Nice to see what our “Christians” are up to these days:
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a major case testing whether state colleges and universities can deny official status and subsidies to student groups that bar homosexuals and other groups from membership. The case could affect public colleges and universities across the country, and it puts the court in the middle of a long struggle by Christian activists who contend that their rights are violated on campus by secular rules.
Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco has for 20 years had what it calls an all-comers policy. Any student group is entitled to official school recognition, as long as the group accepts all comers. Official recognition entitles the group to a small subsidy, preferred use of campus facilities, use of all campus bulletin boards and e-mails and use of the school logo.
he Christian Legal Society has long had a Hastings chapter that was recognized as a registered student organization, but in 2004, the group affiliated with the national Christian Legal Society and changed its policy to exclude from membership homosexuals and those who advocate or participate in pre-marital sex.
“When we did that, the director of student services said that the statement of faith in our bylaws violated their rules against discrimination on the basis of religion and sexual orientation,” says Isaac Fong, a former chairman of the campus Christian Legal Society.
“In practice, this meant that CLS was rendered invisible on campus,” Fong adds. “CLS was denied the ability to communicate with students or to have a physical presence on campus, and that caused the members of CLS to diminish to the point that there are only a few students left now.”
Basically, what they are asking for is a set of special rights that allows them to be bigots, and subsidized ones at that, as they want the right to suck at the university teat and ignore the all comers rule. Because having to abide by the same rules everyone else does, of course, would be an infringement of their religious freedom!
And people wonder why I have no use whatsoever for religion.
From the very next paragraph in that story,
I thought “Thou shalt not bear false witness” was one of them Commandment thingies that Christians claim to believe in.
Preach it, brother.
And only groups of humans who associate for religious reasons are assholes?
I assume you’re not going to participate in politics, either, since Uncle Joe and Adolf were such shining examples of political power run amok?
Otherwise, agree 100%
I read about this at Digby’s place this morning. I agree with tristero’s take on it:
I’d simply counter that being in politics doesn’t require you to believe in an invisible man who lives in the sky and hangs on our every words.
Since religion starts with the crazy, it just can’t end well.
In American fundamentalism, the view of the Pharisees won out. Showy displays of religiousity and judgmental behavior trump compassion and concern.
The American fundamentalist would spit on the Samaritan for helping out an obvious derelict.
So now they’re only affiliating with people who lie about their sex lives? Is that “Christian” or “Clinton”?
Oh correlation and causation. You are adorable in that you are not the same thing.
Perhaps… just perhaps… it was the fact that you demanded your members not have pre-marital sex WHILE IN COLLEGE that may have hamstrung you a bit. But I’m sure it’s the discrimination thing.
Heard about this on NPR this morning. I hope the advocate for the CLS sounded as much like a douchebag to the rest of the world as he did to me (he kept yammering about freedom of association, and the school’s representative said, twice, that students can associate — and discriminate — all they please, but that if they want official recognition, they all, without exception, have to conform to the policy.
He also had a nice touch in saying — correctly — that the CLS wants special rights to enjoy the benefits of recognition without the obligations that come with it.
This, also, too:
Fixed for accuracy.
ETA: I just noticed the link is to the NPR story itself.
The group itself is asking to exclude members on the basis of the member’s beliefs. The rule was already in place when this happened, and prior to that, the group was able to get funding. So clearly, the rule wasn’t imposed as a pretext to defund groups like this. I have no idea what the Court will do, but the problem for universities will be pretty overwhelming if it can’t link funding to inclusiveness. How will it ever be able to come up with a non-discriminatory standard?
Also, just saying, but if you are going to exclude everyone in law school who participates in premarital sex, your group is probably going to die a natural death anyway.
There is a hidden “but” at the end of each commandment that only truly true believers see and can be used to suit individual needs as appropriate.
They were wearing Purity rings, the magic of the ring means they didn’t actually have sex.
Get ready for the Supremes to throw a bone to the religious right, and they will, in turn, require republicans to filibuster any candidate Obama nominates.
It has nothing to do with discrimination. They just got tired of trying to distinguish between homoousion and homoiousion, and declared “From now on it’ll be no homos at all.”
You haven’t been following events in North Korea.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
And they should already know the answer to this, because the Boy Scouts tried this exact thing, and the court decided that while they had a first amendment right to exclude people, others had the right to refuse to fund them because of it.
As a complete and total Atheist…I think your premise is wrong. Religion is not, never was, and never will be the problem. It is the people who use it as a blanket (Snuggies for Jesus!) to cover up their bigotry, their hatred, their racism, their misogyny (I could go on).
The reason religion attracts so many whackaloons is that people like this need a justification, or affirmation from a higher power that what they’re doing is perfectly o.k. So they take the Bible, re-interpret a few words to fit their paradigm and they’re good to go bashing whatever doesn’t conform to their self-centric worldview.
If they had any sense, they’d just accept anybody-I doubt any LGBTs or kids who fuck before marriage (this being a college population and all, the irony here is astounding) are going to be knocking down their door to get in. This is all about the above-justification for their stupidity and grabbing as much attention as possible.
Well, that’s an example of the crazy, but the difference is that some politics is rooted in crazy, but all religion is, before you ever even get to specifics.
I think if you took the “only” out, you’d be more in line with what John actually said, dude.
This is quite literally the position of most religious advocates. It also has the force of law in many instances (see, e.g., tax exempt status, conscientious objector deferrals, etc.).
That whole double edged establishment/free exercise thingie. Whatchagonnado?
comrade scott's agenda of rage
That’s the dog whistle here. Every time some fucktard on the right goes into this kind of territory, we should be there to point out “all your asking for is a special set of rights that allow you to be bigots”.
And you want the taxpayer to help pay for it. And yet, you don’t want the taxpayer to help purchase medical care for those who can’t afford it. Way to flout those Christian Values.
You’d think that good Christians would feel sympathy for their gay brethren, who are going to spend an eternity in hell for their transgressions, condemned to unimaginable torture forever by a loving God.
@Osprey: You win the Internets for today.
It is amazing how many right-wingers pretty much argue for a new right to be given to them, the right to not know about other people’s existence. Christian group doesn’t want gay christians coming into their group and revealing their humanity, better block them and whine if we suffer for it. Oh noes, everyone, we need to ban trans people from public restrooms. Oh no, they are gay where everyone can see them. Keep this suburb white, etc…
The right-wing seems to think that the old laws of segregation were somehow rights that white, straight, christians had that are being threatened and that they have a right to have their delusions be unfettered by the existence of people who disprove their bigotry by existing.
To which I say, no one has this right, grow up. I have to know about bigots and people who want me dead. You get to know about me. I don’t get to yank my kids out of your group or try and ban you out of my publicly funded organizations and you don’t get to do the same.
