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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » ACLU bashes religion again (Page 3)

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Author Topic: ACLU bashes religion again
tern
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That makes me wonder - is today's political climate any more religiously charged than, say fifty years ago? If so, in what ways? Why? Could it be a good thing?
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TomDavidson
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quote:

Could it be a good thing?

I doubt it.
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DarkKnight
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Everything in politics is more charged today. Most of the time it feels like a Mountain Dew commercial, Politics to the Xtreme!
There are kooks in every group and with out ability to communicate so much faster and in so many different ways, the kooks can be heard much louder than they ever were before

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Lupus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
Wow. Just...wow. As kmboots said Paul was preaching this.

That, and of course the fact that Mark started out his gospel (thought to have been written somewhere btwn AD 55-65) with the phrase:

"1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the Prophets:" *emphasis mine

And of course in John's letter to the Churches in Asia (his attempt to fight Gnosticism written sometime in the AD 90's), John refers to Jesus as Christ, and the son of God. (1 John 1:3)

Of course, you can't forget Paul, who called Jesus the son of God in Roman's 1:1-3.

The list goes on and on. For some reason many people like to make the claim that only the main gospels referred to Jesus as the son of God, and then go on to claim that they believe that the gospels were put together much later and were not the beliefs of the early church. This completely ignores the fact that Jesus is frequently referred to as the son of God in the letters written to the early Christian churches...some of which were written before the destruction of the Temple (AD 70).

Even if you ignore the fact that the early Christian church referred to Christ as the son of God, there is the fact that it was preached that many of the old laws, particularly dietary laws (Acts 11) and circumcision (Acts 15) were not needed...particularly for gentiles. As for the dietary laws, Luke's account of Peter's dream in Acts 11 said that God had made the previously unclean foods clean. That was a large shift from previous Jewish beliefs...and would have had to have taken place between AD 61-64, since it was after Paul was arrested, but before he was killed.

There is also the fact that the early Christian church faced a lot of persecution that the Jewish people did not face, much of it from Jewish people who chose not to convert (Saul was an example of one of the persecutors...though he of course did later convert).

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Lisa
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Dude, I'm a daughter of God. That phrase never meant what Christians eventually came to see it as meaning. Check out Psalms 82:6.
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Dagonee
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In Acts, the entire debate is documented that says you don't have to be Jewish to be Christian.

Further, in Acts 9, Ananias refers to Jesus as "the Lord."

You're flat out wrong about when Christianity started. Admit it and move on.

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dh
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quote:
Originally posted by foundling:
quote:
I basically agree with you. Many (including me) would support that idea that being made the state religion of the Roman Empire very nearly killed Christianity, and led to all sorts of horrible practices, since it then became a method of social advancement and a ticket to power, rather than a community of followers of Christ.
dh

See, this is yet another reason why the religiously charged political climate of today makes me so freekin nervous. I completely agree with this statement, dh, and wonder how this affects your view of religion in politics today?

I think you are nervous for no reason. No state religion has been established. The seperation of church and state is as healthy and vibrant as it ever was, despite all the vitriolic rhetoric that is tossed about these days. As it is now, a system where everyone, included elected officials, are free to express their belief or unbelief, with no coercion in one direction or the other... well, that's just the best setup you could imagine, wouldn't you say?

What makes me nervous is these people who insist that all religious discourse be silenced in the name of seperation of church and state. Which is why I see the US as pretty much the only beacon of hope in the world today. It's the only place where the nihilists haven't won yet.

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Paul Goldner
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"As it is now, a system where everyone, included elected officials, are free to express their belief or unbelief, with no coercion in one direction or the other... well, that's just the best setup you could imagine, wouldn't you say?"

No. I have a serious problem with government officials, in their role as government officials, when they have a forced captive audience, expressing their views on religion.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
No. I have a serious problem with government officials, in their role as government officials, when they have a forced captive audience, expressing their views on religion.
What kind of "forced captive audience" are you talking about? Who is forced to listen to our officials?

Do you have the same issue with them sharing their views on other things unrelated to their office? Like, say, broccoli?

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TomDavidson
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quote:

Do you have the same issue with them sharing their views on other things unrelated to their office? Like, say, broccoli?

Do you think the pundits would get their knickers twisted if we attempted to ban the promotion of broccoli?
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Lupus
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quote:
Originally posted by starLisa:
Dude, I'm a daughter of God. That phrase never meant what Christians eventually came to see it as meaning. Check out Psalms 82:6.

