Church burnings

Postby Calbeck on Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:30 pm

Hortmage wrote:Hi! Long time reader, first time poster....

I need to join another forum like I need another hole in the head, but I couldn't pass this one up.... Although it's nice to see I recognize a few familiar "faces."


Heya, Hort!

What Christians feel as a constant attack against them is merely us weak, disenfranchised "heathens" who are just trying to break the shackles of Christian domination we have had to wear for centuries.


*ahem*

First, we have freedom of religion and speech in this country. There are no "shackles of Christian domination" preventing anyone from adhering to whatever religion they prefer.

Second, there WILL be social stigma, but that applies to any society in which a given religion is held by the majority of the population. It's the obvious and unavoidable byproduct of what happens when a large number of people think they're right and you're wrong --- and no religion is free of this mentality.

Third, any "wish to enlighten" amounts to nothing more or less than the unspoken words, "I think your religion is screwed up, now let me tell you why I hold that position". Until and unless some definitive proof of accuracy is provided, all of this amounts to opinion --- and should be treated as such.

The fact that we are trying to be seen as equals is apparently very threatening to the established powers.


*looks around* It is? I haven't noticed anyone acting like they feel very threatened by, say, Paganism...

For instance...in my home state, there are still Blue Laws that prevent the sale of alcohol on Sundays...the Christian Sabbath. Every time someone proposes getting rid of this antiquated law, or equalizing it by banning alcohol on Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath) or Fridays (the Muslim Sabbath), Christians come swarming out of the woodwork claiming anti-Christian elements are attacking them again.


S'news to me. I've never been exposed to any version of Christianty which has a problem with getting plastered on Sunday. I rather imagine God would have liked to have tipped back a bottle of Molson if it had existed on Day Seven.

Another example: over the last year or two, Christians have seen the phrase "Happy Holidays" to be a direct assault on Christianity


Not at all. The problem is not with the expression, but with the specific decision to remove any reference to Christmas through substitution. Which HAS been done by many corporations as well as government facilities.

Here in Arizona, there was an uproar when ANYTHING referring to Christmas was banned by decree of the State Secretary from being displayed in any state-owned building. Other seasonal holidays were undisturbed, so Hannukah displays were perfectly okay --- but not Nativity scenes or even a card showing Santa Claus on the front. Ultimately the Governor "settled" things by ordering the traditional Christmas tree to be set up inside the foyer of the Capitol building, as it always has been, forcing the StateSec to amend her policy or make an even bigger fuss out of it.

whereas it's simply some of us "heathens" trying to also acknowledge other winter holidays, such as Chanukah and Kwanzaa and New Years.


No one's ever forgotten Hannukah, Hort. It is, however, a religion practiced by less than 10% of the population, so it's obviously not going to get the same exposure. As for New Year's, I've never known anyone to refer to January First through the use of "Happy Holidays". They always mean Christmas, Hannukah, or both.

Then there's Kwaanza...which never existed prior to the 1960s and was in its entirety the creation of a prison inmate. It is NOT what it claims to be; an African seasonal rite, or even an authentic amalgamation of different rites. Such rites do exist in Africa, but they differ wildly from nation to nation and indeed from tribe to tribe. In short, it was designed as a specific alternative to Christmas for black people living in the States and has no actual religious significance of any kind.

This "artwork," often used as the poster-child proving anti-Christian feelings, was created by Andres Serrano in 1987. I would hazard a guess that many of the readers of Nip/Tuck weren't even born when this nonsense hit the fan.


I was around, thanks.

I mean, a person who's talent shouldn't even have given him a footnote in history is STILL being talked about 20 years later.


Worked for the KKK too; everyone talks about their cross-burnings. Do something highly visible and offensive, and people will talk about it. Can't blame the commenters for that.

And I do believe that more non-Christians (or 'not the RIGHT type of Christians') have been burnt at the stake more recently, and more abundantly, than true Christians ever have.


True enough: Islam doesn't use stakes. But it DID engage in massive purges against Christians, as well as Jews, living in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Spain and the Balkans. This occurred throughout the period Pagans call "The Great Burning", and lasted well into the 20th Century.
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Postby Lazerus on Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:12 pm

Calbeck wrote:
sapphire wrote:Max, you couldn't be more irrelevant if you were standing next to a giant irrelevant-statement-making machine.

Church does not equal abortion clinic.


So if 300 abortion clinics a year were burned down by acts of known arson, you wouldn't leap to the conclusion that angry anti-abortion Christians were doing it?


Uh, yeah, see, here's the thing. In my town alone, which is not terribly religous, there is one abortion clinic in the entire city.

There are FOUR churches within five minutes of my house alone, and that's a representitive figure.

