Jump to content

It's All The Liberals' Fault?


GreenPartyVoter
 Share

Recommended Posts

Do you agree with the idea that it is up to liberal believers to control what

fanatical believers do or change the faith somehow and prevent fanatics from

coming into existence?

 

I have been hit with this idea more than once by posters on other forums lately, so I finally decided to blog a little about it in terms of why I don't think we are totally responsible for what goes on in our faith and what could be done to lessen the number of fanatics:

 

http://www.livejournal.com/community/thoug...ress/14905.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, I don't think its very much liberal's fault. Perhaps the mainline churches becoming less relevant-- or at least seemingly that way--has caused people to look into things they might not have looked into before. But this is a worldwide phenonema that I think is likely to be cyclical. I think there are times of conservatism generally and times of progressivism-- and we just are in one of those conservative times right now. There are a lot of global factors like the rise of Islamic fundamentalism; rise of fundamentalism in what was primarily a Catholic continent of S. America; a very conservative pope; etc.

 

 

 

--des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to see a liberal church that is so attractive, conservatives would give up their megachurches to be liberal. God knows if that will ever happen. It won't happen soon barring some spiritual event that would make my jaw drop.

 

Liberalism is about freedom. Conservatism is about conformity. That's one problem for liberal religion becoming popular. Liberals are free to be liberals in many ways. They can be utterly rational. They can be utterly mystical. They can be close to traditional. They can reinvent the wheel. It's hard to find a lot of liberals who are liberal in the same way.

 

I do think that it is up to liberals to examine their own faith rather than say something like, "If only those conservatives would see the truth." We play with the cards we are dealt. We each come to the God of our understanding from that and go from there.

 

Why would someone whose own faith works well for them feel threatened by conservatives?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why would someone whose own faith works well for them feel threatened by conservatives?

 

I feel threatened because they are trying to turn the USA into a theocracy. I have no trouble with what they believe as long as they only apply it to themselves. But when they want to control a woman's uterus, or who marries whom, or who gets to adopt children, or whether or not science is taught in public schools, or insist that we have a president who is pastor-in-chief.. I have big problems with that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why would someone whose own faith works well for them feel threatened by conservatives?

 

I feel threatened because they are trying to turn the USA into a theocracy. I have no trouble with what they believe as long as they only apply it to themselves. But when they want to control a woman's uterus, or who marries whom, or who gets to adopt children, or whether or not science is taught in public schools, or insist that we have a president who is pastor-in-chief.. I have big problems with that.

 

 

Agreed Greenparty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who are "they"? James Kennedy? James Dobson? How many votes do they have? No matter how many millions it is, it's not enough to change the US from the constitutional democracy that it is to whatever you mean by theocracy. I hear many people like you who speak as if those of us who once swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States were just fooling around, that maybe George Bush was just fooling around when he swore that oath. I didn't vote for Mr. Bush. I think he's foolish for thinking there is any moral problem to stem cell research. But no, he's not going to subvert the Constitution.

 

Religious conservatives are giddy with what they perceive to be their poltical power. They forget that it's only an alliance with economic conservatives, the current weakness of Democrats, and that Bush happens to be such a conservative Methodist that makes it seem that God is with them. They are deluded. It's too bad that those who fear them take those same delusions as reality.

 

Yes, Roe v. Wade could easily be overturned. It could easily have been overturned in the eighties. Intellectually it's not a very solid decision. And so it might only be certain states where abortion is easy. Having lived in California in the sixties when abortion became legal here, it is a strange development to watch. When abortion first became legal, I heard nothing but relief from not having to treat young women with septic abortions any more. Catholics with other views were pretty quiet about it. But eventually the unborn child became the idol that everyone knows today. That and the stretch that it took to find a right to abortion in the Constitution may put abortion back to the states. Are you afraid of that? Why? It's just an ordinary business. Abortion was illegal for a long time before the sixties. Women managed. Being the child of adultery, I might have been aborted, except abortion was illegal. There was a half-hearted attempt as it was. It would have spared my family a lot of stress if I had been aborted. I have a lot of sympathy for a woman in such situations. I don't think government has any business with abortions at all. Still you can't fight city hall. If you have strong feelings about it, would it be so much to move?

 

I say the first thing you need to do is state your position accurately. Conservatives do not want to say who can marry whom in general. They want to prohibit same-sex marriage. I'm sure many would want to prohibit same-sex cohabitation or whatever other restrictions they could think of, as controlling people are prone to do. There are Christian schools now where their science classes are too weak to fulfill requirements for admission to university. I have heard no one say that public schools should be weakened the same way. Who would allow that, I mean realistically? Either you or a non-Christian can rant hysterically about what a threat conservatives are, whether Nazi-like, Commie-like, whatever. Yes, there are such people in the world, from many directions. Then there are the unscrupulous business people who want to fleece you of your money, violent men who would rape and murder you, virulent microbes that will give you a slow, gruesome disease.

