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Restpecting the rights of the non-religious

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September 17, 2012 9:54:41 AM

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/world/middleeast/musl...

I think the rights of the non-religious people in the world are currently under fire ... my rights.

I don't believe in god, allah, buddha, or the flying spagetti monster for that matter ... all are equally invalid in my mind ...

Frankly I am more interested in the welfare of my family and work ... religion plays no part in either of them for me.

If I want to question, post, or make comments about your god or prohet then I reserve the right to do so ... and the laws in my country should support me, providing I am not trying to incite hate or violence.

No society should be ruled by preachers or prophets ... frankly these people are poorly trained to do so.

If a society can't question every aspect of its functioning, its going nowhere but down the gurgler.

No religion should control a society or consider others that do not share the same religion as infidels and therefore the enemy.

To me religion is a personal thing ... not something to be imposed on others.

I want to feel safe out there on the streets and so do the rest of my friends and family.

Feel free to post your own ideas.

:) 

September 17, 2012 1:05:14 PM

I guess if you don't believe in it, why bash it or come out against it? I don't understand it I guess. If you don't believe, why spend the time bashing on it? To what point and purpose?
September 17, 2012 1:41:55 PM

Religion is internal, not external.

Jehovah's are the only religious group (I think...) that get brownie points for conversions. Does God really care if you converted your neighbor Steve? Or does he want you to be a good person?
September 17, 2012 1:56:13 PM

Spreading the word and getting conversions are two different things. I think they mistake the mission.

Jehovah's only believe 20,000 or maybe 80,000 get into Heaven. That's why they try so hard.
September 17, 2012 1:59:17 PM

riser said:
I guess if you don't believe in it, why bash it or come out against it? I don't understand it I guess. If you don't believe, why spend the time bashing on it? To what point and purpose?


Well I normally wouldn't care but when religious extremists are killing and maiming other people around the planet I get worried ... as any sane person would.

Seriously ... don't tell me you think its ok to bomb a US embassy because somebody somewhere made a bad film and the US govt is somehow responsible?

So its ok to riot on the streets in Jakarta and Sydney and run around stating that those who blaspheme Mohommed should be beheaded ... injuring a heap of cops in the process and messing with businesses?

So its ok to increase the bounty on Salmum Rushdie's head to 3.3 Million dollars.

Do you defend any of those behaviours?
September 17, 2012 2:24:25 PM

This isnt a defense just an observation...

Maybe younger religions arent as mature about worship? Christianity is cool with some Jesus jokes

But there was a point in history where saying anything negative about about Jesus or the church would be a death sentence, and a brutal one at that. What mellowed mainstream Christianity? And now a Jesus joke.



Top Ten Reasons That Beer Is Better Than Jesus:-
a) No one will kill you for not drinking beer.
b) Beer doesn't tell you how to have sex.
c) They don't force beer on minors who cannot think for themselves.
d) Beer has never caused a major war.
e) When you have a beer you don't knock on people's doors trying to give it away.
f) Nobody has ever been burned at the stake, hanged or tortured over a beer.
g) You don't have to wait 2000 years for a second beer.
h) There are laws saying beer labels cannot lie to you.
I) You can prove you have a beer.
j) If you are devoted to beer then there are groups who can help you stop.
September 17, 2012 3:12:12 PM

By my account, the attack on religion and conversely, non-religion, has been a relatively recent occurrence in human history and, in my opinion, began largely with the nihilist philosophers and postmodern thought that questioned the very basis of the "truth" Western Society is based on. I also think that the attack on religion came to a head with the implementation of socialism/communism as a political/societal institution. Surely there have been wars and disagreements over religion (of which religion was used mostly an excuse used to extort land and resources) but it was not up until the development of Marxist/Leninist ideology that a nation, the USSR, was specifically created as atheistic and explicitly anti-religious. The anti-religious society was continued in 1949 with the Chinese Civil War that put the Communists in power and solidified with the Cultural Revolution in 1967 that eliminated all religion in China and destroyed many temples and place of worship.

I believe what we are witnessing in the Middle East with Muslim zealotry/fanaticism is a theocratic based society that interprets every transgression against them wholly within a religious and anti-Islam context. They take these transgressions within the perspective of their religious duty and inherent hatred for the infidels, the same religious duty and inherent hatred for what they perceive as the Western Society's continued colonialism extorting their land and resources. Secular nations and secular humanism is unacceptable to Islamic nations as it is fundamentally incompatible with Sharia and Hadith.

It seems to me that only in nations where secularism has been institutionalized and/or where there is constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of religious expression (hence freedom to express non-religion) can there be any semblance of religious tolerance. You can argue that segment's of western society push for a single religion but that is more of a minority of the society as a whole compared to a political movement to create a national and legally binding religion.