Plus the church, by being a large, public building, is more of a target for senseless vandalism.

They arn't comparable.
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Postby Sapphire on Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:27 pm

Calbeck wrote:
sapphire wrote:Max, you couldn't be more irrelevant if you were standing next to a giant irrelevant-statement-making machine.

Church does not equal abortion clinic.


So if 300 abortion clinics a year were burned down by acts of known arson, you wouldn't leap to the conclusion that angry anti-abortion Christians were doing it?


Okay, Calbeck, somehow you shot through my point and came out the other side.

If 300 abortion clinics a year were burned down by acts of known arson, in fact, even in the instance of a single abortion clinic burning down, the only logical assumption--barring any other information--would be anti-abortionists. Christianity is, in this instance, irrelevant; it could be a cult of people who worship chickens and hate abortion.

However, if 300 church's were burned down, it could be, as I have explained, for any one of dozens, if not hundreds of different reasons, because churches, unlike abortion clinics, forward literally hundreds, if not thousands of different ideologies. As well, church's provide a multitude of services, and often house many groups or organizations which are not connected in any way to the doctrines of the church. Abortion clinics, on the other hand, are more of a unitasker.

Does that make sense?
I would have hoped to say something meaninful, or possible inciteful. But, alas.
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Postby Wanderwolf on Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:02 am

Calbeck wrote:Then there's Kwaanza...which never existed prior to the 1960s and was in its entirety the creation of a prison inmate. It is NOT what it claims to be; an African seasonal rite, or even an authentic amalgamation of different rites. Such rites do exist in Africa, but they differ wildly from nation to nation and indeed from tribe to tribe. In short, it was designed as a specific alternative to Christmas for black people living in the States and has no actual religious significance of any kind.


Item: As Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966, and Ron Karenga wasn't in jail until 1971, that's really poor phrasing. (See his page on Answers.com.

Item: Karenga agrees with you about Kwanzaa, and he's the one that invented it. Karenga is a secular humanist; Kwanzaa is meant to have no religious overtones at all. To cite Karenga's own website on Kwanzaa:

"Kwanzaa was created:

- To reaffirm the communitarian vision and values of African culture and to contribute to its restoration among African peoples in the Diaspora, beginning with Africans in America and expanding to include the world African community.
- To introduce and reinforce the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles and through this, introduce and reaffirm communitarian values and practices which strengthen and celebrate family, community and culture. These seven communitarian African values are: Umoja (Unity), Kuji-chagulia (Self-determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).
- To serve as a regular communal celebration which reaffirmed and reinforced the bonds between us as a people in the U.S., in the Diaspora and on the African continent, in a word, as a world African community. It was designed to unite and to strengthen African communities.
As an act of cultural self-determination, as a self-conscious statement of our own unique cultural truth as an African people. That is to say, it is an important way and expression of being African in a multicultural context."

And later:

"Kwanzaa was not created to give people an alternative to their own religion or religious holiday. And it is not an alternative to people's religion or faith but a common ground of African culture."

Just thought I'd drop a few facts on your horn, there. It does serve as a desk spindle, right? :lol:

Yours truly,

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Postby Hortmage on Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:30 am

Calbeck,

I think we may be miscommunicating, or at least, hearing each other on different wavelengths.

First, we have freedom of religion and speech in this country.


Legally, yes. At least, until the religious right gets a few more people elected to office.... And while my comment on the "shackles of Christian domination" may have been overdramatic, unless you are part of a non-majority religion or group, you really don't realize how omni-present Christianity is in daily society.

I've never been exposed to any version of Christianty which has a problem with getting plastered on Sunday.

Um...ever hear of Baptists?

Again, it's not the Jews in Indiana that are forbidding the sale of alcohol on Sundays. It's not the Muslims who have decreed "dry" counties in Kentucky (go on a tour of Jack Daniels distillery...at the end of the tour, all you can do is smell the cork, because it's a dry county and you can't legally buy or drink alcohol).

According to most websites I checked, including Wikipedia,, Judaism accounts for between 1.3 and 2 % of the US population, not 10%. And at this time of year, I'd be extremely happy if even only 1 percent of the store shelf space designated for Christmas wrap and Christmas cookies and Christmas stocking stuffers had any Chanukah wrapping paper....

As for New Year's, I've never known anyone to refer to January First through the use of "Happy Holidays".

Glad to meet you! Because I'm one of those! :D

*looks around* It is? I haven't noticed anyone acting like they feel very threatened by, say, Paganism...