Maybe someone could start a group that would exclude everyone.
Am I the only one who would love to see all religious organizations lose their tax exemptions? I mean, we expect snake-oil salesmen peddling “as seen on TV” garbage on 1am infomercials to pay their taxes. Why not the snake-oil salesmen who peddle garbage on Sunday mornings too?
@Osprey: It’s true that its bad to blame all religious people for the behavior of the bad apples, but you can’t separate believers from their religion as if the religion is something entirely independent.
the founding rule of the Null Group is that new members are not welcome!
definitely not. i’d love to see that.
I agree with your post. I don’t agree with some of the commenters however. The ones that so glibly disparage faith as something for the Crazy, don’t understand the lively peace and social Christian communities that many liberals like me are a part of in this country.
I don’t need someone’s respect to practice my faith but I don’t mind pointing out the narrow thinking involved in making comments like this:
Give the sermon on Easter a listen to. It’s representative of the inclusiveness and commitment to doing good works which my church community represents:
For a significant number of us on the liberal side of the political equation, faith is the basis for what we do politically. Trying to spend some time understanding this might be helpful, if only to show a little more respect to some of your political allies.
@Bulworth: Hmm, maybe Groucho Marx was on to something:
kommrade reproductive vigor
We are talking about the type of people who believe the portion of the 1st Am. that addresses free speech means everyone has to shut up when they talk and no one is allowed to disagree. Of course they think the part regarding religion means they have a God-given right to state cash.
Because they’re idjits.
@Bulworth: I have no interest in joining.
Not true. “Faith” is believing something without evidence. If you and I disagree on a matter of faith, we’ve got no empirical means of resolving the dispute. That’s why we have holy wars.
Well there goes C-Street’s affiliation.
Can’t think of any either. Organized religion of any stripe sucks ass. In the case of priests, sometimes literally.
I always wonder what Christians are thinking when they whine and complain and file lawsuits when they feel they are being persecuted for what they believe.
I know what they are not thinking. They are not thinking as the Bible commands us to think when we believe we are being punished for our faith. We are supposed to consider it the highest honor to be allowed to suffer with Christ for our faith in Him.
Paul writes to the believers at Phillipi:
Peter makes it clear as well:
And none other than Jesus Himself says:
Jesus and the apostles were talking to people who were being shunned by their families and thrown out of their homes and livelihoods and being killed for their faith in Christ. That is suffering.
I don’t know what these litigious Christians think those scriptural passages mean, but I can tell you what they don’t mean. They don’t mean that you should file federal lawsuits to defend your right to discriminate against people you don’t like. What kind of testimony is that? Whose heart is changed by that kind of behavior?
Going to court to defend discrimination does not demonstrate the love of Christ to anybody. A Christian should know better.
@Bulworth: I’d join!
hastings loses 5-4 scalia writes stevens dissent thomas special concur
General Egali Tarian Stuck
You are becoming just as narrow minded and reactionary as a left winger as you were as a right winger. Sad to see.
Well done sir!
kommrade reproductive vigor
@UncommonSense: Obviously you’re reading from one of the old LiberalCommie versions of the Bible. Once the Conservapedia crew have finished retranslating the Bible (With new ACTION JESUS) and removed all the filthy liberal commie bits you’ll understand that being a true Christian means smiting when you can, whining when you can’t and never having to say you’re sorry for snorting meth off a hooker’s ass.
@General Egali Tarian Stuck: There is a difference between having no use whatsoever for religion in one’s own life and denying that for others it may have great value. Cole’s statement seemed to be the former.
Alan in SF
Because if they can’t practice their religion in a taxpayer-owned facility while receiving government subsidies, they’re being persecuted.
We must agree to disagree, dear friend.
I have not so fond memories of being “hotboxed” by Kampus Krusade for Khrist…and telling them in no uncertain terms Im cool with my faith if they’re not cool with that they can respectively take a flying leap into a rolling Cheerio. Of course it was also also comedy gold when my stoner roommate let the Jehovahs Witnesses in.
The NPR story (on air at least) did not say anything about the exclusion of people who advocate/admit they had pre-marital sex. I guess they neglected that fact because it shows the group to not only be bigots, but also major loons.
What exactly is the problem with gay or sexually active unwed people anyway? I get that you could say they are sinners, but A) isn’t savings sinners one of the major tenants of Christianity? B) aren’t there non-sexual sins that should also exclude membership? If I were a Christian, I can think of others I’d exclude instead of a gay or sexually active person.
This group of “Christians” sounds like they are not very Christian in practice. Seems like they want to cast stones without examining themselves.
For the record, I am an atheist so maybe I’m getting all this Jesusy love thy neighbor & save the sinners stuff wrong.
No, the “holy” part is nothing more than a figleaf used by political and military leaders for land grabs, power struggles, resource grabs, personal vendettas, etc. “Faith” is what they advocate to get the lower classes to do the heavy lifting for them.
Neither the linked article nor John’s response mentions religious intolerance of gays as a right-wing phenomenon.
…so before you accuse him of being “narrow minded”, perhaps you can explain to us how you made that association, and we can work from there.
That’s my point.
As a Christian woman, I am saddened that yet another group is making big hay of the gay issue. The problem is that some sins are being hailed as worse than any other and acting like they don’t sin.
Please don’t think of Jesus when you see stuff like this.
@Seanly: You have it exactly right. The Christian bigots who use their religion as an excuse for their bigotry are cherry-picking one or two passages from the Old Testament (!) and taking them out of context to suit their purposes. From even a Christian perspective, it’s shameful.
“And people wonder why I have no use whatsoever for religion.”
i’m actually surprised to hear this. i’m a pretty vehement atheist myself, but i have not detected that note in your writings up to this point. and i have been reading bj for years and years. i guess i just missed that aspect of your outlook.
which i say partly in order to give you some feedback–you may not be as loud about this as some people say you are. you’re no pharyngula, for instance.
@UncommonSense: it would be my contention these people are not actually christians. i’m an atheist myself, but i went to church growing up. while no scholar on such matters, i can certainly tell when people are violating some of the central tenets of their proclaimed faith.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
The sweeping unqualified statement speaks for itself, unless otherwise amended by it’s author.
Maybe this would explain why so many Republicans seem so sexually screwed up (paging David Vitter…). Also, this would explain why this group did not have a chapter at my law school
Sadly, however, I do expect the Supreme Court to use a 20-part test to reach a 5-4 decision that Christian groups may stone homosexuals and that the law schools are required to subsidize the stones and provide a classroom for the stoning.
James K. Polk, Esq.