 

Yes, if you don't have a faith that let's you have some detachment from such things, the place to start is not with evangelical boogeymen. It's in the mirror.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David - With all respect - perhaps we see this issue differently due to the differences in our local cultures.

 

Where I live - Candidates for all offices are expected ,by the voters, to have an endorsement from their pastor and church. State Reps make it very clear that they are Evangelical Christians by putting the little Christian Fish symbol on their campaing signs. They are usually all Republicans - We normaly have no local democratic candidates - so all elections are determined in the Republican primary. If you are a registered democrat - you can't vote for anyone. You get a ballot that has blanks on all local elections - since there are no democratic candidates.

 

Our state legislature is presently defending their position of having overwhelmingly Christian prayers to open each meeting in court.

 

If a candidate is not a Christian - he wouldn't stand a chance - honestly.

 

Many Sherriff deputies have little cross pins on their uniforms to show their religious identity.

 

Many public school events (concerts, ball games, etc) begin with a Christian prayer. The highschool's Christmas concert involves the annual speech from the band director about "how glad he is to be in a community that still honors Jesus Christ." The speech brings a standing ovation.

 

When a neighboring school district built a new building - they invited a church to come in and annoint each room with oil.

 

Having moved here from a more urban environment - I do realize how powerful the religious right is in this community, and in many communities like it around the country.

 

Naturally, there are also liberal strongholds around the country. Much of our perspective is influenced by our local environments. From here - it sure looks like the religious right are making our nation into a conservative Christian one.

Edited by Carl
Link to comment
Share on other sites

s,

 

"and that Bush happens to be such a conservative Methodist"

 

I may be mistaken, but I believe that the Bush family, GHWB et al, are long-time Episcopalians. I know that GW's recently failed supreme nominee attended SMU, but I don't remember stories about Methodist affiliations.

 

BTW, I've known lots of Methodists who were very liberal. Of course there are conservative Methodists. See how confusing attaching labels to people after one puts them in a box can be? That practice should only be used AFTER one's spirit has passed from this mortal stage.

 

flow.... ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David,

 

Except that it does matter that certain groups don't want gays to marry. It's a civil rights issue where a set of people are being denied their civil rights. Religion should not enter into it.

 

It matters if R v W is overturned. If abortion becomes illegal in some states then we will certainly see a return to back alley abortions for those girls and women who can't afford to go out of state, or worse who are afraid to because it is a crime to cross the state line for an abortion.

 

And yes there are groups of Christians who are trying to get evolution out of public schools and I.D. in. Look at what is happening in Kansas even now. And what about the turn to abstinence only programs in public school curricula? We're not seeing abortion or sexual infection rates go down due to trying to encourage teens to adhere to vows of chastity.

 

And finally, I don't think it is plausible to expect people to move out of an area where they find the local culture or politics are not to their taste. It takes money to move somewhere else. And not everyone would want to move away from their families should most of them prefer to stay behind. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

President Bush was raised as an Episcipalian but converted to United Methodism after his "Conversion Experience".

 

The United Methodist Church is a very inclusive denomination - we have people from all political and theological backgrounds.

 

Hillary Clinton is also a United Methodist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to see a liberal church that is so attractive, conservatives would give up their megachurches to be liberal. God knows if that will ever happen. It won't happen soon barring some spiritual event that would make my jaw drop.

 

Liberalism is about freedom. Conservatism is about conformity. That's one problem for liberal religion becoming popular. Liberals are free to be liberals in many ways. They can be utterly rational. They can be utterly mystical. They can be close to traditional. They can reinvent the wheel. It's hard to find a lot of liberals who are liberal in the same way.

 

I do think that it is up to liberals to examine their own faith rather than say something like, "If only those conservatives would see the truth." We play with the cards we are dealt. We each come to the God of our understanding from that and go from there.

 

Why would someone whose own faith works well for them feel threatened by conservatives?

 

 

David....I totally agree with you.

 

A liberal church that is so attractive that conservatives would give up their mega churches is my dream for this decade.

The biggest challenge I have in my area, is finding some other like-minded ,spiritual people to meet with on a regular basis who would enjoy sharing our spiritual journeys with each other.

If there are any such fellow travelers on this board,I would love to make your aquaintance,and perhaps arrange to meet occaisionally to share our spiritual paths.

 

Godspeed my friends,

Jerryb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The biggest challenge I have in my area, is finding some other like-minded ,spiritual people to meet with on a regular basis who would enjoy sharing our spiritual journeys with each other.