Good Lord, man, do you never read a paper??? Google "Harry Potter banned" and see how many church groups accuse Rowling of promoting Satanism and evil! Or, simply check out the book burning page at the American Library Association website. (And let's not forget all the fun barbecues righteous Christians practiced in Salem and throughout Europe in the 1600s....).

Quote:
And I do believe that more non-Christians (or 'not the RIGHT type of Christians') have been burnt at the stake more recently, and more abundantly, than true Christians ever have.

True enough: Islam doesn't use stakes. But it DID engage in massive purges against Christians, as well as Jews, living in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Spain and the Balkans. This occurred throughout the period Pagans call "The Great Burning", and lasted well into the 20th Century.

Um...I was referring to Christians burning others at the stake. The various pogroms of Eastern Europe, the Inquisition (a fun time to be a Jew, let me tell you... :shifty: ), various witch hunts.... Whatever abuse the Romans gave Christians in the first 300 years after Jesus' death has been repaid to the world over 100 times over. Not all Christians are responsible for this, of course...but The Church (which represents Christianity) was.
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Postby BrockthePaine on Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:11 am

Hortmage wrote:
I've never been exposed to any version of Christianty which has a problem with getting plastered on Sunday.

Um...ever hear of Baptists?

Um... with me generally identifying with the Baptists, having gone to a Baptist college and going to a Baptist Church, this isn't exactly true. Individual local churches have their own internal debates over this issue: some come out against it, and some shrug and say "Drink in responsible moderation." Same thing with dancing or playing cards. The main arguments from the anti-drinking people are "It's always been this way, why do we have to change?" Whereas the younger crowd, including me, asks "If you're afraid of doing something on Sunday, why would you do it the rest of the week?

The people who put up the most fuss over keeping the Sunday Prohibition laws are actually the Methodists, at least in my personal experience.
Last edited by BrockthePaine on Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Deckard Canine on Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:13 am

BrockthePaine wrote:The fastest way to destroy the Christian Church is to suddenly give it power, wealth, and influence, and then lead it into apathy. The fastest way to expand the Christian Church is to try to stomp it out.


Whether or not that's true, it does appear that the Church does its job better the less the government accepts it. I wonder if the same holds for all faiths.

Hortmage wrote:Judaism accounts for between 1.3 and 2 % of the US population


Glad to know that my personal estimate of 1-2% wasn't outdated. I'm having a little trouble finding the Muslim percentage of the U.S., but I think they outnumber U.S. Jews by now and continue to grow quickly despite -- or perhaps partly because of -- their current unpopularity.

sapphire wrote:a cult of people who worship chickens


Henotheists? (ducks and runs)
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Postby BrockthePaine on Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:27 am

Deckard Canine wrote:
sapphire wrote:a cult of people who worship chickens


Henotheists? (ducks and runs)
I propose Cluckotheists.

Reminds me of a lesson we had about Cults in class once: we were told to go to any verse in the Bible, change one word all through the text with another word of our choosing, and create a cult in fifteen minutes. My group put together a cult that claimed chickens were the embodied souls of angels, and therefore we proclaimed a holy war to free the chickens from the power of the evil one, aka the Farmer's Wife. After that somebody said that if the Farmer's Wife was the evil one, then all women must be the representatives of the evil one and the chickens had to be protected from them; and we had our first cult schism over the disenfranchisement of our female cult members.
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Postby Lazerus on Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:52 am

BrockthePaine wrote:
Deckard Canine wrote:
sapphire wrote:a cult of people who worship chickens


Henotheists? (ducks and runs)
I propose Cluckotheists.

Reminds me of a lesson we had about Cults in class once: we were told to go to any verse in the Bible, change one word all through the text with another word of our choosing, and create a cult in fifteen minutes. My group put together a cult that claimed chickens were the embodied souls of angels, and therefore we proclaimed a holy war to free the chickens from the power of the evil one, aka the Farmer's Wife. After that somebody said that if the Farmer's Wife was the evil one, then all women must be the representatives of the evil one and the chickens had to be protected from them; and we had our first cult schism over the disenfranchisement of our female cult members.


You, with one amusing story, proved how amazingly stupid sectarian violence is.
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Postby Calbeck on Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:04 am

Lazerus wrote:
Calbeck wrote:So if 300 abortion clinics a year were burned down by acts of known arson, you wouldn't leap to the conclusion that angry anti-abortion Christians were doing it?


Uh, yeah, see, here's the thing. In my town alone, which is not terribly religous, there is one abortion clinic in the entire city. There are FOUR churches within five minutes of my house alone, and that's a representitive figure. Plus the church, by being a large, public building, is more of a target for senseless vandalism.

They arn't comparable.