Just my $.02...
September 17, 2012 3:25:59 PM

riser said:
Jehovah's only believe 20,000 or maybe 80,000 get into Heaven. That's why they try so hard.
I thought the number was 144,000...
September 17, 2012 3:36:58 PM

You must also realize and accept the truth that Islam in particular is not just a religion but a governing ideology. In Islam, you can NOT separate church and state. They are one and the same.
September 17, 2012 3:59:55 PM

Jerusalem has no main religion, and is therefor not recognized as the capitol of Israel, according to the dems, who dont want to upset the Muslim, who is obviously against this.
Actions such as these doesnt appease in any way this situation.
The city is a good example of toleration in and of itself, yet some just dont get it.

September 17, 2012 7:48:32 PM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
You must also realize and accept the truth that Islam in particular is not just a religion but a governing ideology. In Islam, you can NOT separate church and state. They are one and the same.


Many people in the United States can't even grasp the concept of seperation of church and state.. the obvious example is Christianity.

Many arguments against gay rights, abortion, stem cell research, etc. end up with religion being a major driving force behind the opposition to these things.

The "tolerant" people here can't get it and people expect a group that some consider "less tolerant" to understand?
September 17, 2012 8:01:35 PM

There is nothing wrong with Gay rights. The Christian community isn't against giving them rights. The argument comes down to using the term "marriage." The religious aspect of marriage is important. If they were to call it something else outside of the religious aspect of it, it would be a non-issue. Many are not against a Civil Union since it is not used in the term of Marriage. Our gov't over stepped and incorporated this into it and has caused the problem. If the Gov't would stop recognizing marriages and the benefits, it again wouldn't be an issue.
September 17, 2012 8:31:26 PM

riser said:
There is nothing wrong with Gay rights. The Christian community isn't against giving them rights. The argument comes down to using the term "marriage." The religious aspect of marriage is important. If they were to call it something else outside of the religious aspect of it, it would be a non-issue. Many are not against a Civil Union since it is not used in the term of Marriage. Our gov't over stepped and incorporated this into it and has caused the problem. If the Gov't would stop recognizing marriages and the benefits, it again wouldn't be an issue.


There is truth in what you are saying. In the interest of trying not to divert the thread to far off course I will just say that I agree to some extent. The point, however, remains - in the United States seperation of church and state does not exist in a pure form. There are groups that lobby in the interest of religion and elected officials that cater to the beliefs of the religious citizens in this country. Abortion is a clearer issue to this. There are religious people on the "pro-life" side of the argument that use religion as their reasoning, and, in all likelihood, there are elected officials that base their stance on abortion on their religious belief (and that belief may have been a contributing factor to their victory.) If religion didn't matter and stayed out of politics we wouldn't care who Obama's pastor is/was/will be, the same goes for every president and elected official. Yet we all know where they lie because it wins (and loses) votes and people expect that someone that they voted for based (to some extent) on religious beliefs to uphold those beliefs when they are in office. There are plenty of important societal issues that are impacted directly by the religious beliefs of the citizens and elected officials in the United States.
September 17, 2012 8:56:59 PM

Religion matters more today than it did 200 years ago because the moral compass has changed. On top of that, Religion plays a huge factor in decision making. While Gov't should be held distant from Religions, the person making the decision is not.

Regarding abortion, the issue is not life/death, it is the money. Remove the money from the situation and the argument is pointless. The gov't funding people to have abortions upsets a lot of people because it is something they do not believe in. Remove the money, the issue goes away.
September 17, 2012 10:33:11 PM

Crush3d said:
Many people in the United States can't even grasp the concept of seperation of church and state.. the obvious example is Christianity.

Many arguments against gay rights, abortion, stem cell research, etc. end up with religion being a major driving force behind the opposition to these things.

The "tolerant" people here can't get it and people expect a group that some consider "less tolerant" to understand?
No way, I believe it's the other way around! If there is one thing Americans understand it is what it means to have a separation of Church and State. It is a fundamental concept and founding reason of this country. It is because Americans have an all to hard grasp on separation of Church and State that is the reason for the religious in this country desire to maintain some semblance of the moral baseline religion teaches. If anything, America is extremely tolerant of other religions. I believe it is a minority of bigots in American who actually care about the guy living down the street being Jewish or if the guy who lives next door wears a turban.

