there is neither mercy nor compassion. And sadly school districts and parishes are arriving a little bit late to the party.

I don't think Catholics are the bad guys. But church structure has not helped keep people and their children safe within church walls. Things have drastically improved as people have come forth and will hopefully continue to improve. Hopefully hatred for the Catholic church will fade. I just hope the lessons they've learned from all this don't fade with it.



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12 Sep 2020, 6:37 pm

The history of Western civilization shows us that most scientific, social, and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion.  The alternative is a National, or State religion.

A State religion is the endorsement or enforcement of a particular religion by a state.

This can be thought of as two positions; endorsement and enforcement:

• The former, endorsement, is benign for the most part.  England, for example, has Christianity (specifically the Church of England with the Queen at its head) as its official state religion, although in practice the country is almost entirely secular.

• The latter position, that of enforcement, is less benign: it can lead to repression of other religions and of lack of religion.  Even today a number of countries have repressive policies regarding their state religion and severe punishments that may be meted out to those who break them.  These are, for the most part, the Islamic fundamentalist states in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria.  Some are surprised to learn that in Israel, Orthodox Judaism controls family law, and that the Orthodox rabbinate is state-funded; only Orthodox rabbis may legally marry people in-country.

Political rulers have often used state religions to uphold nationalist régimes -- note for example Nazi Germany's use of "Positive Christianity" and the development of "State Shinto" in Imperial Japan.  A unified religion allegedly promotes social cohesion, regardless of private beliefs or of the actual ideology of ruling classes.  There is also the "Religion of the State" as exemplified in fascist Italy (1922-1943), in Communist China, and formerly in the USSR.

In addition to giving a religion powers and status, being a state religion can also subject it to state control, with the government able to appoint church officials, set church policy, and even influence theology.  (The Russian Orthodox Church in Imperial Russia (1721-1917) provides an instructive example.)  State-religion status can also impose duties on a church, such as requiring it to marry or minister to everybody rather than picking and choosing.

Note that the UK, with a state religion, has only 10% or less attending church ceremonies once a week, while the US, without a state religion, has a comparative figure of over 40%.

The U.S. specifically doesn't have a national religion, with the establishment clause of the First Amendment saying "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" -- commonly referred to as the separation of church and state, although the phrase derives from a letter by Thomas Jefferson and is not found in the law itself.  Despite this, many on the Religious Right falsely believe the U.S. was established as a Christian nation.

No person or group of people is good enough to be trusted with uncontrolled power over others; and the higher the pretensions of such power, the more dangerous it it becomes, both to rulers and to the subjects.  Hence Theocracy is the worst of all governments.  If we must have a tyrant, a robber baron is far better than an inquisitor.  The baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point may be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent.  But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely more because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations.

Other arguments against National Religions

• Essentially, a theocracy is a form of totalitarianism and authoritarianism so most arguments against those also hold.  In the case of a theocracy, the ultimate authorities (e.g., one or more gods) have problems providing evidence of their existence, amplifying these problems.

Freedom of religion and philosophy is stifled -- as any theocracy by definition is hardly welcoming to other religions, agnosticism, or atheism.

Freedom of speech is also stifled, as it's unhealthy for a theocracy for the people to know that alternative views exist.  (Heck, you don't even have the right to remain silent!)

• By extension of the above, freedom of mere thought is stifled and oppressed.

• In many theocracies, people are ruled by threats of punishment or promises of rewards in the afterlife; such religious beliefs are easy to exploit to keep people in line.

Legal review process is, by definition, non-existent: How dare a mere mortal challenge The Judgement™ passed by the gods, and delivered by the divinely-inspired prophet?  Not that you need such a process, because an omniscient god will know whether you are truly innocent, and given their omnipotence, may bring you back to life if you are killed in the process.

• By receiving authority from gods, the ruling priest class is essentially unaccountable, as is anyone charitable enough to make righteous contributions .

• As holy books are (supposedly) unchanging, anything that can be quote mined from the holy books can and will be easily institutionalized (whether they are in line with the context/spirit of such holy books or not) .  In addition, policies that come from (potentially) inconsistent quote mines would be difficult to resolve because they are from the same book(s) and emphasizing one over the other would stir up schisms within the religion.  This seems to have a bizarre habit of occurring with the Supreme Court and the Constitution as well, suggesting that the doctrine of originalism may be even more religious in character than previously believed.

Progress and change are hampered by adherence to holy books (to be fair, one can implement progress and change by rewriting reinterpreting the holy books, but most people simply don't care or have the time).

• While modern economic policies can be implemented in them, the ruling priest class is obliged to constantly make reference to those holy books whenever they advocate a policy.  This can be disastrous at any period where those economics lead to a crisis situation and where suggesting to a different policy than the one which the holy books seem to advocate could resolve it.

• Historically, heretics and apostates are met with great wrath from the ruling religion.  Compared to what such an Inquisition could do, being put on a police file for attending an anti-government rally, or being fingerprinted and retina scanned just to enter a country is quite pleasant.

So in reality, a theocracy is what you'd expect any authoritarian government run by one or more tyrants to be like -- and it's not pretty.


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emotrtkey
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12 Sep 2020, 6:41 pm

Feyokien wrote:
emotrtkey wrote:
GGPViper wrote:
emotrtkey wrote:
I couldn't care less if anyone disagrees with my religious views. I don't think that should be a crime at all.

