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  #31  
Unread December 25th, 2004, 09:42 PM
Mike Phillips Mike Phillips is offline
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Wink Re: A spin on secularism?

Hello Todd,

You grasp my viewpoint very well I do support freewill, and the right to believe in one's particular faith and pursue it in peace.

But who have to admit, the minority I happen to belong. Has received the short-end of the stick for quite some time and to be frank, We sort of expect the line to be drawn by the "secular world" but it really doesn't bother us.

Unless they continue to teach 1st graders homosexual lifestyles are okay and how to be one, it does bother us.

Rewriting our country's history to appease 10% of the population, it does bother us.

Teaching witchcraft (a religion) in schools and not allowing the Bible to be taught, bothers us.

Not allowing Creation equal footing with a religious atheistic format of evolution, bothers us.

Teaching islam in public schools (California) a religion that is proven throughout history to be hostile (even "peaceful" Islam) towards Christian and Jewish Faiths, bother us.

Removing the Ten Commandments (our Judaic/Christian) heritage and foundation of our laws from the public arena is scary, and it does bother us.

Not saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school, bothers us.

Liberals that want to sell our sovereign right as a country to protect ourselves, to the united nations, bothers us.
and these same liberals that want gun control for every law-abiding citizen accept criminals.

Murdering the unborn, breaks our hearts.
and our tax money paying for it, bothers us.

So Let Freedom (secularism/plurism) Ring? or Let Our Real Freedom Ring?

Or we can blindly appease everyone and be politically correct while some people on the far-left want to blot out all morals & ethics, freedoms & rights from society, including yours. I am talking about the ones that want to destroy our Constitution & Bill of Rights.
And this sort of balancing act of staying in the middle will eventually cause you to either make a stand or be steamrolled.

When you burn a candle on both ends; it runs out of wick, pretty quick!

History speaks for itself; examine the evidence.
Peace, Mike

Last edited by Mike Phillips; December 25th, 2004 at 09:58 PM.
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  #32  
Unread December 26th, 2004, 12:17 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Richard's Daughter, Juliet: Review of A Devil's Chaplain

Quote:
Quote:
hope Santa craps in your stockings
Nice. I used to love the spirit of Christmas. The "believers" like you are threatening to kill it for me with their very un-Christ-like partisan rhetoric. I'm trying not to lose faith. You present a serious challenge for me sometimes, my friend. I wish you nothing but joy. I hope that chip falls from your shoulder some day while we are both breathing and able to appreciate the event.
Oh Todd, lighten up. As I’ve noted before, from our various discussions it seems to me that you’re really more agnostic than hardcore atheist, so I don’t really have much problem with your secularism—it’s probably close to my own. If all “secularists” tended to be as tolerant and/or agnostic as you generally seem to be, I don’t know that the religious fundamentalists would be such motivated pains in the ass.

Actually I think you’re too tolerant of Mike’s annoying fundamentalism, or maybe you’re just baiting him.

So anyway Todd, since you don’t really seem to be a zealous atheist intent on spreading an atheistic gospel (I think atheism, even more than one’s faith in God, is best kept to one’s self), I suppose I never really wanted Santa to crap in your stocking. And I hope that over the holidays you’ll have an opportunity to ponder the tiny odds that the universe and we are here by chance.
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  #33  
Unread December 26th, 2004, 11:02 PM
ToddStark ToddStark is offline
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Cool The middle is for roadkill ... and me.

Mike, thanks for your response list. It's good to hear honest complaints, they give me a better sense of how people think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Phillips
Hello Todd,
You grasp my viewpoint very well I do support freewill, and the right to believe in one's particular faith and pursue it in peace.

But who have to admit, the minority I happen to belong. Has received the short-end of the stick for quite some time and to be frank, We sort of expect the line to be drawn by the "secular world" but it really doesn't bother us.
It seems to me that evangelicals continue to be negatively stereotyped by the political activists on the left, and that this is part of what stimulates supposed "backlash" that Republican politicians and corporate political action committees have been exploiting to garner populist support.

Everytime some extremist brings a suit somewhere against something Christian in the public sphere, it is is exploited all over the media for its dramatic effect as if "liberals" are all ACLU members or atheists or multiculturalists. Most people on the left are not trying to ban the Bible, and don't care about displays of the Ten Commandments. Most secularists have no interest in such things one way or the other, until the issue becomes polarized and we have to choose sides because someone is forcing a "culture war" unneccessarily on us. Most people in Tennessee didn't care one way or the other about evolution until the drama of the Scopes Trial made it an issue.