I was raised by Buddhists who let me decide for myself how to conduct myself in the spiritual sphere.
I don’t have a problem with many Xtians. People who seek to do good are doing something right in my book. The reasons they utilize to commit selfless acts can be confused with respect to motivation and still follow the golden rule.
The biggest problem I have is the duplicity that often surrounds the conversion of others. It’s a two thousand year case study in how best to deceive people into dedicating themselves to a lie.
you might want to do some actual research on this. the loud talkers that all get the attention of the main stream media is NOT representative of ALL or most. Think this stuff through. You are including in this Buddists, who, the last time I looked did not believe in proselytizing or the usual invasive nonsense of the Christian fundamentalist groups; the United Church of Christ has been extremely active in advancing LGBT rights; and the Amish who pretty don’t bother anyone.
I get the anger at those sects who seem to make a profession out of practicing hypocrisy but you can’t lump all religions together and make blanket statement about them anymore than you can an ethnic or racial group. There are many c 3 organizations that are under fire because someone doesn’t like them or think they deserve tax exempt status. some of those orgs have done quite a lot of good for liberal causes, some of those were even religious groups.
just wanted to point out the irony of LAW STUDENTS arguing a legal basis for their right to discriminate…..
Not the way you originally wrote it. Inflaming the masses against one’s enemies has nothing to do with unresolvable theological disagreements on the masses’ part, and everything to do with acting upon the propaganda that’s fed to them. There’s nothing two-sided about it.
The clause “I have no use whatsoever for religion” is not unqualified. “I” is the qualifier.
Andrew Sullivan will tell us that the Boy Scouts episode of South Park explains why this is all OK.
Explain to me, oh open-minded one. Why do I have to have a use for religion? I’m perfectly content to let people believe whatever the hell they want.
I’m not content to sit around and grant them special rights because of what they believe, nor am I going to sit around and let their beliefs dictate what I do.
You’re an idiot.
Was that sweeping enough?
I think you’re deluding yourself if you think that being involved in a milder form of religious observance doesn’t simply validate the crazier forms of it.
I never had much time for the christians in my family (they didn’t like my jewish mother), but I gave the jews a chance, and it wasn’t long before you went from somebody playing a guitar at a friday night pick-up scene to people lecturing you about how you shouldn’t brush your teeth on yom kippur, or some rabbi officiating a wedding and taking a 10-minute aside to rag on palestinians. Not to mention the endless digressions on who actually qualified as jewish – and it was always about who your parents were and what you ate; not about how you behaved as a person.
Did anybody who was present ever express their opposition to even these mild forms of insanity? No chance. Those who didn’t like it left, and those who were wedded to the idea of their mild religiosity allowed the crazies to continue.
I guess I would ask why you need an organized jesus in your life? Why not believe what you believe and act morally and do good works because you know they’re the right thing to do?
Generally, I like reading JC’s posts. But just as I recognize that there are many flavors of bloggers, I’d respectfully ask him to recognize that there are many flavors of Christians. We don’t all act like that. Many of us “religious-types” are also appalled at such behavior and attitudes. I’d never dream of denouncing all bloggers because of the Malkins & Ericksons, for example.
And, just because it hasn’t been mentioned here, Hastings is part of the UC system – it’s a public law school. And that policy is fairly representative across the UC system.
I know what Faith means, though any religious person would take that specific definition as an insult.
I really don’t want to get into the history of the whole thing, but if you dig into the wars (can add in the inquisition), their reasons, and what happened during/afterwards, you start to see an obvious pattern. Money and power.
I started typing up a whole diatribe…but meh, I went through some of the history of any Holy Wars, and most of it had actually shit to do with religion. Most of it was about quelling dissent (consolidating power-Inquisition), looting and confiscation of land (but of course a religious war makes a great reason-hi Crusades!), and rising up against oppression (Church says you must live this way because the religion says so, peasants say “fuck that!”, and the rebellion becomes a ‘religious war’, when it’s just a fight against power).
I just think attacking religion itself will only have the opposite effect (it’s why I think guys like Maher/Hitchens will never gain any traction with their work in the area). It’s those who manipulate the believers, and those who tote out religion as an excuse for anything they do who need to be shot down.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
“they” and you lump all right wing religion in with the very many liberals who also have faith, and belong to organized religion. That is narrow minded and reactionary. Deal with it dude. Thanks for clearing up the ambiguity Cole that answers jrg’s concern. Would you like a bigger shovel Mr Cole?
kommrade reproductive vigor
“If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.”
This. Exactly my point, in 3 fewer paragraphs.
Leave John Cole ALOOOOOOOONe for Christ’s sake. If he’s got no use for religion that’s because all around him is massively strong evidence that religious sects, regardless of the motivations or morals of those who inhabit them, are conducive to seriously bad acts. To echo a comment on a thread at Pandagon:
“If the shoe doesn’t fit then don’t fucking make it all about you you you.”
If the christianity or islam or judaism that John reads about in the papers isn’t exactly like the one you are practicing in your head, or your grandma lived, or your church preaches then don’t bitch about how its not exactly like your experience. Of course its not. Its just reflecting the lives, beliefs, and actions of some other set of people who also claim to follow your religious leader. If you don’t like it *take it up with them* instead of complaining to the atheists that they are unkind, or atheists are worse, or whatever.
You know what would be really great? If all the fantastic (and they are fantastic) liberal/left Christians would spend five minutes a day writing angry letters to the Christian right wing about how unchristian they are instead of complaining to atheists about how much bad press you all are getting from the overt bad actions of your co-religionists.
So then, what pray tell is a True-Christian, by God they’re 100% sure you’re not.
I don’t think ANYONE should be given special rights simply because of what they believe. That goes for Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Atheist, FSM followers.
If you want to get your panties in a bunch and misinterpret my message so that you can pretend I am hating on all you liberal faithful, whatever. And if I had a bigger shovel, I just use it to beat you over the head with, since the English language is pretty clearly not working with you.
@aimai: What she said.
Christ on a crutch. You’d think I was the one raping kids, gay-bashing, telling women what to do with their vagina, inserting myself into other people’s marriage, or trying to ban vaccinations so girls can get cancer for having sex. And that’s just the start.
I’m fully aware there are decent people who believe in God and religion. My parents are two of them. That doesn’t mean I have to genuflect to invisible Jesus every time I see assholes like the Christian Legal Society waging war on gay people.
You all are free to believe whatever the hell you want. I have no use for religion whatsoever, and I don’t see why I need to subsidize gay bashing at Hastings.
Can you provide me with a counterexample where opposing views are held entirely on faith, and resolved using faith, where coercion was not involved and the self-interest of all parties involved was not preserved?