OK, now I am confused... So the Hussites - who disagreed with the religious views of the Catholic Church (and you, I presume) - are OK after all?


If you kept reading until the next sentence you would see that I wrote " If they had been honest and said they were starting a new religion to compete with Christianity instead of slandering Christ and didn't try to destroy public order I don't think they would have had any problems." I then explained that the problem wasn't disagreeing with anyone. It was slander.


Oh yes because Catholic nations/the Church never went on crusades against other religions that were 'competing' with Christianity.....

Northern Crusades


If a king who rules a Catholic nation wants to go to war, there is nothing the Catholic church can do to stop it. It wasn't uncommon for kings to disobey the Catholic church. It's dishonest to blame the church for it.



emotrtkey
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12 Sep 2020, 6:43 pm

B19 wrote:
There must be a special place in Hell, if it exists as some religious claim, for the sexual predators that hide in the clergy.


I agree. I believe it's also Catholic teaching that clergy who abuse their position to harm people are guilty of a greater sin which would result in more severe punishment in Hell if they don't repent.

B19 wrote:
Why do Catholic clergy paedophiles nearly always escape custodial sentences for their usually multiple crimes?


Usually it's due to a lack of evidence. In the US, people are considered innocent until proven guilty. In the Pennsylvania grand jury report that was released, most of the accused priests only had one accusation against them, it was almost always decades ago, and there was little or no evidence to support that a child was harmed.

Quote:
This has gone on for so long in so many countries that "suffer little children to come unto me" has now a newer and very dark meaning, chillingly reminding us how calculating and manipulative priests used the cloak of holiness to practice as serial sexual offenders for their own evil satisfaction, indifferent to the huge damage done to the children they used like objects, some of whom went on to suicide.

Yes, I have read the Bible, as Fnord surmised. I didn't miss that commandment about "thou shalt not kill" nor the direction to "love your enemies". But all the organised Christian sectors have ignored these in outrageous ways while claiming to be holy. So I don't understand these dichotomies, and never will, other than through the lenses of bigotry through which the propagandists operate to promote denial.


An important point is that the Christian church doesn't change its teaching to conform to popular ideologies that contradict reality. For example, a marriage between a man and a woman doesn't suddenly become sinful, according to Christian teaching, if society starts identifying one of the partners as an animal and accuses the other partner of bestiality. No matter how outraged or disgusted emotional thinkers are over the perceived "bestiality" the church will never condemn it because to do so would be to change what God has revealed. Truth is of the utmost importance in the Catholic church. The church would rather suffer being attacked for defending "bestiality" than cave to support modern ideologies that are opposed to the truth.



Last edited by emotrtkey on 12 Sep 2020, 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Feyokien
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12 Sep 2020, 6:46 pm

emotrtkey wrote:
Feyokien wrote:
emotrtkey wrote:
GGPViper wrote:
emotrtkey wrote:
I couldn't care less if anyone disagrees with my religious views. I don't think that should be a crime at all.

OK, now I am confused... So the Hussites - who disagreed with the religious views of the Catholic Church (and you, I presume) - are OK after all?


If you kept reading until the next sentence you would see that I wrote " If they had been honest and said they were starting a new religion to compete with Christianity instead of slandering Christ and didn't try to destroy public order I don't think they would have had any problems." I then explained that the problem wasn't disagreeing with anyone. It was slander.


Oh yes because Catholic nations/the Church never went on crusades against other religions that were 'competing' with Christianity.....

Northern Crusades


If a king who rules a Catholic nation wants to go to war, there is nothing the Catholic church can do to stop it. It wasn't uncommon for kings to disobey the Catholic church. It's dishonest to blame the church for it.


Quote:
The official starting point for the Northern Crusades was Pope Celestine III's call in 1195

Pope Celestine III proclaimed a crusade against the Baltic heathens in 1195, which was reiterated by Pope Innocent III



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12 Sep 2020, 7:05 pm

Also this... From 1171-1172.

Papal bull by Pope Alexander III:

Non parum animus noster wrote:
We are deeply distressed and greatly worried when we hear that the savage Estonians and other pagans in those parts rise and fight God's faithful and those who labour for the Christian faith and fight the virtue of the Christian name. ... to gird yourselves, armed with celestial weapons and the strength of Apostolic exhortations, to defend the truth of the Christian faith bravely and to expand the Christian faith forcefully.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_parum_animus_noster

Fun fact: This very papal Bull - which launched the Northen Crusades - was actually ultimately responsible for the origin myth of the Danish flag (Dannebrog)...

It was supposed to have descended from the heavens at the Battle of Lyndanisse during the Crusades:

Image


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emotrtkey
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12 Sep 2020, 7:28 pm

GGPViper wrote:
Also this... From 1171-1172.

Papal bull by Pope Alexander III:

Non parum animus noster wrote:
We are deeply distressed and greatly worried when we hear that the savage Estonians and other pagans in those parts rise and fight God's faithful and those who labour for the Christian faith and fight the virtue of the Christian name. ... to gird yourselves, armed with celestial weapons and the strength of Apostolic exhortations, to defend the truth of the Christian faith bravely and to expand the Christian faith forcefully.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_parum_animus_noster


The papal bull called to expand the Christian faith forcefully with celestial weapons and Apostolic exhortations. I don't see physical force mentioned. The crusades were about self-defense (defending against savages attacking Christians) and not attacking people for their religion beliefs. The crusades were similar to nations attacking Germany to keep them from killing Jews.