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BS: The Religious Left

Jerry Rasmussen 27 Jan 05 - 03:51 PM
Little Hawk 27 Jan 05 - 04:01 PM
Jim Tailor 27 Jan 05 - 04:02 PM
Little Hawk 27 Jan 05 - 04:03 PM
robomatic 27 Jan 05 - 04:05 PM
Amos 27 Jan 05 - 04:09 PM
Les in Chorlton 27 Jan 05 - 04:10 PM
Little Hawk 27 Jan 05 - 04:15 PM
PoppaGator 27 Jan 05 - 04:21 PM
Jim Tailor 27 Jan 05 - 04:27 PM
CarolC 27 Jan 05 - 04:28 PM
Little Hawk 27 Jan 05 - 04:28 PM
Little Hawk 27 Jan 05 - 04:36 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Jan 05 - 04:43 PM
Once Famous 27 Jan 05 - 04:44 PM
Jim Tailor 27 Jan 05 - 04:45 PM
PoppaGator 27 Jan 05 - 05:05 PM
CarolC 27 Jan 05 - 05:15 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Jan 05 - 05:24 PM
Jim Tailor 27 Jan 05 - 05:32 PM
Jim Tailor 27 Jan 05 - 05:34 PM
CarolC 27 Jan 05 - 05:42 PM
Little Hawk 27 Jan 05 - 05:42 PM
Georgiansilver 27 Jan 05 - 05:49 PM
Jim Tailor 27 Jan 05 - 05:58 PM
Bobert 27 Jan 05 - 06:01 PM
PoppaGator 27 Jan 05 - 06:59 PM
Amos 27 Jan 05 - 07:00 PM
GUEST 27 Jan 05 - 07:01 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Jan 05 - 07:13 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Jan 05 - 07:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 05 - 07:33 PM
frogprince 27 Jan 05 - 08:08 PM
Pogo 27 Jan 05 - 08:26 PM
akenaton 27 Jan 05 - 08:33 PM
freda underhill 27 Jan 05 - 08:49 PM
Amos 27 Jan 05 - 08:55 PM
akenaton 27 Jan 05 - 08:58 PM
akenaton 27 Jan 05 - 09:02 PM
frogprince 27 Jan 05 - 09:02 PM
akenaton 27 Jan 05 - 09:08 PM
beardedbruce 27 Jan 05 - 09:14 PM
freda underhill 27 Jan 05 - 09:14 PM
Amos 27 Jan 05 - 09:20 PM
freda underhill 27 Jan 05 - 09:22 PM
freda underhill 27 Jan 05 - 09:26 PM
Rapparee 27 Jan 05 - 09:29 PM
akenaton 27 Jan 05 - 09:39 PM
mack/misophist 27 Jan 05 - 10:01 PM
akenaton 27 Jan 05 - 10:10 PM
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Subject: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 03:51 PM

This week, my gospel quartet did two special programs on Brown vs. The Board of Education, and Martin Luther King. It was a good reminder of how many social advances in this country were either strongly influenced or directly driven by Christianity. These days, Christianity (at least as far as politics and the news media) rarely even acknowledges that many Christians are as opposed to the Religious Right as anyone. I certainly am. Remember Daniel Berrigan and other priests and clergy who put their faith on the line fighting for equality? Many died on the battlefield. Today we sang Woke Up this Morning With My Mind Standing on Jesus, and then after three or four verses changed it to "standing on freedom," as it was sung in Civil Rights marches. And of course, we ended with We Shall Overcome, which is an old folk hymn and refers specifically to the Lord in one rarely sung verse.

The thing that distinguished Martin Luther King and many other Christian leaders of the past (and present) is the desire for equality and freedom for all. Hearing 16 year old boys doing a dramatic reading of the I Have A Dream speach, I was struck By Martin Luther King speaking out on the equality of all, including Atheists.
King's message was Christ's message.. one of love and inclusiveness. A brotherhood of man. All men. Just as the Democrats seem to have conceded the liberal message and any acknowledgment of patriotism or love for this country to the Republicans, Christians seem to have silently left Christ's message to those who seek to judge, divide and conquer others. And, all of this strategy seems to work in Mudcat. Those of us who are deeply concerned about the direction this country is going are divided into Christian and non-Christian with very little coming together for common cause. There was a time when those who fought for freedom marched hand in hand, whatever their religious beliefs. All were welcomed in a common cause of freedom.

