Church burnings

Postby TMLutas on Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:47 am

MikeVanPelt wrote:


No one disputes that condoms provide some protection. The numbers you give are in line with what I figured the case was.

The problem I, and many other, have is that when you're talking about an incurable, invariably fatal disease, even though you can generally stave off death for quite a few years with a lot of expensive medication, 85% protection is not anywhere in the area of good enough.

When people toss fistfulls of condoms at teenagers and say "Here, use this and you can screw your brains out in perfect safety", they are lying. Yes, with a condom, it's less unsafe. That is not the same thing as safe.


The thing that gets me about this is that the same people tossing cargo containers of condoms around the world are in favor of the "precautionary principle" that is used to try to stop various advances of genetic engineering in food that can give a lot more benefit than any random saturday night in the back of dad's car.

Take religion, ethics, morality out of it entirely and you are left with a very strange risk/reward picture for these people.
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Postby Sapphire on Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:16 pm

Point of contention: I am for supplying condoms to help the spread of HIV, and I'm a supporter of GM foods. To me, Norman Borlaug is one of the great American Heroes.

My point is this: AIDS is a problem. It's insulting to think that people in Africa are too simple to use abstinence. If condoms can help (and most people agree they can), then we should do that. But people have been opposed to contraceptives as a solution for anything on religious grounds. Ergo; people using religion as anti-science.

I think it pertinent to clarify, also, that I myself believe in God, and even the God/Man/Prophet Christ. But this I believe through study and knowledge, not in spite of it. Religion shouldn't be used as an excuse for anti-thought, often used as an oppurtunity to gain power, and often agrees more with sociopolitical climate than with logical theology.

And that's it.
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Postby Wanderwolf on Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:20 pm

J.A.M.:

No, your math was good, but started from an incorrect premise. In order for your math to be correct as given, all intercourse must be with a person who has HIV/AIDS. Instead of a fraction of a number, you're actually dealing with a fraction of a fraction; 85% safety within the subset of "intercourse" labeled "HIV/AIDS positive".

That said, of course, it doesn't affect the point in the least.

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Postby Deckard Canine on Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:28 am

sapphire wrote:But people have been opposed to contraceptives as a solution for anything on religious grounds. Ergo; people using religion as anti-science.


That's not anti-science in itself. People can admit the effects of contraceptives and still believe that those effects do not justify the use of contraceptives.
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Postby TMLutas on Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:50 pm

sapphire wrote:Point of contention: I am for supplying condoms to help the spread of HIV, and I'm a supporter of GM foods. To me, Normal Borlaug is one of the great American Heroes.


Fair enough that you're not who I was referring to. So how is self-policing your "precautionary principle" allies going? I hadn't noticed too many people making an effort.
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Postby TMLutas on Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:52 pm

Deckard Canine wrote:
sapphire wrote:But people have been opposed to contraceptives as a solution for anything on religious grounds. Ergo; people using religion as anti-science.


That's not anti-science in itself. People can admit the effects of contraceptives and still believe that those effects do not justify the use of contraceptives.


Discipline and sacrifice are a large piece of an awful lot of religions but the modern world seems to not be too fond of that.
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Postby Mutant for Hire on Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:54 pm

Why outlaw contraception? Here's a real good question: if accepting Christ as my savior is the only way for me to get into Heaven, what is the point in making most Christian values into secular law? If I'm legally required to lead a moral life by Christian standards but I'm not required by law to acccept Jesus as my savior, then I'm going to hell anyway. People who accept Christ as their savior are going to be trying to act in a moral fashion anyway, so in theory they shouldn't need those laws.

So what is the point? The point is temptation. Christianity has long had to wrestle with the problem that the threat of eternal damnation is not enough for most people. They need reinforcement in this world. The most common and popular (and sadly successful) way to deal with that is fear. Fear of punishment, with a dose of bad examples.