When did abortion clinics stop being large public buildings? Not every church is a cathedral, either. And the fact remains that when someone goes out to deliberately burn a building, it's a minority of cases wherein the choice of building doesn't equate to part of the specific motive. Arson doesn't "strike equally" or even, for the most part, randomly, so citing the difference in church-to-abortion-clinic ratios makes no real difference.

So, if 300 abortion clinics a year were burned down by acts of known arson, you wouldn't leap to the conclusion that angry anti-abortion Christians were doing it?
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Postby Calbeck on Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:30 am

sapphire wrote:If 300 abortion clinics a year were burned down by acts of known arson, in fact, even in the instance of a single abortion clinic burning down, the only logical assumption--barring any other information--would be anti-abortionists.


Barring any other information, the last thing a crime investigator does is assume anything. Right off the bat, especially if you're prepared to reduce the matter to a single instance, it could be a case of fraudulent insurance claims. It could be some gang-bangers from down the block who decided to chuck a molotov through the window just to watch the place burn. It could even be the work of a pyromaniac.

However, if 300 church's were burned down, it could be, as I have explained, for any one of dozens, if not hundreds of different reasons, because churches, unlike abortion clinics, forward literally hundreds, if not thousands of different ideologies. As well, church's provide a multitude of services, and often house many groups or organizations which are not connected in any way to the doctrines of the church.


Few of these, however, provide motive for arson. What program does a church operate that so offends someone that they must burn the place down? Feeding and clothing the poor? Providing counseling? Sunday school?

What ideology does a church proffer that provides motive for arson? I can personally think of a few --- but hundreds of churchs that don't support those ideologies are hit every year anyways. I'm not suggesting that every church burning is automatically the case of a Christian-hater, but there ARE clear-cut cases where that IS the issue. It also happens to mosques and synagogues, and when it does, there is no argument about motive --- it's written right there on the wall in huge letters that read "JEWS OUT" next to the burned-out building.

When similar things happen to Christian churches, why are we so quick to pretend that the situation is somehow different?
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Postby Calbeck on Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:46 am

Wanderwolf wrote:Item: As Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966, and Ron Karenga wasn't in jail until 1971, that's really poor phrasing.


From the Dartmouth Review: "In 1965 Karenga founded the United Slaves Organization (US), a group that would rival the Black Panthers on the UCLA campus. The US was more radical than the Panthers, setting off quarrels between the two."

He may have been jailed in 1971, but a year before he created Kwanzaa he was already known for creating and operating an extremist race-based group. And regardless of when and why he was jailed, the simple fact is that he created Kwanzaa specifically to undermine actual religion:

"Initially, Kwanzaa proceeded from Karenga’s hostility toward Western religion, which, he wrote in his 1980 book, Kawaida Theory, ‘denies and diminishes human worth, capacity, potential and achievement. In Christian and Jewish mythology, humans are born in sin, cursed with mythical ancestors who’ve sinned and brought the wrath of an angry God on every generation’s head.’ He similarly opposed belief in God and other ‘spooks who threaten us if we don’t worship them and demand we turn over our destiny and daily lives.’

"Karenga explained in his 1977 Kwanzaa: Origin, Concepts, Practice, ‘Kwanzaa is not an imitation, but an alternative, in fact, an oppositional alternative to the spookism, mysticism and non-earth based practices which plague us as a people and encourage our withdrawal from social life rather than our bold confrontation with it.’ The holiday ‘was chosen to give a Black alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.’ "


"Since then, the holiday has gained mainstream adherents, and Karenga has altered its justification so as not to alienate practicing Christians..."

...and it's from that altered justification that you drew your earlier quotes.
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Postby Calbeck on Fri Dec 08, 2006 10:49 am

Hortmage wrote:
First, we have freedom of religion and speech in this country.


Legally, yes. At least, until the religious right gets a few more people elected to office


And then what? Identify, if you will, the attempts made by the Religious Right to undermine or otherwise inhibit the practice or presentation of any given form of religion. Good luck. The closest you'll get is some outraged citizen's group lodging a complaint about this or that...but actual attempts at forcing changes in society, beyond simply engaging in public debate? Hah.

On the other hand, it's Tipper Gore who's most recently tried to label "offensive" music. It's the ACLU that's sued to tear down and prohibit religious displays. Over the last forty years, every move to inhibit free speech or religion has been made at the behest of some offended left-wing organization.

On exactly what basis do you conclude that the Religious Right will destroy the First Amendment's protections if given the chance?

... And while my comment on the "shackles of Christian domination" may have been overdramatic, unless you are part of a non-majority religion or group, you really don't realize how omni-present Christianity is in daily society.


Assumption on your part. The fact is, I AM a part of a non-majority religion --- "Neo-Protestantism", which is my own creation. I have my own theories and ideas that would get me labeled as a "heretic" in any of a dozen mainstream Christian churches if I stood up and propounded on them.

