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BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority

bobad 27 Mar 06 - 10:41 PM
Bert 27 Mar 06 - 10:43 PM
katlaughing 27 Mar 06 - 11:15 PM
number 6 27 Mar 06 - 11:16 PM
number 6 27 Mar 06 - 11:18 PM
GUEST 27 Mar 06 - 11:46 PM
Ebbie 28 Mar 06 - 02:16 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Mar 06 - 02:25 AM
Dead Horse 28 Mar 06 - 02:33 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Mar 06 - 02:35 AM
Kweku 28 Mar 06 - 02:47 AM
Purple Foxx 28 Mar 06 - 02:58 AM
GUEST,CrazyEddie 28 Mar 06 - 03:23 AM
gnomad 28 Mar 06 - 04:35 AM
GUEST,wordy 28 Mar 06 - 04:39 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Mar 06 - 04:50 AM
Paco Rabanne 28 Mar 06 - 06:26 AM
Alba 28 Mar 06 - 06:41 AM
jacqui.c 28 Mar 06 - 07:48 AM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Mar 06 - 08:26 AM
artbrooks 28 Mar 06 - 08:40 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Mar 06 - 08:44 AM
Rapparee 28 Mar 06 - 08:54 AM
Greg F. 28 Mar 06 - 09:03 AM
JohnInKansas 28 Mar 06 - 09:40 AM
Bill D 28 Mar 06 - 12:13 PM
Clinton Hammond 28 Mar 06 - 12:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Mar 06 - 12:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Mar 06 - 12:21 PM
SINSULL 28 Mar 06 - 12:24 PM
Bert 28 Mar 06 - 12:25 PM
Scoville 28 Mar 06 - 12:35 PM
Clinton Hammond 28 Mar 06 - 12:37 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 28 Mar 06 - 12:48 PM
Wolfgang 28 Mar 06 - 01:16 PM
Kaleea 28 Mar 06 - 02:42 PM
GUEST 28 Mar 06 - 03:26 PM
Bill D 28 Mar 06 - 04:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Mar 06 - 05:14 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 28 Mar 06 - 05:35 PM
M.Ted 28 Mar 06 - 06:31 PM
Little Hawk 28 Mar 06 - 06:47 PM
Bill D 28 Mar 06 - 07:23 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Mar 06 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,AR282 28 Mar 06 - 08:23 PM
Little Hawk 28 Mar 06 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,Midchuck on the downstairs 'puter but not up 28 Mar 06 - 08:32 PM
GUEST,AR282 28 Mar 06 - 09:46 PM
Little Hawk 28 Mar 06 - 10:01 PM
michaelr 28 Mar 06 - 10:15 PM
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Subject: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: bobad
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 10:41 PM

Try and guess who it is before clicking here:
http://www.ur.umn.edu/FMPro?-db=releases&-lay=web&-format=umnnewsreleases/releasesdetail.html&ID=2816&-Find

I was certainly surprised.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bert
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 10:43 PM

And there was me thinking it was the Bush Family.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 11:15 PM

Me, too, Bert!

Have to say it is surprising...never heard of an atheist burning down a church, hanging a man because of his skintone, etc., etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: number 6
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 11:16 PM

Interesting Bobad ... very interesting.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: number 6
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 11:18 PM

Ahhh .... but aren't all athiests communists !?!?!

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 11:46 PM

time to go back to flying under the radar


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:16 AM

I don't even come close to understanding why they should be. I know that among some religious fundamentalists 'secular humanism' is a fearsome thing, although I've never know quite why. I've sometimes thought that they feel that being in proximity with someone who doesn't believe in a god might bring down the wrath of God upon them.

But why should an atheist be threatening to oneself or one's community? Maybe if one thought that it meant that they lived a totally amoral life and one suspected that would include any act that they thought they could get away with, like murder or theft or whatever, one might easily want to keep one's distance. But I have never felt that psychosis is synonymous with atheism.

I suspect that we all have neighbors or even family members who are secretly atheistic and we don't even know it.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:25 AM

Hmm, USA heading to join Islam by making abandoning the state religion punishable by death??