Riser is right, religion seemingly matters more today because the moral compass has totally changed. And a person making decisions, politician or lay person, can no more remove their religion from their decision making process lest they lose a part of what makes up their very being.
September 18, 2012 12:32:18 AM

To remove religious thought or expect it to be so is like expecting atheists to react religiously, as we are what we are.
Money and abortion is fine, as long as those who partake are spending their money, agreed there.
What we are currently seeing is paid for by those who want such things, such as statues and artworks of the ten commandments removed from public areas, and goes beyond those wanting money from those who dont agree, as in abortion.
To me, one can be ignored, whereas the other is reflected in every paycheck.

Many are completely absorbed by creation, as we see it better thaan ever before, and have turned awat from the creator, and while doing so have made attempts at discrediting believers, which is comparable to believers shaking their heads at those non believers.

These discepencies/differences are almost always worked out, as believers have their own particular "facts" they adhere to, and dont force it down other believers as well as non believers throats, or we would see today more transgressions than what does exist
September 18, 2012 12:59:01 PM

riser said:
Religion matters more today than it did 200 years ago because the moral compass has changed. On top of that, Religion plays a huge factor in decision making. While Gov't should be held distant from Religions, the person making the decision is not.

Regarding abortion, the issue is not life/death, it is the money. Remove the money from the situation and the argument is pointless. The gov't funding people to have abortions upsets a lot of people because it is something they do not believe in. Remove the money, the issue goes away.


If the people making the decisions is not required to set religion aside then you don't have the seperation of church and state.

Does their religious view feed into their belief system? Probably.. and in such a case you aren't seperating church and state. The person is allowing their political decision to be based on religion. There are arguments against abortion that don't involve religion, however, without the support garnered from the religious people in this country the number of anti-abortion supporters would inevitably fall. I've heard far too many people base their abortion stance with religious arguments. If that is what it is based on then I'm not sure how you could argue their religious stance isn't being forced upon others regarding abortion when politicians believe the same way and cater to these individuals.

If an individuals moral compass on an issue is purely derived from their religious belief it does not matter if it's life/death or money. The bottom line is that they are against something because of their religion and they believe that non-religious and other religions must cater to that. The only fair way to approach the situation is to remove religion from the equation - the definition of seperation of church and state. Religion should have no impact on political issues.


chunkymonster said:

Riser is right, religion seemingly matters more today because the moral compass has totally changed. And a person making decisions, politician or lay person, can no more remove their religion from their decision making process lest they lose a part of what makes up their very being.


Then you don't have seperation of church and state. Yes, there is nothing wrong with basing a political decision on your moral compass unless the entirety of your moral compass direction is based on religious belief. At that point it's 100% based on religion and therefore you lose seperation of church and state.
September 18, 2012 1:06:49 PM

Separation of Church & State.......those words appear no where in the US Constitution. The closest it gets is the first amendment where it says "Congress" shall make no law establishing a religion or preventing the free exercise thereof.
"Congress" does not meant he board of education, the local parents association, graduation ceremonies where they pray before hand, etc.

It seems to me that today, we are violating the 2nd part of that sentence far more than the first part.
September 18, 2012 1:48:34 PM

Crush3d said:
Then you don't have seperation of church and state. Yes, there is nothing wrong with basing a political decision on your moral compass unless the entirety of your moral compass direction is based on religious belief. At that point it's 100% based on religion and therefore you lose seperation of church and state.
By your logic, any religious person would be unable to make an objective secular decision; this is counter intuitive to basic human nature.

The separation of Church and State as it is intended by our Founding Fathers was captured in the 1st Amendment "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...". The separation of Church and State means that the American government can not pass legislation establishing a national religion that all citizens are bound to follow by law. That verbiage was specifically put into the 1st Amendment in direct contradiction to the King of England who was also the head of the Church.

OMG_73 is correct. the phrase "separation of Church and State" does not appear in the any of the founding documents. In reality, the phrase "building a wall of separation between Church and State" was penned in a letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists to affirm the 1st Amendment, affirm the fact that Congress was forbidden to legislate a national religion.

It is a well documented fact that the Founding Fathers intended a government for, of, and by the People (citizen statesmen) who would recognize the inalienable rights given to them by their creator and follow the examples set by the great lawgivers throughout history to govern with wisdom and the perspective necessary to preserve the republic and protect the Constitution.

September 18, 2012 3:47:55 PM

chunkymonster said:
By your logic, any religious person would be unable to make an objective secular decision; this is counter intuitive to basic human nature.

The separation of Church and State as it is intended by our Founding Fathers was captured in the 1st Amendment "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...". The separation of Church and State means that the American government can not pass legislation establishing a national religion that all citizens are bound to follow by law. That verbiage was specifically put into the 1st Amendment in direct contradiction to the King of England who was also the head of the Church.