 

                                                      Godspeed my friends,

                                                        Jerryb

 

 

This is why I think the internet is SUCH a blessing. Without it I might have no spiritual outlet but my husband's conservative church. With the internet I can get another point of view on subjects, and also talk to people who are more closely aligned with my beliefs.

 

It's nice to be a part of the majority now and then. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also worried about creeping theocracy. Perhaps they aren't a majority of the party, but the mind and soul fo the Republican party right now is the Christian right. They have actually quite radical views not just abortion (I would also like to see way fewer of them but not through court mandate), but a range of issues from education to "intelligent design" to war and peace (see Christian right on Israel, scary), etc.. Except for large urban areas, I doubt a nonChristian stands a chance of winning on any kidn of election including dog catcher. Other candidates commonly "use" religion against other candidates. Either they aren't good enough Christians or the right kind of Christians. The opponent of Barak Obama (young Senator from IL) said that Jesus was against him. For a very scary webpage, look at:

http://www.theocracywatch.com

 

Liberals would never have a megachurch. I think it is actually an extension of tent style evangelism. This is an attempt to meet and convert the largest no. of people possible. You basically give them what they want including plush seating. It is just so not liberal. (I think that some conservatives would find it baffling as well, so I think it is a certain segment.

BTW, I don't think liberals are organizationally savvy enough for a megachurch. :-) You get ten of us in a room together and we disagree about everything. HOw would we run a church that size??

 

Btw, though GWB is supposedly a UMC, I don't think that born agains place too much value in demonination. I think this is a post dem. event.

 

 

--des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

President Bush was raised as an Episcipalian but converted to United Methodism after his "Conversion Experience".

 

The United Methodist Church is a very inclusive denomination - we have people from all political and theological backgrounds.

 

Hillary Clinton is also a United Methodist.

 

Although George W Bush is a United Methodist, I heard that he would not even meet with UMC bishops when they requested to meet with him concerning the War in Iraq.

 

I don't think liberals should be envious of megachuches. Building , running ,and maintaining a megachuch is more than a notion as they say. Some of them even fail. Does anybody remember what ever happened to Rex Humbard or Enrnest Angsley, or Jimmy Swaggert ?

 

I prefer E. F. Schmacher's "Small Is Beautiful" in this matter.

 

 

MOW

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I liked Jimmy Swaggert. Very talented musically, and I understand that he was a contemporary and sometimes associate of Jerry Lee Lewis.

 

His ability to cry during his sermons were a wonder to behold, But You didn't mention Jim Bakker. He and Tammy Faye were the dupesters of all dupesters. But then one shouldn't judge. Given enough time, the Lord seems to take care of public problems like that wthout our judgements.

 

flow.... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The biggest challenge I have in my area, is finding some other like-minded ,spiritual people to meet with on a regular basis who would enjoy sharing our spiritual journeys with each other.

 

                                                       Godspeed my friends,

                                                        Jerryb

 

 

This is why I think the internet is SUCH a blessing. Without it I might have no spiritual outlet but my husband's conservative church. With the internet I can get another point of view on subjects, and also talk to people who are more closely aligned with my beliefs.

 

It's nice to be a part of the majority now and then. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The biggest challenge I have in my area, is finding some other like-minded ,spiritual people to meet with on a regular basis who would enjoy sharing our spiritual journeys with each other.

 

                                                       Godspeed my friends,

                                                        Jerryb

 

 

This is why I think the internet is SUCH a blessing. Without it I might have no spiritual outlet but my husband's conservative church. With the internet I can get another point of view on subjects, and also talk to people who are more closely aligned with my beliefs.

 

It's nice to be a part of the majority now and then. :D

 

Greenparty

 

You are right about the internet being a 'blessing'. The dictionary defines a blessing as"a thing that induces happiness". And I can honestly say that it has

been an inducenent to my happiness to be able to share my spiritual path,and at the same time,become aquainted with the spiritual paths of others on this board.

I truly believe that this formatt allows us to really "listen"....because we can pause and contemplate the posts of others,and because we have that time...perhaps gain a spiritual perspective we would never have in the 'rush' of normal conversation.

 

Blessings,

 

Jerryb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As usual, I'm a few days later than the posts I wanted to respond to, and I'm going to rain on some parades. Would you expect anything less?

 

First to Carl:

 

Where I live - Candidates for all offices are expected ,by the voters, to have an endorsement from their pastor and church. State Reps make it very clear that they are Evangelical Christians by putting the little Christian Fish symbol on their campaing signs. They are usually all Republicans - We normaly have no local democratic candidates - so all elections are determined in the Republican primary. If you are a registered democrat - you can't vote for anyone. You get a ballot that has blanks on all local elections - since there are no democratic candidates.