How have we allowed this to happen? Why have we descended into name-calling and judging each other... even here in dear old Mudcat? I don't have any answers, I'm afraid. But I am a committed Christian who finds the Religious Right judgemental and betraying Christ's teaching. If you think that Christ is a myth.. get in line with me anyway. But, for anyone who claims to be a Christian and does not love his neighbor as himself, is denying one of the most basic teachings of Christ. For too long, blacks have been set against whites, Christians against Jews against Muslims, the rich against the poor (not all wars are religious wars, you know... Iraq clearly isn't)Gays against straights and Atheists against believers of all sizes and flavors.

Today was a strong reminder that people of good will can make dramatic changes if they join together in common cause.

Jerry.. of the Religious Left


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:01 PM

Yes, the religious Left has always been a vital and potent force for social progress. The Right in the USA has been pretending to have a monopoly on religious faith for some time now, and it's a ridiculously false claim, believed only by people who have not bothered to look into the facts of the matter.

The religious Right is fundamentally opposed to everything Christ stood for, in my opinion. They think the way the scribes and pharisees did who had Jesus crucified.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:02 PM

sigh.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:03 PM

*groan*

Please post your emotional responses below... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: robomatic
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:05 PM

Very perceptive starting post, I've mentioned to my right wing Alaska friends that the left wing politics of Massachusetts (where I'm from) is religiously rooted, long time. I'm still learning about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:09 PM

Well, spoke, Jerry.

Grrrrrrrr, Jim.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:10 PM

As a faily militant atheist I recognise the contribution that people of various faiths have made to the general cause of justice, not least the Christians and the Jews of the Civil rights movement and a wide collection of faiths in India, other parts of Asia, and Africa.

The problem I have with religion is its basic unilateralism. People within faith groups seem to choose what to believe and what not without the need for a basis in generally accepted knowledge.

This makes it difficult for them to relate to other faiths and us of no faith. Clearly we can work together in specific causes but dig a bit deeper and we will be at least confused.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:15 PM

The fact is, religious people are equally capable of being to the Left or the Right. And so are non-religious people. But the Right attracts one variety of religious people, in general, and the Left attracts another. It's a different psychological framework.

I would say that the Old Testament, in general, espouses a pretty Rightwing kind of attitude, while the New Testament tends in the other direction. To put it another way, religious fundamentalists and literal thinkers tend to the Right, religious liberals and metaphorical thinkers tend to the Left.

The first focuses primarily on the themes of authority, judgement, power, sin, and punishment. The second focuses on themes of unity, not judging others, forgiveness, redemption, and love.

It can also be seen fairly easily that the first (the Right) is based on the archetype of the strong Father, while the second (the Left) is based on the archetype of the protective Mother.

And that's why the Right is so enamoured of male figures like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenneger, or any other big tough guy with a gun in one hand and a flag in the other....they believe that "Father Knows Best". I don't. My father did not inspire that sort of confidence in me in the least...

Society, however, is healthiest when it achieves a harmonious balance of the 2 archetypes, bringing forth the best in each. That is a notion lost on the competitive party $ySStem ruling at present...which would rather exacerbate divisions than heal them.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: PoppaGator
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:21 PM

Jesus Christ did not try to appropriate the power of the state to impose His views on everyone (as do today's right-wingers who profess to be His followers). Authoritarianism of any kind was never part of His message.

When the Prince of Peace said "Come follow me," He was inviting us all to follow His example. He wasn't asking for "worship" (i.e., lip service), and He certainly wasn't asking His followers to slaughter unbelievers in His name.

Sadly, I can't think of a single Christian sect or denomination where this point of view is acknowledged. Almost every church has a *minority* of members who understand the message of Christ the way I do, but none of the church leaders seem to have their primary focus on much of anything beyond the assertion of their own authority.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:27 PM

wow Poppagator. You a theologian? Priest? Pastor? You're certainly at least as dogmatic as any of those I've ever met.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: CarolC
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:28 PM

Jesus was a commie.

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:28 PM

The only denominations I've seen that seem to live up pretty consistently to the nonviolent and compassionate teachings of Jesus are the Bahais and the Quakers...I think...and the Bahai's are not technically Christians! But they do honour Jesus as an avatar.