OMG_73 is correct. the phrase "separation of Church and State" does not appear in the any of the founding documents. In reality, the phrase "building a wall of separation between Church and State" was penned in a letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists to affirm the 1st Amendment, affirm the fact that Congress was forbidden to legislate a national religion.

It is a well documented fact that the Founding Fathers intended a government for, of, and by the People (citizen statesmen) who would recognize the inalienable rights given to them by their creator and follow the examples set by the great lawgivers throughout history to govern with wisdom and the perspective necessary to preserve the republic and protect the Constitution.


Not true, by my logic individuals have a responsibility to set their religion aside and formulate an opinion outside of it's bounds. Perhaps the same conclusion could be drawn without religion being involved at all, as I mentioned regarding abortion. In either case, it's a professional responsibility. If you're going to get into something like politics you need to be able to do such a thing.

I find it incredibly disturbing that people are okay with others that base their opinions on religious beliefs weilding power to force others to uphold their religious "morals". "You don't have to believe what we believe, but you do have to follow our rules." Rules derived from religion. Sounds an awful lot like the stuff mubin and eninn run around cheering about.
September 18, 2012 4:43:54 PM

@Crush3d

As it pertains to abortion. I'm not a Christian or any sect really but I still think it wrong to murder an unborn child unless direct harm to the mother's life is imminent.

Is this an example of reaching an opinion without using Religion as a 'guideline' to make my decision?
September 18, 2012 6:07:43 PM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
@Crush3d

As it pertains to abortion. I'm not a Christian or any sect really but I still think it wrong to murder an unborn child unless direct harm to the mother's life is imminent.

Is this an example of reaching an opinion without using Religion as a 'guideline' to make my decision?


Yes, that is reasonable.

I respect people of faith and their religion (something that is personal - keep it to yourself), however, I think it is incredibly irresponsible of people that have have religious beliefs to force others to follow their beliefs. If someone of faith is against abortion because it somehow conflicts with their religion - I have a problem with that, banning abortion would be forcing someone into your personal view that is based on religion. If they can set their religion aside and draw the same conclusion and present it as such, I am fine with that.

September 18, 2012 6:08:50 PM

Crush3d said:
Not true, by my logic individuals have a responsibility to set their religion aside and formulate an opinion outside of it's bounds. Perhaps the same conclusion could be drawn without religion being involved at all, as I mentioned regarding abortion. In either case, it's a professional responsibility. If you're going to get into something like politics you need to be able to do such a thing.

I find it incredibly disturbing that people are okay with others that base their opinions on religious beliefs weilding power to force others to uphold their religious "morals". "You don't have to believe what we believe, but you do have to follow our rules." Rules derived from religion. Sounds an awful lot like the stuff mubin and eninn run around cheering about.
I believe our lawmakers remove religious consideration and live up to your level of responsibility; with Roe vs Wade being a good example. Roe vs Wade made abortion legal as a result of affirming the individual right to privacy and person-hood, not as a result of pushing a judeo-christian religious morality. Individuals may have turned abortion into a religious issue, but the ruling and law is secular in nature.

I think it is unreasonable to expect a person to forget their religious based morality when making rules, I also think it is totally unfair to say that reasonable people are unable to disengage their religion when considering the rules. Making a rule or passing a law where religious morality is one of many considerations is very different from making a rule or passing a law based solely on religion.

The fact is, all laws throughout the ancient world were based on religion; The Code of Hammurabi, the Code of Ur-Nammu, the ancient Egyptian legal code, the Halakha, etc. And, as a result, whether you agree or not, religion has been the basis for all laws throughout Western Civilization.

It has only been in the last 225 years of world history where nations were intentionally formed based on secular law or without religion; the primary nations being America in 1789, the USSR in 1922, and in 1967 when China officially banned all religion.

I'm curious though, what laws (rules) that govern American today that have been derived or based on religious morality do you object to? Do you object to Thou shall not kill, Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not commit adultery, even though they have a basis in religion?
September 18, 2012 8:32:30 PM

chunkymonster said:
I believe our lawmakers remove religious consideration and live up to your level of responsibility; with Roe vs Wade being a good example. Roe vs Wade made abortion legal as a result of affirming the individual right to privacy and person-hood, not as a result of pushing a judeo-christian religious morality. Individuals may have turned abortion into a religious issue, but the ruling and law is secular in nature.

I think it is unreasonable to expect a person to forget their religious based morality when making rules, I also think it is totally unfair to say that reasonable people are unable to disengage their religion when considering the rules. Making a rule or passing a law where religious morality is one of many considerations is very different from making a rule or passing a law based solely on religion.