Not to mention that being "omnipresent" doesn't amount to "shackles of domination". If I were the one white man in an entire country of black men, that doesn't make me "dominated" or "shackled". Those definitions require that someone DOES something to dominate or shackle me. If I "feel" dominated or shackled simply because I am ethnically outnumbered, that is because I am allowing an irrational idea --- that I should fear that which is not like me --- to rule my mind.

I realized this the first time I went to Juarez, during my time in the Army. Suddenly I was a gringo, in the very original sense of the term, standing out in my clean uniform and my blue eyes, surrounded by people who did not look, talk, live or act like I did. At first I clustered with fellow soldiers out of fear of being alone in such a crowd --- until I realized what I was doing. I forced myself to explore Juarez on my own, learned enough Spanish to get by on the street, and eventually came to view Mexicans the same way I view any other person --- different, but not necessarily a threat just on basis of that difference.

I've never been exposed to any version of Christianty which has a problem with getting plastered on Sunday.


Um...ever hear of Baptists?


Heard of, met plenty, and of those whom I've known well enough they're the most rip-roaring Sunday Night Drunks I've ever met. I have, in my life, met exactly TWO people who were both Protestant and anti-alcohol. Both argued that Jesus created "new wine", meaning "it hadn't had time to ferment", to which I responded that if Jesus made simple grape juice I don't think the Bible would refer to it as wine.

Again, it's not the Jews in Indiana that are forbidding the sale of alcohol on Sundays.


And the Christians in Indiana don't represent Christianity as a whole, either. You might have noticed that a lot of us disagree with a lot of us about exactly what Christ taught or how we should pay our respects. For some, that means no drinking on Sunday, and I'm sure those who are of that opinion hold it strongly. You can't expect them not to vote or speak their conscience, even if you disagree with them and even if they're wrong.

It's not the Muslims who have decreed "dry" counties in Kentucky


No, it's the Muslims who've decreed entire dry NATIONS. Drinking alcohol is a capital offense in Saudi Arabia and any other nation which follows Shar'ia law (to include Iran and, until recently, Afghanistan).

Judaism accounts for between 1.3 and 2 % of the US population, not 10%.


*shrug* I stand corrected. I hadn't bothered to look it up.

And at this time of year, I'd be extremely happy if even only 1 percent of the store shelf space designated for Christmas wrap and Christmas cookies and Christmas stocking stuffers had any Chanukah wrapping paper....


I've never noticed any problems with finding it. Pop down to Walgreen's, and you'll find wrapping paper with silver menorahs all over it. Your correction merely underscores my point, however: if only 1% of the population is observing Hannukah, while the majority of the remainder is observing Christmas, then Hannukah becomes a niche market and is not likely to be oversaturated by marketing. Which Christmas has been for decades now, if not an entire century.

Good Lord, man, do you never read a paper??? Google "Harry Potter banned" and see how many church groups accuse Rowling of promoting Satanism and evil!


Yes I do, and yes I have, and I notice that what you're talking about is the "usual suspects" --- the same sorts of people and groups who complained back when Elvis appeared on TV. Then again, the second item I found on Google was about an Anglican service in Surrey that was using Harry Potter to draw in more attendees, to the extent of the priest wearing wizard's robes and having a special "Potter Liturgy" drawn up. This act was, of course, denounced in fiery terms by a member of the Fundamentalist Baptists, to which the rest of us Christians routinely and collectively roll our eyes. -:roll:

Um...I was referring to Christians burning others at the stake.


Yeah, I know, I was making a point. Namely, that you're being rather selective in the religion you choose to bash, AND that you're forced to dig back centuries for enough material to justify that bashing. Please don't suggest that you expect witch burnings to resume in the event of a complete Republican takeover in Congress.
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Postby Hortmage on Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:31 am

Yeah, I know, I was making a point. Namely, that you're being rather selective in the religion you choose to bash, AND that you're forced to dig back centuries for enough material to justify that bashing.


First of all, I'm not BASHING anyone. The topic had been about why any group of people would be anti-church enough to burn them. 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.
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Postby NydaLynn on Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:25 am

BrockthePaine wrote:
Deckard Canine wrote:
sapphire wrote:a cult of people who worship chickens


Henotheists? (ducks and runs)
I propose Cluckotheists.

Reminds me of a lesson we had about Cults in class once: we were told to go to any verse in the Bible, change one word all through the text with another word of our choosing, and create a cult in fifteen minutes. My group put together a cult that claimed chickens were the embodied souls of angels, and therefore we proclaimed a holy war to free the chickens from the power of the evil one, aka the Farmer's Wife. After that somebody said that if the Farmer's Wife was the evil one, then all women must be the representatives of the evil one and the chickens had to be protected from them; and we had our first cult schism over the disenfranchisement of our female cult members.