One can find inspired individuals, however, in all denominations, as you said, PoppaGator.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:36 PM

Jim, you are a sad, sad case. I bet you will reach enlightenment anytime in, say, oh...the next 100,000 years or so. :-)

What PG said about Jesus should be so dead obvious to anyone who has actually bothered to read the New Testament that I would have to assume you never have. One does not find enlightenment through religions, Jim. One finds it through opening the heart and surrendering the ego. That requires membership in no religion whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:43 PM

I've never tried marching with a church. They're too big and bulky. I've never even marched with religion. But, I have marched many times with other people who shared my belief in the possibility of this country as invisioned by its founders. And I never once asked the people I marched with what their personal beliefs were. They were all brothers and sisters to me.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Once Famous
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:44 PM

The Christian left and the Christian right will be meeting in the fall to have the Christian world series.

The group that turns the other cheek the most is the loser and will be laying there all bruised.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 04:45 PM

Little Hawk,

Poppagator purports to know the "sects and denominations" of Christianity -- their beliefs and practices -- well enough to make a huge, blanket charaterization of them. My question, in that light, is quite fair.

Every time I see the Christian right drawn here it is as a very black caricature -- not their system of beliefs as I understand them. I may have my differences with the Christian right, but it is my informed opinion that both poppagator and Jerry Rassmussen are informed in a rather prejudicial manner -- and really don't understand the worldview, nor theology of the Christian right.

Sorry my manner of communicating and enlightenment doesn't measure up to your standard, Little Hawk.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: PoppaGator
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 05:05 PM

OK, Jim, I haven't studied all the nuances of right-wing Christian theology. Wouldn't want to. But it's more than obvious to me that their triumphalist concept of Christ is not at all like mine. Did I assert more than that?

I *have* a pretty extensive education in theology and church history, as taught in a couple of highly regarded Roman Catholic institutions. As my own personal beliefs developed, I found a small number of fellow-believers within the Catholic Church (such as the aforementioned Berrigan brothers), but couldn't help but notice that most of the people with whom I shared the most basic values were Quakers, Unitarians, Black Protestants of various denominations, beatnik Buddhists, and ~ mostly ~ agnostics/atheists/freethinkers/Deists.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: CarolC
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 05:15 PM

Here's an intersting site for Christians who believe in personal ethics and social justice...

http://www.sojo.net/


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 05:24 PM

Jim:

I do not know in any detailed way what the Religous Right is, any more than I know who "they" are or "anonymous sources." What I do believe is that religion is not to be legislated. For those who follow Christ, he made that very clear. Talk about a separation of church and State! Ironically, Christ was very outspoken against that, and yet there are Christians who want to seize enough power to legislate their beliefs. If beliefs are true, they do not need to be legislated. Just lived. Only human rights need to be protected, and they are not the property of any one religion.

Religion can not be imposed.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 05:32 PM

Yeah, poppagator,

'swhattI'm sayin' y'know? I have an education that parallels yours, though in a "Bible-thumpin'" Bible College and Seminary.

As to sojourner, Wallis seems intellectual and appealing in that NPR/PBS kinda way, but his analysis comes from a VERY arrogant place. His complaint is that the "Religious Right" is focused on only certain moral issues (in his rhetoric -- abortion and homosexuality), while he, in his more enlightened way, focuses on the moral issues of war and poverty.

Trouble is, that's just not so. Just because the religious right doesn't see eye to eye with the left on HOW poverty is to be dealt with, or whether or not a war may be justifiable, they do, nonetheless care VERY profoundly about those moral issues in addition to what they see as moral issues of abortion and homosexuality.

Good, timely non-sequitor for the left to lap up though.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 05:34 PM

Jerry,

You obviously DO believe that the morals that are informed by your religion are to be legislated or you never would have marched for civil rights.

Have a nice day!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: CarolC
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 05:42 PM

And, in your opinion Jim Tailor, what does the "religious right" have to say about the "religious left"? Seems to me I've heard some pretty arogant and highly inaccurate stuff coming from them on that subject as well.

Anyway, it's still an interesting site, and I'm not even a Christian.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 05:42 PM

There are probably as many different kinds of Christians, Jim, as there are individuals who call themselves "Christian". I know that.