The fact is, all laws throughout the ancient world were based on religion; The Code of Hammurabi, the Code of Ur-Nammu, the ancient Egyptian legal code, the Halakha, etc. And, as a result, whether you agree or not, religion has been the basis for all laws throughout Western Civilization.

It has only been in the last 225 years of world history where nations were intentionally formed based on secular law or without religion; the primary nations being America in 1789, the USSR in 1922, and in 1967 when China officially banned all religion.

I'm curious though, what laws (rules) that govern American today that have been derived or based on religious morality do you object to? Do you object to Thou shall not kill, Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not commit adultery, even though they have a basis in religion?



I firmly believe morals existed before "religion" claimed them as their own. It is fully possible that if a society were to be formed absent touch of religion and the people in it did not have an inner desire to attribute things they don't understand to "higher" figures that after some time morals and laws similar to the ones thats exist today would exist. Religion is not a prerequisite for individuals to conclude that they will generally be happier if they stop killing each others families and work together.
September 18, 2012 11:19:40 PM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
@Crush3d

As it pertains to abortion. I'm not a Christian or any sect really but I still think it wrong to murder an unborn child unless direct harm to the mother's life is imminent.

Is this an example of reaching an opinion without using Religion as a 'guideline' to make my decision?


But your not a woman and not pregnant ... therefore its not your decision to judge a woman's right to carry or terminate her child.

Its individual choice and the woman lives with the consequences.

You can't have your freedom of speech and right to bear arms then restrict the rights of half your population in a similar way ... can you?

Can you see the hypocracy in that?
September 19, 2012 7:41:21 AM

I also have the right to procreate, where there is little support for half the planets rights on this.
Again, legislating morality is wrong headed, when only 1 side is heard
September 19, 2012 12:37:14 PM

Reynod said:
But your not a woman and not pregnant ... therefore its not your decision to judge a woman's right to carry or terminate her child.

Its individual choice and the woman lives with the consequences.

You can't have your freedom of speech and right to bear arms then restrict the rights of half your population in a similar way ... can you?

Can you see the hypocracy in that?


Since I'm not a woman or pregnant I can't have an opinion on murdering an innocent unborn human being? Really?

What about being a father? Can I have an opinion then, on whether my unborn child lives or dies?

That's like saying since you never served in the military you are not allowed to have an opinion about the military.

Also, to clarify. I never said I would enforce my view through law. I only said I thought it was wrong. The reality is, even if I wanted to enforce my view through law, it would be almost impossible. The closest I could get is over turning Roe v. Wade. Even that would just throw the issue back to the states and wouldn't make abortion illegal.
September 19, 2012 1:07:47 PM

Frankly men don't have the right to decide what a woman gets to do with her body.

Lets do some hypotheticals ...

By the same token your wife doesn't get to decide if you should be neutered for knocking up your neighbours wife ... so consider yourself lucky.

You also don't get to decide if the neighbours wife should be forced to have your child either.

Your poor daughter gets to decide if she wants to keep the child she was raped and inseminated with ... not you ... not the court ... not her mother ... or the rapist.

An exception would relate to mental competence.

Don't worry ... our friends at toms (personally I think this would be a great project for crashman to head up) are working hard perfecting a robowife wife for you ... and 4 for me.

:) 



September 19, 2012 2:07:33 PM

Crush3d said:
I firmly believe morals existed before "religion" claimed them as their own. It is fully possible that if a society were to be formed absent touch of religion and the people in it did not have an inner desire to attribute things they don't understand to "higher" figures that after some time morals and laws similar to the ones thats exist today would exist. Religion is not a prerequisite for individuals to conclude that they will generally be happier if they stop killing each others families and work together.
Is that just what you believe or can you cite historical and societal records that demonstrate morality existed before religion? This is a legitimate question as I have often wondered which came first, morality or religion, in my own learning and spiritual understanding.

From all the reading I have done, I have concluded (so far) that it is practically impossible for a society to form absent of any kind of religion. As demonstrated in the Wiki article linked by jaydeejohn and other early neolithic period human made structures, they all were created and used for religious observances.

Think about this, morals are derived from values. Values are the inherent sense of right and wrong held by the individual. Morality implies a greater societal agreement as to what is right and wrong and the motivation to act morally for the greater good of society. By our nature and very being, as a result of an enlarged frontal lobe, there is no option available to human beings other than to grow with an inherent sense of wonder about the larger world around them and postulate the inevitable questions of "why?". A child (primitive/neolithic man) without any institutionalized or formalized religious teachings will naturally gravitate towards attributing what they do not comprehend to something external to themselves. They will also naturally derive that the external forces will impose consequences for good and bad actions. It is a result of these imagined consequences that the individual comes to define their values. So, if an individual's values are based on an external force, with that external force physically manifested as an idol, charm, totem, or as an invisible higher being, then it is reasonable to conclude that an individual's values are based on an adoration or reverence for the external, i.e.; religion.