Christianity teaches that extramartial sex is bad. For centuries, sex has had all sorts of nasty consequences, especially that of the extramarital sort. And then modern science comes along and removes or at least mitigates in some cases the negative consequences of sex. All of a sudden nonbelievers are having sex and worse, they're not having any bad things happen to them. All of a sudden there are no fear of immediate reprisals to stem the path of temptation.

Hence all our laws and attempts to ban things that make sex safe, as well as misinformation campaigns to play down the fact that contraception can help prevent all sorts of problems. Hence laws to try to ban gay marriage, to punish gay people for having relationships like normal people, trying to deny them all the privileges and rights and other benefits of marriage. They want gay people ostracized and punished so that no one in their own flock will be tempted to indulge in homosexuality.

To my mind, that is the real point behind these attempts to instill Christian morality in secular law and to undermine any scientific analysis that would encourage or at least destimatize immoral behavior. They want to punish people in this world for immoral behavior, to set them up as bad examples to ensure that members of their own flock do not stray from the path. They can't just trust their own people to do the right thing even though others are acting in terrible ways and seeming to get away with it scott free.
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Postby Deckard Canine on Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:24 am

I've heard that in a minority of cases, contraception has accidentally led to abortions, so the opposition to it is not strictly religious.
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Postby Hortmage on Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:14 pm

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Postby Calbeck on Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:51 pm

Hortmage wrote:Several people had expressed confusion as to why ANYONE would have a beef against Christian churches. And I explained some of the reasons why, historically, not everyone in the world is thrilled with those who call themselves Christians.

If you are considering intelligent discourse to be "bashing", then I apologize and will end the conversation.


Hort, your entire point revolved around whether or not someone out there might find justification for church-burning in the history of Christianity. There's no other reason to bring up the Inquisition or any of the other crimes that were committed by people now centuries dead. That's just plain being too specific.

Why would someone attack a Presbyterian church in 2005 over an act committed by the Spanish branch of the Catholic Church in 1610? That's simply not happening. It's an overall antipathy for Christianity as a whole that drives such actions, not "payback" for any specific historical crime.

sapphire wrote:Namely, the original supposition that church's could be burned for a more variegated amount of reasons than abortion clinics, as they forward and represent a wider array of idealogies, locations, races, classes, and various other distinctions in a population.


And which of these have become a matter of serious social contention? In other words, WHY would anyone burn a church down, ASIDE from the fact that it represents a specific religion? As I said before, I can think of a few reasons, but all of them put together would likely amount to a minority of burnings.


Calbeck responded as above, stating that the assumption the arson was anti-abortion was fallacious, from a legal standpoint, since the most common cause is, apparently, irrelevant


No, I said from an investigative standpoint. And, in fact, we have not yet addressed whether or not anti-abortion attacks are indeed the "most common cause" of abortion clinic burnings.

Your point that any instance of burning is most likely insurance fraud is more helpful to my point than your own, and, as such, thank you for it.


First, I didn't say "most likely". I simply added it as one of a short list of readily-obvious possibilities.\

Second, you're welcome.

If the proof were hundreds of churches which have anti-chrisitian phrases on them, then the parallel would work.


And since that is precisely what is being said, thank you.

Most church burnings do in fact incorporate parallel acts of vandalism, to include anti-Christian phrases. Mind you, I do not discount the possibility of fraud in at least some of these cases, but the fact remains that the apparent motive which drives this core of burnings does indeed appear to be irrational hatred of Christianity.

there has still been no proof that these church burnings, whatever number are happening, are dispraportionate to mosque, synagogues, and other such houses


First, hate remains hate whether it is "proportionate" or not. Indeed, given that the ultimate issue Ralph was addressing had to do with Christianity's supposed "favored religion" status in America, mere parity alone would tend to prove his point.

Second, Judaism is a tiny yet vocal and highly-recognized religion in America. A SINGLE attack on a synagogue would be enough to account for "parity" with at least a hundred churches. Does that mean we discount a hundred church burnings because we do not find a synagogue to match?