As for legislated morals...all our present day morals came down through old religious traditions of one type or another. It is, in fact, impossible to separate religious philosophy from the state, because our whole civilization and its prevailing assumptions were built by religions, most of which are at least 2,000 or more years old. This is true whether or not it is officially recognized, even in the case of Communism, which purports to be non-religious, when in fact it IS a religion. You can have a religion even without an official God (a supreme being). Quite easily, in fact.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 05:49 PM

As a student of many so called religions..I came to a conclusion... some may think it incredulous, some may think it wonderful but at least I reached it with my eyes wide open. I became a Christian in 1991 and my life has taken off.....my act has been on the rise since!
You all have a choice...go for what you KNOW is right!.....not what you might think is good.... or just good for you.....go for the truth.....seek the truth! You also have to remember that sometimes you may need to make sacrifices to achieve lifes goals.....There is really no left or right...just the PATH you choose.
The truth is something we all have to find for ourselves.
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 05:58 PM

Oh Carol, those on the Christian right who might parallel the run-of-the-mill "Christian Leftist" as represented here would most definitely think the left wrong...

so the right thinks its right but the left thinks it's right too and two rights....well, I thought I could go somewhere with that -- it sounds like a punchline. I'll have to work on a joke.

...and yes, they would appear at least equally arrogant -- especially to those who post here. But they didn't start this thread. *wink*

Have a good'n!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 06:01 PM

Good point, Jerry...

The problem I think is that at the moment the Christian Right has the microphone. PLus they are louder and they are less tolerant. Makes it tough for the majority of Christian who don't where thewir religion on their sleeve to compete but why compete anyway because to compete would mean that we would have to politicize our Faith. Once you have done that, you've lost...

But it's looking as if the Christian Left is going to have to at least stand up and be counted, just as we were during the civil rights movement and anti-war movement. I have been giving this a lot of thought recently and am not too sure how we can do this without being confrontational. There are so many folks on thre other side who are running on the ragged edge of becoming violent. Lots of anger. This is what I don't underestand. People who turn it over to the Lord ain't 'sposed to be so danged angry and intolerant...

One thing I do know is that the Christian Left has to spend a lot more time in the New Testament and read the wods of Jesus, who IMO, wouldn't be too happy with many of thre folks on the other side. Those folks don't seem to ever talk about Jesus's words? Hmmmmmm?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: PoppaGator
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 06:59 PM

Seems to me that *most* issues for which the Left (Christian and otherwise) has espoused are essentially "conservative" insofar as they oppose the imposition of governmental authority: don't draft us, don't kill us, don't make us ride in the back of the bus, don't lock us out of public schools, don't legislate what we can do in our bedrooms.

The fundamentalist movement, on the other hand, seems to be strongly focused upon imposing their values and standards of behavior upon everyone, including those ~ especially those ~ who do not share their beliefs.

Of course, both "sides" think they're right ~ duh! Each of us believes what we believe, and cannot easily be persuaded otherwise. But I think that there is a basic difference between the two sides in terms of the tolerance they exercise.

Sadly, those who truly believe that "blessed are the meek" tend to lose out to the bullies, at least in the short run. Martin Gibson had a point when he described the coming "world series" between rightist and leftist Christians as a conflict where those who turn the other cheek the most emerge as the losers.

It takes true faith to believe that might won't always make right. Keep your eyes on the prize!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 07:00 PM

A Christian marching in civil rights parades is not demonstrating to make his moral beliefs law, but to make the Constitutional equality of men law. That stands without any reinforcement by the religion he chooses. If he al;so has moral beliefs about treating people with equality, respect and tolerance, that just doubles his pleasure.

No sense being thick about it.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 07:01 PM

Okay,it's a generalisation but;
Right wing Xians....old testament
Left wing Xians....new testament


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 07:13 PM

You said it right, Amos. Civil rights are guaranteed by our constitution. I marched in support of civil rights because I support out constitution. As I said above.. "only human rights need to be protected. And they are not the property of any one religion." I was not trying to impose my religious beliefs on anyone. I was trying to uphold our constitution.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 07:20 PM

Now wait a cotton-pickin' minute!

Atheists Do have Faith - that the Official Organised Religions are wrong....