I agree that organized modern religions (like Catholicism, Islam, Judaism) are not a prerequisite for individuals to conclude they will be happier by not killing and working together. But what is a prerequisite for people (society) to collectively agree that they hold a common set of values (morality) is an adoration or reverence for something that is larger than the individual and society as a whole. Feel free to attribute that adoration or reverence to whatever (science, secular humanism, fear of the giant spaghetti monster) but it will ultimately be physically manifested as some form of religion.
September 19, 2012 2:44:04 PM

okokokokokokokok

We have to respect the right of the non-religious. That's fine. That respect does not mean they can openly bash religions though.

You're not religious, that's fine. Those who post billboards and whatnot.. seems odd. If one does not believe, why do they care so much about pulling people away? What is the reason for trying to pull people away from believing in something?
September 19, 2012 3:30:03 PM



Do religious types find this offensive?
September 19, 2012 3:43:26 PM

riser said:
okokokokokokokok

We have to respect the right of the non-religious. That's fine. That respect does not mean they can openly bash religions though.

You're not religious, that's fine. Those who post billboards and whatnot.. seems odd. If one does not believe, why do they care so much about pulling people away? What is the reason for trying to pull people away from believing in something?


It's a mindset riser.

The same mindset as a vegan wanting to ban meat for everyone. They can not just live and let live. Everyone has got to lead the same lifestyle as they deem to be the "correct lifestyle".

This mindset is not exclusive to any one political party either.

September 19, 2012 4:36:36 PM

wanamingo said:
Do religious types find this offensive?
I don't think it's offensive. It think it's a display of intolerance and advertises the hypocrisy of progressive ideology.

Thank you Richard Dawkins...

September 19, 2012 10:11:14 PM

Its a bit rough that one ... I find it a bit sickening.

September 20, 2012 3:35:35 AM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
You must also realize and accept the truth that Islam in particular is not just a religion but a governing ideology. In Islam, you can NOT separate church and state. They are one and the same.


Many organized religions are like that- a belief system plus a system of government that uses the belief system to control the subjects. Look at Catholicism- the Pope is a single person who is the head of the religion and also a head of state (albeit a tiny tiny state.) That is exactly analogous to the Ayatollahs, mullahs, etc. in some Muslim countries. Religion is not necessarily a government, but organized religion surely is.

Crush3d said:
Many people in the United States can't even grasp the concept of seperation of church and state.. the obvious example is Christianity.


There is a very strong separation of church and state in the U.S. There is no state religion and today even any implied support of a Christian religion by a publicly-funded group is very much prohibited (witness the whole banning of student prayer in schools fiascos that have occurred in the past 10-15 years.) Using religious principles in concluding that an embryo is a human life and therefore interpreting existing law to stating that abortion is murder and should be illegal is NOT establishing a state religion. Fining people for not attending a Lutheran church on Sunday would be- and that is highly illegal in the U.S.

Quote:
Many arguments against gay rights, abortion, stem cell research, etc. end up with religion being a major driving force behind the opposition to these things.


They are active controversies without any real proof as to what is really going on. What makes gay people gay? Is it a normal variant or a disease process? We don't know, so the argument is going to be 100% opinion and conjecture. Ditto with "when does life really start?" No real answers, so it's all opinion. These arguments fall into the exact same category as "are bailouts good or bad?" There is no way to do a controlled trial so it essentially boils down to if you are a statist, you say yes and if you are an individualist you say no. Same with the stem cell/abortion and homosexual issues.

Quote:
The "tolerant" people here can't get it and people expect a group that some consider "less tolerant" to understand?


The truth is that most of the so-called "tolerant" people are just as intolerant or even MORE intolerant than the sol-called "intolerant" people. "Progressives" are tolerant as long as you agree with them, if not, they'll seek to use every means possible to silence you and make your actions illegal. "Hate speech" and the "fairness doctrine" are the hallmarks of these folks. Individualists and libertarians are often viewed as being intolerant because they are opinionated. They'll tell you that you are evil/wrong/suck but- and this is a BIG "but"- they nearly always will grit their teeth and let you do it because they don't want to set a precedent of having the government trample individual rights lest you use it against them. Funny, huh?

riser said:
Religion matters more today than it did 200 years ago because the moral compass has changed. On top of that, Religion plays a huge factor in decision making. While Gov't should be held distant from Religions, the person making the decision is not.


Religion has gone from being a major influence in the U.S. to being basically a non-player. Roe v. Wade, the striking down of virtually all blue laws, church attendance declining by leaps and bounds...religion is on the decline in the U.S. like it is in most of Europe.