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Postby ChronicMisadventures on Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:50 pm

Calbeck wrote:
Why would someone attack a Presbyterian church in 2005 over an act committed by the Spanish branch of the Catholic Church in 1610? That's simply not happening. It's an overall antipathy for Christianity as a whole that drives such actions, not "payback" for any specific historical crime.



Because they're too dense to realize there's a difference? See example: Muslims burning churchs to 'protest the Pope's statement' in which the Pope quoted a Byzantine emperor from several centuries past....except less than half the churches burned were Catholic. Most were Orthodox or Anglican. But hey, when you've got the church burning party organized and torches lit, I guess one Christian institution's good enough as another, eh? :roll:

Calbeck wrote:First, hate remains hate whether it is "proportionate" or not. Indeed, given that the ultimate issue Ralph was addressing had to do with Christianity's supposed "favored religion" status in America, mere parity alone would tend to prove his point.


From today's news:
Wash. Statehouse: Menorah OK, Crèche Not
State Officials Say Nativity Scene Might Give Stronger Message Than Christmas Tree Or Menorah
(AP) The Christmas controversy in Washington state has shifted from the airport to the state capitol, where the governor lit a menorah this week, but officials rejected a Nativity scene.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/12/21/national/main2290956.shtml

So, lesse, a Jewish religious symbol is ok...but Christians have to make do with the Christmas tree, which the Supreme Court has determined to be a 'secular symbol' (in actuality, it's a pagan symbol originally) because a Nativity Scene is 'too strong an image'.

...I'm reminded again of the NYC schools currently under lawsuit because they wouldn't allow a Nativity scene but set up a menorah and a Islamic star & crescent...or other NYC schools that put Hannukah and Ramadan on their calendars but changed Christmas to 'Winter Holiday'...
"They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave." --Malcolm Reynolds, Serenity
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Postby Sapphire on Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:17 pm

Calbeck wrote:And which of these have become a matter of serious social contention? In other words, WHY would anyone burn a church down, ASIDE from the fact that it represents a specific religion? As I said before, I can think of a few reasons, but all of them put together would likely amount to a minority of burnings.


Are you seriously suggesting that race and class aren't a matter of serious social contention? We have three hundred a year to explain, itself a spurious number, the source of which was never cited. If a dozen were becuase of unrelated arson by pyromania, off the top of my head, that's 4% right there. Combining our reasons (which surprises me that you discount all of my contributions in your 'very short list' to come up with something significantly less short), we have, thus far:

    Anti-Christian
    Anti-Religion (any)
    Racism
    Classism
    Riot
    Insurance Fraud
    Gang Warfare
    Pyromania
    Hatred of individuals connected to church
    Disagreement with policy
    Disagreement with theology/dogma
    Disagreement with policy/theology/dogma of organization that uses the church

No, I said from an investigative standpoint. And, in fact, we have not yet addressed whether or not anti-abortion attacks are indeed the "most common cause" of abortion clinic burnings.


Are these non-legal investigations? Illegal investigations? A band of roving meddling teenagers with an anthropomorphic object/animal who can't speak quite right?

And, while we techinically haven't, I did mention that the disparance between two chruches is greater than the disprance between two abortion clinics, which reduces the amount of reasons one would torch a clinic by comparison. Namely, several points on the list (racism, theology/dogma) would be eliminated, and several (policy, anti-Christian, anti-religion) would have to be combined into a hatred of abortion.


And since that is precisely what is being said, thank you.

Most church burnings do in fact incorporate parallel acts of vandalism, to include anti-Christian phrases. Mind you, I do not discount the possibility of fraud in at least some of these cases, but the fact remains that the apparent motive which drives this core of burnings does indeed appear to be irrational hatred of Christianity.


Where is the source for this? It's hard to debate things that are stated as fact and yet aren't backed up. This is similair to the question about the original number, which has yet to be answered.

First, hate remains hate whether it is "proportionate" or not. Indeed, given that the ultimate issue Ralph was addressing had to do with Christianity's supposed "favored religion" status in America, mere parity alone would tend to prove his point.