I just have to chuckle at that. :lol:
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Postby RHJunior on Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:54 am

Yes, Hortmage, you ARE bashing someone. You have spent post after post ranting on and on how Christians are "oppressing" you, leveling accusations of every sort of abuse-- as if Christians had INVENTED the wretched state of the world--- and wallowing in misanthropic phobias about what the evil Christians gun' GIT ya if they, oh God Forbid, ever exercise political influence in their own country.

Yes, communities have pushed forward "dry" counties and the like. Horror of Horrors, a township where you can't go out and get sh#tfaced at the drop of a hat. Call Amnesty International!
Why did it happen? Generally because we got tired of having filthy bums stinking up the alleys, knifed and shot drunks in our jails, hospitals and morgues, puddles of puke in our sidewalks and cars wrapped around trees, and we took what seemed the most straightforward and self-evident course in REDUCING said problems.

And for all your hissing and spitting of how Christians are gonna take your rights away, <I>it was a group of devout Christian men who composed the Bill of Rights.</i> The constitution as a wholewas composed by a group of men who came from every Christian denomination imaginable, and who got down on their knees before God before finally laying pen to paper. The constitutional rights and liberties you accuse Christians of destroying <I>were composed, promoted, and enacted by Christians in the first place.</i> Freedom of speech, press, religion, lawful assembly, the right to bear arms---- the very notion that government was answerable to the people--- was fostered by the religion you blame for all your woes.
No other theology could have composed such a document. No other theology would have dared.

You're going to have to get over the prejudice that an idea is bad just because a Christian thought of it. And when you finally get over your Christophobia, consider that maybe, just maybe, the fact that we are Christians does not negate our right to have a say in the government we created in the first place.
"What was that popping noise ?"
"A paradigm shifting without a clutch."
--Dilbert
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Postby Squeaky Bunny on Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:50 pm

NydaLynn wrote:
BrockthePaine wrote:
Deckard Canine wrote:
sapphire wrote:a cult of people who worship chickens


Henotheists? (ducks and runs)
I propose Cluckotheists.

Reminds me of a lesson we had about Cults in class once: we were told to go to any verse in the Bible, change one word all through the text with another word of our choosing, and create a cult in fifteen minutes. My group put together a cult that claimed chickens were the embodied souls of angels, and therefore we proclaimed a holy war to free the chickens from the power of the evil one, aka the Farmer's Wife. After that somebody said that if the Farmer's Wife was the evil one, then all women must be the representatives of the evil one and the chickens had to be protected from them; and we had our first cult schism over the disenfranchisement of our female cult members.


I just have to chuckle at that. :lol:


Ooooh! Poultrygeists!!!!
Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defence. :shucks:
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Postby Sapphire on Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:12 pm

Calbeck wrote:
sapphire wrote:If 300 abortion clinics a year were burned down by acts of known arson, in fact, even in the instance of a single abortion clinic burning down, the only logical assumption--barring any other information--would be anti-abortionists.


Barring any other information, the last thing a crime investigator does is assume anything. Right off the bat, especially if you're prepared to reduce the matter to a single instance, it could be a case of fraudulent insurance claims. It could be some gang-bangers from down the block who decided to chuck a molotov through the window just to watch the place burn. It could even be the work of a pyromaniac.

However, if 300 church's were burned down, it could be, as I have explained, for any one of dozens, if not hundreds of different reasons, because churches, unlike abortion clinics, forward literally hundreds, if not thousands of different ideologies. As well, church's provide a multitude of services, and often house many groups or organizations which are not connected in any way to the doctrines of the church.


Few of these, however, provide motive for arson. What program does a church operate that so offends someone that they must burn the place down? Feeding and clothing the poor? Providing counseling? Sunday school?

What ideology does a church proffer that provides motive for arson? I can personally think of a few --- but hundreds of churchs that don't support those ideologies are hit every year anyways. I'm not suggesting that every church burning is automatically the case of a Christian-hater, but there ARE clear-cut cases where that IS the issue. It also happens to mosques and synagogues, and when it does, there is no argument about motive --- it's written right there on the wall in huge letters that read "JEWS OUT" next to the burned-out building.

When similar things happen to Christian churches, why are we so quick to pretend that the situation is somehow different?


Okay, let's go over everything again, from the top.

Junior posts comic, including unsourced statistic saying 300 churches are burned a year, as evidence of Christian persucution in America. (Attempts at finding source estimate, however, that the number is several years old and that the number has been drastically reduced in more recent years.)