Don’t tell me the Council of Nicaea, either. That’s just another case of faith serving the church’s interest.
@Mark: My view as a nearly-every-Sunday churchgoer (though the church in question varies among Episcopal, Quaker and Unitarian) is that you don’t “need” the organized part. Religion is one thing, church is another. A church is a human organization made of human beings with human failings and prejudices, that provides human interaction to meet human needs. It’s a convenient umbrella to find people organizing for social justice, making beautiful music together, seeking a purpose in life, organizing workshops to help one explore one’s inner potential and spirituality, etc.
But I may have a peculiarly secular view of religion and churches. I found a happy home in Unitarianism because the Seven Principles focused, as I do, on how we behave as human beings, how we treat each other and the world we live in. I don’t give two figs about questions of the afterlife and can’t understand the fundamentalist view that we’d all run amok and start killing each other except for the people afraid God will catch them.
Well, yeah. And why not take a little time every week to focus on one’s principles, such as that, and join together with other people who share them? The organized structure does a lot of good for a lot of people, and I’m happy to kick in my share, of physical presence, of money in the pot, and of volunteering.
Mr. Cole, I’m curious why it is, though, that one group’s asking inappropriately for special rights means that all Christians must be denounced? And of course the same would go for Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc. We work hard to distinguish the Islamist terrorists from other practicing Muslims; is it impossible to do the same for Christians?
@Evinfuilt: That would be someone whose behavior lines up with the stuff attributed to Jesus as “you should act like this”. And points against you if you line up with the bad guy in one of those stories where Jesus is saying “you shouldn’t act like this guy”.
Those teachings are in the Gospels. And as far as I’m concerned, they are NOT in the letters of Paul, which are used to justify a lot of things which I suspect Jesus wouldn’t have approved of. In my book, if you want to try to be a true Christian, and you find Paul and Jesus in contradiction, then you should go with the big guy.
I would put anti-gay discrimination squarely in that box.
I’m well aware that some early Christian committee decided which books were “true” and got to go out as the Official Bible, and that Paul’s stuff was holy and incontrovertible, etc. But I find a lot in Paul to disagree with. As far as I’m concerned he was the first to try to twist the message to his own prejudices. So I guess I’m sort of an “original intent” Christian.
Who, incidentally, doesn’t actually believe or care whether Jesus was divine. Or even actually existed as a single historical figure.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
@John Cole: LOL
Shrill much. And I am a Reformed Druid, we don’t get much govment largess. Getting under your skin is kind of fun, and even brings aimai out with the kumbaya.
And it will take more than a shovel to affect my thick skull.
You might want to read the other comments to see I am not the only one making this observation.
You have a nice day Cole.
While there are a lot of Christians who obviously do a lot of good in the world, at the same time, you have to remember something. Whenever a religious leader or follower uses exclusivist language in their talking about religion..(Like saying something like Jesus is the only way into heaven or that you need to be a certain religion to be a moral person)…
Even if they don’t realize it (and they probably don’t. Mainstream Christians give about as much thought to their faith as they do to what cereal they eat..probably less), they’re doing the heavy lifting for the bigots in our society.
My impression of say Judaism is a bit different as I get the impression that they actively feel free to actively argue against those elements of their religion. Christianity doesn’t have that tradition.
Hopefully some day it will so we won’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Then please feel free to respond to what I asked Ash Can above.
I’m curious to see any historical examples that disprove my assertion that faith is a way to align perceived “truth” with naked self-interest.
“You’re an idiot.
Was that sweeping enough?”
I love it when bullshit is given it’s due.
I love the position, “We are discriminated against because we cannot discriminate!” The mind, it reels. [Sorry, I meant to say, The stupid, it burns]
Isn’t it obvious? Jesus is telling them that it’s good to be mocked and persecuted because it proves their faith. If everyone around them supports and accepts their Christian belief, they’re denied their chance to be persecuted for their beliefs. The only solution is to get crazier and crazier until people can’t stand them anymore and start mocking them for being a bunch of wingnuts. Only then will they feel that they’re doing what Jesus wanted them to do.
I think in this context it’s worth quoting some Pharyngula:
So who can speak out against this kind of “Christianity?”
I agree it isn’t right to paint all Christians as assholes because some Christians are; and perhaps freedom of religion means they have the right to be assholes.
But I would love to see more efforts by actual Christians emphasizing what is so wrong about this kind of attitude. It seems they are the right ones to do so; and I’m sure one of the reasons I so rarely see them do it is that they won’t get the bandwidth and the TV play the idiots do.
And the actual Christians should complain about that, too.
(I don’t have a religion anymore, just a few dearly loved philosophies…)
@General Egali Tarian Stuck: In what way is that closed minded? He actually makes no claim other than he has no use for that. Is that closed minded, or just knowing yourself?
I don’t think Cole starts out with an inherent bias against religious people, so I don’t think he is antagonistic towards the religious or religion as a general rule. I see nothing closed minded in that statement.
It’s odd. I usually enjoy, and sometimes agree with, what you write, but my reaction to this was a visceral “go f*** yourself” — not a very Quakerly reaction, to be sure. Then I saw Cole’s “what she said” response, and John is someone whose usually straightforward thinking I often agree with. So maybe I take back my “gfy” and will go ponder your words in my heart. Not that it’s about me…
@twiffer: At last! The No True Scotsman perspective!
General Egali Tarian Stuck
It’s a free country, so think what you want. And I will do the same.
@IdahoLiberal: Wow. Not only did you not really read what he said, but you also missed his comment where he elaborates. He is criticizing this specific group of Christians and then also stated that he has no use for religion. If you can see anywhere that he implies or states that all religious people are ______ (I don’t know what you are reading into this, so I can’t fill in that blank), please point it out.
As someone who served as the president of student government in college much of my role was giving funding to student organizations. We had the same kind of rules, which even applied to women’s groups on campus– they couldn’t exclude men from their groups IF they wanted to get student group funding. (If memory serves, there was a group on campus that was for “womyn only” and they didn’t receive any school funding.) We gave out over $300,000 a year in funds to various student groups collected via a student activity fee from ALL students. So basically what this group wants is to get student-paid funding from the school for their activities and then ban some students who they received money from to attend their activities. Not exactly fair, is it?
As I see it, the only case they could make is if the school only allowed approved groups to operate on campus– then they might have a constitutional leg to stand on. Otherwise I’m quite sure they’d be able to have their group on campus, advertise their activities, but not expect to get any funding from the school– via fees collected from all students– to pay for their discriminatory practices.
@Evinfuilt: i’m a 100% sure i’m not a christian either.
This is not a problem. Happy to agree on most things.