Quote:
Regarding abortion, the issue is not life/death, it is the money. Remove the money from the situation and the argument is pointless. The gov't funding people to have abortions upsets a lot of people because it is something they do not believe in. Remove the money, the issue goes away.


The issue is really about POWER. Most Democrats want to give federal funding for abortion because they think it will get them more votes, and consequently, more Democrats elected to give them more votes in Congress and a "mandate" to ram through legislation the general public does not like (e.g. Obamacare.) The Dems also want more things to be under the federal purview to increase the size, scope, and ultimate power of the government they control. The Republicans oppose federal funding for abortion because some Republicans are against it based on Constitutional reasons (the government has no role in this area), some are against it on semi-religious reasons, and many are against it because Democrats are for it. Providing an opposition is popular and can win you votes. Remove the money and this will NOT go away because it is a votes/power issue.

Reynod said:
But your not a woman and not pregnant ... therefore its not your decision to judge a woman's right to carry or terminate her child.

Its individual choice and the woman lives with the consequences.


Such a simplistic explanation.

- The person who really has to live with the consequences of an unintended/unwanted pregnancy where at least one of the parents considered an abortion is the child! It is going to be a less than ideal upbringing for them to say the least and often downright bad. Single parent, didn't really want the kid, how is that kid going to be taken care of? Generally poorly. I've seen it far too many times. The KID is the one that really suffers, not the sperm donor or sperm receptacle.

- It takes two people to have a child. The law also says that two people are financially and legally responsible for that child. Thus both "live with the consequences." However only one person gets a say as to whether an abortion or adoption is an option or not. How is that fair in the least?

Quote:
You can't have your freedom of speech and right to bear arms then restrict the rights of half your population in a similar way ... can you?


That is a non sequitur.

The whole argument about the legality of abortion really revolves around how far along an embryo/fetus needs to be before it is considered to be alive. We have all agreed that a child who is born cannot have its life terminated. Killing a neonate would clearly be murder and illegal. Okay, what if that baby was born a day earlier? Would it have lived? Nearly certainly if the mother was anywhere near term. So the fetus must be alive the day before it was delivered if that is the case. So when do you consider the fetus to be alive? When docs can keep it alive in the NICU after an extremely preterm delivery- so about 24 weeks gestation? That number is not fixed and constantly keeps creeping earlier and earlier- babies born before about 34 weeks 100 years ago generally died shortly after birth but now that number is less than 24 weeks. What about when that number gets down to the point where all we need is a single-cell fertilized zygote and we can grow a viable baby outside of a uterus? We could take an 8 week embryo out of a uterus at that point and easily grow a baby. Would abortion be legal then because any embryo would be a viable pregnancy and likely to end up in a live baby? I am in no way shape or form religious but absolutely agree that an embryo/fetus is alive because it will unquestionably be alive if not disturbed. The real question is should be is killing allowable in some circumstances? That's the real question and a much tougher nut to crack as it gets into euthanasia (which abortion really is a kind of), which is why the issue is never framed that way.

The only restriction that I really see is the complete elimination of the rights of the father to have any say at all in what happens during the pregnancy of a child which is 50% his genetics and 50% his legal and financial responsibility.

Quote:
Can you see the hypocracy in that?


Damn right I do.
September 20, 2012 7:42:15 AM

Using the word kill has been politically corrected to the point where its a convenience to abort the baby, keeping the sure fire realization if left, a baby would be here, and if the abortion is carried thru, then he/she wont be.
Theres twists and turns, all not concerning religion whatsoever, such as several planned parenthood locales giving abortions according to gender, all the while avoiding the term kill, ending life etc.
Many allow for abortion, but many are totally against a China style particular sex, religious or not.
The way I see some of this is comparable to CaliforniCA, where applying for most jobs they ask if you speak a second language, of course referring to spanish, while being politically correct and not mentioning so.
Having people speak the language of the land, not having 29 differing languages taught in schools, like LA, hearing spanish being spoken everywhere, signs in spanish etc etc, is bothersome, like seeing religious symbols here and there, but we are to love our neighbor, whether the speak the language, or have a faith or dont.
September 20, 2012 12:37:45 PM

I find it very hypocritical that some people fervor for saving every single unborn life but suddenly lose that drive to save every precious life when war rolls around. Or a convict goes up to death row.

September 20, 2012 1:04:04 PM


I try to be as simplistic as possible in these forums mu.

The cognitive effort would be wasted discussing issues like women's rights further with a bunch of undereducated MALE teen geeks ... most who have not even had a girlfriend.

There are also no women here to speak of ... sadly.