You also have to look at context and what he is called in other locations to determine what kind of son he is.

While psalm 82 may have referred to judges as children of God, it doesn't single out a specific person as a son of God. It also says that while they may be children of God, they will die like men.

On the other hand, Jesus is referred to as both Lord, and Christ. In addition, John 3:16 refers to Jesus as God's only begotten son. It also says that whoever believes in him will have everlasting life.

Besides, Psalms 82 is not talking about everyone...it is one of Asaph's Psalms talking about Judges (who were often called gods (not God) in the OT). If you back up a bit to the beginning of the Psalm, rather than picking out the one verse that talks about "children of god" you can better see the context.

When he was being persecuted, Jesus repeats the fact that through him people can be saved (John 10:25-30). If you continue to read John 10, you see that Jesus not only says that God is his father, but that he and his father are one. Yes he is a judge as the OT describes, but he goes beyond what is talked about by Asaph in Psalms 82, he is also ONE with God, and can transcend death (which the judges in Psalm 82 could not do.

Of course this is all off track from the original argument of whether Christianity was a part of Judaism. As Dagonee and I have mentioned before, Acts is the best evidence that even the early church was thought of as distinct from Judaism. We have quoted bits and pieces from it...but if you read all of Acts, you can see that there was quite a bit of debate about what Christianity was, and that they ended on deciding that it had moved away from Judaism.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
You're flat out wrong about when Christianity started. Admit it and move on.
This admission would necessitate a further admission of mendacity or ignorance. So far it's happened only with bears.
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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Lupus:
quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
Wow. Just...wow. As kmboots said Paul was preaching this.

That, and of course the fact that Mark started out his gospel (thought to have been written somewhere btwn AD 55-65) with the phrase:

"1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the Prophets:" *emphasis mine

And of course in John's letter to the Churches in Asia (his attempt to fight Gnosticism written sometime in the AD 90's), John refers to Jesus as Christ, and the son of God. (1 John 1:3)

Of course, you can't forget Paul, who called Jesus the son of God in Roman's 1:1-3.

The list goes on and on. For some reason many people like to make the claim that only the main gospels referred to Jesus as the son of God, and then go on to claim that they believe that the gospels were put together much later and were not the beliefs of the early church. This completely ignores the fact that Jesus is frequently referred to as the son of God in the letters written to the early Christian churches...some of which were written before the destruction of the Temple (AD 70).

Even if you ignore the fact that the early Christian church referred to Christ as the son of God, there is the fact that it was preached that many of the old laws, particularly dietary laws (Acts 11) and circumcision (Acts 15) were not needed...particularly for gentiles. As for the dietary laws, Luke's account of Peter's dream in Acts 11 said that God had made the previously unclean foods clean. That was a large shift from previous Jewish beliefs...and would have had to have taken place between AD 61-64, since it was after Paul was arrested, but before he was killed.

There is also the fact that the early Christian church faced a lot of persecution that the Jewish people did not face, much of it from Jewish people who chose not to convert (Saul was an example of one of the persecutors...though he of course did later convert).

I mean no disrespect to your faith, however quoting New Testament scripture to back up arguments to someone who doesn't even accept the validity of the document won't help.
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Dagonee
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quote:
I mean no disrespect to your faith, however quoting New Testament scripture to back up arguments to someone who doesn't even accept the validity of the document won't help.
It will when the argument is not about what is true but about when the people in a particular faith believed a particular doctrine. The fact that these documents represent the teachings of the Church during the first century is what's at issue, not whether these documents represent truth.

And while I have no doubt that you mean no disrespect to our faiths, I also have no doubt that Lisa does. And I won't let her get away with spreading statements that are either in severe error or are outright lies in her attempts to do so.

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
I mean no disrespect to your faith, however quoting New Testament scripture to back up arguments to someone who doesn't even accept the validity of the document won't help.
It will when the argument is not about what is true but about when the people in a particular faith believed a particular doctrine. The fact that these documents represent the teachings of the Church during the first century is what's at issue, not whether these documents represent truth.

And while I have no doubt that you mean no disrespect to our faiths, I also have no doubt that Lisa does. And I won't let her get away with spreading statements that are either in severe error or are outright lies in her attempts to do so.

Is there evidence outside of Christian faith that they were written that early? Just curious for my own education.
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Rakeesh
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It's like Dagonee said, Stephen. Unless you accept Jewish beliefs to be true about what other people believe and tell themselves, then you have to look at the history of the New Testament to decide what Christians believe about themselves and when they started believing it.
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Dagonee
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Lots, but I'll need to leave it to others with more expertise than I to explain.