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Dead Horse
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:33 AM

So that motto on the money is "on the money" huh? In God We Trust?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:35 AM

Look I know you guys are a foreign country, but are you really THAT different?
You all seem so normal on the Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Kweku
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:47 AM

"MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (3/20/2006) -- American's increasing acceptance of religious diversity doesn't extend to those who don't believe in a god, according to a national survey by researchers in the University of Minnesota's department of sociology."

well they don't believe in "god" and not "GOD" so no problem hate them,after all no religious body will use the small "g" for the Supreme Being.

and in any case,who made people loose faith in religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:58 AM

Whilst the findings of this survey sadden me, I'd be a liar if I were to say they suprise me.
I have just googled the word "Antichrist"
Everybody from Bushy to David Hasselhoff gets identified.
The sleep of reason really does produce monsters.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,CrazyEddie
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 03:23 AM

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
-Stephen Roberts


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: gnomad
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 04:35 AM

The statistic in that article which surprised me the most was that you have only a 3% atheist population; I have no data, but would expect a UK figure to be well above that. I doubt that many Brits would subscribe to the views expressed, though some would.

Atheism is well accepted here, in fact if we were to judge by what people practice as opposed to what they say they are, I would be unsurprised to find an atheist majority.

Maybe your atheists are aware of the paranoia they seem to induce, and are sensibly keeping their heads down.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 04:39 AM

I think I've said it before, but non-believers need to organise.The new dark age is upon us. It appears to be cyclical in human history, and reading that history can bring nothing but depression. Already thousands are dying in religious wars and it will only get worse. Europe might avoid some of it, but certainly not all. I think Britain is probably as safe as it gets but it too is going slowly down this road, particularly as Parliament has now voted to allow religious schools to begin the reversal of reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 04:50 AM

the English are complicated
it's not quite the thing to believe in stuff
I'm surprised they could pin down even 3% to a belief in Atheism


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 06:26 AM

Bob Dylan fans.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Alba
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 06:41 AM

gnomad I totally agree with your remark "atheists are aware of the paranoia they seem to induce, and are sensibly keeping their heads down"

If someone called me up and asked who I distrusted most in the US and what my religious/spiritual affilations where I would be very cautious about my answers and I wouldn't care who was backing the survey...( guess that makes me paranoid too:)

Actually when I read between the lines of the results of the survey it only makes me sad.

.
Thanks Bobab for posting this interesting article.

Best to all
Jude


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: jacqui.c
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 07:48 AM

I thought that the following paragraph rather explained a lot of the reasoning here.

'The researchers also found acceptance or rejection of atheists is related not only to personal religiosity, but also to one's exposure to diversity, education and political orientation—with more educated, East and West Coast Americans more accepting of atheists than their Midwestern counterparts.'

IMHO religious bodies have more influence over a group of people who have not been exposed to those elements. This happens not just in the States but can be seen in religious fundamentalism all over the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:26 AM

never heard of an atheist burning down a church

There actually was a fair amount of that in the USSR at one time. The point is, being an atheist doesn't rule out being extremely nasty any more than being a religious person does.

If you are the kind of person who wants to push other people around you'll find a way to justify it in whatever form of belief you hold, including non-belief.

I am pretty sure that, if you asked that question over here, religious fundamentalists of any sort would outrank "atheists" as the people we tend to feel nervous about.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: artbrooks
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:40 AM

A survey by sociologists? Fooey!


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:44 AM

If you are the kind of person who wants to push other people around you'll find a way to justify it in whatever form of belief you hold, including non-belief.

well done that man! McGrath - very well expressed.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:54 AM

To use a title from Vance Randolph, "We always lie to strangers." Especially survey-takers.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 09:03 AM

The researchers also found acceptance or rejection of atheists is related not only to personal religiosity, but also to one's exposure to diversity, education and political orientation...

Narrow-minded, ignorant, uneducated people tend to be bigots with no tolerance for views that aren't their own or that they can't understand?

This ain't news, folks.

Why do you think the BuShites keep cutting aid to education[and please note the news stories that schools are having to cut instruction in history, arts -virtually everything but some specific sciences and maths to comply with the No Child's Left Buttock Act- this ain't an accident] and why do you think the "Red" states- populated with these people- vote for Bush?

Oh, ye generation of morons.....


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 09:40 AM

American's increasing acceptance of religious diversity doesn't extend to ...