Try putting your point of view across to them about your RIGHT to control THEIR bodies?

How many here are fathers?



September 20, 2012 1:08:24 PM

wanamingo said:
I find it very hypocritical that some people fervor for saving every single unborn life but suddenly lose that drive to save every precious life when war rolls around. Or a convict goes up to death row.


Huge difference between a convict on death row, someone you are at war with, and an innocent unborn child.

@reynod

Killing an unborn child has nothing to do with a woman's body. Yes it is attached via umbilical but it is still a living separate life.

Does the father have no say so whether their child lives or dies?
September 20, 2012 1:19:58 PM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
Huge difference between a convict on death row, someone you are at war with, and an innocent unborn child.


I just assumed God was pretty clear with the whole "Thou shall not kill". There really isn't any wiggle room in there, no qualifiers for war or criminals or people you just really don't like. Its simple don't kill. Period. End of discussion.
September 20, 2012 1:23:39 PM

Nope ... unless the mother is brain dead and on life support ... then its his choice if he is the father and the relationship is recognised.

Just because you bonk some woman and get her pregnant doesn't entitle you beyond what she wants you to have.

Seems fair to me.

;) 
September 20, 2012 1:46:53 PM

wanamingo said:
I find it very hypocritical that some people fervor for saving every single unborn life but suddenly lose that drive to save every precious life when war rolls around. Or a convict goes up to death row.


I am entertained how the left can't distinguish between someone making a choice to serve in the military or commit a serious crime, against killing an unborn life that didn't make any choices.
September 20, 2012 2:27:47 PM

riser said:
I am entertained how the left can't distinguish between someone making a choice to serve in the military or commit a serious crime, against killing an unborn life that didn't make any choices.


The point of this whole argument is to save lives, right? Some people consider a few cells life, I dont. When I do become a father I want it to be because I chose to be, not because I got too drunk to understand how to put on a condom and get stuck with a kid Im not ready to have (not that I have, or at least no one has come forward asking for paternity tests.....). Its not fair to the child, when the time is right Im going to be an awesome dad.

If life is so precious then one would think that the politicians would also be anti-war, and anti-death penalty, because I am my brothers keeper. I dont think this is an extreme suggestion. To protect the sanctity of life you would try to preserve it in all forms, not just the potential for one prior to birth. It just seems hypocritical to me.
September 20, 2012 2:52:39 PM

Sorry, I draw a huge distinction between innocent life in the womb and a scumbag rapist murderer on death row.
September 20, 2012 3:08:31 PM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
Sorry, I draw a huge distinction between innocent life in the womb and a scumbag rapist murderer on death row.



Im totally down for the death penalty, some people need to be removed from society permanently. But, like most people in the abortion debate they are basing a bulk of their argument on faith (Always exceptions). And the Christian faith plainly says Dont kill people. Period.

September 20, 2012 4:26:35 PM

wanamingo said:
The point of this whole argument is to save lives, right? Some people consider a few cells life, I dont. When I do become a father I want it to be because I chose to be, not because I got too drunk to understand how to put on a condom and get stuck with a kid Im not ready to have (not that I have, or at least no one has come forward asking for paternity tests.....). Its not fair to the child, when the time is right Im going to be an awesome dad.

If life is so precious then one would think that the politicians would also be anti-war, and anti-death penalty, because I am my brothers keeper. I dont think this is an extreme suggestion. To protect the sanctity of life you would try to preserve it in all forms, not just the potential for one prior to birth. It just seems hypocritical to me.
Wait a minute, am I reading this right?

Are you saying that you would willingly abort a fetus because you got too drunk to remember how to use a condom or because you don't want to inconvenience your life with having a kid but then condemn politicians for being warmongers and supposedly not protecting the sanctity of life?

Please tell me that is not what you are actually saying here...

September 20, 2012 5:01:48 PM

chunkymonster said:
Wait a minute, am I reading this right?

Are you saying that you would willingly abort a fetus because you got too drunk to remember how to use a condom or because you don't want to inconvenience your life with having a kid but then condemn politicians for being warmongers and supposedly not protecting the sanctity of life?

Please tell me that is not what you are actually saying here...


It was just an example. I simply want control over when I have a child, and wouldnt take that choice away from anyone because of how I feel. I dont believe life begins at conception, I dont believe a fertilized egg is a life. And its not inconvenience, I know what sh*tty parents can be like and how they can affect a childs life and Im not doing that to my future child, so I am going to have a kid when I am ready not because of a mistake. And if that means having an abortion (Again, as I tell people I only hold 49% of the relationship stock) it wouldnt be an easy choice but it would be mine and not yours or the governments.

!