Maxgoof responds with parallel hypothetical, asking if 300 abortion clinics or NAACP buildings were burned down, then what?

I respond by saying that a church is not an abortion clinic, citing the discrepancy between the differences between any two churches an the differences between any two abortion clinics. I mention, also that the NAACP is a central organization.

Later, Calbeck responds by reitirating Maxgoof's original parallel, adding whether one would or wouldn't believe that abortion clinic arsons were about abortion, with intent that the original was, in fact, apt.

I try and explain that the situations are different in a way which allows for more heavy consideration of anti-abortion in such case than anti-Christian in the parallel. 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. I also dismissed the idea that I would assume it to be Christians, since there are many groups, it seems, which can be pro-life to the point of violence.

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 to the original proposal, which, if you remember, was the burning of churches offered proof of persecution. As well, he introduces the parallel now to defilement of other religious institutions, here, mosques and synagogues.

The issue here is, in concert with other posts, one of a series of discussions which go over Junior's evidence, piece-for-piece. Our discussion is tangential and hypothetical, yet no less pertinent.

Calbeck's post makes one point, then asks two questions.

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.

Calbeck then asks what programs, here ignoring idealogies and organizations, a church could forward to anger someone. I can't help but wonder if the charge is to conceive of one or find a real-world example. As I am the one forwarding that churches are not being burned as often, the charge is inherently paradoxical. My point, however, more heavily focused on the societal aspect of most churches, which often play host to unaffiliated organizations. Since we are talking about any sort of burning, in the same as any sort of church, crimes of passion are allowed and thus the illogical burning of what would be the main headquarters for a local wing of the Model Airplane Association, or even the inconsiderably irrelevant, like to kill a particular member inside, or just garden-variety pyromania, is as such.

The second question asks why the defilement of mosques and synogues is irrelevant. In the first place, the question is meaningless, since the discussion is about the burnings proof. If the proof were hundreds of churches which have anti-chrisitian phrases on them, then the parallel would work. Unless his phrasing is symbolic and not literal, which it does not appear to be. Which, by the by, there has still been no proof that these church burnings, whatever number are happening, are dispraportionate to mosque, synagogues, and other such houses, or in attempt to destroy members of faiths like Shikism, Buddhism, or Atheism. Which is part of my point, which, again, Calbeck only makes clearer. If the same is happening to other groups, then it lessens that the majority of churches is being destroyed for reasons of anti-Christianity, as was the original proof.

In short, 30 Seconds to Fame was the best variety show America has ever seen, and it was cancelled long before its time. And waffles are better than pancakes. And everybody loves the Homestarruner.

The End.
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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Postby ChronicMisadventures on Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:18 pm

Hortmage wrote:First off, except for a bit of lion-feeding in the beginning, Christians (represented by "The Church") have had it pretty good in the world for the last 2000 years.

Yeah, you know, except for that bit of European rulers trying to have the Pope killed every so often. The Swiss Guard aren't for show. The tradition started in the 1500s because the Swiss were the only mercenaries with a reputation of not switching sides in a fight if offered more money. For example, 1527 when Charles V sacked Rome and 147 of the 189 Guard sacrificed their lives so the remaining 42 could get the Pope to safety. (more random trivia: despite their medieval cutlery, the present Guard is well-trained in firearms and has an armory of such on the Vatican grounds. Halberds go over better with the tourists than SIG P 75s and H&K SMGs)

Hortmage wrote: In its heyday, The Church pretty much dictated to everyone how you could live, it quashed scientific discovery, and was richer and held more property than entire nations.

Yep, that evil Church quashing scientific discovery by building one of the world's oldest observatories (Vatican Observatory, first phase built in the 1700s) and having a committee in the 1500s to study scientific data and implications in reforming the calendar during Gregory XIII's reign...

Hortmage wrote:The Church controlled most of the kings and held sway over European (and, later, American) politics.

Yep...except for that bit about European kings sacking Rome or having Popes knocked off, and that bit in the US with some saying JFK shouldn't have been allowed to run for President because he was a Catholic and as such 'the Vatican would be running the country', and...

Hortmage wrote:A couple of papal edicts created several waves of Crusades which killed untold numbers of "heathens" and Christians alike

Curse those evil Crusades, like the First one which was called because a Byzantine emperor needed help to fend off an invasion by the Turks. Or the Sixth Crusade, which was started by the ex-communicated Emperor Fredrick II which therefor had no religious backing. Or...

Hortmage wrote:When a powerful entity physically or verbally represses a weak, disenfrachised entity, it's called being a bully, or totalitarianism. When a weak, disenfranchised entity physically or verbally harrasses a powerful entity, it's called "the underdog getting a couple of shots in".