Quote:
Unless they continue to teach 1st graders homosexual lifestyles are okay and how to be one, it does bother us.
My feeling is that if there is any teaching to be done about people living together and the sanctity of marriage that we should be teaching people about love and commitment first and then worry about who they are choosing secondarily. My experience is that regardless of whether the couple is heterosexual or homosexual, our biggest problem with the sanctity of marriage is people giving up their commitment, not people choosing someone of the wrong "type." I understand that such things go against the grain of the implicit natural order for many people, but the problems I've seen with heterosexual marriages are so much worse than those with homosexual ones
that I can't believe it is really as big a priority for all of us as political activists have made it seem. I haven't been in public school for years, but when I was there, they didn't teach us to be homosexuals. My kids go to parochial school, so I don't have a recent personal reference.

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Rewriting our country's history to appease 10% of the population, it does bother us.
Not sure what exactly you're referring to here. I'm not a historian, but I suspect that there is indeed a slant to historical interpretations in most places because of the natural tendency for communities of scholars to share a common tradition of interpretation and the difficultly corroborating historical facts the way we do with physical ones. Have you ever read British conservative historical Paul Johnson's history of the United States? I think he fills in some of the gaps in places by showing among other things the role that religious traditions played in history, as well as the role of secularism. I think conservative scholarship may have an important role in understanding history because it reveals things that an alternative bias may blind us to.

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Teaching witchcraft (a religion) in schools and not allowing the Bible to be taught, bothers us.
We probably differ fundamentally over what makes sense to be taught because we come from very different traditions. The Western liberal individualist tradition that is the basis of much modern scholarship is "pagan" in its roots, (as is much of Christianity!). It could well be part of your "witchcraft." But philosophy is not religion and is not taught as such. I don't see a justification to stop teaching everything that is opposed by fundamentalists who are particularly selective about what their religion is comprised of. They have a legitimate claim to their own tradition of interpretation, but they don't represent either the majority of scholars and historians nor the majority of the population. Their viewpoint should be taught along with the others in a pluralistic curriculum regarding religious traditions.

This also cuts right to the reason for secularism. The history of public schools is a history of division between different Churches in the way they want to teach the Bible (and which Bible they want taught). The compromise here was to teach religion in a comparative way, it's sources treated as literature rather than Scripture. If they refused to teach the Bible as literature, I would strongly agree with you that its omission would be unfair and unrepresentative. However I have to agree with the principle that we shouldn't teach Scripture as such in public education, but that this should be done by parents and local communities.

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Not allowing Creation equal footing with a religious atheistic format of evolution, bothers us.
These are different traditions and can reasonably be taught as such. Most people wouldn't deny this. The tension is not over "equal footing" it is over whether science classes are a place for equality of different traditions as well as different theories. Science classes are for most of us a place for teaching the scientific tradition and its theories. We don't expect theology classes to teach the methods of scientific inquiry or to teach materialist philosophy except as a rather bleak alternative, and we don't expect science classes to teach the metaphysics of Creation or the theological methods of inquiry.

The tension is over the widespread perception (or fear) that science is a "better authority" and therefore that teaching theories that seem to presume naturalistic metaphysics will corrupt the minds of people against Creation and its perceived natural and moral order. I don't know how to resolve that tension, since naturalized ethics are far from compelling to most people.


Quote:
Teaching islam in public schools (California) a religion that is proven throughout history to be hostile (even "peaceful" Islam) towards Christian and Jewish Faiths, bother us.
I'm skeptical that California public schools are practicing Islam, but if they are, I'm with you against it.

Quote:
Removing the Ten Commandments (our Judaic/Christian) heritage and foundation of our laws from the public arena is scary, and it does bother us.
I would agree with you that removing symbols of common heritage that have been there for generations is pointless and disruptive.

Quote:
Not saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school, bothers us.
I grew up during the Cold War, we said the pledge every day and every Tuesday we huddled in the hallways pretending there was a nuclear attack by the godless commies. It was an important source of unity and comfort. I feel the same way about this as the other symbols, I think removing them to suit militant atheists is pointlessly disruptive and defeats the purpose of secularism, which is to help foster peaceful national unity in our diversity.

Quote:
Liberals that want to sell our sovereign right as a country to protect ourselves, to the united nations, bothers us.
I can understand that, although we disagree fundamentally here as well. Until recently, most Americans felt that we were part of an alliance with Europe. It isn't just liberals, many conservatives agree that the idea that we should act unilaterally on the basis of our "moral leadership" is actually fairly radical. It requires a rather extreme religious viewpoint about the U.S., that not only are we are chosen by God to lead the world but that working together with our allies is akin to "asking permission." It seems to many liberals and conservatives alike that we are pointlessly alienating our own allies out of an excessive sense of moral superiority to them.