 

If you think you are in danger of falling under evenagelical theocratic rule, why not be a candidate? Unless of course there is some law where you live which would forbid it, in which case, you need a lawyer. If on ther other hand, there is no oopsition because they always get trounced/have no support among the populus, that's called deomcracy, where the candidate that the most people like wins. If you don't like it, I don't think there is much you can do.

 

To GreenPartyVoter:

 

Except that it does matter that certain groups don't want gays to marry. It's a civil rights issue where a set of people are being denied their civil rights. Religion should not enter into it.

 

So would it be fair to say you favour a dictatorship of relativism where a person with a religious faith that guides their moral choices is automatically disqualified? As a sidenote, atheism is also a religious affiliation (not necessarily religious practice) but involves at least as much faith as any religion proper (ie: with set worship and God(s))

 

It matters if R v W is overturned. If abortion becomes illegal in some states then we will certainly see a return to back alley abortions for those girls and women who can't afford to go out of state, or worse who are afraid to because it is a crime to cross the state line for an abortion.

 

It is worse to give a baby up for adoption (for whatever reason, fear of jail being one possible one) than to have it murdered and put yourself at greater risk for many physical and psychological difficulties? Yikes, what a strange world liberals live in.

 

And yes there are groups of Christians who are trying to get evolution out of public schools and I.D. in. Look at what is happening in Kansas even now.

 

I hate to say this, but science doesn't corner the market on truth. In fact, science is always changing and being challenged from within. Evolution is not fact, but a theory, ask any scientist how scientific theories work. A classic example is the shift from the Static State theory fo the universe, in which the universe has always existed the way it is now and always will, to the Big Bang theory (proposed by a priest) in which so many scientists got up in arms and complained that religion was trying to oppress science and other such nonsense. Now it is the prevailing theory in the origins of the universe.

 

Des:

 

The website I'm sure you meant to give was www.theocracywatch.ORG

 

I am also worried about creeping theocracy. Perhaps they aren't a majority of the party, but the mind and soul fo the Republican party right now is the Christian right

 

Can you deifne this any a way which isn't just that you don't agree with them? Or can you offer any sort of statistics which would show the number of self-identifying "conservative Christians" in the Republican party? I'm not saying you are wrong, I'm sure many members fo the Republican party call themselves Christians, but I'm equally sure that a large number of members of the Democratic party would also call themslves Christians (the Clintons, Gores, Kerrys, etc. all calling themselves Christians) as do the members fo this board. Essentially, the are they wrong type of Christians for your taste if I am understanding correctly, and that sort of puts you in the same boat as the people that Carl was complaining about.

 

They have actually quite radical views not just abortion (I would also like to see way fewer of them but not through court mandate), but a range of issues from education to "intelligent design" to war and peace (see Christian right on Israel, scary), etc.

 

As far as abortion goes, would radical aulify as, they should be illegal? And if they are murder, as I and many others contend, and you seem to, if you are opposed to abortion, would you say that you would like to see fewer murders of those who have been born, but not through court mandate? (As a side-note, if SCOTUS actually ruled using the Constituion, instead of writing a new one whenever they please, there would be no "right" to abortion and most places abortion would be illegal by act of legislature (ie: the will of the majority of the people what with democracy and all that). As far as Israel goes, you don't really define your terms. But if you are against support of Isreal, I think I can safely assume that you support "Palestine" and the "Palestinians", which of course was never a state in the first place (it was parts of Transjordanie, Egypt, Syria, et al. and was lost in wars where Isreal was the victim of Muslim aggresion.) Secondly, there are no "palestinians" as they are the descendants of the citizens of the above mentioned countries. Plus, the refugees who languish in camps in the above-mentioned countries have far fewer rights than those living under the "occupation". They also have viewed terrorism as the legitimate way to force the creation of a state. They are goons, killers ang thugs. Strange company you keep.

Edited by jamesAMDG
Link to comment
Share on other sites

r:

 

>>Except that it does matter that certain groups don't want gays to marry. It's a civil rights issue where a set of people are being denied their civil rights. Religion should not enter into it.

 

>So would it be fair to say you favour a dictatorship of relativism where a person with a religious faith that guides their moral choices is automatically disqualified? As a sidenote, atheism is also a religious affiliation (not necessarily religious practice) but involves at least as much faith as any religion proper (ie: with set worship and God(s))

 

 

"dicatatorship" of relativism, wow what a turn of phrase, James. :-)

I actually think there should be "religious marriage" and a legal "civil union". Civil unions could be gay or straight or... as long as they were entered into in a legally binding way. That way religion would be totally out of the civil union thing. Marriages would be sacred bondings within churches, synagogues, etc. and not be legally binding at all. No more with the power vested in me by the state of ___. It is totally opposed to the separation of church and state for churches to have powers that effect taxation, visiting rights in hospitals, compassionate leave at work, property rights, etc. etc.