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 07:33 PM

Where I live, the assumption tends to be that, on most issues, practising Christians, and Christian churches, can be expected to be broadly left of centre, and that Christianity in general should have "a bias to the poor", very suspicious of any military operations, and, for example, firmly lined up against the concept of a death penalty.

The impression that comes over from across the Atlantic is politically the other way round - of a version of Christianity that is well to the right of centre.

I wonder sometimes whether that is in fact accurate, or whether there is a kind of unspoken alliance between those Christians who are well to the right, and those on the left who are hostile to religion to try to persuade people that, at any rate in the USA, Christianity and right-wing politics are inseperable; I wonder whether the kind of views represented by Jerry here may in fact be a lot more prevalant than is sometimes recognised.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: frogprince
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 08:08 PM

I'm a little surprised, but pleasantly so, to hear you say that about the churches there, McGrath. Wish I could say the same for our churches, but, (with a pretty broad background in religion and U.S. Church life), I'm afraid I can't. During the '60's there was even a substantial avowed "evangelical left" who proudly identified themselves as such; I don't know if Jerry or Bobert have used those exact words for themselves, but they sure sound like that kind of people. We still have 'em here; I think we still have quite a few of 'em here. But, aside for the "cat", I sure wish we were hearing more from them these days.
       Dean


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Pogo
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 08:26 PM

the religious left?

Where did they go? O_O


(sorry...I felt silly {O) but honestly...religion and politics ought not to mix...in my opinion of course)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 08:33 PM

Why should a belief in "life after death" have any bearing on how we attempt to make this world a better place to live in.

Can we not simply band together as humans to fight injustice and expose tyrany of all types.
I have always believed that religious beliefs like "everlasting life"
"rising from the dead", the idea of God as a "supreme being" ect were very personal foibles, with no relation to how we conduct our public duties.

With the exception of Bobert the religious left on Mudcat seem more interested in advancing the ideas of orthadox religion than those of socialism...Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: freda underhill
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 08:49 PM

trade unions in the UK emergede out of early methodism, see

The Romance of Primitive Methodism, chapter 16 by Joseph Ritson, 1909


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 08:55 PM

Akneton:

It makes an important difference because some religions incline you to believe the sooner you escape this plane the better; others put your attention on the nature of your inheritasnce of what you sow. Extremists Christians of narrow vision, hurrying to meet the Rapture, are less likely to care about humanity and the environment than someone who believes he will be around a bit longer than that.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 08:58 PM

Hmm...I think that would be more a case of early socialists using organised religion as a vehicle to advance their beliefs.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 09:02 PM

Sorry Amos your point escapes me, although I think I should be in agreement.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: frogprince
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 09:02 PM

The "evangelical left" people with whom I had the most personal experience tended A. to be in religious training, or religious vocations, because of their faith, and B. to find that they perceived the goals and actions of the "left" to be more in accord with Christian principles than those of the "right". I personally didn't see any of them "politicing" their faith, or seeking to gain power for their religious organizations; they were more apt to be marching with whatever Jew, atheist, or Zaroastrian that happened to be protesting against the Viet Nam war or active for civil rights.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 09:08 PM

Why should the principles of Jesus Christ carry any more weight than the writings or thoughts of any other left wing philosopher....
If you leave aside the "smoke and mirrors" bit...Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: beardedbruce
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 09:14 PM

Ake,

Why should the principles, writings, or thoughts of ANY left wing philosoher carry more weight than those of a right wing one?

The answer to that will be the answer to your own question, IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: freda underhill
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 09:14 PM

A group of tutors and students meeting at Oxford University in the late 1720s became known as the Oxford Methodists. The group included John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield. In 1735 these three men became evangelical missionaries in America.

After three years with the English settlers in Georgia, John Wesley and George Whitefield returned to England and in 1739 built their first Methodist Chapel in Bristol. Wesley and Whitefield also gave sermons in the open-air. They travelled the country where they mainly visited poor neighbourhoods. Wesley, who had emerged as the leader of the Methodists, told the people who attended his meetings that if they loved God in return, they would "be saved from sin and made holy". Wesley also had a lot to say about personal morality. In his sermons he encouraged people to work hard and to save for the future. Wesley also warned against the dangers of gambling and drinking.

Although there were Methodist ministers, John Wesley encouraged people who had full-time jobs to become lay preachers. This gave working people valuable experience of speaking in public. Later, some of these went on to become leaders of trade unions and reform groups.