What this argument really boils down to is whether or not we extend special rights to a group of people who have a certain set of beliefs, thereby infringing on the rights of another group who aren’t really doing anything but exercising their own rights.
Give rights to one, take rights from another.
I find it appalling. And, generally, think that religion only serves to muddy the waters. I don’t understand how anyone could make a defense of any religious group (not, mind you, religion) that seeks to limit another group for its own gain.
I’m not quite sure what you’re asking.
Translating your question, as I read it, is (using an abstract example here), ‘if one group believes in Jesus, and another in Allah, have they ever settled a dispute using ‘faith’, without bullshitting their constituents and considering the best interests of both sides.
The problem here, I think, is that you see most of these ‘Holy Wars’ (Inquisition, Witch Hunts, Crusades, Rebellions etc.) as conflicts of faith where both sides can never provide any proof (Faith) to their claims, therefore wind up fighting about it.
Where I disagree is that if you were to dig into the history of most of these major conflicts, you would see that most, if not all, of these conflicts were never really about ‘you don’t believe what I believe, therefore you’re wrong and must die!’ I would contest that these struggles were about money, power, and oppression. Faith/religion, just like today, is nothing more than an excuse for people to commit evil. Like I said before, religion attracts these people because it’s the best way to shield yourself from reprisal/criticism/prosecution.
I see blaming religion itself for these things is like blaming guns for gun violence, cars for accidents and vehicular homicide, video games for psychotic children…the list goes on.
The ordination of women in the Episcopal church, and the current transition to GLBT priests and bishops as well.
Not to be argumentative or anything, but when religionists give me the same respect they expect from me, I’ll cut all religionists a break.
I have yet to ever come across any religionists who are willing to do that, however. And some of us just don’t need religion in order to want to do good for other and the world.
Other Christians. And we do. We just don’t get the press, we’re terribly boring with all of that love your neighbor, social equality, work with the poor and hungry and afraid stuff. Yawn.
Hate and bigotry and selfishness are more interesting.
@gex: “Nice to see what our “Christians” are up to these days” and “And people wonder why I have no use whatsoever for religion.”
Are we to understand that these comments are so obviously NOT denouncing all Christians and all religions because of the misbehavior of a few, when in fact Mr. Cole says that the misbehavior of the few causes him to denounce religion?
At pretty much any general convention/synod/assembly of any mainline denomination. We resolve doctrinal and moral disputes things by submitting resolutions, that are then debated and voted on. Then at the next convention/synod/assembly it happens on the same issue again. And on and on.
It took 40 years of debate, discussion and voting in the triennial General Conventions for the Episcopal Church to change its policy on whether God was okay with women’s ordination and the an inclusive rôle of lesbian and gay people in the church (which is finally reaching a consensus but still not quite there yet). But no one was coerced into anything.
@Randy P: This.
There are a lot of things that are going to irritate one about organized religion, but it does provide community and we live in a society where community is hard to find. Technology increasingly walls us off from others and American (or broader Anglo) culture tends to be hyper individualistic anyway. But with any community comes the good and the bad.
This, a jillion times. It’s the assholes in your religion who are ruining it for everyone.
Since only co-religionists are “allowed” to criticize… so do it.
Did you know how many mainline churches came out against the Iraq War? No, because there wasn’t any press about it. Do you know that every Sunday Quakers from the around the country go out the street corners and hold up signs protesting our wars and torture? No, because there is no press about it. Do you know that the World Council of Churches is trying to work for a just peace between Palestinians and Israelis? No, because there is no coverage. Do you know that the Quakers run a school in Ramallah in the Occupied Territories to try to help Palestinian kids? No, because there is no coverage of it. Did you know that the front page of the National Council of Churches website has: article about gay patient rights; article about reducing nukes; article about tax relief for low income workers; article about immigration injustice; article about ending poverty — no, because only the crazies and the haters get on TV or get press coverage.
You’re welcome to say that you disagree with a religious point of view. But don’t criticize “left” religious groups for not getting the U.S. press to cover its activities.
I’m religious and I respect you.
I have a secular atheist Jewish boyfriend. We agree to disagree but love each other. Everyone at my church has shown him great respect. He’s considered part of the family. He has told me that he can’t bring himself to believe in God but if he did he’d want to be part of this community because they are reality based, sane people who are more than comfortable with diversity.
Many of my fellow parishioners are married to Jews, agnostics, atheists or whatever. They are all treated with respect. People are welcome to become as involved as they want to be. If they don’t want to go to Mass, then can go to coffee hour or the picnic after. It’s no big deal. No one keeps track.
Well, I see you said it better and shorter than I did.
@IdahoLiberal: The quotes around “Christians” should make it pretty clear I’m not talking about all christians, but these assholes in this story who have the name but none of the ideas.
I don’t think it’s the job of liberal Christians to complain and denounce the right any more than I think it’s the job of sane Americans to constantly denounce the ugly Americans.
At some point we all have to take responsibility for our actions which means allowing others to take responsibility for their actions. All I can do is be myself and be judged on that. I refuse to be judged on the actions of others because I share the same label. I have a lot of overlapping labels: Canadian, Christian, Caucasian, middle class and gay. And there are lots of people who use those labels who don’t speak for me. I can’t make it stop. I don’t have that power.
They do the deed, they should pay the price for it.
Thank you for the clarification, Mr. Cole. When coupled with the ending statement about the misbehavior of the few being why you denounce all religion, your meaning blurs.
Regarding a couple of your comments:
On the first part of your comment, a couple of things. One, please notice I didn’t say non-believers were deluding themselves. I have friends who are agnostic and atheist and I am glad for their different perspectives on life, and especially glad for their support in peace and social justice work within our community. Two, what you call a “milder form of religious observance” is not in fact mild. It is actually the more radical and difficult form of observing the Christian faith.
It takes a lot more faith to struggle with the grey areas in life (issues or in dealing with people), than it does to form black-and-white morality laws and rules to live by. It takes a lot more effort to be balance the need to see “the face of God” in all people (particularly those who oppose you) while doing the work of making this world a better place. It’s easy to demonize and dehumanize the “other”. It takes a lot more faith to live with the mystery that we call God, than it does to assign “him” attributes of a guy in the sky raining down punishment on people for not following the rules. The former is the faith of an adult and the latter, the faith of child.
On this question, you assume that I believe it’s a requirement that faith be the source of all things good. I don’t. In my seminary class several quarters ago, I became annoyed that many of the students thought love was impossible without faith. I gave more than a few examples of atheists who are better “Christians” than many Christians. I said what matters in life is how you live it. Do you add to life or subtract from it?