 

 

>>It matters if R v W is overturned. If abortion becomes illegal in some states then we will certainly see a return to back alley abortions for those girls and women who can't afford to go out of state, or worse who are afraid to because it is a crime to cross the state line for an abortion.

 

>It is worse to give a baby up for adoption (for whatever reason, fear of jail being one possible one) than to have it murdered and put yourself at greater risk for many physical and psychological difficulties? Yikes, what a strange world liberals live in.

 

 

I don't think it is the strange world *liberals* live in. We didnt' create human nature that does go about these things. I don't think the vast majority of abortions are done on liberals.

Before Roe v. Wade many many women had horrendous botched abortions done at illegal chop shops--- why didn't they opt for adoption? I think a better question would be why didn't they opt for taking the pregnancy to term--as that is basically the problem.

If you could get a larger no. (all) of women who don't want a child to take the pregnancy to term, you would solve the problem.

 

>>]And yes there are groups of Christians who are trying to get evolution out of public schools and I.D. in. Look at what is happening in Kansas even now.

 

>I hate to say this, but science doesn't corner the market on truth. In fact, science is always changing and being challenged from within. Evolution is not fact, but a theory, ask any scientist how scientific theories work. A classic example is the shift from the Static State theory fo the universe, in which the universe has always existed the way it is now and always will, to the Big Bang theory (proposed by a priest) in which so many scientists got up in arms and complained that religion was trying to oppress science and other such nonsense. Now it is the prevailing theory in the origins of the universe.

 

But there is a HUGE difference between Steady State, the Big bang, and ID (or creationism). True there are many theories that do not always pan out, and lots of strong opinions about them, no denying that. But every *scientific* theory can always be proven wrong, proof goes on one side and it may take years before another replaces it. But ID can never be proven wrong by it's essentially religious nature. You can not prove that a Creator is NOT involved, and that makes it not science. Now it is also true that some theories seem to pan out, like "relativity" but there will always be someone in the wings out there trying to prove it isn't true. And there might be ways to show how it wouldn't be true, even if they prove to be wrong. But with a Creator you can't show it is not so. This is a humungous difference.

 

Yes I think you should teach kids how to evaluate any theory, but not to teach them a religious belief in science class. (BTW, I do believe a Creator was necessary, but I don't think this necessarily conflicts with evolutionary theory.)

 

 

>The website I'm sure you meant to give was www.theocracywatch.ORG

 

Yes.

 

>>I am also worried about creeping theocracy. Perhaps they aren't a majority of the party, but the mind and soul fo the Republican party right now is the Christian right

 

>>Can you deifne this any a way which isn't just that you don't agree with them? Or can you offer any sort of statistics which would show the number of self-identifying "conservative Christians" in the Republican party? I'm not saying you are wrong, I'm sure many members fo the Republican party call themselves Christians, but I'm equally sure that a large number of members of the Democratic party would also call themslves Christians (the Clintons, Gores, Kerrys, etc. all calling themselves Christians) as do the members fo this board.

 

I meant to write Christian Right. i can't offer any statistics. I think that the influence was quite obvious from the latest court appointment. But I am referring to a self-styled group of conservative Christians who seem to tie their Christianity to right wing Republican thinking.

Specifically some things that are not Christian at all, like tax cuts for rich people and hawkish positions.

 

Certainly there are many Christians that are not part of the Christian Right. Perhaps most of them, and I wasn't implying that most Christians were part of the Christian Right, including George Bush. I think George Bush is highly influenced by them, but not one himself.

(Although he is conservative and possibly fundamentalist.) I am certainly not implying that all conservative Christians are part of the CR.

 

>Essentially, the are they wrong type of Christians for your taste if I am understanding correctly, and that sort of puts you in the same boat as the people that Carl was complaining about.

 

Well, it isn't a type of Christian it is a political ideology which uses Christianity, imo.

 

 

>>They have actually quite radical views not just abortion (I would also like to see way fewer of them but not through court mandate), but a range of issues from education to "intelligent design" to war and peace (see Christian right on Israel, scary), etc.

 

As far as abortion goes, would radical aulify as, they should be illegal? And if they are murder, as I and many others contend, and you seem to, if you are opposed to abortion, would you say that you would like to see fewer murders of those who have been born, but not through court mandate?

 

No I don't think it is murder. At least before the first trimester. But it is not desirable for a variety of reasons. I think it would be a little long winded to go into that here. (BTW, I think this would be the only opinion you would share with the Christian Right which is not entirely friendly to Catholics.)