I'd like to know where they found their "increasing acceptance of religious diversity."

This comes from a state that has led in the movement to transform the US from a Republic into a fundamentalist theocracy. The region also is the "home court" for "White Supremecist" organizations such as the "Minutemen" for about half a century.

As Rolling Stones summed up Sen Brownback's "tolerance:"

You don't have to believe in his God as long as you bow down to Him. (IIRC)

I'm sure the majority surveyed would concur, and that's what they mean by "diversity."

The survey, according to the article linked, asked 2000 people about minorities " "sharing their vision of American society." There was no reference to "Trust" or "Distrust" except the implicit fundie assumption that any one who disagrees is untrusted.

The 2000 telephone calls were most likely all local?

This is pure propaganda, from those who agree with Pat Robertson, one of the more "liberal" of the theocrats:

quoted in Parade Magazine, Sunday 26 March 2006:

I have prayed that somehow, thanks to the goodness of the Lord, we would have a change in the composition of the Supreme Court, ... We've had two new justices already, and I'm sure one more is coming.


The article does not report any qualifying info on the survey, but I'm sure the reported tolerance for error was 0%.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:13 PM

It don't surprise me none. If a majority of Americans ARE religious, and if being religious 'usually' involves thinking everyone should also be religious, then it stands to reason that those who resist religion would be considered dangerous and be mistrusted by many.

Sadly, just a few atheist extremists have been so obnoxious about their non-belief that many Christians view them as a threat. (Never mind that obnoxious, extremist religious ranting and threats are often tolerated as just 'exuberance')

Bumper Sticker (which I would NOT put on my car, both because it is not friendly, and because it would be dangerous for the car)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:18 PM

We atheists scare religious folks, because we can do everything they can do, only we can do it without the crutches...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:18 PM

after all no religious body will use the small "g" for the Supreme Being.


Rather a sweeping conclusion. I'm sure we can find examples that prove this wrong. There are certainly religions that are private and discreet about their practices and not only aren't out trying to recruit members, certainly not trying to take over the world, and they are upset when their practices are appropriated by others, often New Agers.

I agree with the conclusions about the dumbing down of Amercia. There was a story on NPR this morning about a study of 250 school disctricts in states across the U.S. that are doing the "No Child Left Behind" stuff. They found that they have fewer offerings in the curriculum in most of those districts, and they have introduced classes that teach to the tests.

On another note, there was again a story about the radical idea of offering an optional Bible as Literature class in Georgia schools. This atheist took a class like that in high school in Everett, Washington in about 1970. Not a big deal if it is taught like a lit class, which this one was. Sometimes it helps to know your way around the literature of those who would try to push it law down your throat.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:21 PM

If a majority of Americans ARE religious, and if being religious 'usually' involves thinking everyone should also be religious, then it stands to reason that those who resist religion would be considered dangerous and be mistrusted by many.

That doesn't necessarily follow. Being religious doesn't necessarily mean thinking that other people who are religious are in any way to be trusted, when they've got the wrong kind of religion. When I said that most people here would put religious fundamentalists pretty high on their list of people not to be tusted, I wasn't excluding churchgoers from the people who'd feel that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: SINSULL
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:24 PM

The 3% does not surprise me. I went to the official US Atheist site and found I didn't qualify as a REAL atheist because I experienced ESP, a haunting, and believe in the power of prayer.

Most of family is Catholic. I avoid discussions on religion with them but do not hide the fact that I am an Atheist. It is very hard for them to accept and they pray for me. Which is fine because I pray for them. The issue of abortion is far more difficult to handle and keep everyone civil. But that is true everywhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bert
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:25 PM

The reason that they fear atheists comes from a horrible deep down nagging fear that the atheists might be right.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Scoville
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:35 PM

I tell people I'm a "skeptical agnostic" simply because I don't like absolutes and "atheist" seems pretty absolute, but I don't believe in God, at least not in the way my Baptist and Catholic neighbors would expect.