Here's a summary from Wiki:

quote:
According to tradition, the earliest of the books were the letters of Paul, and the last books to be written are those attributed to John, who is traditionally said to have lived to a very old age, perhaps dying as late as 100, although evidence for this tradition is generally not convincing. Irenaeus of Lyons, c. 185, stated that the Gospels of Matthew and Mark were written while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome, which would be in the 60s, and Luke was written some time later. Evangelical and Traditionalist scholars continue to support this dating.
Some other modern critical scholars concur with the dating of the majority of the New Testament, except for the epistles and books that they consider to be pseudepigraphical (i.e. those thought not to be written by their traditional authors). Some do not. For the Gospels, they tend to date Mark no earlier than 65, and Matthew some time between 70-85. Luke is usually placed in the 80-95 time frame. The earliest of the books of the New Testament was 1 Thessalonians, an epistle of Paul, written probably 51, or possibly Galatians in 49 according to one of two theories of its writing. Of the pseudepigraphical epistles, Christian scholars tend to place them somewhere between 70 and 150, with 2 Peter usually being the latest.
However, John A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament (1976), proposed that all of the New Testament was completed before 70, the year the temple at Jerusalem was destroyed. Robinson argued that because the destruction of the temple was prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24:15-21 and Luke 23:28-31, the authors of these and other New Testament books would not have failed to point out the fulfillment of this prophecy. Robinson's position is popular among some Evangelicals.
In the 1830s, German scholars of the Tübingen school dated the books as late as the third century, but the discovery of some New Testament manuscripts, not including some of the later writings, dating as far back as 125 has called such late dating into question. Additionally, a letter to the church at Corinth in the name of Clement of Rome in 95, quotes from 10 of the 27 books of the New Testament, and a letter to the church at Philippi in the name of Polycarp in 120 quotes from 16 books. Therefore some of the books of the New Testament were at least in a first draft stage, although others were probably not completed until later, while editing, some minor, some major, continued until the present day.


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Shmuel
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For whatever it's worth, in my Jewish History class in my yeshiva days, Christianity as a religion per se -- rather than a Jewish apocalyptic sect -- was dated back to Paul, roughly 50 CE. The salient issue back then wasn't the messiah thing so much as not confining the target audience to Jews and changing the laws, particularly the bit about metaphorically circumcising the heart rather than literally circumcising the flesh. Whatever might have come later, the religion started out as a persecuted minority.

Nor do the Jews have a perfect track record with regard to forced conversions, although we haven't had the occasion to be on anything but the receiving end for the past couple of millennia. Frankly, it's less a function of religion than of political power; when there was a Jewish empire, conversion was one of the tools in the arsenal. It didn't work out very well for us, which, when added to the bit where we stopped having our own turf, may explain why we abandoned the practice.

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DarkKnight
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quote:
Do you think the pundits would get their knickers twisted if we attempted to ban the promotion of broccoli?
I think there was some twisted knickers back during the first President Bush's term? Didn't they take tons of broccoli to the White House? I remember hearing a lot about it on the news too and that was all because he said he didn't like it.
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Dagonee
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quote:
Do you think the pundits would get their knickers twisted if we attempted to ban the promotion of broccoli?
Do you think attempting to ban the promotion of broccoli is likely to happen?
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I remember hearing a lot about it on the news too and that was all because he said he didn't like it.
As far as I remember, people were annoyed that he said he didn't like it. Nobody was vocally complaining that he had talked about broccoli at all.
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Will B
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Heh-heh-heh. You said "broccoli."
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mr_porteiro_head
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Choppin' broccoli....
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digging_hoIes
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Personally, I really like broccoli, and I am dismayed that you people are launching an all-out, bigoted, hateful attack on my eating habits. This is just another example of the far-reaching conspiratorial anti-broccoli media bias. Broccoli is essential to everyone's health, and if you don't eat any, you will die, and I have no problems with elected officials promoting the consumption of broccoli. In fact, I encourage it. What's more, evolutionary theory should be replaced in the schools with a theory of broccoli and (etc. etc.).
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Lisa
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And let's not forget his implicit criticism of clams. The Japanese ambassador certainly won't.
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BannaOj
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(tounge entirely in cheek)
Catholics: excommunicated Jews
Protestants: excommunicated, excomunicated Jews
Mormons.....?

[Wink]
AJ

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