 

> As far as Israel goes, you don't really define your terms. But if you are against support of Isreal, I think I can safely assume that you support "Palestine" and the "Palestinians", which of course was never a state in the first place (it was parts of Transjordanie, Egypt, Syria, et al. and was lost in wars where Isreal was the victim of Muslim aggresion.) Secondly, there are no "palestinians" as they are the descendants of the citizens of the above mentioned countries. Plus, the refugees who languish in camps in the above-mentioned countries have far fewer rights than those living under the "occupation". They also have viewed terrorism as the legitimate way to force the creation of a state.

 

 

No, I didn't.

a. I do support Isreal's right to exist. b. I do support the Palentian's right to exist. Pre- the establishment of the state of Isreal SOMEBODY was livign on that land!

c. all murder and mayheim has not been done on the part of the Isrealis.

 

Briefly some of the CR have expoused the position that we should not really attempt to help Isreal and the Palestinians should strive for a peaceful solution to their problems-- which most Americans including our president would agree with. But according to some of the CR should be rebuilt and after the temple is rebuilt Jesus will come back. Some people believe CR's may even be undermining the peace process-- say in giving to terriorist groups. And no I have no proof of that one.

 

> They are goons, killers ang thugs. Strange company you keep.

 

I don't think my views of things are out of hand with the vast majority of Americans. Nor would they be considered very extreme one way or the other.

 

Please don't include highly sarcastic or nasty comments in your posts like that. It doesn't become you.

 

--des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am responding here to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Those opposed to Palestine as a nation often point out that there was no Palestine before the creation of Israel in 1948. There was just as much a Palestine as there was an Israel. The problem really was caused by the colonial regimes of Europe, particularly England & France. They broke up the Ottoman Empire after World War 1 and carved out nations artificially. As if they had that right. Of course that's not the only place in the world where England & France and other European colonial regimes carved out nations artificially.

 

I support either a 2-nation solution with a Palestine which really is the whole West Bank and Gaza and not just what Israel carves out of the West Bank OR one secular nation where the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis will be protected by international agreement and enforcement.

 

It's amazing to me how james amdg can assert that Israel had to protect itself from "Muslim aggression" and not also assert that Arabs had to protect themselves from Israeli aggression. Both sides have been and continue to be extremely aggressive. There are lots of thugs and terrorists on the Israeli side as well as the Palestinian side.

 

I think that it's very unfortunate that james amdg calls it "Muslim aggression." I would call it Arab aggression. I don't call Israeli aggression Jewish aggression. I don't call English & French & American aggression Christian aggression. There are hawks and doves in the Muslim community and in the Jewish community and in the Christian community.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to see a liberal church that is so attractive, conservatives would give up their megachurches to be liberal. God knows if that will ever happen. It won't happen soon barring some spiritual event that would make my jaw drop.

 

Here's a megachurch which might meet your criteria. The IRS thinks so! I lifted this from a progressive UCC forum at Y! groups > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IUCCAdvocates/

 

Antiwar Sermon Brings IRS Warning

· All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena risks losing its tax-exempt status because of a former rector's remarks in 2004.

 

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-al...2419,full.story

 

By Patricia Ward Biederman and Jason Felch, Times Staff Writers

 

The Internal Revenue Service has warned one of Southern California's largest and most liberal churches that it is at risk of losing its tax-exempt status because of an antiwar sermon two days before the 2004 presidential election.

 

Rector J. Edwin Bacon of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena told many congregants during morning services Sunday that a guest sermon by the church's former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, on Oct. 31, 2004, had prompted a letter from the IRS.

 

In his sermon, Regas, who from the pulpit opposed both the Vietnam War and 1991's Gulf War, imagined Jesus participating in a political debate with then-candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry. Regas said that "good people of profound faith" could vote for either man, and did not tell parishioners whom to support.

 

But he criticized the war in Iraq, saying that Jesus would have told Bush, "Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine. Forcibly changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster."

 

On June 9, the church received a letter from the IRS stating that "a reasonable belief exists that you may not be tax-exempt as a church … " The federal tax code prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in political campaigns and elections.

 

The letter went on to say that "our concerns are based on a Nov. 1, 2004, newspaper article in the Los Angeles Times and a sermon presented at the All Saints Church discussed in the article."

 

The IRS cited The Times story's description of the sermon as a "searing indictment of the Bush administration's policies in Iraq" and noted that the sermon described "tax cuts as inimical to the values of Jesus."

 

As Bacon spoke, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a co-celebrant of Sunday's Requiem Eucharist, looked on.

 

"We are so careful at our church never to endorse a candidate," Bacon said in a later interview.