No, it's called 'being an ass because you can claim you're discriminated against if the larger entity dares to complain'.

Hortmage wrote:For instance...in my home state, there are still Blue Laws that prevent the sale of alcohol on Sundays...the Christian Sabbath.

If you can't go a day without buying alcohol, I recommend contacting AA or a similar group.

Hortmage wrote:Another example: over the last year or two, Christians have seen the phrase "Happy Holidays" to be a direct assault on Christianity, whereas it's simply some of us "heathens" trying to also acknowledge other winter holidays, such as Chanukah and Kwanzaa and New Years.

Yeah, silly us for thinking it was an assault on Christianity when school calendars are allowed to print Chanukah and Ramadan on them but have replaced Christmas with 'Winter Holiday' or 'Happy Holidays' to avoid threats of lawsuits by the ACLU. Guess we were also wrong in thinking it was anti-Christian discrimination when the ACLU forced the removal of a tiny cross (representing the city's founding by missionaries) on the Los Angeles seal but left the Greco-Roman goddess that occupies 1/3rd of it, with one California 'civil rights' lawyer declaring "Christians are in the majority, they deserve to be discriminated against." Current case before the US Supreme Court: NYC schools allow Jewish and Muslim religious symbols to be displayed in 'the holiday season' but limit Christians to the secular Santa Claus or a Christmas Tree rather than a Nativity Scene. (and yes, both Santa and Christmas Trees are secular symbols by prior Court rulings)

Hortmage wrote:Incidentally: the recent strip lamenting persecution of Christians highlighted a frame of the crucifix in urine. This "artwork," often used as the poster-child proving anti-Christian feelings, was created by Andres Serrano in 1987. I would hazard a guess that many of the readers of Nip/Tuck weren't even born when this nonsense hit the fan.

And many of us were born before that. And have seen similar "art" since then. Funny how the 'intolerant Christians' don't respond by rioting and setting things on fire, unlike another religion's response to political cartoons a year ago.

Hortmage wrote:And I do believe that more non-Christians (or 'not the RIGHT type of Christians') have been burnt at the stake more recently, and more abundantly, than true Christians ever have.

Funny, I seem to recall a half-dozen churches of varying denominations being burned, along with the murder of at least one priest and at least one nun, after the Pope dared to quote a medieval emperor's comments on Islam in an academic speech recently. Don't seem to recall the Vatican holding any recent unbeliever BBQs though.

Welcome to the forum, but kindly do your research next time. Some of us self-declared Jacksonians do have educations consisting of multiple degrees in various subjects.

The JAM wrote:Meaning that the Vatican removed the Bible from the masses, condemned anyone who wished to study it independently, and threw final authority to the pope while declaring him "infallible", and born again Christians very much laid low until Martin Luther.

Actually, JAM, the 'papal infallibility' bit is a bit exaggerated. Was a discussion in the media on it after the recent 'Pope pissed off the Muslims' incident. Apparently under Church doctrine, the Pope's statements are only infallible when he's speaking 'ex cathedra' or 'from the chair (of Peter)'. So basically the Pope has to specify he's speaking 'ex cathedra' in making an official Church statement in order for the infallibility rule to hold. Sort of like how a judge is only speaking for the court when 'ruling from the bench'.[/quote]
"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 ChronicMisadventures on Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:28 pm

Hortmage wrote:According to most websites I checked, including Wikipedia,, Judaism accounts for between 1.3 and 2 % of the US population, not 10%. And at this time of year, I'd be extremely happy if even only 1 percent of the store shelf space designated for Christmas wrap and Christmas cookies and Christmas stocking stuffers had any Chanukah wrapping paper....


Correct on the stats in this instance. CIA World Factbook entry for religions in the US: Protestant 52%, Roman Catholic 24%, Mormon 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 1%, other 10%, none 10% (2002 est.)

Hortmage wrote:Good Lord, man, do you never read a paper??? Google "Harry Potter banned" and see how many church groups accuse Rowling of promoting Satanism and evil! Or, simply check out the book burning page at the American Library Association website. (And let's not forget all the fun barbecues righteous Christians practiced in Salem and throughout Europe in the 1600s....).


And, on the whole, those book burnings and the like are mostly by extreme elements rather than the mainstream. All the Vatican's done in regards to Harry Potter, last I heard, was to 'disapprove of' some of the content, but hasn't called for it to be burned or the like. And there's just as often secular examples of book ban demands. One in Michigan at present is a call to ban Mark Twain's books from all public school libraries and curriculums because "they contain the n-word".[/quote]
"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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