That hate exists was not the point; actually, it's the opposite of the point: Hate exists disproportionate to Christianity in comparison to other religions, races, etc., and that it's being swept under the rug by a major anti-Christian cartel that exists in the modern media/the internet/society at large/whatever is convenient. Saying that you can't compare in refutation of what was, by origin, a comparison, is incredibly specious.

How does parity prove his point? If found equal, his point of disproportion is proven wrong, not right. So, what if we find that twice as many mosques are burned as churches? How would this prove RH right, even by the furthest stretch of the imagination?

Second, Judaism is a tiny yet vocal and highly-recognized religion in America. A SINGLE attack on a synagogue would be enough to account for "parity" with at least a hundred churches. Does that mean we discount a hundred church burnings because we do not find a synagogue to match?


I'm finding it difficult to understand exaclty what you're trying to say.

We're talking about proportion, so let's use a basic hypothetical model to try and clear this up: You're proposing that a hundred churches are equal to a synogogue. This would mean that there are a hundred Chrisitian churches for every synagogue in America. Let's assume that there are a similiair number of mosques. So let's say there are five hundred churches, five synogues, and five mosques. Here, of course, we'd have to split 'Churches' into the Catholics, Protestants, and Eastern Orthodox. And, then again, we'd have to split the Protestants into Anabaptist, Anglican / Episcopal, Baptist, Evangelicalism, Lutheran, Methodist / Wesleyan and the Holiness movement, Pentecostal and Charismatic, Quakerism, Reformed/Congregational /Presbyterian, Restoration movement, Seventh-Day Adventists, and Non-denominational, among others. And we'd have to get the Greek Orthodox from the Eastern Orthodox. And then some.

So we have five hundred churches, itself split into an unknown and possibly unknowable amount of ways, and five synogogues and five mosques. I suppose we could split the mosques into Sunni and Shi'a, but there aren't all that many Sunni's in America, so it'd be like asking for Oriental orthodox in the Chrisitan split. You could, however, argue for a split between Hasidic, Orthodox, and Modern Judaism. But that'd be about 1-2-2 split, abouts.

So, if one synagogue and one hundred churches get burned, that would be even, thus disproving RHJ's original idea of disproportion. But could one really believe the one hundred churches were burned down because somebody hated every single one of these divisions, and not for one hundred different reasons? Is it really even likely that a hundred different churches were burned down for one reason, in comparison to one mosque?

No, if we find that one hundred churches were burned and no mosques or synagogues, then the evidence would be much more in favor of your supposition. That you dodge this idea is telling, to say the least.
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I would have hoped to say something meaninful, or possible inciteful. But, alas.
How goes the world today? From right to left or left to right? Perhaps it runs round mad reels, turning in on itself only at long last to blow away with the leaves and gutter-trash.
How goes the world today? Top to Bottom or Bottom to Top? Perhaps it will rise high enough so that it may see the back of its own head, in a maddening tunnel of infinity.
How goes the world today? Clockwise or Counter? Perhaps it will spin itself mad, curling a spring-from into endlessness.
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Postby RHJunior on Sat Dec 23, 2006 2:03 pm

You people do realize you just spent countless days arguing that the act of arson directed against a house of worship--- <I>people burning down a church</i>--- isn't <I>really</i> motivated by a contempt or hatred of the religion thereof or the worshippers therein?

Even though that act has been replicated across the country over the past decade literally thousands of times?

Now, folks, we've heard both sides of the debate. And I'm sure the apologists for the burnings--- such as Wanderwulf--- have all sorts of scholarly quotes and the like tucked away in a file on their desktop.... just as the other side does. But the only real question here is this:

Can you, using your own common sense, bring yourself to believe that three thousand cases of arson against churches in America in the past decade alone were not, by and large, motivated by hatred and contempt of their faith?
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Postby J4N1 on Sun Dec 24, 2006 1:33 am

RHJunior wrote:Can you, using your own common sense, bring yourself to believe that three thousand cases of arson against churches in America in the past decade alone were not, by and large, motivated by hatred and contempt of their faith?