 

"One of the strongest sermons I've ever given was against President Clinton's fraying of the social safety net."

 

Telephone calls to IRS officials in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles were not returned.

 

On a day when churches throughout California took stands on both sides of Proposition 73, which would bar abortions for minors unless parents are notified, some at All Saints feared the politically active church had been singled out.

 

"I think obviously we were a bit shocked and dismayed," said Bob Long, senior warden for the church's oversight board. "We felt somewhat targeted."

 

Bacon said the church had retained the services of a Washington law firm with expertise in tax-exempt organizations.

 

And he told the congregation: "It's important for everyone to understand that the IRS concerns are not supported by the facts."

 

After the initial inquiry, the church provided the IRS with a copy of all literature given out before the election and copies of its policies, Bacon said.

 

But the IRS recently informed the church that it was not satisfied by those materials, and would proceed with a formal examination. Soon after that, church officials decided to inform the congregation about the dispute.

 

In an October letter to the IRS, Marcus Owens, the church's tax attorney and a former head of the IRS tax-exempt section, said, "It seems ludicrous to suggest that a pastor cannot preach about the value of promoting peace simply because the nation happens to be at war during an election season."

 

Owens said that an IRS audit team had recently offered the church a settlement during a face-to-face meeting.

 

"They said if there was a confession of wrongdoing, they would not proceed to the exam stage. They would be willing not to revoke tax-exempt status if the church admitted intervening in an election."

 

The church declined the offer.

 

Long said Bacon "is fond of saying it's a sin not to vote, but has never told anyone how to vote. We don't do that. We preach to people how to vote their values, the biblical principles."

 

Regas, who was rector of All Saints from 1967 to 1995, said in an interview that he was surprised by the IRS action "and then I became suspicious, suspicious that they were going after a progressive church person."

 

Regas helped the current church leadership collect information for the IRS on his sermon and the church's policies on involvement in political campaigns.

 

Some congregants were upset that a sermon citing Jesus Christ's championing of peace and the poor was the occasion for an IRS probe.

 

"I'm appalled," said 70-year-old Anne Thompson of Altadena, a professional singer who also makes vestments for the church.

 

"In a government that leans so heavily on religious values, that they would pull a stunt like this, it makes me heartsick."

 

Joe Mirando, an engineer from Burbank, questioned whether the 3,500-member church would be under scrutiny if it were not known for its activism and its liberal stands on social issues.

 

"The question is, is it politically motivated?" he said. "That's the underlying feeling of everyone here. I don't have enough information to make a decision, but there's a suspicion."

 

Bacon revealed the IRS investigation at both morning services. Until his announcement, the mood of the congregation had been solemn because the services remembered, by name, those associated with the church who had died since last All Saints Day.

 

Regas' 2004 sermon imagined how Jesus would admonish Bush and Kerry if he debated them. Regas never urged parishioners to vote for one candidate over the other, but he did say that he believes Jesus would oppose the war in Iraq, and that Jesus would be saddened by Bush's positions on the use and testing of nuclear weapons.

 

In the sermon, Regas said, "President Bush has led us into war with Iraq as a response to terrorism. Yet I believe Jesus would say to Bush and Kerry: 'War is itself the most extreme form of terrorism. President Bush, you have not made dramatically clear what have been the human consequences of the war in Iraq.' "

 

Later, he had Jesus confront both Kerry and Bush: "I will tell you what I think of your war: The sin at the heart of this war against Iraq is your belief that an American life is of more value than an Iraqi life. That an American child is more precious than an Iraqi baby. God loathes war."

 

If Jesus debated Bush and Kerry, Regas said, he would say to them, "Why is so little mentioned about the poor?''

 

In his own voice, Regas said: ''The religious right has drowned out everyone else. Now the faith of Jesus has come to be known as pro-rich, pro-war and pro-American…. I'm not pro-abortion, but pro-choice. There is something vicious and violent about coercing a woman to carry to term an unwanted child."

 

When you go into the voting booth, Regas told the congregation, "take with you all that you know about Jesus, the peacemaker. Take all that Jesus means to you. Then vote your deepest values."

 

Owens, the tax attorney, said he was surprised that the IRS is pursuing the case despite explicit statements by Regas that he was not trying to influence the congregation's vote.

 

"I doubt it's politically motivated," Owens said. ""I think it is more a case of senior management at IRS not paying attention to what the rules are."

 

According to Owens, six years ago the IRS used to send about 20 such letters to churches a year. That number has increased sharply because of the agency's recent delegation of audit authority to agents on the front lines, he said.

 

He knew of two other churches, both critical of government policies, that had received similar letters, Owens said.

 

It's unclear how often the IRS raises questions about the tax-exempt status of churches.