By the time John Wesley died in 1791, the Methodist movement had over 76,000 members. After Wesley's death the Methodists formally separated from the Anglican Church. Membership continued to grow and by 1801 reached 87,000. The movement was weakened in 1808 when followers of Hugh Bourne were expelled. Bourne's followers became known as Primitive Methodists whereas those who remained were called Wesleyan Methodists.

Methodists were active in the campaign for religious emancipation. Victories included the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts in 1828, the voluntarization of the church rate in 1853 and the 1871 the Universities Tests Act opened Oxford and Cambridge to non-Anglicans. In these struggles the Methodists became closely associated with the Liberal Party. Throughout the 19th century, none of the many Wesleyan Methodists elected to Parliament were members of the Conservative Party.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 09:20 PM

It's not Christian, or non-Christian, ake. It has to do with how the lesson of responsibility in life is rendered. Some folks imply that your only real responsibility will be to get the hell off this mortal coil, join Papa-In-Sky, be upgraded to a non-material golden Being, and make music ad infinitum. This is a very shortened version, but you can see how it woul be easy to rationalize harmful acts against lesser beings or races or species if all you were going to do was escape to the hereafter. The downtrodden slaves of the South made up lots of songs about escaping to the hereafter, for their reasons, as well. But they can be condoned on the basis that they were in an insufferable amount of oppression. Using the same rationale as an expiation of your own harmful acts against others is not so easily understood.

On the other hand some folks teach that you will find yourself riding the wheel of Life until you learn it so well you can transcend or graduate. If you thought that, naturally, you'd be more considerate about sowing pain or environmental mayhem, because you'd know you would be living with the after-effects of your own actions one way or another,.

These two models of the life-cycle of the soul engender very different models of what ethical thought should be.

Capisce?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: freda underhill
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 09:22 PM

I note that Karl Marx and Frederick Engels wrote The Manifesto between December 1847 and January 1848.

The first Union was formed by George Loveless, founder of the Tolpuddle union in December 1833.

this song, written as a poem by one of the original martyrs when sent to exile in Australia and put to music by Mick Ryan and Graham Moore, demonstrates that the Tolpuddle martyrs, the world's first unionists, were Christians.

Albion's Shore. Mick Ryan and Graham Moore.

The distant shore of England fades from sight.
Now all seems dark that once was pure and bright,
And now a convict serves me for a time,
To suffer hardship in a foreign clime.

My faith and union's stronger than these chains,
In pastures green he leads me once again,
Through death's dark valley, safely and secure,
return once more to stand on Albion's shore.

How wretched is an exile's state of mind,
By grief worn down, in servile chains confined,
While not one gleam of hope on Earth remains,
And not one friend to soothe his heartfelt pains

My faith and union...

Too true I know that man was made to mourn,
With anguish full my aching heart is torn
The heavy portion falls unto my lot,
Far from my friends, by all the world forgot.

My faith and union...

Farewell my mother, aged father dear,
for you I shed a sympathetic tear,
I pray before our lives have ceased to run,
You'll be united with your long lost son.

My faith and union..


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: freda underhill
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 09:26 PM

and while i am not a christian, i beleive this information demonstrates why unions worked in democratic societies and not in communist societies. because a union can only exist in a democratic society, as it needs the protection of law and separation of powers in which to operate properly.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: Rapparee
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 09:29 PM

Thomas 14:5 and Mark 7:15.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 09:39 PM

OK Frida,but socialist ideas were being espoused long before Jesus was around,and I dont really think that the motivations of the Martyrs have a great effect on how people view our political or religious systems in todays world.
In my view organised religion has always been at best a distraction, and often an impediment to social justice

Amos I think I understand what your getting at,but man its hard work.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: mack/misophist
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 10:01 PM

At the risk of stating the obvious, any group that believes it has the only recipe for salvation will eventually try to impose it's values on every one else. For their own good. For example, it's possible to argue that the Inquisition was the greatest act of Christian charity in history. Make a few bad assumptions, follow them to their conclusion, and that's the sort of thing that can happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Religious Left
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Jan 05 - 10:10 PM

Oh I get it now Amos.

You mean that religious belief is based on selfish motives, and is at odds with the teachings of the philosopher, Christ.


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