I need to be in community (‘organized jesus’ as you call it) because the work any of us does, requires it. Both for the joy of community and shared goals and for learning anothers perspective that differs from my own.
I choose to rely on my faith for meaning in life. You choose something else to rely on for meaning. If you are doing things to make life better around you, who am I to judge that; it works for you. The same holds true for me, don’t you think?
@General Egali Tarian Stuck:
WTF are you talking about here?
Cole says he has no use for religion, which is a statement of his personal choice. He then says he does not care what religious people choose to believe as long as he doesn’t have to fund it.
What the hell is wrong with that? Seems to me to be a personal statement based on the First Amendment and not any sort of personal attack against religion or those who believe in it.
If you want to see someone trash believers, talk to me. Nothing could make me happier because I find Hitchens and Maher and Dawkins much too polite about it. I have never seen Cole do such a thing and still haven’t.
I’d second what toujoursdan said, but I’d like to add the thought that we all have some responsibility for one another. Why else would we support universal health coverage, or pay for prisoners with our taxes?
Ultimately, though, those of us who are struggling to be faithful to the peaceful and righteous teachings of Jesus cannot be held responsible for those who would distort his message.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
You are entitled to your opinion. I have nothing more to add other than what I’ve already said in this thread.
@Svensker: If you’ll notice, I didn’t bash anyone for being ignored by the MSM: I have been one of those protesters and I know when I’m being ignored.
Which is why I said what I said.
But this has been going on for decades, and there should be some serious pushback from the only people who are allowed to do so.
Right wing Xantians get press partly by making big noisy fusses. If a bunch of religious leaders got together and made another big noisy fuss, even being ignored could be spun as news.
Axe Diesel Palin
“Advocate for pre-marital sex”
Is that what I was doing each weekend when I was single? (Not successfully, I might add).
Before somebody misquotes me, I meant that for certain people it’s nothing more than an excuse, not that it’s faith’s/religion’s only purpose of existence.
I have no problem with groups that have discriminatory membership policies being official on campus. Because if groups are barred because they refuse to take on members that belong to a certain class, suspect or not, where, exactly, do you draw the line? Federal law doesn’t do a lot of nuance w/r/t this area.
But subsidies from the state? No.
In a nutshell, you see the faith element of these conflicts as a bug, I see them as a feature.
I’d say that acceptance of gays and women is in the long-term self interest of most religions. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of a civil rights movement.
The examples provided above are still examples of faith masking institutional (or personal) self-interest.
Where is Cole “denouncing” religion? He says he has no use for it. I have no use for professional basketball, doesn’t mean I’m denouncing it.
I have no use for religion either. And yet my S/O is very devout Catholic. Doesn’t mean I “denounce” him. We each just keep our crazy beliefs inside our heads and don’t try to foist them on each other.
All religion is crazy. Doesn’t mean it’s intrinsically bad, it just means that it has absolutely no basis in provable fact. While I’m not religious, I too have lots of crazy notions that have no basis in provable fact. If we all kept our crazy notions in our own heads, the world would be a better place.
I fully respect the right of anyone to believe anything they want, just as I want them to respect my beliefs. But no one can deny that there is ample evidence that the majority of those whose crazy beliefs are “religious” tend to want to make other people share their crazy beliefs, or at least play by their rules.
And the worst part is they tend to get pissy when somebody says, “Hey, keep your crazy beliefs inside your own head.”
Notice I’m saying absolutely everyone has crazy beliefs — it’s just that very often religous people think their crazy beliefs are in a special class that can’t be besmirched, and the world would be a better place if that special class did not exist.
@Seanly: Exactly! Why don’t they also make you swear that you never broke any of the ten commandments?
And no, you’re not getting it wrong. They’re getting it wrong.
Dingdingdingdingding! We have a winnar!
This is at the heart of pretty much every freedom of religion whine that comes from Christianists. You can freely and accurately translate “we want freedom of religion” to “our religion is special and we don’t have to follow the same rules everyone else does”.
I would have to disagree. The heavyweight religions in this country, Catholicism and evangelicalism, are still on the other side of both issues and show no interest in changing. They are staying stable or growing. We’re ageing and in decline (mostly because of low birthrates). Both decisions caused a significant number of people to leave the church. Some took their church property with them illegally. We are still in court over property. It’s been a very costly decision.
In our case, I think it’s because Episcopalians tend to be urban, well educated and exposed to gays and female leaders. They voted based on their experience. As time went on the numbers on the inclusive side grew until the votes started going the other way.
Well, you might not respect me if you really knew me. :-)
Let me be more clear about this. The single most disrespected minority in the United States are atheists. I have been told by the “good” Christians that I have no morality because I have no religion or belief in “god.” There has never been a professed atheist who won national political office. There are no special accommodations in the tax code or any other part of the U.S. Code for atheists like there is for many religions. No one but no one in public life panders to us. We aren’t allowed to discuss those who believe in religion, what they believe, or how it affects the entire country (witness so many of the comments to that effect right here in this thread). We are figuratively assaulted during religious holidays with constant screams about how we are ruining it for everyone else although no atheist I know has ever sued to stop anyone from telling them “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Easter.” I am forced to utter the phrase “under god” when I say the Pledge of Allegiance, even though the phrase was not in the original pledge. I am forced to see the beliefs of the non-believing Founding Fathers distorted (“this is a Christian nation!” and Jefferson being banished from the history books) and discounted. I must watch my tax dollars go to religious organizations against my own beliefs and the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
I have no doubt you are a good person and an exception to all of these outrages. But your brothers and sisters in belief, at least 99% of them, aren’t there with you. Believe me. I’m a loud and proud atheist and you wouldn’t believe the vitriol I’ve taken for it over the years. And the justification is always that I should just shut up about it if that’s what I believe. Well, the same should go for your side. I’ll be happy to keep my (I refuse to call it a “belief”) inability to worship some invisible sky being to myself when all the religious do the same.
You know, I used to have this same attitude, that I didn’t need to believe in doctrines or dogma, that God would help me find my own way, and I’d be a better person, etc. etc. etc.
And you know what? I did become a better person. Eventually I realized that I’d defined God down, reduced him to my own conscience and my own well-being.
Now I realize that I don’t need to invoke a supernatural origin for anything that I do of my own free will. I think I’m a pretty good person, and you know, I can live with that! And yet, on a daily basis, I read wingnuttery about how I cannot be truly moral without believing that the voice in my head comes from God. Hell, remember that George Bush guy? So many Christians seem to believe that
a) they are guided by the voice of God
b) I am guided by the voice of Satan
that it’s pretty difficult to convince myself that they have any empathy whatsoever. I have no doubt that you’re the good kind of believer, the we-are-god-and-god-is-us kind, but you have to understand it’s insulting to be told that, for example, you “see the face of god in me” despite the fact that I do not believe this God exists. Far more infuriating are “I’ll pray for you” and other passive-aggressive proclamations of ‘love’.