 

While such action is rare, the IRS has at least once revoked the charitable designation of a church.

 

Shortly before the 1992 presidential election, a church in Binghamton, N.Y., ran advertisements against Bill Clinton's candidacy, and the tax agency ruled that the congregation could not retain its tax-exempt status because it had intervened in an election.

 

Bacon said he thought the IRS would eventually drop its case against All Saints.

 

"It is a social action church, but not a politically partisan church," he said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With respect to James' unfortunate remarks regarding the realities and history of the Isreali-Palestinian conflict and Mystictrek's reply, I would suggest that anyone really interested in the intricacies of the history and dynamics of this conflict obtain a copy of a book entitled, The Haj, by Leon Uris.

 

It is a work of fiction but is based upon historical fact.

 

There's bad guys and good guys in every conflict scenario, each of them eager to point out how WRONG the other guy is in his belief. But a good story with believable characters makes the historical futility of it all alot clearer to us somehow.

 

Uh, Germany also played a large part in much of the history of all this early in the 20th century . What a surprise!!

 

 

flow.... B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As usual, I'm a few days later than the posts I wanted to respond to, and I'm going to rain on some parades.  Would you expect anything less?

 

First to Carl:

 

Where I live - Candidates for all offices are expected ,by the voters, to have an endorsement from their pastor and church. State Reps make it very clear that they are Evangelical Christians by putting the little Christian Fish symbol on their campaing signs. They are usually all Republicans - We normaly have no local democratic candidates - so all elections are determined in the Republican primary. If you are a registered democrat - you can't vote for anyone. You get a ballot that has blanks on all local elections - since there are no democratic candidates.

 

If you think you are in danger of falling under evenagelical theocratic rule, why not be a candidate? Unless of course there is some law where you live which would forbid it, in which case, you need a lawyer. If on ther other hand, there is no oopsition because they always get trounced/have no support among the populus, that's called deomcracy, where the candidate that the most people like wins. If you don't like it, I don't think there is much you can do.

 

James - You seem to miss the point here.

 

Your statement "If on ther other hand, there is no oopsition because they always get trounced/have no support among the populus, that's called deomcracy, where the candidate that the most people like wins. If you don't like it, I don't think there is much you can do." seems to say that the majority has the right to vote away the rights of the minority. Slavery was supported by majority vote, and Hitler was very popular in Germany. Using your logic - there just isn't much that can be done - since we must respect the right of the majority to choose their own leaders and make their own laws.

 

In our country - our courts, our constitution, our entire system is designed to protect the rights of the minority from abuse by the majority. The fears I described earlier - are due to the failure of this system to protect religious minorities in my area. The example you quoted from my post was an illustration of just how overwhelmingly conservative this area is. So much so, that the rights of minorities are often violated.

 

Also - you use the term "murder" to refer to legal abortion in your post. I will remind you that state law defines what is or is not murder in a given state - and that in the United States - abortion is a medical procedure - and not "murder."

You may freely state that you would like to see our laws changed to criminalize this medical procedure, however calling the procedure "murder" is, at this time at least, inaccurate. I think it is beneficial to good spirited debate if we don't use buzz-words or politically charged language when describing something like abortion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carl, I would agree with you on James' choice of words, but I think that the Catholic church and esp. conservative Catholics really do think abortion is murder-- follows since even birth control (except for rhythm) is immoral. I don't *agree* with James' choice of words (or the ramifications thereof-- ie that any pregnant woman who has an abortion regardless of situation is a murderer-- perhaps excepting the life of the mother though see below), but I would defend to the death (ok not death :-)) his right to say them.

 

OTOH, I do personally know of a very devout Catholic (her mom is a friend of mine) who was told her pregnancy had very serious complications and that the best thing to do would be to terminate it, asap. THe woman didn't do that due to her beliefs. She actually ended up having the baby and losing it almost immediately, but worse she almost died. She started peeing black urine that I didn't think was even possible to do-- but I think that is close to renal shutdown. AFAIK, she is ok. There are also those families having multiple births. They don't show all the really bad complications that can happen for the most part, but the chances of havign a profoundly handicapped (or dead) child are very high. (BTW, by profoundly handicapped, I mean something like a child who is unable to sit, speak, eat without assistance.

 

Of course, I recognize most abortions aren't done for such serious reasons. And I think that one should use birth control not abortion. However, our administration is even stopping money for birth control if the center that does birth control has anything to do with abortion, even if the actual dollars are not spent on abortion. (Same policy, btw, used for AIDs funding-- if the money goes to an organization that passes out condoms, no deal. Even if the money isn't actually going for condoms.) This might be the reason that the abortion rate is actually higher under GWB than it was for Clinton.

 

 

 

--des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service