My mother's theory is that there are precious few true believers out there, otherwise people wouldn't be cheating on their SO's, cheating on their taxes, hitting their kids, or going broke trying to keep up with the Joneses. They would be wearing sack-cloth, giving it all to the poor, and walking the straight and narrow, living in mortal fear of retribution. (She's an agnostic. My dad is a devout atheist/secular humanist. Even if they weren't my parents, I would think they were two of the finest, most honest people I've ever known, and theoretically we're all doomed.)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:37 PM

That too Bert...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:48 PM

Gnomad, the 3% figure is probably those who are actually willing to call themselves "atheists". The percentage who do not adhere to any theistic religion but maintain a belief in "something", even if they define it in very impersonal terms, is much greater. I wouldn't be surprised if it's at least 30% of the population.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 01:16 PM

In East Germany (former communist part of Germany), still less than 20% are Christians and atheists are a large majority. The votes for THE LEFT (former communist party) there come from roughly one quarter to one third of the voters (less than 5 % in West Germany) so on a purely correlational level there is some support for number 6's second post if one takes it serious (as it was not meant to be read).

Also, there's some support for McGrath's arguments against katlaughing, for the probability to get beaten up or killed for having the wrong colour of skin is much higher in East Germany than in West Germany.

That has of course different reasons (like for instance higher joblessness etc.) but being atheist at least doesn't prevent people from committing cruelties against other people.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Kaleea
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:42 PM

I knew it! It's all a dirty commie plot! Those bad boys have been so busy making all the peoples of varying religions mistrust each other that while the attention is off of them, they are taking over the planet.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 03:26 PM

I still think Democrats.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 04:58 PM

"That doesn't necessarily follow."

I know, McGrath...that's why I use 'usually' and 'many'....but it 'often' does follow among certain large groups. I have experienced it so many times myself that I know it is at least common.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 05:14 PM

I think it may be more common in America than in some other places for people to see "religious commitment" as something to value as such, without perhaps worrying too much about what type of religion is involved. In a way that is something to be respected, as a step away from a more sectarian way of seeing such matters. But there is another side to it.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 05:35 PM

Carnies. Circus folk.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 06:31 PM

I don't know why anyone was surprised by this--in the rhetoric of religious revivals, the "Atheists" are always the antithetical "Them" --the negation of everything that "Christians" believe, --even Communism was "Godless Communism"--and, especially in recent years, we've been overrun with Bible thumpers--many of whom have found that is a lot easier to point accusing fingers than to save wayward souls.

A lot of Americans go to church, but it is for social reasons, and should not be confused for acceptance of any system of beliefs. Even avid churchgoers get nervous if you talk about God too much.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 06:47 PM

I thought for sure that lawyers were America's most distrusted minority. ;-D Matter of fact, I still think so. I think the article is dead wrong. It's lawyers!

And why does someone have to decide whether he is "an atheist" or "an agnostic" or some other silly term to label yourself with?...why not just be human, and leave it at that?

Who cares anyway, as long as a person is honest, harmless, and a good neighbour?

Well, evidently some of you care, but I sure don't.

To use this thread as an opportunity to bash organized religion is just as silly and unhelpful as to use it as an opportunity to bash atheism, in my opinion. There is no good reason to bash either.

(unless one of your primary joys in life is feeling superior to those who are different from you in some way)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 07:23 PM

"I thought for sure that lawyers were America's most distrusted minority. ;-D"

you mean...they're not a majority? Waaal, knock me down with a feather!


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:17 PM

SRS mentioned a Georgia (US) state bill on Bible teaching in public schools.

4A THE WICHITA EAGLE, TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2006

ATLANTA— Georgia's legislature on Monday [27 March 2006 ed.] passed a bill to fund elective Bible courses in public high schools, sparking concern among First Amendment advocates and generating praise from lawmakers who say they are worried that children are losing their grasp on one of western civilization's most influential texts.

If Gov. Sonny Perdue signs the bill into law, local school systems then could decide whether they want to offer the classes.

The bill states that the classes should be taught "in an objective and nondevotional manner, with no attempt made to indoctrinate students as to either the truth or falsity (of the works)"


The Guv still has to sign it, but it looks on surface like an unusually sensible bit of work. There is possibly some room for abuse, but it's left to the local school boards to either create or to regulate any such warpage.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:23 PM

The trouble is, I've studied Christianity earnestly enough that there's no way I could possibly believe it.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:25 PM

Heh! Which part don't you believe and which part do you? Did you expect it to all be literally true when you started? If so, why?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,Midchuck on the downstairs 'puter but not up
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:32 PM

An atheist and a snake-handling fundamentalist Christian and a Muslim suicide bomber are all people who Know The Truth. Since I don't, I figure they're all equally likely to try and ram their truths down my throat...