We get really, really tired of hearing about this special knowledge that we lack, or these deep spiritual feelings that you have. Most atheists were raised religious. Personally I still feel kinda at ease when I step into a church, but I can’t stand anything that goes on in them. Sure, for my mother’s sake, I’ll go at Christmas and take Communion, even though I’m earning massive compound interest on all these sins by now. It doesn’t take much to convince people that you have a “totally awesome faith”; in fact, you can say it in the right tone of voice and people will smile and nod. I don’t do this, because I am not a psychopath, but I know that people do — again, remember George Bush?
And that’s really the root of the problem. We’ve got pedophile priests, gay meth-head pastors, hordes of Christian con artists, prisons bursting with bible-thumpers, and the refrain is that they’re just ‘the bad ones’ and that ‘no true Christian’ would do such a thing. I’d have more faith in ‘faith’ if the ‘good ones’ could ferret them out once in a while before it was too late, or if we’d see even one single teensy lightning bolt give one of them a good scare. But we don’t. Instead, we see the world’s cheapest and easiest emotional connection — “I’ve had the same deep meaningful experience as you and this book proves it” — taken advantage of again and again.
The hell with it.
@jacy: OK, fair point, Mr. Cole doesn’t use the word “denouncing.” However, he does make what appears to be a connection between one subgroup’s misbehavior and his “lack of use for it.” To have no interest in or “use for” religion is one thing; to make the case that the subgroup’s misbehavior is an entirely different matter. That means two things:
1) that he has made what amounts to a logical fallacy, that the subgroup can be transposed as the whole.
2) he has given the subgroup an awful lot of power over his opinions.
I’m pretty sure he would agree that this particular subgroup shouldn’t be given any amount of power, let alone enough to be — at least part of — the reason he has no use for religion.
I know how you feel.
Dude: Im a gay person who is Christian. I am hated by both gay people, who think I’m siding with the enemy, AND conservative Christians, who think I’m sinning and going to hell. Even in my own denomination I had to fight for inclusion most times than I can count. I got ran out of a previous parish and I have dated guys who couldn’t accept my church involvement.
I can’t tell you how many Christians have told me to my face that I am no different than a child molester and am probably an AIDS carrier. And I can’t tell you how many gay people have told me that deep down I must be a self hating evolution denying, Bible thumper.
I know how you feel. I have tried to walk away from this knife edge many times in my life. But (as I believe) God keeps drawing me back. There is nothing I wish more in life than to give up my faith; I have tried on numerous occasions because I have paid an enormous psychological price for it. But here I am.
I don’t have time to enjoy all the arm-waving, jumping-up-and-down comments, but I just wanted to point out that not all religions are made up of religionists. The Abrahamaic ones do tend to be a bit “my way or the auto-da-fe'”, but that’s partly because traditional human tribalism operates that way. We each walk our own path, and find our own way of getting along it, and our own company on the way. Just as not everybody is a jackass, not every group is a Trojan Donkey (if that scrambled metaphor makes any sense). For what it’s worth.
That’s the problem– official student groups that are financially supported by student fees collected from ALL students is the issue at hand. If a group wants to expressly exclude certain students based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc., they shouldn’t expect their fellow students or the school to give them funding. Do they have a right as a group to exist on campus? Certainly! Freedom of speech and freedom to assemble applies, however, they need to find their operational funds elsewhere. (There are plenty of national right-wing Christian student organizations that would be happy to give them funds– Young Americans for Freedom, for example.)
That’s pretty much the point I’ve been trying to make. Faith/religion in their basic forms aren’t the problem, it’s those that use them to cover up and defend things done in their own self-interest.
If you scratched the surface and look at what happened to denominations that embraced women clergy and gays, you’ll find that they paid a big price for doing so, in both membership and contributions.
Actually, the fact that I go to church and take communion once a year does violate my own morals. I try to remain silent throughout the whole affair, so as to avoid any verbal proclamations of a false belief, but it’s still deceptive. I rationalize it as a favor to my mother, but really it isn’t.
James in WA
To quote the original article:
Delightful. So their defense is “well yes, we don’t want any faggots or sluts, but that’s not really discrimination because they can go make their own little faggot and whore clubs if they want. You know, freedom of faggot/whore association. Just not with us.”
And they completely sidestep the real issue of public funding.
Wow, the hand-wringing god squad is just … well they are just sick and tired of this continued persecution, especially on blogs and stuff, because there are plenty of christians who really love gays and stuff, so stop bashing people who think they have to subscribe to complete and utter bullshit beliefs about the universe they occupy to treat a fellow human being with decency and respect.
Fuck off. I don’t give a fuck how many times you go to church, how many fucking prayers you say or how fervently you believe that a dead jew is the savior of mankind.
It’s not faith in non-existent beings that makes you do good works, it’s the recognition that a fellow human being needs some assistance.
There is no difference between someone who goes to church and donates time and energy to helping others than the guy who wakes up on Sunday morning, has great sex with his partner, eats a huge breakfast including a good Irish coffee and then heads down to help others who need help.
Religionist fucks think they are special because jesus told them to do this and they bristle when we tell them it was the whiskey that got us out of bed, well, whiskey and that blowjob with the promise of breakfast afterward.
When an earthquake rattled me right out of my apartment in January I wasn’t praying for jesus to show I was hoping that our emergency services were up to snuff to deal with the aftermath. In fact, not jesus, or mohammed or allah or saint fucking augustine made an appearance in our small city, it was just regular folks who were willing to help others in their community.
Then again, I could have stood around wringing my hands praying for ol’ jesus to come and save us.
Thanks for a thought-filled response. Regarding this point:
please don’t misunderstand me. What I call seeing “the face of God”, another person can call seeing a human being not as a means but an end. I use a different language to express this than you do, but that shouldn’t make you feel like you have it wrong. I don’t take it personally when an atheist doesn’t use my language. Nor would I when a Buddhist, or a Jew or Moslem uses their language to describe doing things out of love.
I don’t assume special knowledge just because I’m an Episcopaleon or, more generally, a Christian. I speak a language and act with a language that is grounded in my faith. You do likewise in a language that is consistent with your own beliefs.
By the way, I don’t believe in doing “mission work” or in “converting” people. People have to work out their own faith or non-faith.
I guess it comes down to whether it is really necessary to tar an entire faith – Christianity – with the countless examples of human beings not acting in good faith. I don’t think it is.