Quote:
and these same liberals that want gun control for every law-abiding citizen accept criminals.
That's silly, they would prefer to disarm the criminals first, then the rednecks. They may be unrealistic about whether it can actually be done, however, and wrong about whether it would improve things all over.

Quote:
Murdering the unborn, breaks our hearts.
and our tax money paying for it, bothers us.
It saddens me as well.

Quote:
Or we can blindly appease everyone and be politically correct while some people on the far-left want to blot out all morals & ethics, freedoms & rights from society, including yours. I am talking about the ones that want to destroy our Constitution & Bill of Rights.
When I was in school, the establishment clause and the right to due process were part of the Bill of Rights. It is the Republican politicians and judges that have been working to repeal them, not the left. The ACLU is, if anything, an overzealous defender of our rights.

Quote:
And this sort of balancing act of staying in the middle will eventually cause you to either make a stand or be steamrolled.
I'm usually steamrolled, no doubt about it. I still try to get up again and stay true to my beliefs. When a fight starts, you can pick a side or you can recognize that the fight itself is stupid and try to stop it. You can recognize what each side gets right and what each side gets wrong. That's something I am fairly good at and temperamentally well suited for. I have been a very competent facilitator and negotiator in situations where most people can't even figure out what the sides are arguing about and can only pick a side.

I value intelligent reflection, which means recognizing what truth and legitimacy is in different viewpoints, and where each of them gets things wrong. It means being hard on important principles and important shared values, but flexible about people and their different ways of reasoning.

The middle is the only honest place for someone like me to be, even though people often see it incorrectly as weakness.

peace,

Todd
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  #34  
Unread February 5th, 2005, 12:05 AM
Mike Phillips Mike Phillips is offline
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Wink Re: History Speaks for itself.

Hello Todd,

Our founding fathers who so brilliantly drew up our Bill of Rights and Constitution did so in a manner that would prevent the (papal) oppression that was still fresh in their minds from the struggles and persecutions that took place in England, as well as other European countries.

Amid the chaos of national religion imposed on the "common folk" during these times (the dark ages), our founding fathers (several years later / the idea actually began during Jamestown, Plymouth then Williamsburg and came to fruition later on) had the wisdom and foresight to try and prevent a papist imposed national religion within the confines of government, that in times past had successfully wrapped their tentacles in areas of monarchy, political arenas and courts, which they unmercifully tried to stamp out all attempts to print the truth or defy their "authority".

The "idea" behind a secular government was to protect an individuals "christian" rights to worship Almighty God and practice the Gospel of Jesus Christ FREELY and with LIBERTY in their own way without imposing a national state controlled religion. Drawing from & escaping the horrors of papal controlled state religion, they did not want to have the same "dark age" cast its hideous shadow upon our newly won freedom. (It wasn't just about breaking away from the the "king" there were a few other issues/nuances involved).

You mentioned earlier in a previous post, the failures of a national religion in the European Countries.

I ask you what is their national religion? and why is it failing? I'll give you 3 guesses and the first two don't count!

I ask you, why is our national religious FREEDOM so successfull?

And "tolerance" take a glance at the recent militant/peaceful islamic faction growing stronger everyday; is doing to the tolerant national religion controlled governments of Europe. They are taking over the countries and converting many to Islam (and killing the ones that do not) and the culture is growing more anti-semictic daily all in the name of an all-inclusive tolerant national religion. >who is really holding the smoking gun<
to coin a phrase "the power of the pen is mightier than the sword" {Here is another clue, could it be that someone has "islam" on a leash and using that rabid dog to do his dirty work?}.

Don't forget the moral decay, ethical depravation & ignorance of truth that is spreading. (sounds like another "dark age" to me? and let us not forget the "merlins"/"evolutionists") proclaiming science is the answer to the woes of humanity.
Yeah, it is a real fine mess. The sad part is, certain entities within our beloved country's boundries desire to abolish the document that protects our freedom of worship, to impose a "state" religion and create another dark age of ignorance & deception.

I most certainly pray that history does not repeat itself, but in these current times & culture America is falling victim.

Peace???
Mike

p.s A couple more little questions. Who is really being tolerant? or is "tolerance" a clever sheme to subvert the truth?

Last edited by Mike Phillips; April 10th, 2005 at 08:14 PM.
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  #35  
Unread February 5th, 2005, 01:14 AM
Mike Phillips Mike Phillips is offline
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Wink Re: Spirit?

Todd,

On a more personal note, from your last statement, it appears to me; you have a gift.

A gift that we "fundamentalists" call discernment.

I pray, that it never fails you and may your special insight reveal what your heart is searching for.

Shalom,
Mike

p.s You are more spiritual than you know.
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