Easily, USA is a very large country, with lot of churches, and while some burnings have probably been driven by religious motives (and not all, or even probably half, of the burners have been non christians) there is lot of rooms for, Pyromaniacs, drunkards, children being idiots, adults being idios, accidents, lightning strikes, mistakes, etc...
Now could we get a link to statistics of some sort about these church burnings?
We seem to lack hard data on the issue wich all sides seem to have forgotten to provide.
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Postby Kerry Skydancer on Sun Dec 24, 2006 2:00 pm

Ayup. And since a lot of churches have high steeples, lightning strikes them -more- often than residential buildings. I'd like to see the original statistics, too. 300 burned churches per years sounds like a lot, and I'd like to see the breakdown on it.
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Postby Wanderwolf on Sun Dec 24, 2006 5:58 pm

Case in point:

When I was in 6th grade, our school burned down. Now, multiple choice time: Was this caused by:

A) Children reacting against the imposed discipline?

B) A political group striking against private schools?

C) A terrorist cell striking against what they saw as rich and privileged Americans?

D) A couple of stupid kids?

Answer, in reverse:

...doohrobhgien laitnediser a morf teerts eht ssorca ecnaillirb lanimirc fo tca siht did yeht ytiP .yrebbor sih fo ecnedive eht yortsed ot esuoh a nwod denrub yug dab eht hcihw ni eciV imaiM fo edosipe na nees dah noitseuq ni sdik ehT .esruoc fo ,eno tsal eht si rewsna ehT

Yours truly,

,sdrawkcab ehT

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Postby BrockthePaine on Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:40 pm

...saw taht, meht fo bmud adnik saw taht, haeY
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Repeating myself here

Postby RHJunior on Mon Dec 25, 2006 6:05 pm

That average of 300 cases annually is of cases <I>specifically determined to be cases of arson.</i> Not lightning strikes, not insurance fraud, not someone getting clumsy with the candles during the Christmas pageant.
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Postby Kerry Skydancer on Mon Dec 25, 2006 6:55 pm

Oy. That would be very much ungood. Do you have a link to the stats?
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Re: Repeating myself here

Postby Sapphire on Mon Dec 25, 2006 9:26 pm

RHJunior wrote:That average of 300 cases annually is of cases <I>specifically determined to be cases of arson.</i> Not lightning strikes, not insurance fraud, not someone getting clumsy with the candles during the Christmas pageant.


Insurance fraud is arson, Junior. All the things I mentioned are considered arson, and have been since arson was redefined in the Criminal Damage Act of 1971.

And, once again, where does this statistic come from? You've outright ignored every plea for source since this thread began. Are you incapable of providing it? Is there some reason as yet unknown why you cannot tell us where this number comes from? Can you not locate it, or do you find it in some fashion that does not readily lend itself to the internet? If you can't provide source, than stop using it.

Because I have a different one: The National Coalition for Burned Churches documents (here noted in an article at United Methodist Church Online) that, including not only arson, but attempted arson, bombings, and 'suspicious fires', accounts for 1,700 such incidents in the U.S. between 1990 and 2000. That's 170 a year, Junior, almost half your as-yet-unsourced statistic.

What's more, in that same article, the NCFBC notes that "More recent data reveals that from 2000 through 2006, more than 600 cases of church arsons have been documented." Six years, 600 arsons? That's a hundred a year: Now we're down to a third the statistic you have either forgotten to or downright refused to explain. And I backed mine the moment I said it.
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I would have hoped to say something meaninful, or possible inciteful. But, alas.
How goes the world today? From right to left or left to right? Perhaps it runs round mad reels, turning in on itself only at long last to blow away with the leaves and gutter-trash.
How goes the world today? Top to Bottom or Bottom to Top? Perhaps it will rise high enough so that it may see the back of its own head, in a maddening tunnel of infinity.
How goes the world today? Clockwise or Counter? Perhaps it will spin itself mad, curling a spring-from into endlessness.
Or maybe, today, it will just stop.
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