Peter


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 09:46 PM

>>Heh! Which part don't you believe and which part do you? Did you expect it to all be literally true when you started? If so, why?<<

The Canon is a mish-mash of legends, mythology and astrology. Paul's writings are the earliest Christian writings and yet they don't tell us anything about the life of Christ on earth. Paul never tells us when or where Jesus walked or when or where he died. Nothing about miracles, a ministry, twelve disciples, a virgin birth. No mention of Bethlehem or Nazareth. In fact, no narrative whatsoever! He barely quotes the man!! Where then did these historical details come from if not from the earliest Christian writer??

Then you see that Mark is the earliest of the gospel narratives and it has no miraculous birth story. Jesus is already a man when Mark's story opens. I would say that is because Mark never heard of the birth story having written his before Matthew and Luke--who otherwise borrowed a great deal from Mark. Now, think about that. Two writers who insert totally different miraculous birth stories (as well as totally different paternal genealogies for someone supposed to be the son of god) and then go and rely on an earlier writing by someone who clearly did not know about either of these miraculous births. That's like me giving an eyewitness account but relying largely on your account even though you weren't there.

Strange that Jesus has this personal epiphany while coming up from the waters of the Jordan while being baptized by John where a dove descends from heaven and the voice of god proclaims Jesus his son. What is the purpose for this epiphany since his miraculous birth would have been greatly celebrated in his day? Because the story was in Mark and preserved by later writers who tacked a fictitious birth story on in front of it even though it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Then the earliest Markan manuscripts, Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, housed at the Vatican Library, stop at 16:8. The problem is, that cuts out the resurrection.

Then you have two early Church Fathers as Irenaeus and Papias who stated that Jesus survived his crucifixion and lived out his days as a teacher in Asia and died at about age 50. According to these men, this story comes from John the Presbyter whose authority they do not question. Let us remember that both Papias and Irenaeus were bishops in the Church. How could they hold this view and not be expelled and excommunicated except that at least part of the Church either did not accept the resurrection or had not heard of it.

So the Jesus story has changed and mutated over the centuries and certainly not in anything resembling its original form today. Then again, it doesn't seem to have an original form, but is a mish-mash of various stories from various time periods twisted together. There does not appear to be a Jesus Christ, even as a mere man. He is not a creature of history.

There's simply nothing to believe about Christianity. I find no reason to buy any of it. If you do, that's fine. I know some devout Christian people who are quite nice and I get along with them quite well (one can play jazzy bass--both guitar and upright--like you wouldn't believe). But I find nothing believable in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 10:01 PM

Yes, yes, it's all very interesting, isn't it? I have been well aware of all the inconsistencies and strange things you draw attention to, but I don't regard them as very important.

What I regard as vitally important are the great philosophical questions about life, about right and wrong, about wisdom and ignorance, about weakness and strength, about virtue and lack of virtue...questions that are raised in Christianity, as well as in Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, and every other religion or ancient philosophy out there. That's what's interesting. That's what matters...not whether or not someone had a "virgin birth" or turned water into wine.

Did it never occur to you that something like the symbol of a dove descending from heaven could refer to an event in consciousness, rather than a physical event? Or that legends can be symbolic? That a parable can be metaphorical?

Or is it all just literal for you? If so, forget it. You cannot be a literalist and come up with anything rational for most ancient spiritual writings. You can either believe them literally...and become a fanatic fundamentalist...or not...and call yourself an "atheist". Either way, you're missing the boat, in my opinion.

I do not call myself a "Christian". I call myself a human being. As a human being, I'm interested in all great changes in human philosopy over the past few centuries. Christianity offers much insight into the development of human philosopy, and for that reason is very much worth studying...and DOES contain much that is of value.

You don't need to even believe in a "God" to see that.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: michaelr
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 10:15 PM

Sinsull -- you call yourself an atheist yet believe in the power of prayer?


Who do you pray to, J. Edgar Hoover? And what happens when you do?


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