I don’t have much respect for the Vatican and the pope and yet there are many Catholics who are doing great peace and social justice work here in the Los Angeles area – despite their Vatican and pope. I don’t see the need to brand their faith as irrelevant or as largely harmful because of the many harms leaders in the Catholic church have committed and continue to commit.
I think John Cole’s post was a good one. Totally valid criticism. I just wanted to make known that I am one of many Christians who practices a faith that has more in common with atheists than the so-called “Christians” on the right who do incredible harm with their idol-worshipping (country, free-market, bible) brand of faith.
You could pick any sermon by our church’s rector, Ed Bacon, and you would find a lot to respect. If you’re curious, here’s a link to them:
And no, this is not about trying to convert you. That’s not how faith works. Set aside some of the language in those sermons and you’ll find something worthy of respect in the Christian faith.
Also, you might find the essay by an atheist in Austin, TX, Robert Jensen, a worthwhile read relatedly:
If you don’t have time, here is a particularly good part of his essay:
All campus groups are equal, but some are more equal than others.
That is basically what I was getting at. If a group that discriminates wants to have a presence on college campuses, then they basically need to find funding from outside sources.
And, after reading the brief filed by Hastings, the whole “campus presence” portion of the article is a bit misleading. From page 10-11:
IOW, they were allowed to stay on campus and use campus facilities, but were not entitled to subsidies from the school.
Even with the current SCOTUS, I’d be very surprised if CLS won this. It’s pretty cut and dry based on precedent.
Interesting that you post this on the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. I always wonder what Luther would have done had he the ability to defrock the Papacy.
@IdahoLiberal: Well, in the realm of matters of state, this particular subgroup should not be given any amount of power (religious groups, to clarify) because we have that whole separation of state/church thing going on.
You are seeing a pretty neutral statement, “I have no use for religion” through your own lens and twisting it into something that isn’t there. I, too, have no use for religion. But, like Cole, I don’t really give a shit what other people do with their religion, as long as they don’t try to pass laws in order to discriminate against other people. Then, I give a big shit.
Cole calls out everything idiotic he sees. This is no different.
I have no use for any Religion as well AND I am confident in declaring Religion to the be the worst scourge in the history of mankind.
I just KNEW the comments on this post would be filled with self-pitying Christians. Someone saying that they personally have no use for religion in reference to one religion’s negative influence on the real world is perfect fodder for the crybaby, wannabe persecution complex of the Christianists. Thanks for not disappointing! You may be predictable, but your mental gymnastics never fail to entertain.
I love the accountability problem that the religionists have. They are so quick to tout and take credit for the charity and good works of their religion. However, when Christians, acting on behalf of Christian churches and organizations and in the very name of Christianity, commit and promote evils, we get the old “Christians don’t represent Christianity” defense, again and again and again.
What did JFK say? I recall it being to the effect that success has a thousand fathers yet failure is an orphan.
Yes, there are right-wing Christians who ignore the parts of the bible that they find inconvenient, just as there are left-wing Christians who ignore the parts of the bible that they find inconvenient. They seem to back one another up over and over the same way. The way this seems to always go, some right-wing Christians do something disgusting in the name of Christianity, someone criticizes those deeds and words and beliefs, then the lefty Christians jump in to say that you can’t criticize those beliefs because they don’t represent what they want to call Christianity, and then the ridiculousness just churns on and on.
One problem here is that the term “Christian” has become so deluded that each and every “Christian” thinks that they get to decide individually what is or is not “Christian.” So, in the name of Christianity, you get bigotry towards gays and women and other religions and promotion of theocracy, for instance, but the “I’m a nice guy” Christians just shrug it off and say “doesn’t represent me or my beliefs, they must not be true Christians like me.” Well, while you nice guys are taking John Cole and this members of this community to task for pointing out specific examples of the negative affects of religion on the real world, the right-wing Christians are out there fighting for the brand name rights to Christianity and winning.
Try not to lose your balance swinging so hard at that straw man
@Deye Mofo: Ditto.
Randy P, take you non-existent god and shove him up your ass. How’s that for some fucking straw?
I recognize the Mr. Cole calls BS when he sees it, which is why I enjoy reading his blog. I don’t think I’ve taken Mr. Cole’s comment, “and people wonder why I have no use for religion” out of context and twisted it, though. I think it’s a pretty fair read to see it as a logical cause/effect: some Christians/religious folks do dumb/vile things, hence I can’t see any value in any of it. It might be more accurate to characterize his comment as a throw-away comment, but my read of it is not inaccurate or twisted.
That being said, this is the first time I’ve commented on this or any blog, and I mostly avoid reading the comments because they are generally thoughtless, knee-jerk, and often vicious. At the risk of making the same logical error that Mr. Cole has, i.e., assuming the subgroup is the whole, I think I’ll stick to to my policy of reading the posts on the main page and not reading the comments. There is as much need for ideological purity among the commenters here (and on most blogs for that matter) as there is among the right-wing, and as little attempt to have real conversations. It’s a pretty fair little echo chamber in its own right.
I think I read this thread 8 years ago @ Pharyngula. And I’ll read it again in another 8 years at a different liberal blog. Maybe everyone will be able to post video rants!
@dmsilev: Might as well credit the man he stole it from. Mark Twain.
@Svensker: @ 87 I think that’s a good idea. there is something going on underneath that is coloring your thinking on this.
The problem is that some sins are being hailed as worse than any other and acting like they don’t sin.
Please don’t think of Jesus when you see stuff like this.
If you’re including being gay as a sin…well, go fuck yourself.
@Osprey in 16: Sorry but you are incorrect. Religion at it’s core is about exclusion. “You are my religion, he is not. Therefore, you are acceptable and he is not.” All religions, even the ones that claim to be inclusive, are exclusionary on some basis and thus seek to eliminate those who are excluded from interaction. It lies with the basic nature of religion that leads the practitioners of said religion to believe that they have the blueprint and rules for living a proper life and everyone who disagrees with them is wrong. Which means that religion itself IS the problem.
John: Fuck ’em.
There’s no such thing as a “liberal Christian”. A “liberal Christian” is someone who selectively reads the ancient, backwards, bullshit Bible, and selectively edits out all the anachronisms and barbaric parts that don’t mesh with 2010 society. They try to sell it as touchy-feely and good for society, when it really is the opposite.
“Liberal Christians” fall into two groups:
1) People who have never read the Bible and believe the Bible actually contains the nice things they believe in.
2) People who have read the Bible and know it’s morally wrong, but can’t let go of their childhood indoctrination, so they ignore the bad stuff.
They are just as dangerous as the kooks, because, by being a majority, they provide cover for the kooks, by convincing society at large that Christianity isn’t really crazy. It is.